That rich, earthy, nutty flavor is addicting, and some people can’t get enough! If you’re one of peanut’s biggest fans but you’re also trying to stay on a keto diet, you may want to know if peanuts are keto. Well….
Can You Have Peanuts on Keto?
The short answer is yes! A ¼ cup serving of peanuts has about 3g net carbs. When you consider that most keto diets restrict daily carbs to about 20-50g, that isn’t too bad!
But keto is about more than just eating less carbs. It’s also about getting enough healthy fats, other important vitamins and minerals, and the right amount of calories (like you’d get with Fresh N Lean’s Keto meal plan!)
Depending on your health goals, maybe calories don’t matter as much as protein, or maybe you’re trying to lose weight and fat content and less carbs matter more. In that case, adding peanuts to your daily diet may not do much for you.
Like most diets, removing any one food completely won’t do you much good on its own. The key is finding a balance between what works for your body and what keeps you on track for long-term success, and if that means enjoying some peanuts now and then, then so be it!
Yes, peanuts can work on keto but like all diets, finding out what works best for you and your health goals may mean limiting how many peanuts you have, or balancing them out with other foods.
How Peanuts Work With Keto
It’s not hard to make peanuts fit in with a low-carb, high-fat diet like keto. A ¼ cup of peanuts has about 3g net carbs, 18g of fat, and 207 calories. One serving of peanuts a day will certainly not put you out of ketosis.
Take a look at the below chart to see how ¼ cup serving of others nuts compares to peanuts in net carbs and fat per serving:
|Calories (per ¼ cup)||Total Fat (g)||Net Carbs(g)|
When you consider your keto diet, peanuts are not going to cost a whole lot of your carb allowance for the day. However, they’re also not going to be the best at helping you meet your fat goals.
As you may know, the keto diet burns fat for energy instead of using the carbohydrates you eat. If you want to be successful doing keto, getting the right balance of healthy fats and other nutrients is important to have enough energy. Eating too little fat can result in feeling tired, sluggish, hungrier, and can trigger keto flu symptoms.
For this reason, it may not be the best idea to supplement your entire fat total on peanuts alone. Adding them to your diet certainly has its benefits (that we’ll talk about down below), and they won’t hurt your ketosis, but there are better nut choices.
For instance, ¼ cup of macadamia nuts has about 1.8g of net carbs, but over 25.5g of fat! That means that you’re getting a higher fat content for only 0.8g carbs more than peanuts!
Peanuts have about 18g of fat and 4g per ¼ cup serving, making them keto-friendly. However, there are other nuts that have a more beneficial fat-to-carb-ratio such as macadamia nuts or walnuts.
Nutritional Info and Benefits of Peanuts
Surprise! Peanuts are not actually nuts; they’re classified as legumes which makes them more closely related to peas! Legumes have more fiber and protein than nuts like pistachios and cashews. This means that our bodies digest them slower and give us steady energy versus a fast energy fix.
Peanuts also have been touted as a “functional food” for having lots of other beneficial nutrients and minerals like biotin, copper, folate, iron, zinc, potassium, various antioxidants, and magnesium. In fact, some research has shown peanuts can have as much antioxidant content as most fruits!
Peanuts contain many healthy fats like oleic acid and are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They also have as many antioxidant properties as many fruits. All of this makes peanuts great for supporting weight loss and heart health including lowering cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
How to Have Peanuts On Keto
Roasting, salting, or blending peanuts into flavored spreads instantly changes their nutritional value.
To get the most from your peanuts, you should:
- Look for peanut products with no added sugar or preservatives (look for spreads and mixes that list peanuts as the sole ingredient.)
- Limit serving sizes – while peanuts are high in fat, that also means they’re higher in calories which can work against weight loss.
- Avoid flavored or seasoned peanuts like “sweet chili,” or “honey glazed” as these will have other ingredients that change the nutritional value (and net carbs!) of your peanuts.
- Avoid mindless snacking on peanuts.
- Use peanuts as an energy-boosting snack before workouts rather than as an anytime treat as this can add empty calories/carbs you don’t need.
- Track your macros to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need & see if peanuts can easily fit into your diet.
- Cut back on peanuts if you don’t see the progress/weight loss you’d like and see if that helps.
- Experiment with other nuts and nut butters and see if they work better than peanuts and peanut butter.
What About Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter can also be keto-friendly depending on how it is prepared.
Many store-bought nut spreads have added oils, sugars, salts, and additives that can make them either unhealthy, or just no good for keto.
Things like “crunchy” or “smooth” peanut butter types or those with chocolate, honey, or flavorings likely have things like molasses, sugar, salt, hydrogenated vegetable oil (a trans fat that is considered harmful to your health), and other things that alter their nutritional values.
The best peanut butters will limit their ingredients to ground peanuts, and perhaps a small amount of salt. Look for plain or “natural” peanut butter labels as these brands usually exclude added ingredients in their nut butters.
Making your own peanut butter at home is a great way to control what goes into it. Just blend, blend, blend in a food processor!
Peanut butter can be keto-friendly depending on the type. Nut butters made with only peanuts are the best while those with added ingredients can have higher sugar, carbs, and calories.