Ranking the best nuts for keto of 2020

Ranking the best nuts for keto of 2020
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Nuts for keto are low in carbs, making them a great snack for the low-carb, high-fat keto diet. Nuts also contain some protein, healthy fat, and a variety of nutrients and antioxidants. However, not all nuts are appropriate for the keto diet.

Here are our top 10 keto-friendly nuts.

Rankings

1. Pure Traditions Sprouted Pili Nuts

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Pili nuts are ideal for keto dieters because they’re super high in fat and low in carbs, containing just 1 gram of carbs per serving.

These pili nuts from Pure Traditions are keto and paleo certified, and made with high-quality ingredients like organic coconut oil and Himalayan pink salt that boost their nutrient content even further.

2. MacFarms Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts

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Macadamia nuts are great for keto. They’re super high in fat while containing barely any carbs, so they have almost a creamy texture. They’re a perfect snack or addition to some keto white chocolate chip cookies.

These macadamia nuts from MacFarms are grown in Hawaii, dry roasted (so no extra calories from oil), and lightly sprinkled with sea salt.

3. NOW Foods Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts

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These macadamias from NOW Foods are also dry roasted, and contain only two ingredients: macadamia nuts and salt. NOW Foods focuses on sourcing high quality ingredients, so you can trust that these are a wholesome addition to your diet.

4. Planters Salted Macadamia Nuts

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These macadamia nuts from Planters are the most budget-friendly macadamia nut option on our list, with many of the same benefits as the others we included. Like the others, they are dry roasted with just a dash of salt to add flavor.

Macadamia nuts, whatever brand you purchase, are a solid choice for keto.

5. Blue Diamond Bold Almonds

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Almonds are a keto staple. They’re rich in fiber and relatively low in carbs, with a mild flavor that works well with everything.

These roasted almonds come in some bold flavors to add some variety to your diet that may be missing since you started keto.

6. Crazy Go Nuts Walnuts

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Walnuts are another excellent nut option for keto. They’re high in fat, and a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats – along with several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

These walnuts also come in several fun flavors like chocolate espresso, garlic parmesan, and oatmeal cookie.

7. Fearless Keto Candied Walnuts

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These candied walnuts from Fearless Keto may sound totally sugary, but they’re actually candied with monk fruit and erythritol—two keto-friendly sweeteners. Like fiber, these can be subtracted from total carbs to get net carbs.

These walnuts contain 8 grams of total carbs per serving, but only 2 grams of net carbs.

8. Karma Wrapped Cashews

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Karma’s “wrapped” cashews are cashews in their skins that come in fun, bold flavors like lime and turmeric. They’re also made with high-quality ingredients.

However, at 9 grams of total carbs per serving or 6 grams of net carbs per serving, they may be a little high in carbs for some stricter keto dieters.

9. Real Naturals Keto Nuts Roasted Black Soybeans

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Although soybeans aren’t technically a nut, these soybeans are roasted up to be crunchy and salty just like the others on this list. These black soybeans also pack a serious protein punch, containing 14 grams per serving.

However, they’re a bit high in total carbs—containing 10 grams per serving. Luckily, most of that is fiber, so they’re still a great option for people who are counting net carbs.

10. I’m a Nut Dry Roasted Brazil Nuts

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Brazil nuts are super nutritious while being perfectly suited for keto dieters, with 19 grams of fat and only 3 grams of total carbs per serving. These nuts are also rich in calcium, potassium, and selenium—making them a great choice to add powerful doses of nutrients to your diet.

Be careful, though: Brazil nuts are so high in selenium that eating too many of them can actually lead to selenium toxicity. Stick to one serving per day.

How we ranked

Our rankings for these nuts were based on total carb count, quality of ingredients, and safety.

Our top pick, the Pure Traditions Sprouted Pili Nuts, contain only one gram of total carbs per serving—making them the lowest in carbs of all the products we featured. The nuts also were made with some other high quality ingredients that are beneficial for people on keto diets, like medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil and Himalayan pink salt. MCT oil may help your body create more ketones, which can boost your energy and assist with weight loss, and your sodium needs are increased on keto, making the high-quality salt a welcome addition.

The next three nuts on our list were three different types of macadamia nuts. Macadamias are ideal for keto because they’re super high in fat and low in carbs. We also included walnuts and almonds in the upper rankings.

Rankings 7-9 were a bit higher in total carbs, but due to their fiber or sugar alcohol content still had low net carbs. They would be ideal for people who are counting net carbs, but not for people who are counting total carbs.

Finally, our last recommendation—for Brazil nuts—was based on product safety. Brazil nuts are extremely healthy and rich in nutrients. However, a single Brazil nut can provide a whole day’s worth of the mineral selenium. Because of this, it’s important to limit how many Brazil nuts you eat to avoid selenium overdose.

Benefits

Nuts for keto are filling. Nuts are a very filling food. They contain satisfying fat, protein, and fiber—all of which slow down how quickly they are digested, helping you stay fuller longer.

In one study comparing the effects of 250 calories of pretzels and 250 calories of nuts, researchers found some really beneficial effects in the group who ate nuts instead of pretzels. They reporting feeling fuller for longer and had no changes in their blood sugar or insulin levels, compared to the pretzel group who felt hungry faster and had higher blood sugar and insulin. The nut group also had more favorable levels of circulating hunger hormones to promote lasting fullness (1).

Especially when used to replace highly-refined snacks, nuts appear to be very filling.

Nuts for keto contain several nutrients and antioxidants. Nuts are a powerhouse of nutrition, containing a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

They are rich in B-vitamins, vitamin E, and several minerals—including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Brazil nuts are packed with selenium.

Nuts also contain a variety of antioxidants, which can help reduce cellular damage in the body and decrease your risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and even certain cancers. They also have anti-aging benefits and consuming them in moderation may lengthen your lifespan (2).

Some emerging evidence even suggests that tree nuts—walnuts, particularly—can decrease your risk of heart disease (3).

Nuts for keto are a good source of fiber. Fiber is a type of indigestible carb found in plant foods with several benefits. Among other things, it may help improve digestion, decrease constipation, promote healthy gut bacteria growth, decrease cholesterol levels, and help you manage your weight.

The fiber in nuts serves as a prebiotic, or a food source for the healthy bacteria that live in your gut. When these bacteria are healthy, your digestion is improved, and you’re better able to manage your blood sugar levels. Some research shows that a healthy gut microbiome may improve your immune system, as well (4).

Most people should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber in their diet daily, and a serving or two of nuts per day can help you meet this goal easily.

Nuts for keto are rich in healthy fats. Nuts are high in healthy fats, which is where the bulk of your calories should come from on a keto diet. Most people on keto need to get 70-75% of their calories from fat.

Nuts are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which may promote heart health.

Some nuts—walnuts, in particular—are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are highly anti-inflammatory and they may help improve heart and brain health.

In fact, in studies of about 200 people, researchers found that eating a small amount of walnuts daily was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (5).

Nuts for keto can help you lose weight. Some research shows that nuts may be a valuable tool in your weight loss arsenal. They may keep you fuller than snacks like pretzels because of their fiber, fat, and protein content, and one study found some favorable changes to hunger and fullness hormones after eating nuts (1).

Your body may actually burn more calories to digest nuts than other foods, also, resulting in increased calorie and fat burn – which can help you lose weight.

Calorie for calorie, nuts are a more satisfying option than refined carbs like chips or pretzels, and they can make it easier to reach your weight loss goals (6).

Nuts for keto can help you stick to your diet. Nuts add some much-needed crunch to a keto diet. As a snack, they can take the place of chips or pretzels—and you can buy nuts in all your favorite potato chip flavors, like salt and vinegar or ranch

Having this handy, crunchy, and keto-friendly option on hand will help you resist carb-laden temptations—making it easier to stick to your diet and be successful.

Side effects

Nuts for keto may cause allergic reactions. Tree nuts and soy are two very common allergies. If you know you’re allergic to nuts you should avoid consuming them, or any products containing them. You should also be wary of cross-contamination, and check all food labels to see if your food was made in a facility that also manufacturers foods that contain your allergens.

If eating nuts causes unexpected side effects for you, you should stop eating them immediately and follow up with a doctor. Allergies can run the gamut from mild to life-threatening, so it’s important you seek medical care if you suspect an allergy.

Nuts for keto can be easy to over-consume. For a relatively small portion size of just one ounce, nuts usually contain anywhere from 150-200 calories. An ounce may be a smaller amount of food than you’re expecting, and it’s really easy to eat nuts straight from the container without paying any mind to how much you’re consuming.

However, this can lead to excess calorie intake, which may sabotage your weight loss goals or even cause you to gain weight. You should use a food scale to measure your portions of nuts, and stick to 1 or 2 servings per day if you’re trying to lose weight.

Nuts for keto may cause digestive upset. Most nuts are high in fiber. If you’re not used to eating fiber, then adding a lot to your diet at once may cause some digestive upset – like gas or constipation.

Your best bet if you’re not currently getting a lot of fiber in your diet is to ramp up your fiber intake gradually over a few days. Make sure you don’t eat more than about one ounce of nuts at a time to prevent any unpleasant digestive side effects.

Additionally, nuts are very filling and may digest slower than other foods because they contain a combo of protein, fat, and fiber that keeps them from breaking down as quickly as other foods. Therefore, overeating them quickly may cause some stomach upset. It’s always best to pace yourself and moderate your intake to a single serving.

Nuts for keto—particularly Brazil nuts—may cause selenium toxicity. Brazil nuts are high in selenium. Some people even use them as a selenium supplement, because just one single Brazil nut contains all of your daily selenium needs.

Unfortunately, this means you can put yourself at risk of selenium toxicity if you eat too many Brazil nuts. Chronic high selenium intake can cause hair loss and brittle nails, while short-term selenium toxicity can cause severe digestive upset, nerve problems, and even death.

For this reason, it’s important to regulate your intake of Brazil nuts. Stick to just one serving per day, but preferably less often than that, even (x).

Recommended usage

Nuts make a great snack on keto, but it can be easy to overdo them.

A typical serving of nuts is about one ounce, which contains anywhere from 150-200 calories—and possibly more if the nuts were roasted in oil.

To keep your serving sizes accurate, you should weigh out a serving. One ounce of nuts may actually be a lot less than you think it is, and nuts are very rich in calories and fat. Under-estimating how much you’re eating can lead to frustrating weight loss stalls or even unexpected weight gain.

It’s best to stick to one or two ounces per day of nuts, especially if your goal is weight loss.

However, in the case of Brazil nuts—which are extremely high in selenium—you should limit your intake strictly to one serving per day. You could even limit yourself to a single Brazil nut per day and take it instead of a selenium supplement – as one nut provide’s a day’s worth of selenium.

FAQ

Q: Do I need to eat nuts for keto?

A: No, you don’t have to eat nuts on your keto diet. However, they do make a great snack for keto dieters. They are rich in fat, fiber, and protein, and low in carbs. They also contain several nutrients and antioxidants.

Nuts may help you stick to your diet because they are filling, and they may have some beneficial effects on your hungry and fullness hormones. They may also help you manage your blood sugar levels better.

Nuts are also one of the few crunchy snacks available on keto, so they can help you avoid high-carb foods like potaot chips or pretzels that may get you off track.

Q: What’s a standard serving size of nuts for keto?

A: A standard serving size for most nuts is about one ounce. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to weigh the nuts you plan to eat so that you don’t eat too much.

Nuts are high in fat, so they’re very rich in calories. If you eat too much, they can stall your weight loss or even lead to unexpected weight gain.

Try to stick to just one or two ounces of nuts per day.

Q: Can I eat nuts for keto as a meal?

A: If you’re in a pinch, nuts can be used as a keto-friendly meal. They have the right macronutrient ratios to keep you on track.

However, it’s best to eat balanced meals that contain a variety of keto-friendly foods to ensure that you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients and antioxidants in your diet.

Some examples of using nuts in a keto-friendly meal include adding them to a keto-friendly charcuterie board, paired with salami, pepperoni, cheese, and low-carb berries. You could also use them to top a salad, or crush them and use them as a crust for meats like fish or chicken.

Q: Can I use these nuts for keto in cooking?

A: Yes, nuts make a great addition to cooking. They can be used to make a flavorful and crispy breading for meats like chicken or fish, or to add crunch and flavor to salads or stir-fries.

You can also use them to make nut-based butter, milk, and flour that can be used in baking or cooking.

Q: Can I use these nuts for keto to make nut butters?

A: Yes, if you have a food processor or a strong blender you can make nut butter. Macadamia nuts and almonds are excellent choices for making nut butters with. You can use these homemade nut butters as a snack or a spread, in keto-friendly desserts and baked goods, and in sauces.

Simply add the nuts to your food processor or blender and grind them until they form the correct consistency. You may need to add a small amount of water to it. Adding salt will also make your nut butter more flavorful. Store your homemade nut butter in the fridge to extend its shelf life.

Q: Can I use these nuts for keto to make nut milk?

A: Yes, you can use raw nuts to make nut milk, although it may be time consuming and require some uncommon supplies, like cheesecloth.

You can find several recipes online.

Your homemade nut milk can be used to drink, for cooking, or to make homemade plant-based yogurt.

Q: Can I use these nuts for keto to make nut flours?

A: Yes, you can use a food processor to make flour out of keto-friendly nuts.  Almonds are great for making flour, as almond flour is commonly used to make keto-friendly baked goods and there are many recipes online using it.

Almond flour can also be used as a breading for meats or other baked or fried keto foods.

Q: What are the best varieties of nuts for keto?

A: There are several nuts that are ideal for keto dieters. The best are those that are low in carbs while being high in fat. These include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Pili nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pine nuts

Although peanuts are technically legumes and not nuts, they are typically used like tree nuts. They’re also high in fat and relatively low in carbs, earning them a place on the list of most keto-friendly nuts.

Q: What are the worst varieties of nuts for keto?

A: All nuts can be included on a keto diet, unless they are candied with sugar, but some nuts contain higher carb counts than others. These include pistachios and cashews.

However, you’ll note that we included some cashews on our list of recommendations. This is because they can fit perfectly into a low-carb or keto eating plan as long as you stick to the recommended serving size of one ounce.

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Recap

Nuts are a great snack for people on keto. They’re rich in filling healthy fat, protein, and fiber, while being low in both carbs and net carbs. There are several keto-friendly nuts that are low in carbs.

Nuts are also loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, making them a great addition to any healthy diet as a snack, salad topping, or cooking ingredient.

For BodyNutrition’s #1 recommended nut for keto, click here.





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