Are Walnuts Keto Friendly? 7 Compelling Reasons to Add to Your Diet

are walnuts keto friendly
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Introduction: Are Walnuts Keto Friendly?

Hey there! Are you looking to start a keto diet and wondering how nuts can fit? Well, you’ve come to the right place! This article will explore the world of nuts & their role in a keto diet.

Firstly, let’s start with a brief explanation of the keto diet. The keto, or the ketogenic, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to put your body into ketosis. This metabolic state allows your body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates, which can lead to weight loss and other health benefits.

You may be wondering why nuts are essential in a keto diet. Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber for a keto diet. They also make for a convenient & tasty snack option when you’re on the go. However, not all nuts are created equal, and some may be higher in carbs than others, so choosing the right ones is essential when following a keto diet.

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the different types of nuts, their nutritional value, and their net carb, healthy fat, protein, and fiber content. We’ll also discuss why some nuts may not be keto-friendly & offer alternatives to avoid high-carb nuts. So, whether you’re a seasoned keto dieter or starting, read on to discover everything you need to know about nuts and their role in a keto diet.

What are walnuts and other nuts?

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Let’s dive into the beautiful world of nuts! There are so many different types of nuts out there, from crunchy walnuts to buttery cashews, and each one has its unique nutritional value & health benefits.

Walnuts are a popular type of tree nut grown & eaten worldwide. They have a rich, nutty flavor and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Regarding nutritional value, walnuts are high in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also have a unique combination of polyunsaturated fatty acids that may help improve heart health and reduce inflammation.

On the other hand, almonds are a versatile keto diet staple that can be eaten raw or roasted. They have a slightly sweet taste and a crunchy texture. Almonds contain protein, fiber, healthy fats, and essential minerals like magnesium and vitamin E. They also contain antioxidants that can help protect against oxidative stress & lower the risk of chronic diseases.

Moving on to pistachios, they are a great snack option if you’re looking to add more protein and fiber to your diet. They have a distinct, slightly sweet flavor and a chewy texture. Pistachios are also high in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, especially potassium & vitamin B6. Eating pistachios may help improve heart health, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In conclusion, nuts are not only tasty but also nutritious. Each type of nut has its unique flavor and nutritional profile that can benefit your health in various ways. So, next time you’re looking for a quick & healthy snack, grab a handful of your favorite nuts and enjoy their many health benefits.

Are Walnuts Keto Friendly?

fresh walnut with leaves

So, are walnuts keto-friendly? The answer is Yes! Walnuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein, making them an excellent choice for people following a keto diet. One ounce of walnuts contains only 4 grams of carbs and 2 grams of net carbs(1), which is very low. This means you can enjoy a handful of walnuts as a snack or add them to your meals without worrying about exceeding your carb limit.

Walnuts are also packed with nutrients that can help support your overall health. They are high in antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, positively affecting heart health, brain function, and inflammation(1). So, if you’re following a keto diet, don’t be afraid to add walnuts to your meals & snacks. They are a delicious and nutritious way to support your health and stay on track with your diet goals.

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Keto diet and net carbs

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Let’s talk about net carbs and how they relate to the keto diet. Net carbs are the total carbs in a food minus the amount of fiber & sugar alcohol. This is because the fiber and sugar alcohols are not fully absorbed by the body and don’t affect blood sugar levels like regular carbs.

So, if you’re following a keto diet, a low-carb, high-fat diet that puts your body in a state of ketosis, you’ll want to keep your net carb intake low. This is because when you eat a low amount of carbs, your body switches from using glucose as its primary energy source to using ketones produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

Regarding nuts, some are better suited for a keto diet than others. Let’s look at the net carb content of some popular nuts. Walnuts have a relatively low net carb content of 2 grams per ounce(1), making them an excellent option for keto dieters. Almonds also have a low net carb content of 2.6 grams per ounce, while pistachios come in at 5.8 grams per ounce(2).

Brazil nuts have the lowest net carb content at just 1.4 grams per ounce(3), making them an excellent choice for keto dieters. Cashews and peanuts, on the other hand, have higher net carb contents of 7.7 and 2.6 grams per ounce, respectively(4).

When choosing nuts for a keto diet, paying attention to their net carb content is essential. While some nuts are relatively low in net carbs, others can quickly add up and put you over your daily carb limit.

Healthy fats in different types of nuts

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Healthy fats, also known as unsaturated fats, are essential for a healthy diet. They provide energy, help absorb vitamins, and support cell growth. Healthy fats come in two types: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats can help to lower harmful cholesterol levels, ultimately reducing the risk of heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats, on the other hand, contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are crucial for proper brain function & overall heart health.

Different types of nuts contain varying amounts of healthy fats.

Walnuts are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, with omega-3 fatty acids being their standout feature. Almonds are also high in healthy fats, with nearly all their fat content being monounsaturated.

Pistachios are another great option, mainly containing monounsaturated fats(6). Brazil nuts are high in polyunsaturated fats & contain selenium(5), essential for thyroid function. Cashews contain primarily monounsaturated fats but are lower in overall fat content compared to other nuts. Finally, peanuts have a mix of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, with slightly more monounsaturated fats overall.

Incorporating nuts into a keto diet can be a great way to get a healthy dose of fats. Nuts can help increase feelings of fullness and reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks. Additionally, the healthy fats in nuts can help support brain function & heart health. While nuts are high in healthy fats, they are also high in calories, so it’s essential to consume them in moderation.

Protein content in different types of nuts

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Walnuts can be an excellent choice if you’re trying to boost your protein intake while following a keto diet. Just one ounce of walnuts can provide around 4 grams of protein, making them a great snack to satisfy you. Another popular option for protein is almonds, which contain 6 grams of protein per ounce.

Pistachios are also a good source of protein, with about 6 grams per ounce. If you prefer Brazil nuts, cashews, or peanuts, they have slightly less protein, with 4-5 grams per ounce.

It’s important to note that the protein content of nuts can vary, as well as their calorie and fat content. For example, almonds have more protein than walnuts but contain more calories and fat. On the other hand, peanuts have a similar amount of protein to walnuts but have more carbohydrates. When choosing which nuts to include in your diet, it’s essential to consider these factors & choose the ones that best fit your goals and dietary needs.

Incorporating protein-rich nuts into your diet can help you meet your protein goals while following a keto diet. Whether you prefer walnuts, almonds, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, or peanuts, there are plenty of options. By selecting the suitable nuts for your needs, you can ensure you get the nutrients your body needs to thrive while enjoying a satisfying & delicious snack.

The fiber in different types of nuts

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Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps maintain healthy digestion and keeps us full and satisfied after meals. In a keto diet, fiber is necessary to help offset the low-carb intake and prevent constipation. Fortunately, nuts are a great source of fiber, and including them in your diet can help meet your daily fiber needs.

Regarding fiber content, some nuts are better sources than others. For example, almonds have the highest fiber content, with about 3 grams per ounce. Walnuts and pistachios are also good sources of fiber, with around 2 grams per ounce. Brazil nuts, cashews, and peanuts have less fiber, with 1-2 grams per ounce.

In addition to promoting healthy digestion & satiety, fiber also has other benefits in a keto diet. It can help regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Plus, since fiber is not digested or absorbed by the body, it doesn’t contribute to the net carb count, making it a valuable component of a keto diet. So next time you’re looking for a keto-friendly snack high in fiber, reach for a handful of nuts!

Micronutrients in different types of nuts

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Micronutrients are essential vitamins & minerals our body requires in small amounts to function correctly(8). While nuts are known for their high content of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, they are also an excellent source of several micronutrients.

Walnuts, for instance, are a good source of copper, manganese, and biotin, which are essential for metabolism, bone health, and skin health. Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus, vital in maintaining heart, nerve, and bone health. Conversely, Pistachios are packed with vitamin B6, essential for brain function and metabolism.

Different types of nuts have other micronutrient profiles. Brazil nuts, for example, are one of the best sources of selenium, a mineral that plays a crucial role in thyroid function and antioxidant defense. Cashews are an excellent source of zinc, which supports immune function and wound healing. Peanuts are a good source of niacin, which helps convert food into energy & maintain healthy skin. It’s crucial to consume a variety of nuts to ensure you get a range of essential micronutrients.

In conclusion, nuts are a great source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, and low net carbs and are also packed with essential micronutrients. Different types of nuts have varying amounts of micronutrients, so it’s necessary to include a variety of nuts in your diet to ensure you get all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Adding nuts as a healthy snack or incorporating them into your meals can be an easy & delicious way to meet your daily nutrient requirements.

Why are some nuts not keto-friendly?

If you’re following a keto diet, you might have noticed that some nuts are not recommended due to their high carb content. Peanuts, for example, are often not considered keto-friendly because they contain more carbs than other nuts. One ounce of peanuts contains around 5 grams of carbs, which might not seem like much, but it can add up quickly if you’re trying to stay within your daily carb limit.

Avoiding high-carb nuts on a keto diet is essential because they can quickly throw you out of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body uses fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Keeping your carb intake low can encourage your body to burn fat for fuel, leading to weight loss and other health benefits. Consuming high-carb nuts can cause a spike in blood sugar levels & kick you out of ketosis, making it harder to achieve your weight loss goals.

Many keto-friendly options are available if you’re looking for alternatives to high-carb nuts. Macadamia nuts, for example, are a great choice because they are high in healthy fats and low in carbs. One ounce of macadamia nuts contains just 1.5 grams of carbs, making them a great snack option for keto dieters. Other keto-friendly nuts include pecans, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts, which are low in carbs & high in healthy fats and micronutrients.

Best nuts for a keto diet

When choosing nuts for a keto diet, it’s essential to consider their macronutrient and micronutrient content. Based on the information provided earlier, the following nuts are some of the best options for a keto diet:

  1. Pecans – With only 1.2 grams of net carbs per ounce, pecans are a great low-carb option(3). They are also high in healthy fats & fiber, making them a filling and nutritious snack.
  2. Macadamia nuts – Macadamia nuts are very low in carbs, with only 1.5 grams of net carbs per ounce(3). They are also high in monounsaturated fats and low in omega-6 fatty acids, making them an excellent choice for balancing the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in the diet.
  3. Brazil nuts – Brazil nuts are high in healthy fats and contain only 1.4 grams of net carbs per ounce(5). They are also an excellent source of selenium, essential for thyroid health.
  4. Walnuts – Walnuts are a good source of protein and healthy fats, with 2.3 grams of net carbs per ounce(1). They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may benefit overall health.
  5. Pecans – With only 1.2 grams of net carbs per ounce(7), pecans are a great low-carb option. They are also high in healthy fats and fiber, making them a filling and nutritious snack.

These nuts are all great options for a keto diet due to their low-carb content and high levels of healthy fats, fiber, and micronutrients. However, it’s important to keep portion sizes in mind, as nuts are calorie-dense & can add up quickly.

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We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, discussing the best nuts for a keto diet based on their healthy fats, protein, fiber, and micronutrient content. We’ve also touched on why some nuts may not be the best option for a keto diet due to their carb content.

The best nuts for a keto diet are almonds, macadamia nuts, and pecans. These nuts are low in carbs, high in healthy fats, and have good protein and fiber. Walnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts are also great options but should be consumed in moderation due to their higher carb content.

Incorporating these nuts into your keto diet can provide numerous health benefits, including improved heart health, brain function, and weight loss. So, why not give them a try?

In conclusion, this article has been informative & helpful in guiding you toward the best nuts to include in your keto diet. Feel free to get creative with your nut consumption – they can be a great addition to your meals, snacks, and even desserts! So go ahead and grab a handful of almonds or toss some macadamia nuts into your salad. Your body will thank you for it.


(1) Walnuts 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits – Healthline

(2) The 13 Best Nuts and Seeds for Keto

(3) 9 Nuts to Eat on a Low Carb Diet – Healthline

(4) Low Carb Nuts – A Visual Guide to the Best and the Worst

(5) 7 Proven Health Benefits of Brazil Nuts – Healthline

(6) Pistachios for Health-What Do We Know About This Multifaceted Nut?

(7) Nuts, pecans Nutrition Facts & Calories

(8) Micronutrients: Types, Functions, Benefits and More – Healthline

Joseph Emb
Hi there! I'm Joseph Emb, a nutritionist and certified personal trainer passionate about helping people reach their health and fitness goals. With over ten years of experience in the health and wellness industry, I've accumulated a great deal of knowledge that I love to share with my readers. I have a degree in exercise science and am proud to have been featured in reputable publications such as Men's Health and Women's Fitness. My goal with my blog is to inspire and empower others to take control of their health and live happier healthier lives.