How nuts can you go on the keto diet? The answer is it depends. Some nuts are high in carbs, which means they aren’t compatible with a keto diet. However, there are plenty of nuts that are lower in carbs and high in fiber, resulting in a relatively low net carb amount. Nuts also contain healthy fats and a fair amount of protein, so they’re easy to fit in when trying to hit your macros. Read on to learn more about the best nuts you can enjoy on a keto diet.
How to Choose Nuts for Keto
Brazil, macadamia, and pecan nuts are all good keto options. These varieties are low in carbs and high in fiber. Fiber passes through the digestive system relatively untouched, so your body doesn’t use the glucose from those carbs. That’s why many people on a keto diet go by net carbs. You just deduct the grams of fiber from the grams of carbs to determine the net carb of a particular food. This is especially helpful with nuts because they’re high in fiber, which cuts down the carb count significantly.
Though there are plenty of nuts that are fair game on a keto diet, it’s important to pay attention to serving sizes. Nuts are notoriously easy to overindulge in, especially when they’re roasted and covered with salt. Be sure to portion out the nuts before you eat them to ensure you stick to your macros. A one-ounce serving of nuts is approximately a small handful, but it’s a good idea to break out your kitchen scale to weigh them.
Top 10 Nuts for Keto
For a delicious and heart-healthy addition to a keto diet, look no further than nuts. Here are ten of the best nuts to indulge in on a keto diet:
Pecans contain the least amount of carbs out of all nuts, with only one ounce of pecans containing just one gram of net carbs. They’re also loaded with an array of important nutrients like thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus.
2. Brazil Nuts
With just two grams of carbs per ounce, Brazil nuts are one of the best nuts you can eat on a keto diet. They’re also one of the best sources of selenium, which is essential for critical bodily functions, including metabolism, immune health, DNA production, and more.
Macadamia nuts contain just two grams of carbs per ounce. Studies have also shown that eating tree nuts such as macadamia nuts can lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins or “bad” cholesterol. They’re also shown to improve metabolic risk factors.
Walnuts contain two grams of net carbs per ounce. They’re also loaded with nutrients, such as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants, and have been shown to lower total cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol, and lower triglycerides.
Hazelnuts are rich in heart-healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin E. One ounce contains just two grams of net carbs. They’re also known to have health benefits, such as decreasing blood fat levels, regulating blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and more.
Peanuts may technically be legumes, but they’re also low in carbs, with just four grams of net carbs per ounce. They’re high in unsaturated fats that help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and are packed with protein that can help promote weight loss.
7. Pine Nuts
Though not actually nuts, pine nuts are harvested from certain types of pine cones and contain just three grams of net carbs per ounce. They offer a good balance of protein, fats, and fiber to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Almonds contain just three grams of net carbs per ounce. They’re not only high in healthy fats and protein, but they’re also rich in antioxidants that can help protect your cells from oxidation and premature aging.
One ounce of pistachios has about five grams of net carbs. They’re rich in plant-based compounds, such as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been linked to a decrease in the risk of developing macular degeneration.
A one-ounce serving of cashews contains eight grams of net carbs. Though they’re the nut with the highest amount of carbs on our list, they can still be enjoyed on a keto diet within reason. They’re also rich in essential nutrients, including copper, zinc, magnesium, and iron.
Though you can’t overindulge in any of these options, it’s perfectly fine to eat nuts on a keto diet in moderation. Choose the lower carb options for a daily indulgence and save the ones that are higher in carbs for an occasional treat.