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Nuts and seeds are a favorite for low carb dieters for many years. Now they’re familiar among ketogenic dieters. The question is, are they keeping you out of ketosis or helping it?
It’s important to understand which nuts and seeds are ideal for a ketogenic diet due to their high-fat levels, and which are best for nutrients.
They are marketed as being a superfood. And after all, they’re 100% natural and eaten for thousands of years.
There is contradictory data, and people generally aren’t certain if they fit into a LCHF diet plan.
The fast answer is that you surely can have nuts and seeds on keto, but it’s best to learn some facts since it’s possible to kick you out of ketosis.
We will look at the benefits and negatives of eating these natural high-fat foods.
Nutritional Info in Nuts and Seeds
Here’s a list of calories, carbs, fat, sugar, protein, and fiber in nuts and seeds.
All the data for this table comes from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28.
Amounts are calculated at one ounce too make it easier for measuring larger portions.
All foods are of different size, and a portion will differ from person to person.
If you are aiming for weight loss, most of these foods are high in carbs and calories, so you must calculate to suit your macros.
Nuts are also high in omega-6 fats and phytic acid. They can cause inflammatory effects such as joint pain and gallbladder irritation.
What are the Best Nuts and Seeds for Keto?
Everyone will have their favorites, but these are some of ours we often eat in no particular order.
Almonds are one of the best low carb snacks. They’re super filling with 14.16g of fat and 3.5g fiber per ounce and are one of the best sources of vitamin E.
Also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The potassium especially helps replenish electrolytes to avoid the dreaded keto flu.
Almonds come in all sorts of flavors. Look to eat whole natural sources and enjoy almond butter instead of peanut butter.
Pistachios have a higher carb content than most other nuts and seeds with 7.7g per ounce.
Don’t let this put you off. Considering it takes at least twice as long to open the shell and eat it, it can make you eat more slowly.
As long as you eat pistachios with shells you are satisfied more slowly, therefore, eating you eat less.
Macadamias are excellent for those looking to increase fat intake on keto. It has 21.48g of fat and is the highest on the food list per ounce.
Also, a source of essential nutrients and good for your heart. A diet rich in macadamia nuts reduces total and the bad LDL cholesterol.(1)
Similar to macadamia nuts, pecan has a big 20.4g fat per ounce making it one of the best choices for your fat macros.
These little green seeds are great for keto dieting since the carb count are 3.04g per ounce. You can snack on quite a few of them before worrying about your macros.
Pumpkin seeds contain 8.57g of protein per ounce, and it makes them the food with the highest protein on the chart.
The nutrition benefits obtained from them make them a top choice while also very reasonably priced.
As with all mentioned above, you can include them all in your favorite low carb and keto recipes.
If you didn’t have almond flour, coconut flour and so on, simply put some in a food processor and grind until becomes a powder.
Why should you eat Nuts and Seeds on Keto
As previously mentioned, nut and seeds are considered to be a superfood.
Sure, the supporting fat loss benefits are great, but also many more advantages that can be achieved by snacking on these little kernels.
They contain antioxidants, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. They’re also uniquely packed with vitamins and minerals that our bodies desire.
Eating nuts and seeds can lead to reduced health risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes(2)(3). Studies also show a link between decreasing the risk for colon cancer and nut consumption(4).
Nuts also have the ability to accelerate weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity(5).
It’s clear to see why nuts make great snacks for those on a keto diet. They not only taste amazing, but they’re super convenient post-workout snack and easy to consume on the go.
Being a whole natural food source, it promotes good health, healthier for the long and short-term.
Don’t Go Overboard with Nuts and Seeds
While nuts and seeds are fantastic sources of various nutrients and calories from fat, not all are a good choice when following a ketogenic diet.
But, monitoring portion sizes are so, so, important as to not go overboard with calorie intake.
We’ve all been there before at a party, wedding or social occasion and started to eat our favorite nuts or seeds.
As time passes someone points out the entire bowl of nuts is nearly empty or gone.
We’re not aware of what has happened. We tend to overeat these little buggers so easily since they’re small, tasty, and enjoy them.
For this reason, while nuts and seeds are great foods to incorporate into your keto diet, it would be smart to limit your portions to a portion of 2-3 oz maximum per day.
A small handful is all that is needed and is an oz.
Nuts and Seeds to avoid
Cashews are possibly the worse nut for a LCHF diet due to the high carb amount. An ounce of cashews contains 8.5g carbs, a staggering amount.
Peanuts should also be avoided when possible. There are fewer health benefits, and the high carb content adds up super quick if you overeat them.
It has its place in our kitchen with all natural peanut butter. Using peanut butter is great on low carb recipes. Always keep the ingredients no nothing but peanuts and salt — no other added additives.
I also advise limiting seeds such as sunflower and sesame seeds. We used to use sunflower seeds for making granola bars and other low carb recipes. But they have a higher carb content and low dietary fiber compared to healthier alternatives such as pumpkin and chia seeds.
It’s critical to understand not all nuts and seeds are equally created. Most of them give you the required healthy fats to stay in ketosis, but some are simply too high in calories and carbohydrates.
They’re a good source of antioxidants (6), vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. While eating them frequently reduces the risk of acquiring many diseases.
Monitoring your intake and tracking your macros are key so to not unwittingly eat excess net carbs.
We only eat whole natural varieties which are best no matter what diet you follow and enjoy them as snacks frequently.
What are your favorite nuts or seeds and do you eat them on a ketogenic diet? Leave your comments below.