Everyone following a keto diet knows that high fats and low carbs are key to maintaining ketosis while still providing the body with fuel to continue to burn body fat and maintain energy levels.
And when it comes to low-carb and high-fat, nuts fit the bill.
But not all nuts are necessarily ideal for the ketogenic diet. While some nuts may have that perfect fat-to-carb ratio that can get you into ketosis, others don’t.
The type of nuts that you add to your daily diet matters when following a ketogenic diet.
You also don’t necessarily want to overdo it with nuts, either.
While certain types of nuts make a good snack and are a great way to add healthy fats to your diet without the added carbs, they’re also typically high in calories.
If you’re trying to maintain your body weight or lose weight, keep your nut consumption to a minimum.
Even just a small handful of certain nuts can send your calorie count through the roof.
So, what are the best nuts to include in your ketogenic diet? Let’s find that out, as well as everything else you need to know about nuts for keto.
Health Benefits of Nuts on Keto Diet
There are a few reasons why nuts and the keto diet seem to go hand in hand. Here are some of the benefits that nuts can bring to keto dieters:
They’re loaded with healthy fats.
When it comes to macros and the keto diet, nuts just seem to fit right in.
Most nuts are generally quite high in fats, which is a good thing for keto dieters, but more specifically, they’re high in healthy fats.
As all keto dieters likely already know, good fat helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
It also helps to keep you in ketosis and burn stored body fat more efficiently, especially when combined with a low-carb diet. By eating the right type of nuts, you should be getting mostly good fat.
They’re low in carbs (for the most part).
Most nuts are quite low in carbs, which makes them the perfect addition to the keto diet.
But some types of nuts may be slightly higher in carbs than others, which is why it’s important to choose wisely.
And of course, it’s always important to eat nuts in small quantities, as they’re typically pretty high in calories, as already mentioned.
Even though the may be low in carbs, eating too many of them can spike your calorie count and make it more difficult for you to maintain a healthy body weight.
Make sure to calculate your net carb intake on a regular basis.
Eating too many nuts will also add a lot of fat that your body simply doesn’t need.
What will happen is that your body will start to burn the fat from the nuts instead of your stored body fat.
While this may be OK if you’re content with your current weight, but it could sabotage any weight loss efforts that you may be striving for.
Always keep tabs on how much you’re eating, no matter what it happens to be.
They’re loaded with nutrients.
A handful of nuts can provide you with a ton of important nutrients that are important for good overall health, including magnesium, selenium, and manganese.
They also tend to be high in fiber, which is tough to find in other high-fat foods that keto dieters may eat.
Polyunsaturated fats, fiber, and magnesium – which are all found in nuts – are anti-inflammatory in nature.
As such, you can help to curb inflammation in your body with just a few handfuls of nuts every week.
Not only that, but nuts may even be linked to a reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
They make a convenient snack.
It’s so easy to grab a handful of nuts to snack on, especially during those tempting mid-afternoon munchies. In fact, nuts make a sizable portion of some of the best keto protein bars.
You don’t have to go out of your way to prep them to be eaten, and they can literally just be thrown in a small Tupperware or plastic bag to be saved for a snack later in the day.
Which Nuts Are Best For a Ketogenic Diet?
As mentioned earlier, some nuts may be better suited for the ketogenic diet than others.
Here’s a breakdown of a 1 ounce serving of some of the more common types of nuts and their respective macro content:
1. Macadamia nuts
25g fat, 1.5g carbs
Macadamia nuts are as much as 76% fat, the majority of which is monounsaturated fatty acids.
They’re also 14% carbs and 8% protein, making the macro profile of these nuts perfect for the keto diet.
20g fat, 1.1g carbs
High in fat and low in carbs, pecans make a tasty treat for anyone following a keto diet.
They are also helpful for brain, heart, and bone health.
3. Pine nuts
20g fat, 2.7g carbs
Not only are pine nuts high in healthy fats and relatively low in carbs, they’re also somewhat rich in potassium at 169mg per serving.
4. Brazil nuts
19g fat, 1.3g carbs
Brazil nuts are loaded with selenium. In fact, just one nut can provide 140% of the daily value of this mineral.
It’s tough to get selenium from food, so Brazil nuts can be a quick and easy way to get it.
Selenium is essential for thyroid hormone production and provides anti-inflammatory protection as well.
18g fat, 5.8g carbs
Pistachios are great sources of fiber, B vitamins, copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.
18g fat, 1.9g carbs
Walnuts are about 65% fat, which is mostly polyunsaturated.
More specifically, walnuts have more polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to all other types of nuts.
These nuts are also a great source of fiber, protein, folate, thiamin, magnesium, and copper.
17g fat, 2.3g carbs
Hazelnuts contain a relatively good amount of vitamin B6, folate, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
15g fat, 3.8g carbs
Peanuts are about 50% fat, most of which is monounsaturated, and are also high in plant protein.
Peanuts are also high in vitamin E, folate, niacin, magnesium, and choline, which are important for brain and liver health.
14g fat, 2.9g carbs
A serving of almonds provides the body with about 20% of the daily value of B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, choline, and potassium.
They’re also high in fiber and unsaturated fatty acids, both of which can help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL).
Almonds also contain phytosterols, which are types of plant cholesterol that can lower blood cholesterol.
One type of nut that you might want to steer clear of – or at least not consume too much of – is cashews. That’s because they’re pretty high in carbs, which makes sense given their sweet flavor.
One ounce of cashews may be high in fat at 13g, but they’re also high in carbs at 8.4g.
That’s a lot when you compare cashews to the other nuts on this list.
There are so many different types of nuts out there, but some are more suited for the keto diet than others.
In particular, macadamia nuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts make ideal choices for snacking on the go while following a ketogenic lifestyle.
They’re loaded in healthy fats and low in carbs, making them the perfect keto-friendly food to include in your diet.