Why You Should Be Careful About Certain Nuts On A Keto Diet

various nuts against white background © Spalnic/Shutterstock various nuts against white background

Nobody ever said the keto diet would be easy. Balancing nutritional needs while strictly limiting carbohydrate and sugar consumption takes a little work. While there are helpful guides that help people choose a keto diet when dining out, like our list of the 40 most affordable keto-friendly chain restaurants, many of those chasing ketosis opt for preparing their own meals so they know exactly what they’re eating.

Healthline, in their detailed beginner’s guide to the keto diet, explains that the goal of keto is to swap out carbs for high-fat foods to reduce blood sugar and efficiently convert fat to energy. We tend to think of nuts as high-fat foods but also as pretty dense nutritionally, providing us with protein and other important nutrients.

In fact, dietician Maggie Michalczyk, speaking with Women’s Health, explains that, in general, all nuts are good providers of protein, fiber, fiber, several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as beneficial monounsaturated fats. But are some nuts better than others for a keto diet?

Pecans, Brazil Nuts, And Macadamia Nuts Are The Best Keto Choices

almonds, cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts © Yana Poluyana/Shutterstock almonds, cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts

According to Delish, all nuts are not keto-equal. Pecans, brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts pack in the most fat with the fewest carbs, making them the best choices for dieters counting carbs. Business Insider also lists walnuts and almonds as solid keto choices. And which nuts should you avoid (or eat in very small amounts) if you’re keeping keto? Cashews are the worst choice, as just 60 nuts contain the daily keto limit of 0.70 ounces of carbs. Likewise, pistachios are carb-heavy; only 1 cup of pistachios blows the daily carb limit away with around 1.16 ounces of carbs, per Delish.

This nutritional data doesn’t mean people eating a keto diet can’t ever indulge in cashews or pistachios. Knowing all nuts aren’t keto-equal just means you have to choose wisely. Experienced keto eaters are accustomed to making careful choices, though, and resources like our list of the best fruit choices for this diet can help. Knowing which nuts are the best and worst choices can also help cooks looking to adapt recipes to make them more keto-friendly.

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