The Best Nuts for Keto Diet
The keto diet has become one of the most popular recent health trends. Short for “ketogenic diet,” the keto diet is all about minimizing your carbs and upping your fats. After a few days of following this eating routine, you go into something called ketosis, or the state your body enters when it doesn’t have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy. At this point, your body starts burning fat for more energy.
While keto meals can be easy to plan, it can sometimes be difficult to find snacks that fit the bill. While nuts are always a great choice for a healthy snack and the fat content is great for keto, you also need to consider the carbs. Below we’re counting down the best to worst nuts based on the amount of carbs in a 1oz portion.
Best Nuts for Keto Diet:
- Pecans: 1.1 grams
- Brazil nuts: 1.3 grams
- Macadamia nuts: 1.5 grams
- Walnuts: 1.9 grams
- Hazelnuts: 2.3 grams
- Pine nuts: 2.7 grams
- Almonds: 2.9 grams
- Peanuts: 3.8 grams
- Pistachios: 5.8 grams
- Cashews: 8.4 grams
Low Carb Nuts – The Best and Worst Nuts (and Seeds) for the Keto Diet
Nuts are known for their vitamin, mineral, fiber, and healthy fat content. What is often overlooked, however, is how many carbs they add to the diet.
Since nuts are designed by nature to provide nourishment for a new plant, each one comes with some net carbs in the form of starches and sugars. This is why it is crucial to consider the carb counts of each nut before you incorporate them into your keto lifestyle.
To give you a better idea of what the best nuts are for keto, let’s take a look at carbs in each one from lowest to highest. After looking at the raw data for the most common options, we will explore how to add keto-friendly nuts into your diet for optimal health, fat loss, and ketosis.
Nutrition Chart for Common Nuts: Finding The Lowest and Highest Carb Options for Keto
To help you figure out what nuts may be ideal for your keto diet, we created the following chart with their nutrition information.
Each listing pertains to the raw, unroasted nut. The nutrition information for processed, flavored, and/or roasted products will vary from what is found in the chart.
The table is categorized from the lowest to highest net carb content.
|Nutrients per 1 ounce (weight)|
|Nut Variety||Approx. # of nuts||Calories (kcal)||Protein (g)||Total Fat (g)||Net Carbs (g)||Carbs (g)||Fiber (g)|
What are the Best Nuts for Keto? The Lowest Carb and Highest Fat Options
With the raw data above, we begin to see what nuts are better than others for maintaining ketosis and reaching your goals. After filtering the data through a keto-friendly, we end up with the following two lists.
Which Nuts are the Lowest in Carbs? A Ranked List
Since net carbs are the type of carbohydrate that will impair ketosis most, let’s rank the nuts based on their net carb counts for each ounce, from lowest to highest:
- Pecans with 1.2 g
- Brazil nuts with 1.3 g
- Macadamia nuts with 1.5 g
- Walnuts and Hazelnuts with 2 g each
- Peanuts with 2.1 g
- Almonds and Pine nuts with 2.7 g each
- Pistachios with 4.9 g
- Cashews with 8.3 g
Pecans, brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts emerged as the top three lowest carb nuts. This means they will be the easiest nuts to incorporate into your keto diet. Pistachios and cashews, on the other hand, will be difficult to include in your keto diet due to their relatively high net carb content.
A List of Highest Fat Nuts for Keto
If you need a high-fat snack that’ll satisfy your hunger and keep you in ketosis, here are the best nuts (categorized from highest to lowest total fat per ounce):
- Macadamia nuts with 21.5 g
- Pecans with 20.2 g
- Pine nuts with 19.1 g
- Brazil nuts with 18.6 g
- Walnuts with 18.5 g
- Hazelnuts with 17 g
- Peanuts and Almonds with 13.8 g
Keto nuts – the best and the worst
Can you go nuts with nuts on a keto diet? Well, yes and no… it depends on what kind of nut you choose. This visual guide will help you select nuts with the lowest carbs, to help you succeed on keto.
You’ll find the lowest-carb (keto) options to the left.The numbers above the nuts represent the amount of net carbs in 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces.
A rough guide is that 100 grams of nuts is about three handfuls — but hands come in different sizes.
If you want to know exactly how many grams of carbs you’re eating, here are the number of individual nuts in a 100-gram serving:
- 65 pecan halves
- 20 Brazil nuts
- 40 macadamias
- 70 hazelnuts
- 25 walnuts or 50 walnut halves
- 2/3 cup of peanuts
- 80 almonds
- 3/4 cup of pistachios
- 3/4 cup of pine nuts
- 60 cashews
Keto nuts to love
Pecans, Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts, all on the left side of the image, have the lowest amount of carbs per serving and can be enjoyed freely on a keto diet.
Well, almost freely. Some of us enjoy eating dry-roasted, salted nuts so much that we end up going overboard with them. If this is you, limit yourself to one handful, or simply avoid them.
Eat these low-carb nuts as a snack (if you need one) between meals, toast them and toss into salads and other dishes, or grind them into nut butters to spread on celery, other veggies, or low-carb crackers.
The nuts in the middle are not the best keto options, but you can probably get away with a few and still remain in ketosis.
The nuts to the right – especially cashews — should be avoided on keto. You’ll very quickly reach the daily keto limit of 20 grams of carbs. Less than three handfuls — about 60 cashews — is enough to reach this limit.
Avoid nuts that have been treated with sugar and other glazes, such as those labeled “honey roasted,” “sweet chili,” “salted caramel,” and “spiced.”
Whichever type of nuts you choose, read labels to make sure no sugar has been added.
A reason not to go nuts on nuts
While Brazil, macadamia, and pecan nuts are good keto options, you may still want to be careful when eating nuts. If you want to lose weight or reverse type 2 diabetes, even these nuts may be problematic.
Keep in mind that all nuts contain lots of fat and calories (plus some protein and minerals) – they are very nutritious.
Eating nuts is fine if you’re hungry and need energy. But if you’re just snacking on them between meals because the nuts taste good or you feel bored, then you’re adding calories and fat that you don’t need.
The result? Your body will burn the fat from the nuts, instead of your stored body fat — which isn’t a problem if you’re happy with your current weight.
But if you want to lose weight, it’s a different story. In this case, minimizing between-meal snacking may be the best option.
As always, eat when you’re hungry, and don’t eat when you’re not hungry.
How to avoid eating too many nuts
Nuts are so tasty that they can be easy to overeat, especially salted varieties.
Adding salt to nuts makes them more more rewarding — and for some people, almost addictive.
This can lead to eating far more than you need to feel satisfied.
What’s more, eating too many nuts, especially with higher carb counts, can seriously slow down weight loss.
Here are some tips to help keep your nut consumption under control:
- Select the amount you want to eat.
- Put the nuts in a small bowl – don’t eat out of the full bag or container.
- Avoid mindlessly munching nuts while in front of the TV, watching a movie, reading or doing another activity that has most of your attention.
Instead, enjoy them deliberately and mindfully.
- Cut back on nuts if you find your weight loss is stalling, and make them an occasional indulgence.