Nuts are low in carbs, high in healthy fats, and an easy portable snack. Which ones are best on a low-carb diet? Keep reading to find out which keto-friendly nuts are the best!
There are so many reasons you might want to eat lots of nuts on the keto diet. As we retrain our bodies to use fat for energy, it makes sense to need to consume more healthy fats and nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats!
But I will say- It’s important to remember that not all nuts have the same amount of carbs in them and they aren’t as good for you.
Let’s look at all the different types of nuts there are, how many net carbs they have, and then decide if they are keto-friendly.
Keto-Friendly Nuts That Are Great For a Low Carb Diet
From peanuts to cashews, there are tons of nuts and nut butters out there for you to consume. You might be wondering which ones are the best for you to buy. So, before you start stocking up on a bunch of nuts for keto snacks and meals, refer to this information guide first.
Note: When I talk about net carbs, I am referring to the number of carbs in the nuts minus the amount of fiber.
All the net carbs listed refer to how much there is in 100 grams of nuts – or 3.5 ounces.
How much is that? Well, a rough guide is that 100 grams of nuts are about three handfuls. Since there are all sorts of different-sized hands, here is a list of how many nuts from each type are in 100 grams.
- 65 pecan halves
- 40 macadamias
- 70 hazelnuts
- 2/3 cup of peanuts
- 80 almonds
- 3/4 cup of pistachios
- 60 cashews
Now that you have a visual, let’s break this guide of keto-friendly nuts down even further.
Pecans (4g Net Carbs per 100 grams)
Let’s start with the nuts that have the least amount of carbs. With only 4 grams of net carbs in 33 pecans, these nuts pack a serious punch. There are lots of recipes you can make with them too – my favorite is low-carb maple blondies!
The biggest health benefit of pecans is that they are known to reduce the risk of certain cancers. They have ellagic acid and it inhibits certain carcinogens from binding in your body.
They are also really rich in magnesium!
Magnesium is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits which reduce the risk of arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
Macadamia Nuts (5g Net Carbs per 100 grams)
Macadamia nuts hail from places with really warm climates, such as Hawaii, Australia, and California. These sweet nuts have a smooth texture and can make the most amazing macadamia nut butter.
There are only 5 grams of net carbs in 40 macadamia nuts, leaving you plenty of carbs for the rest of the day.
In addition to helping with weight loss and heart health, macadamia nuts are packed with fiber that’s good for your gut. The soluble fiber in these nuts can act as a prebiotic – that means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Improving gut health has been linked to a lower risk of diabetes and obesity!
Hazelnuts (7g Net Carbs per 100 grams)
Hazelnuts are known for being the main ingredient in Nutella, but as a whole food, they are incredibly healthy for you too. You just have to watch out for the carbs. And, avoid the Nutella!
Hazelnuts are known for regulating blood pressure and improving blood sugar levels. Just like all the other nuts on this list, they are an excellent source of healthy fats that contribute to weight loss and management.
There are 7 grams of net carbs in 70 hazelnuts which might not seem like a lot if you can use self-control and limit how many you eat. The problem is, they taste so good, especially if you make hazelnut spread!
Peanuts (8g Net Carbs per 100 grams)
Peanuts are actually one of the highest carb count nuts on this list. There are a whopping 8 grams of net carbs in just 2/3 cup!
If you can keep the rest of your macros in check, then it’s ok to indulge in some peanuts. Just make sure you avoid any varieties like “honey roasted” or any other sweetened peanuts.
Here’s the surprising thing: Peanuts aren’t actually nuts.
They are technically classified as peas, which makes them a part of the bean and legume family. Keep this in mind because peanuts have been known to cause an inflammatory response in the body.
Almonds (9g Net Carbs per 100 grams)
Out of all the keto-friendly nuts, almost every low carb baking recipe you will find online uses either coconut flour or almond flour. I use it a lot of my baking recipes like this low-carb shortcakes recipe.
As raw nuts, almonds pack a lot of carbs per serving. There are 9 grams of net carbs in 80 almonds. The good news is that if you have ever tried to eat 80 raw almonds, it’s tough! They fill you up very fast.
Almonds are one of the best nuts in the list for preventing heart disease. They lower LDL cholesterol levels and they protect that LDL cholesterol from oxidation – which is a step in the development of heart disease.
Pistachios (15g Net Carbs per 100 grams)
Pistachios are so fun to eat, especially if you buy them salted but, they are also very high in carbs. In just 3/4 cup of pistachios, there are 15 grams of net carbs.
You should also limit how many pistachios you eat in a day if you enjoy the salted kinds. Too much salt can cause you to feel bloated and could even temporarily cause your blood pressure to rise.
If you want to enjoy pistachios on the keto diet, moderate how many you eat in a day. They are really good for you and full of B-complex vitamins and potassium.
Just… don’t over-indulge in them.
Cashews (22g Net Carbs per 100 grams)
Cashews are the highest carb count on this list. Yes, they are so delicious and easy to eat, but they also have the most amount of carbs per serving. There are a whopping 22 grams of net carbs in just 60 cashews!
Isn’t that wild?
For most people, eating more than 50 grams of carbs in a day will kick them out of ketosis. If you eat 60 cashews, you are halfway there.
I personally recommend avoiding cashews on the keto diet. If you are going to snack on them, moderate how many you eat and keep track of your macros. A good compromise is a tablespoon of sugarfree cashew butter.
Ideas On How To Use Keto-Friendly Nuts In Baking
Almost all nuts are packed with healthy fats and an excellent idea for a low-carb snack or an ingredient in keto foods.
You can indulge in keto nut butters for lunch or snacks too!
Whenever you want to snack on a nut, watch out for high salt levels, carb amounts, and always avoid nuts with added sugars. Most nuts are keto-friendly, some just have more carbs in them than others.
Here are a few recipes I recommend taking a look at that use keto-friendly nuts:
- Low Carb Peanut Butter Pie With A Chocolate Fudge Crust
- Keto-Friendly Strawberry Lemon Blondie Bars
- Sugar-Free Pecan Pie
- Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies With Raspberries and Pistachios
- Crispy Chewy Maple Spice Low Carb Granola