Best Keto Nuts: The Ultimate Guide to Nuts on Keto

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Are Nuts Keto? The Best Low-Carb Nuts for the Ketogenic Diet

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Nuts are a popular snack food on the keto diet. They’re usually sugar-free, low in net carbs, and nutrient-dense, making them an excellent choice for low-carb dieters.

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However, some nuts have a higher carbohydrate count than you might expect, and eating too many of them can kick you out of ketosis and slow down your weight loss goals.

This article covers the health benefits of nuts, as well as the best keto-friendly nuts and what nuts to eat in moderation on a low-carb diet.

Nuts Are Nutrient Dense

Nuts are a good source of magnesium, selenium, vitamin E, and manganese. Magnesium is an essential mineral that influences stress, sleep, energy production, and protein synthesis[*]. Selenium acts as an antioxidant and can strengthen your immune system, and is difficult to find in high amounts in most other foods[*]. Manganese aids in fat and carb digestion, and helps regulate your blood sugar levels[*].

Many Nuts Are High in Dietary Fiber

Below, you’ll learn about the fat, protein, and carb content for a number of keto nuts. You’ll notice a common theme: Most nuts have a high total carb count, but they’re also high in dietary fiber, thereby lowering the net carb count. Fiber has been known to help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation, thereby helping to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease[*][*].

Nuts Are Portable

Since nuts are perfect for on-the-go eating, they make great keto snacks. You can keep a small amount in your bag, desk, or purse for a high-fat, low-carb snack on the go.

That said, be aware that nuts are calorie-dense and easy to overeat. If you’re carrying nuts with you throughout the day, be careful about snacking mindlessly, otherwise you may sabotage your weight loss goals by eating a lot more calories than you intend.

5 Low-Carb Nuts to Eat on the Keto Diet

These nuts are all low-carb and nutrient-dense, making them excellent choices if you’re limiting your carb intake.

1. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts have high fat content and the lowest carb count of any nut.

Macadamias also have some of the highest levels of monounsaturated fats, which improve blood sugar control and lower bad LDL cholesterol levels[*].

Serving size: 1 oz

Calories: 210

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Fat: 21g

Net carbs: 1g

Fiber: 2g

Protein: 2g

Macadamia nut keto recipes:

2. Almonds

Almonds are high in fiber and low in net carbs, making them an ideal keto snack.

Almonds are also exceptionally nutrient-dense. They’re a rich source of vitamin B12, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese,  and phosphorous, as well as monounsaturated fats that are good for heart health[*].

Finally, almonds have higher antioxidant content than most other nuts, thanks to the concentrated phytonutrients in their brown outer layer[*].

You can eat almonds whole, or you can use almond flour in keto recipes as a substitute for normal flour.

Serving size: 1 oz

Calories: 160

Fat: 14g

Net carbs: 2g

Fiber: 4g

Protein: 6g

Almond keto recipes:

 

3. Pecans

Pecans are made up of 70% fat, making them a good choice for keto dieters.

A one ounce serving of pecans contains 2 grams of net carbs, 20 grams of total fat, and 3 grams of protein[*]. Pecans are also higher in dietary fiber than most other nuts.

Additionally, pecans are a good source of  oleic acid, the main heart-healthy fat that’s in olive oil. Oleic acid lowers inflammation and supports a strong immune system[*].

Research also shows that eating pecans decreases your risk of type 2 diabetes and lowers blood pressure[*].

Serving size: 1 oz

Calories: 190

Fat: 20g

Net carbs: 1g

Fiber: 3g

Protein: 3g

Pecan keto recipes:

 

4. Brazil Nuts

A single brazil nut contains 100% of your daily requirement for selenium, an essential (and hard to find) anti-inflammatory mineral that improves brain function and supports testosterone production[*][*][*].

Brazil nuts are also very low in carbs, making them one of the best keto nuts you can eat.

Serving size: 1 oz

Calories: 180

Fat: 18g

Net carbs: 1g

Fiber: 2g

Protein: 4g

Brazil nut keto recipes:

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5. Walnuts

Walnuts are low in total carbs and high in fat, making them ideal for a keto meal plan. They’re a good source of healthy fats and are especially satiating.

Studies show that eating walnuts helps people lose weight[*], and the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends eating walnuts as a way to reduce cancer risk, thanks to their high polyphenol content[*].

Serving size: 1 oz

Calories: 180

Fat: 18g

Net carbs: 2g

Fiber: 2g

Protein: 4g

Walnut keto recipes:

3 Nuts to Eat in Moderation on a Keto Diet

These nuts are still okay on keto, but their higher carb count means they’ll kick you out of ketosis if you eat too many of them.

1. Cashews

At 8 grams of net carbs per serving, cashews have a higher carb count than most nuts.

However, cashews are a good source of magnesium and iron and are an overall healthy snack as long as you eat them in moderation. Just limit yourself to one or two servings a day if you’re on a low-carb diet.

Serving size: 1 oz

Calories: 150

Fat: 12g

Net carbs: 8g

Fiber: 1g

Protein: 5g

Cashew keto recipes:

​2. Pistachios

Pistachios have 5 grams of net carbs per serving, so while you can still fit them into your keto macros, you’ll likely want to limit yourself to 1-2 servings per day.

Research shows that people who ate more pistachios saw a decrease in blood lipid levels, a risk factor for heart disease[*].

Pistachios may also be a good choice for weight loss, especially if you buy them with the shell on. In a 2011 study, participants who were given shell-on pistachios ate 40% less than those given pistachios that were already shelled and ready to eat[*].

Serving size: 1 oz

Calories: 160

Fat: 13g

Net carbs: 5g

Fiber: 3g

Protein: 6g

Pistachio keto recipes:

3. Peanuts

Peanuts are technically legumes, but they look and taste like tree nuts, so they’re worth mentioning here.

Whole peanuts have 3 grams of net carbs per serving, making them a good choice for keto snacking.

However, peanuts are most often eaten as peanut butter. Like other nut butters, peanut butter is easy to consume in large quantities, is calorically dense, and often has added sweetener.

If you’re eating peanuts in peanut butter form, check the label for added sugar and make sure you practice moderation. Otherwise you may eat more calories and carbs than you intended.

Serving size: 1 oz

Calories: 160

Fat: 13g

Net carbs: 3g

Fiber: 2g

Protein: 7g

Peanut keto recipes:

What About Seeds?

Like nuts, most seeds are keto-friendly. Seeds are often ground into flour, used in recipes, or made into seed butter. They’re generally nutrient-dense and have fairly low net carb counts, making them a good choice for keto snacking.

Here are the nutrition facts of the three best keto seeds (macros given per one-ounce serving):

  • Chia seeds: 1.7 grams of net carbs, 8.6 grams of fat, 4.4 grams of protein[*]
  • Sesame seeds: 3.3 grams of net carbs, 13.9 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein[*]
  • Flaxseed: 0.5 grams of net carbs, 11.8 grams of total fat, 5.1 grams of protein[*]
  • Pumpkin seeds: 3.3 grams of net carbs, 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s), 7 grams of protein[*]

A Note About Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Nuts

You may have heard that nuts are a good source of omega-3s, anti-inflammatory fats that promote brain function and longevity.

However, there are different forms of omega-3 fatty acids, and the omega-3s in nuts are in a form called ALA that’s difficult for your body to absorb.

Your body only uses about 5% of the ALA you eat[*]. So while nuts are technically high in omega-3s, you aren’t actually getting a lot of benefit from those omega-3s because they’re in the wrong form.

Nuts are still an excellent keto snack. They’re high in healthy monounsaturated fats and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. But to improve your omega-3 ratio, nuts alone won’t help much. Your best bet is to eat fatty fish like salmon or take a fish oil supplement.

Nuts Are a Healthy Snack Choice for the Keto Diet

Nuts are an excellent snack option on the keto diet. They’re also a good source of healthy fat, protein, and dietary fiber, while being relatively low in carbohydrates.

Still, it’s important to remember that not all nuts are created equal. The best keto nuts to consume are macadamia nuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds. Other nuts like cashews and pistachios are good in moderation.

If you’re craving nut butter, Perfect Keto Nut Butter combines macadamia nuts and cashews with coconut butter and MCT oil for a delicious, fat-burning treat. You might also want to try a keto snack bar, which is made with organic almond butter.

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