Are nuts keto? Yes – some nuts are very keto-friendly, and the same is true for seeds. The best keto nuts and seeds for your low-carb diet are those with minimal net carbs. The list includes choices like Brazil nuts, flaxseeds and pecans.
A keto diet can help you burn fat and achieve a leaner, more defined physique.
The catch is that you have to respect the rules associated with a keto eating plan. That means keeping your carb intake low enough to facilitate ketosis.
If you love nuts and seeds, you’ll be happy to know that they support your keto diet. However, they don’t all bring the same attributes to the table regarding carb count. The best keto nuts and seeds are those with minimal net carbs.
So, what are the keto-friendly nuts and seeds that best meet this standard? Let’s take a look.
In this article, we will:
- Explain the calculation that determines a nut or seed’s keto-friendliness
- Identify eleven keto nuts and seeds with a low net carb count
- List the nuts and seeds with higher carb counts
How to identify the best keto nuts and seeds
The best nuts to eat on keto are those low in net carbs. The same is true for seeds.
So, what are net carbs? Not all carbs are digestible. Net carbs are the carbs in a food that the body can digest.
Many plant-based foods like nuts are high in fiber. Fiber contains carbs, and most types of fiber are indigestible. To calculate the net carb count for a fiber-rich food like nuts, subtract the food’s fiber content from its total carbs.
For example, if a food contains 10 grams of total carbs and 4 grams of fiber, its net carb count is 6 grams. That means the body can convert only 6 of the 10 grams of carbs in that food into glucose.
With those facts in mind, a food’s net carb count is of more value than its total carb count when calculating macros for your keto diet.
The net carb count varies quite a bit among nuts and seeds. For example, chestnuts have 12.5 grams of net carbs per ounce. At the other end of the spectrum, an ounce of Brazil nuts has just 1.2 grams of net carbs.
As you’d imagine, the best keto nuts and seeds are those with the least net carbs.
11 best keto nuts and seeds for a low-carb diet
So, which keto nuts and seeds have a negligible impact on net carbs?
Here are the best seeds and nuts for your keto diet, ranked by their net carb count. Each of the picks on our list is an excellent choice if you seek a healthy keto snack.
Keto nut/seed #1: Flaxseeds
The humble flaxseed is rich in protein, copper and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show these seeds can help fight cancer.
Flaxseeds are stellar for keto dieters. They have just 0.4 grams of net carbs per ounce.
Keto nut/seed #2: Pili nuts
In the United States, the pili nut isn’t as well known as nuts like almonds and cashews; still, this edible tree nut has grown in popularity in recent years. Pili nuts are a common sight in the Philippines, and they’re used to add richness and depth to Asian cuisine. In addition, pili nuts are high in manganese, and research shows this mineral can improve bone density.
If you choose to add pili nuts to your keto recipes, know that they contain 1.1 grams of net carbs per ounce.
Keto nut/seed #3 (tie): Brazil nuts
The Brazil nut has lots of healthy fatty acid and antioxidants, but it’s perhaps best known for being an excellent source of selenium. Selenium supports your thyroid and immune system, and it’s essential for cell growth. In addition, research shows that eating Brazil nuts can help lower harmful cholesterol.
An ounce of Brazil nuts contains 1.2 grams of net carbs.
Keto nut/seed #3 (tie): Pecans
Pecans are tree nuts with a buttery flavor, and they’re often used to add a creamy texture to delicious desserts. These keto nuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, zinc, copper and thiamine.
An ounce of pecans has 1.2 grams of net carbs.
Keto nut/seed #3 (tie): Pumpkin seeds
The small but mighty pumpkin seed is rich in magnesium, iron and zinc. These seeds are also rich in antioxidants; studies show that antioxidants reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease.
Each ounce of pumpkin seeds has a net carb count of 1.2 grams.
Keto nut/seed #4: Hemp seeds
Despite its name, the hemp seed is technically a nut. This healthy food contains lots of protein, and it’s also rich in vitamin E, phosphorus and potassium. Whole hemp seeds have fiber that supports smooth digestion.
An ounce of hemp seeds has 1.3 grams of net carbs.
Keto nut/seed #5: Macadamia nuts
The macadamia nut comes from a tree that’s indigenous to Australia. These keto nuts have protein and fiber that reduce hunger and support healthy weight loss.
Each ounce of macadamia nuts has 1.5 grams of net carbs.
Keto nut/seed #6: Walnuts
Walnuts offer a host of health benefits.
They have more antioxidant activity than other common nuts. That means they work hard to prevent oxidative damage that can compromise health.
Walnuts have more omega-3 fatty acids than other nuts, and they contain polyphenols that can decrease inflammation. And research shows walnuts can help treat obesity and diabetes by improving appetite control.
The net carb count for an ounce of these keto nuts is 2 grams.
Keto nut/seed #7: Chia seeds
The ancient Aztecs and Mayans viewed chia seeds as highly nourishing, and modern science supports that belief.
These seeds are rich in nutrients such as protein, magnesium and phosphorus. The fiber and protein in chia seeds support healthy weight loss, and research shows these seeds can help reduce blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension.
One ounce of chia seeds has 2.2 grams of net carbs.
Keto nut/seed #8: Pine nuts
The flavorful pine nut is a tasty addition to pesto recipes. These keto nuts have lots of magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin K. Research shows pine nuts can help lower harmful cholesterol and help you achieve healthier blood sugar levels.
An ounce of dried pine nuts has 2.4 grams of net carbs.
Keto nut/seed #9: Almonds
Almonds are one of the most popular nuts in the nation, and they support wellness in many ways.
They’re packed with protein, healthy fat, manganese and magnesium, and their skin is a rich source of antioxidants. Research shows almonds help with blood sugar control and support healthy blood pressure levels.
There are 2.6 grams of net carbs in an ounce of almonds.
You can convert this tree nut to almond flour for baking. And what if you choose to consume this keto nut as almond butter? A tablespoon of this nut butter has 1.4 grams of net carbs.
Keto nuts and seeds: Higher-carb options
The nuts and seeds listed below have a relatively high net carb count. That doesn’t mean you can’t include them in your keto diet; it just means you have to consume them sparingly so as not to put your macros out of balance.
- Pistachios – 4.7 grams of net carbs per ounce
- Cashews – 7.6 grams of net carbs per ounce
- Safflower seeds – 9.7 grams of net carbs per ounce
- Ginkgo nuts – 10.7 grams of net carbs per ounce
- Chestnuts – 12.5 grams of net carbs per ounce
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