Full of fat and a wonderful plant-based protein, nuts make an awesome addition to any low-carb diet. In this post, I'm covering the best nuts for keto diet, with health benefits, macronutrients, and nut-centered recipes for you to enjoy!
As far as snack foods go, nuts are pretty unbeatable. They're tasty, nutritious, and calorie-dense to give you a burst of energy during that midday lull.
But what are the best nuts to eat when you're following a keto diet? In this post, I'm giving you the answers!
Discover the most macronutrient-friendly nuts to enjoy on a low-carb diet with listed macro and micronutrients, fun recipe ideas, and associated health benefits.
I've also included a few nuts that you should avoid on a keto diet to help keep you informed and on track!
Interested in more of the best keto foods? Try my post on the Best Keto Foods List For Low-Carb Diet Recipes.
Are nuts keto-friendly?
Many nuts and seeds are considered keto-friendly based on their macronutrients.
According to the keto food pyramid, you should eat nuts in moderation on a keto diet, along with berries, seeds, and other low-carb fruits.
You'll find nuts in the smallest section of the keto food pyramid, meaning that you need to be careful about how many you're eating.
For more information on the keto food pyramid, you can read The Keto Food Pyramid: Your Complete Guide.
Why should you include nuts in your diet?
While nuts and seeds are found in the smallest portion of the keto food pyramid, including them in your diet is still super important!
Including nuts in your meals helps contribute to a balanced, nutritiously-complete low-carb diet. Some benefits of eating nuts include:
- Provide healthy fats and a good source of protein
- Packed with nutrients that benefit your health
- Make the perfect keto snack
- Versatile for cooking and baking
The best (and worst!) nuts for keto diet
If you're wondering which nuts to start including in your low-carb diet, I've got you covered. I've ranked 10 popular nuts from best to worst so that you can enjoy them without breaking your daily carb limit.
These are the best nuts for keto diet followers, and a few you should definitely avoid:
Pecan nuts - Keto-approved
As far as tree nuts go, pecans are very keto-friendly, with a low carb count and high-fat content. Reported health benefits of eating pecans include improved heart health, brain function, and blood sugar control.
Pecans are also a good source of fiber, vitamin E, vitamin A, and more!
100g of raw pecans include:
- 4g net carbs
- 9g protein
- 72g fat
Eat pecan nuts on the keto diet with these Pumpkin Muffins with Cranberries and Pecans.
Brazil nuts – Keto-approved
Another excellent keto nut is the Brazil nut. They can be eaten often on a keto diet. Reported health benefits of eating Brazil nuts include improved heart, brain, and immune system, reduced inflammation, and a regulated thyroid.
100g of Brazil nuts include:
- 4g net carbs
- 14g protein
- 66g fat
Macadamia nuts – Keto-approved
Macadamia nuts are buttery, delicious, and definitely keto-approved! They contain 5g net carbs per 100g serving, making them an awesome ingredient in trail mix, baking, and more.
Reported health benefits of eating macadamia nuts include lowered risk of heart disease, improved diabetes and metabolic syndrome, brain protection, and prevention from weight gain.
100g of macadamia nuts include:
- 5g net carbs
- 8g protein
- 76g fat
Eat macadamia nuts on the keto diet with these Coconut Macadamia Breakfast Bars.
Walnuts – Eat in moderation
Walnuts have a slightly higher carb count but can be eaten in moderation on a keto diet for health benefits like reduced blood pressure and aiding in weight regulation.
100g of walnuts include:
- 7g net carbs
- 15g protein
- 65g fat
Eat walnuts on the keto diet with these Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies.
Hazelnuts – Eat in moderation
You can also eat hazelnuts in moderation on a low-carb diet and enjoy health benefits like improved heart health and reduced inflammation.
100g of hazelnuts include:
- 7g net carbs
- 15g protein
- 61g fat
Eat hazelnuts on the keto diet with the Ultimate Guide To Baking With Hazelnut Flour.
Peanuts – Eat in moderation
One of the most popular low-carb nuts, you can eat peanuts in moderation on a keto diet while enjoying associated health benefits, like high levels of antioxidants and protection against heart disease.
100g of peanuts include:
- 7g net carbs
- 26g protein
- 49g fat
Eat peanuts on the keto diet with these Healthy Peanut Butter Pancakes.
Almonds – Eat in moderation
Another of the most popular keto-friendly nuts is the versatile almond. Eat it in the form of almond flour, almond butter, or in their raw form!
There are also several reported health benefits to eating almonds, like reduced blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels.
100g of almonds include:
- 9g net carbs
- 21g protein
- 50g fat
Eat almonds on the keto diet with The Ultimate Guide To Baking With Almond Flour.
Pine nuts – Eat in moderation
Last on our approved list, you can enjoy a small number of pine nuts on a keto diet, with health benefits including weight maintenance and improved brain health.
100g of pine nuts include:
- 9g net carbs
- 14g protein
- 68g fat
Eat pine nuts on the keto diet with this Sausage Egg Roll in a Bowl.
Pistachios – Not keto-friendly
Unfortunately, due to their high carb count, pistachios did not make the list of keto-approved nuts.
100g of pistachios include:
- 18g net carbs
- 20g protein
- 45g fat
Cashews – Not keto-friendly
While tasty and versatile, cashews are far from keto-friendly. Just 100g of cashews contains 27 g net carbs – over half your daily carb allowance!
100g of cashews include:
- 27g net carbs
- 18g protein
- 44g fat
Ways to incorporate more nuts into your diet
Need more simple ways to eat nuts on a low-carb diet? Here are a few tips:
- Add nut butter to your smoothies for a high-fat addition.
- Include a handful of crushed nuts as a salad topping.
- Use nut flour in your low-carb baking.
- Make a low-carb trail mix for nutritiously-rich snacking!
The best keto nut recipes
Ready to include some of the best nuts for the keto diet in your meals? Try any of these low-carb recipes to easily add keto nuts into your diet:
1. Baked pecan-crusted chicken
My baked pecan-crusted chicken makes for a wonderful dinner. The pecan crust is crispy and delicious!
2. White chocolate macadamia nut cookies
These white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are sweet, nutty, and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
3. Keto pecan bars
My keto pecan bars are great for serving or a sweet midnight snack.
4. Cranberry walnut chicken salad
Pair my cranberry walnut chicken salad with low-carb lettuce wraps for your new favorite lunch food.
5. Keto peanut butter and jelly
My keto peanut butter and jelly lets you enjoy a childhood favorite – without the high-carb ingredients.
6. Hazelnut chocolate candy balls
These hazelnut chocolate candy balls are perfectly fudgy and totally addicting!
7. Green beans almondine
My green bean almondine recipe is the ultimate veggie side dish to any of your favorite proteins.
Here are some questions people often ask about eating nuts on a ketogenic diet. If you don't see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
Keto dieters can absolutely enjoy nut butters in moderation. In general, the butter version of any keto nut or seed should be suitable for a keto diet. This includes almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, and more.
Do note that not all nut butters are made equal – some contain additives like sugar that make them unsuitable for a low-carb diet.
When choosing a nut butter, make sure the only ingredient listed is the nut itself. And, if you're up for it, you can easily make your own nut butter at home by grinding the nut of your choice!
Among the best nuts for keto diet, pecans contain the lowest carb count.
100g of raw pecans contain just 4g net carbs.
I would not recommend that you eat cashews on a keto diet; they are one of the highest-carb nuts available.
100g of cashews contain a whopping 27g net carbs! For snack food, this is way too high.
Beyond nuts, there are also several seeds that you can eat on a ketogenic diet. Keto-friendly seeds include:
- Sunflower seeds – 4g net carbs/ 1 oz serving
- Chia seeds – 2g net carbs/ 1 oz serving
- Sesame seeds – 2g net carbs/ 1 oz serving
- Shelled pumpkin seeds – 4g net carbs/ 1 oz serving
- Hemp seeds – 1g net carbs/ 1 oz serving
Looking for more ways to eat keto diet nuts? Check out these low-carb recipes:
- Keto Protein Cookie Dough is incredibly tasty with sugar-free ingredients. Add a scoop of your favorite keto-friendly nut butter for even more flavor.
- Low-Carb Keto Butter Pecan Ice Cream contains just 1.7 grams of net carbs per serving. Made with almond milk, heavy cream, and keto-friendly pecan bits.
- Almond Ricotta Cheese Cookies are super soft, made with almond flour, ricotta cheese, and almond extract.
- Keto Peanut Butter Brownies are fudgy, yummy, and best enjoyed with a healthy scoop of almond milk ice cream.
- Almond Flour Biscuits are fluffy and delicious – add buttered biscuits to the side of your favorite recipes, enjoy one as a snack, or use them to make keto biscuits and gravy!