Keto nuts – the best and the worst

Can you go nuts with nuts on a keto diet? Well, yes and no… it depends on what kind of nut you choose. This visual guide will help you select nuts with the lowest carbs, to help you succeed on keto.

A rough guide is that 100 grams of nuts is about three handfuls — but hands come in different sizes. The lists below contain the number of net carbs, fiber, and total carbs per 100-gram(3.5-ounce) serving of different nuts.

Carbs list

If you want to know exactly how many grams of carbs you’re eating, here are the number of individual nuts in a 100-gram serving:

  • 65 pecan halves
  • 20 Brazil nuts
  • 40 macadamias
  • 70 hazelnuts
  • 25 walnuts or 50 walnut halves
  • 2/3 cup of peanuts
  • 80 almonds
  • 3/4 cup of pistachios
  • 3/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 60 cashews

Keto nuts to love

PecansBrazil nuts, and macadamia nuts, all on the left side of the image, have the lowest amount of carbs per serving and can be enjoyed freely on a keto diet.

Well, almost freely. Some of us enjoy eating dry-roasted, salted nuts so much that we end up going overboard with them. If this is you, limit yourself to one handful, or simply avoid them.

Eat these low-carb nuts as a snack (if you need one) between meals, toast them and toss into salads and other dishes, or grind them into nut butters to spread on celery, other veggies, or low-carb crackers.

The nuts in the middle are not the best keto options, but you can probably get away with a few and still remain in ketosis.

The nuts to the right – especially cashews — should be avoided on keto. You’ll very quickly reach the daily keto limit of 20 grams of carbs. Less than three handfuls — about 60 cashews — is enough to reach this limit.

Avoid nuts that have been treated with sugar and other glazes, such as those labeled “honey roasted,” “sweet chili,” “salted caramel,” and “spiced.”

Whichever type of nuts you choose, read labels to make sure no sugar has been added.

A reason not to go nuts on nuts

While Brazil, macadamia, and pecan nuts are good keto options, you may still want to be careful when eating nuts. If you want to lose weight or reverse type 2 diabetes, even these nuts may be problematic.

Keep in mind that all nuts contain lots of fat and calories (plus some protein and minerals) – they are very nutritious.

Eating nuts is fine if you’re hungry and need energy. But if you’re just snacking on them between meals because the nuts taste good or you feel bored, then you’re adding calories and fat that you don’t need.

The result? Your body will burn the fat from the nuts, instead of your stored body fat — which isn’t a problem if you’re happy with your current weight.

But if you want to lose weight, it’s a different story. In this case, minimizing between-meal snacking may be the best option.

As always, eat when you’re hungry, and don’t eat when you’re not hungry.

How to avoid eating too many nuts

Nuts are so tasty that they can be easy to overeat, especially salted varieties. Adding salt to nuts makes them more rewarding — and for some people, almost addictive. This can lead to eating far more than you need to feel satisfied.

What’s more, eating too many nuts, especially with higher carb counts, can seriously slow down weight loss.

Here are some tips to help keep your nut consumption under control:

  • Select the amount you want to eat.
  • Put the nuts in a small bowl – don’t eat out of the full bag or container.
  • Avoid mindlessly munching nuts while in front of the TV, watching a movie, reading or doing another activity that has most of your attention. Instead, enjoy them deliberately and mindfully.
  • Cut back on nuts if you find your weight loss is stalling, and make them an occasional indulgence.

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