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10 Best Nuts for Keto Diet: Low Carb Options & Recipes

Author: Victoria 11 min read
653
Oct 03, 2023
10 Best Nuts for Keto Diet: Low Carb Options & Recipes

Did you know that nuts can be a game-changer for your keto diet? Packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, the best nuts for keto is one of the best ways to satisfy your cravings while maintaining ketosis. This blog article will cover the 10 best keto-friendly nuts, their unique benefits, and creative ways to incorporate them into your keto meals. Let's get nutty!

Key Takeaways

  • Nuts are essential to the keto diet, providing various health benefits and nutrients.

  • Practice portion control when consuming nuts and opt for lower-carb options such as almonds, walnuts, or macadamia nuts.

  • Incorporate nuts into meals creatively or use them as a nutritious snack.

Why Nuts are Essential for Keto

Adding nuts to your keto diet offers numerous health benefits, including antioxidant effects, reduced cholesterol, and anti-inflammatory properties. Nuts are a perfect source of healthy fats and contain minimal carbohydrates, making them low-carb nuts. A recent study revealed that consuming a higher intake of nuts, with an exceptionally high focus on those suitable for the keto diet, has been found to correlate with lower body weight. Subsequently, this suggests that increased nut consumption may be beneficial when achieving weight loss.

Besides their health benefits, nuts come in various shapes, sizes, and flavors, offering a versatile addition to keto meals. Yet, watch portion sizes and carbohydrate content, as excess nut consumption can increase carb intake. To calculate the net carbs in nuts, subtract the fiber from the total carbs count in grams.

Nutrient Profiles

Nuts are packed with essential nutrients, thereby enriching any keto diet. Here are some examples:

  • Macadamia nuts: high in monounsaturated fats and low in carbs, linked to better cholesterol.

  • Brazil nuts: an excellent source of selenium, essential for optimal thyroid health.

  • Pecans: high in healthy fats and low in net carbs, with a 1-ounce serving containing just 1.2g of net carbs.

Some keto-friendly nuts include:

  • Pine nuts: low in carbs and rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals

  • Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, providing a wide range of health benefits. These include reducing inflammation and promoting heart health.

  • Hazelnuts are high in healthy fats and low in net carbs and are a source of monounsaturated fatty acids that can support cardiovascular health.

Including various nuts in your keto diet ensures you receive diverse nutrients and health benefits. Remember to check the nutritional information of each nut to make informed choices when incorporating them into your meals.

Portion Control

Achieving ketosis requires a balance between carbs, proteins, and fats. Although nuts are low in carbs, overeating can increase carb intake, potentially jeopardizing your ketogenic goals. Consuming nuts slowly and utilizing the shells as a visual aid can help regulate portion sizes.

A general rule of thumb is sticking to one-ounce nuts, serving roughly equivalent to a small handful. Keeping track of portion sizes allows you to reap the benefits of including nuts in your keto diet without raising your carb intake.

Top 10 Keto-Friendly Nuts

Having understood the significance of nuts in a keto diet, let’s explore the top 10 keto-friendly nuts and their unique benefits:

  1. Macadamia Nuts

  2. Brazil Nuts

  3. Pecans

  4. Pine Nuts

  5. Walnuts

  6. Hazelnuts

  7. Peanuts

  8. Almonds

  9. Coconut

For keto dieters looking to add variety and flavor to their meals, each type of nut offers unique nutritional benefits.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts, known for their low carbohydrate and high healthy fat content, are favored among keto dieters. They’re native to Australia and can be enjoyed in various forms, such as macadamia nut milk, butter, and flour.

Macadamia nuts, as per studies, serve as a plentiful source of monounsaturated fats, which assist in reducing cholesterol levels within our bodies. A one-ounce serving of macadamia nuts contains 3.9g of total carbs and 1.5g of net carbs, making them an ideal option for those following a ketogenic diet.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts, grown in South America, are a rich source of selenium, a mineral essential for optimal thyroid function. They also boast a low carb count, making them a perfect snack option for those on a keto diet.

However, limiting consumption to one to three Brazil nuts daily is recommended to prevent excessive selenium intake. You can enjoy Brazil nuts as a standalone snack or add them to a trail mix for a delicious and nutritious treat.

Pecans

Pecans are an excellent choice for keto dieters due to their high healthy fats and low net carbs content. They contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin E

  • Folic acid

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

  • Phosphorus

  • Potassium

  • Several B vitamins

Pecans, a type of tree nuts, also provide phytonutrients, plant-based compounds with potent antioxidant effects.

You can incorporate pecans into your keto diet by adding them to salads, using them as a crunchy coating for fish or chicken, or using them to make keto-friendly desserts like pecan pie or pecan bars.

Pine Nuts

Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, pine nuts offer another excellent low-carb option for those on a keto diet. Research suggests that pine nuts contain pinolenic acid, which may reduce hunger by influencing hormones that regulate appetite, such as cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

Pine nuts can be incorporated into dishes to add flavor, used to make pesto sauce, or eaten raw or roasted as a snack.

Walnuts

Walnuts are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved cardiovascular health. They can be a great addition to a keto diet, whether as a satisfying snack or an ingredient in low-carb desserts such as brownies or fudge.

Additionally, they can be included in salads for added flavor and texture.

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts offer the following benefits:

  • Low net carb content

  • Source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help support cardiovascular health

  • They are an excellent option for those on a keto diet, high in healthy fats and low in carbs.

Incorporating hazelnuts into a keto diet can be done in several ways, such as snacking on them, adding them to salads, baking, or blending them into nut butter.

Peanuts

Peanuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein but should be consumed in moderation due to their high omega-6 fatty acid content.

When choosing peanut butter for a keto diet, opt for unsalted peanuts and natural peanut butter without added sugar for optimal health benefits. A 1-ounce serving of dry roasted peanuts has 6g of total carbs. 3.7g of it constitutes the net carbs.

Almonds

Almonds are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, making them an excellent choice for a ketogenic diet. Research has shown that incorporating almonds into your diet can help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Almonds can be consumed raw or roasted as a nutritious snack or used in various forms like almond milk, almond butter, and almond flour, a popular substitute.

Coconut

Coconut is a fantastic source of high-quality fats, making it an excellent addition to a keto diet. A 1-ounce serving of dried, shredded coconut can provide 6.7g of total carbs. 2.1g of these are classified as net carbs.

Coconut is versatile and can be used in various forms, such as coconut milk, coconut flour, and coconut oil, which can enhance endurance, reduce inflammation, foster gut health, and possibly enhance cognitive performance.

Coconut is a fantastic source of high-quality fats, making it an excellent addition to a keto diet. A 1-ounce serving of dried, shredded coconut can provide 6.7g of total carbs. 2.1g of these are classified as net carbs.

Coconut is versatile and can be used in various forms, such as coconut milk, coconut flour, and coconut oil, which can enhance endurance, reduce inflammation, foster gut health, and possibly enhance cognitive performance.

Nuts to Limit or Avoid on Keto

While most nuts can benefit a keto diet, some have higher carb counts and should be limited or avoided to maintain ketosis. Cashews and chestnuts, for instance, are higher in carbohydrates than other nuts and may not be the best options for those following a ketogenic diet.

However, other nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts, are lower.

Cashews

Cashews are:

  • High in carbs and calories, making them less suitable for a keto diet

  • Have a high oxalate content, which may increase the risk of developing kidney stones

  • Raw cashews contain a toxin called urushiol that can harm one’s health.

However, cashews can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.

Chestnuts

Chestnuts:

  • contain a high amount of carbs

  • should be avoided on a keto diet

  • provide a range of health benefits, such as being high in vitamin C, potassium, copper, magnesium, amino acids, and antioxidants

  • their high carbohydrate content makes them unsuitable for keto dieters

Nut Butter and Keto

Nut butter can be a delicious and convenient way to incorporate nuts into a keto diet. They provide a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, making them an excellent option for those looking to add variety and flavor to their meals.

Nonetheless, choosing the appropriate nut butter and watching portion sizes is vital to align with your keto objectives.

Choosing the Right Nut Butter

When choosing a nut butter, look for those made purely of nuts, without added sugars or unhealthy ingredients. Some store-bought nut butter may contain added sugars, hydrogenated oils, or other harmful elements that can negatively impact your keto diet. By selecting a nut butter with minimal ingredients, you can enjoy the benefits of nuts without compromising your ketogenic goals.

To keep portions under control, be mindful of serving sizes when indulging in nut butter. Generally, a serving size of nut butter is two tablespoons. By monitoring portion sizes, you can enjoy the benefits of nut butter in your keto diet without increasing your carb intake.

Homemade Nut Butter Recipes

Creating nut butter recipes offers a healthier alternative to commercial ones and enables ingredient customization. You can create your nut butter by blending a combination of almonds, walnuts, and cashews until a creamy texture is achieved.

To enhance the flavor, salt can be added to taste, as well as optional ingredients such as:

  • vanilla extract

  • cocoa powder

  • sweeteners

  • spices

This way, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious nut butter tailored to your preferences and keto goals.

Creative Ways to Incorporate Nuts into Keto Meals

Beyond snacking on nuts and savoring nut butter, there are countless imaginative ways to include nuts in your keto meals. From using nuts as a crunchy topping for salads to blending them into smoothies and protein shakes, nuts can add flavor, texture, and nutritional benefits to various dishes.

Snacking Ideas

As a convenient and nutrient-rich energy source, nuts make an excellent snack for those on a keto diet. Here are some ways to enjoy nuts on a keto diet:

  • Snack on a handful of roasted nuts

  • Enjoy nut butter as a spread on keto-friendly crackers

  • Add nut butter to smoothies

  • Use nut butter as a dip for vegetables

These options provide a delicious and satisfying way to eat nuts, making them perfect for keto, and incorporate keto nuts into your keto diet.

Additionally, you can experiment with different combinations of nuts and seeds to create your trail mix, ensuring a variety of flavors and textures.

Keto-Friendly Recipes with Nuts

Nuts can also be incorporated into a wide range of keto-friendly recipes. For example, almond flour can make low-carb crusts for pizzas and quiches or blend nuts into a pesto sauce for a delicious and healthy pasta alternative.

Other ideas include using nuts as a crunchy topping for salads, blending them into smoothies and protein shakes, or substituting them for oatmeal or grits in breakfast dishes. The possibilities are endless, so get creative and enjoy the many health benefits of nuts in your keto meals!

Summary

In conclusion, incorporating nuts into your keto diet can provide numerous health benefits, including improved cholesterol levels, reduced inflammation, and a satisfying source of healthy fats and nutrients. You can enjoy nuts' fantastic flavors and nutritional benefits while maintaining ketosis by choosing suitable nuts and nut butter, monitoring portion sizes, and exploring creative ways to include them in your meals. So, go nuts and make the most of these tasty, nutrient-dense superfoods in your keto diet!

Frequently Asked Questions

What nuts are best for keto?

Pecans, Brazil Nuts, Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Pine Nuts, and Almonds are among the best nuts for a keto diet. They all contain only one gram of net carbs per ounce.

Which nuts have the lowest carbs?

Pecans and Brazil nuts have the lowest net carbs per 100 g, at 4g each. Macadamia, hazelnuts, and Walnuts come in just behind at 5-7g net carbs per 100g.

Is all nuts keto-friendly?

Nuts are generally an excellent choice for a ketogenic diet. Most nuts are high in fat and low in carbs, while varieties like pecans, brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts have the fewest carbs with the highest fat content, making them the best choices for keto dieters. Walnuts and almonds are also considered good options.

Which nuts are the healthiest for weight loss?

For weight loss, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and peanuts are the most beneficial nuts. Their balance of healthy fats, plant proteins, fiber, and micronutrients makes them excellent choices to boost overall health.

How do I calculate the net carbs in nuts?

To calculate the net carbs in nuts, subtract the fiber grams from the total carbs. This will give you the net carbs for any nut.

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