Best Nuts For Keto

There’s nothing as tricky as figuring out the foods that best suit your keto lifestyle. Basically, a keto diet includes one that has a low-carb, highfat content. The best nuts for keto are available everywhere, but not many know that these nuts are actually an important component of the keto diet.

The best nuts for keto are low in carbs with a high amount of healthy fats.

The best nuts and seeds for keto are also rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. That notwithstanding, some varieties of keto seeds have a carb content that is lower than others. In this article, we will highlight the best nuts for keto. Read on and find out.

best nuts for keto
Photo Credit: Perfect Keto

PECANS

The nutrient composition of pecans make them excellent for keto. One ounce of pecans (comprising 28g) can give you the following (1):

  • Net carbs: 1 gram
  • Calories: 196
  • Fat: 20g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Total carbs: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams

Pecans are rich in fat and also have the potential to regulate the blood insulin level.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. It help in the regulation of blood-sugar levels, and also to store fat, thus it is important to keep the insulin at physiological levels when one is on a weight-loss program.

Scientific research has proven that pecans actually help to control insulin levels. A one-month study involving 26 adults fed with 43g (1.5 ounces) of pecans daily showed a reduction in the blood-level of insulin. The individuals also had an improved sensitivity to insulin, compared to the control group (2).

With these properties, pecans qualify as best nuts for keto. You can enjoy them as a snack, or you may crush them and use as a low-carb, but crunchy crust for chicken or fish.

BRAZIL NUTS

Brazil nuts are indigenous to South America. The nutrient-content of an ounce of Brazil nut includes (3):

  • Protein: 4g
  • Calories: 185
  • Fat: 19g
  • Net carbs: 1g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Total carbs: 3g

Brazil nuts are rich in selenium. Selenium is important for many physiological activities, such as protein synthesis and reproduction (3, 4).

Studies have shown that people who follow a very strict ketogenic diet may be at risk of selenium deficiency (5).

From one Brazil nut, an individual may get more than 100% of his or her daily selenium requirements. Thus, intake of Brazil nuts may be one of the best ways to get an adequate amount of this mineral in one’s diet (3).

You should note that because of the very high content of selenium in Brazil nut, you should control your intake – make it no more than three nuts per day. Taking an excess of this mineral may have some negative effects on the health.

CHIA SEEDS

The chia seeds have a characteristic white or black color. They are small, and quite firm, and are loaded with omega-3 fats and healthy fiber. From an ounce of chia seeds, you can get the following nutrients (6):

  • Net carbs: 2g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Total carbs: 12g
  • Fat: 9g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Calories: 138

Chia seeds are very good as anti-inflammatory agents. This is because they have healthy Omega-3 fat content. Research has shown that Omega-3 fats make up 60% of their fat content (7, 8).

There has been a research to verify the potency of chia seeds. A 6-month study involving 77 subjects was able to prove that regular intake of chia seeds helped in the reduction of C-reactive protein – an inflammatory marker. The subjects were given 30g (an ounce) of chia seeds for every 1000cal consumed daily. At the end of the study, it was discovered that their CRP levels were lower than that of the control group.

It was also observed (from the same study) that intake of chia seeds enhanced weight loss in the participants. The subjects also witnessed greater reductions in waist circumference compared to the control group (9).

Chia seeds can be consumed in pudding form. What you simply do is to soak these seeds in water for some hours until they assume the texture of a gel. Chia seeds can also be added to protein shakes or smoothies, or used in a keto cracker recipe. Surely with these properties, we may rightly classify chia seeds among the best nuts for keto.

MACADAMIA NUTS

The Macadamia nuts are native to Australia. They have a high fat content, qualifying them as fitting for a keto recipe. From one ounce of Macadamia nuts, you can derive the following nutritional benefits (10):

  • Net carbs: 2g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Total carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 21g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Calories: 204

Many studies have established a relationship between macadamia nuts and healthy cholesterol levels (11, 12, 13).

17 men partook in a 4-week study to this effect. From the results of the study, it was seen that intake of macadamia nuts caused a 5.3% reduction in the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and an 8% increase in good cholesterol levels (HDL) (11).

As part of being the best nuts for keto, macadamia seeds also serve as a high-fat snack.

FLAX SEEDS

Flax seeds are rich in Omega-3 fats and fiber. From an ounce of flax seeds, you can get (14):

  • Net carbs: 1g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Total carbs: 9g
  • Fat: 9g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Calories: 131

Some research has been done on the health benefits of flax seeds, especially with respect to its effect on heart health and blood pressure.

The health benefit of flaxseed, with respect to high blood pressure was documented in a 6-month study involving 100 subjects. Participants who ate at least an ounce of flax seed meal on a daily basis experienced a drastic reduction in blood pressure levels, compared to the control group (15).

You can buy flax seeds as a ground meal or whole meal. Both versions can be used in making keto-based smoothies, soups, protein shakes, and general goods.

WALNUTS

Walnuts are consumed globally. An ounce of walnuts can give the following nutritional benefits (16):

  • Net carbs: 2g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Total carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Calories: 185

Walnuts are rich in fat. Because of this, they are good for heart health. They help to reduce the risk factors for heart diseases such as blood pressure and high LDL.

A 6-month study involving 100 subjects showed that people who ate a low-calorie diet, and who derived 15% of their daily calories from walnuts had a reduced level of bad cholesterol (LDL), and low blood pressure compared to those on a standard low-calorie diet (17). This certainly qualifies walnuts as best nuts for keto.

You can enjoy your walnuts as a snack, or as part of a keto-friendly dessert (such as fudge or brownie). They also work well as salad ingredients.

HEMP SEEDS

As the name implies, hemp seeds are seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp seeds are a good source of healthy fats and plant-based proteins. From one ounce of hemp seeds, you can get the following nutritional benefits (18):

  • Net carbs: 1g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Total carbs: 2g
  • Fat: 14g
  • Total carbs: 2g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Calories: 155

Studies have shown that hemp seeds contains some important protein that helps in the reduction of blood pressure (19).

Also, hemp seeds are rich in linoleic acid. Linoleic acid have neuroprotective benefits. They protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other such ailments (in animals) (20, 21).

Hemp seeds are certainly best nuts for keto, you can substitute them for grits or oatmeal. They can also be used in smoothies, as salad toppings, or in protein shakes.

This link will show you how to grow healthy cannabis plants with giant buds at home.

HAZEL NUTS

Hazelnuts have a kind of butter texture. It also has a smooth texture. This makes them suitable for desserts. From an ounce of hazelnuts, you can get the following (22):

  • Net carbs: 2g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Total carbs: 5g
  • Fat: 17g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Calories: 178

Hazelnuts are also rich in vitamin E. You can get 28% of the vitamin E RDI from an ounce of Hazelnuts.

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties. This helps is to neutralize free radicals that may be harmful to health. Because of this, hazelnuts can protect against heart diseases (22, 23).

To buttress this point, a one-month study was carried out on 48 adults. They consumed an ounce of hazelnuts on a daily basis. Results from the study showed that the Hazelnuts caused a reduction in total cholesterol while increasing the levels of vitamin E and HDL (24).

Hazelnuts have a wonderful taste and texture and this is why they make a good pairing for chocolate. To make a simple low-carb dessert, you can combine hazelnuts with dark chocolate.

PEANUTS

Peanuts are legumes. They have a closer relationship with lentils and beans. As a plus, they are widely available and rightly classified as best nuts for keto.

Once ounce of peanuts has the following nutrients (25):

  • Net carbs: 4g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Total carbs: 6g
  • Fat: 14g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Calories: 164

Peanuts are rich in plant-based proteins (26).

They have a high leucine content. Leucine is a branched-chain amino acid that helps in the buildup of muscles (27).

You can enjoy peanuts as a snack, or you may add it to protein shakes, smoothies, and keto desserts. Peanuts can also be used in Asian sauces like the satay sauce.

When buying peanuts, go for the unsalted brands and natural peanut butter without sugar.

SESAME SEEDS

Sesame seeds are a very unique and popular ingredient, used the world over. They are used mainly as ingredients for baked goods. Sesame seeds have a low carb content. This makes them the best nuts for keto.

From an ounce of sesame seeds, you can get the following (28):

  • Net carbs: 2g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Total carbs: 7g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Calories: 160

Sesame seeds are loaded with lignans. Lignans are antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.

Research has shown that sesame seeds can reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation causes a lot of health issues such as cancers and heart disease (29, 30, 31, 32).

Other well-known nuts for keto include:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pine nuts
  • Almonds

THE SUMMARY

We have outlined the best nuts for keto. Nuts and seeds are good foods, they are filling, and for people who follow a ketogenic diet (low-carb, and high-fat foods).

Nuts and seeds add flavor and variety to keto-based meals and snacks. They are also good sources of minerals, vitamins, protein, fats, and antioxidants.

You can eat nuts and seeds as snacks, or you may use them in salads, desserts, shakes, and other recipes. So…. go get some nuts today!!!

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