Best Keto Nuts & Seeds: The Ultimate Guide

Best Keto Nuts & Seeds: The Ultimate Guide
Read time: 8 minutes Written by: Steph Lodge

Knowing which foods fit into a low-carb, ketogenic diet can be tricky. While different nuts and seeds are glorified as a go-to keto-friendly snack, the truth is that not all are created equal. Some are more keto-friendly than others.

Why Nuts and Seeds Are a Good Choice for Keto

Why make nuts and seeds a part of your keto diet in the first place? For starters, they are a nutritional powerhouse. Along with being sugar-free and low in carbs, they are a powerful source of nutrients.

They Are Jam-Packed With Nutrients

Regardless of the type of nut or seed, chances are it packs a powerful punch of different vitamins and minerals, such as B1, B2, B3, and E as well as magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc[*]. It’s no secret that nuts are also an abundant source of healthy fats, providing a high-calorie count as well (one gram of fat is 9 calories).

They Are Convenient

Nuts and seeds are one of the healthiest foods you can snack on anywhere you go. In fact, some could argue that their convenience factor is what makes them so popular. Add them to salads, shakes, and desserts, or grab a handful and eat them alone. Their healthy fats leave you satiated for hours, so you don’t have to worry about cravings throughout the day.

However, you have to keep an eye on which nuts you’re eating as well as their nutritional content. While high-fat walnuts and macadamia nuts are perfect examples of keto-friendly nuts, other nuts have more carbs than you might expect and could even kick you out of ketosis.

The Top 11 Keto-Friendly Nuts and Seeds

While the nuts and seeds listed below are packed with healthy fats and essential nutrients, they should still be consumed in moderation. It’s easy to go overboard and overestimate portions. Be mindful of your serving sizes when you start snacking on these delicious treats.

The top nuts and seeds to eat on a keto diet include:

1. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are known to be one of the top keto-friendly nuts out there today. This tree nut is native to Australia and provides a powerful source of healthy fats. One ounce (28 grams) of macadamia nuts contains [*]:

  • Calories: 204
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 21 grams
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 2 grams

Macadamia Nuts - Keto

75% of macadamia nuts are made up of fat[*]. Most of these fats are called monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats, in particular, have been shown to reduce cholesterol while reducing the risk of heart disease[*].

2. Walnuts

Similar to macadamia nuts, walnuts are another type of tree nut abundant in healthy fats. One ounce (28 grams) of walnuts contains[*]:

  • Calories: 185
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 18 grams
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 2 grams

Walnuts - Keto

Yep, you read that right — 18 grams of fat. This high-fat, keto-friendly tree nut can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure[*].

3. Pecans

Pecans are keto-friendly tree nuts that are made up of 70% fat. These nuts are jam-packed with healthy, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. One ounce (28 grams) of pecans contains[*]:

  • Calories: 196
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 20 grams
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 1 gram

Pecans - Keto Nuts

Pecans may reduce insulin levels (a hormone that can signal your body to store fat)[*]. They also contain an abundant amount of oleic acid, which has been shown to improve cardiovascular health while reducing chronic inflammation[*].

4. Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are a larger type of tree nut grown in South America. A one-ounce serving (28 grams) of these nuts contains[*]:

  • Calories: 185
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 19 grams
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Net Carbs: 1 gram

Brazil Nuts - Keto

One of the most significant benefits of this keto-friendly nut is the amount of selenium it provides. Selenium is a trace mineral that helps with reproduction and protein synthesis[*].

5. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are another tree nut used in several different desserts due to their delicious buttery texture. One ounce (28 grams) of hazelnuts contains[*]:

  • Calories: 178
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 17 grams
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Net Carbs: 2 grams

Hazelnuts - Keto Nuts

Along with being the perfect dessert ingredient, hazelnuts are a powerful source of vitamin E. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant by negating free radicals and helping reduce high cholesterol[*].

6. Chia Seeds

Don’t let their size fool you. Chia seeds are tiny but mighty. These small black and white seeds are packed with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. A one-ounce serving (28 grams) of chia seeds contains[*]:

  • Calories: 138
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Carbs: 12 grams
  • Net Carbs: 2 grams

Chia Seeds - Keto

The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds provide powerful anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce c-reactive proteins (CRPs). CRPs are inflammatory markers, meaning their levels rise in response to inflammation. CRP is a blood test marker for inflammation throughout the body[*].

7. Flaxseeds

Similar to chia seeds, flaxseeds are another keto-friendly seed abundant in omega-3s. One ounce (28 grams) of flaxseeds contains[*]:

  • Calories: 131
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Carbs: 9 grams
  • Net Carbs: 1 gram

Flaxseeds - Keto Seeds

Flaxseeds are a great addition to any salad or smoothie due to their health benefits. The insoluble fiber (8 grams per one-ounce serving) improves the health of the digestive system. This can be extremely beneficial for individuals who struggle with digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, and other gastrointestinal distress issues[*].

8. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are used in different foods all around the world. While easily recognized as a topping on bagels and hamburger buns, sesame seeds are a great keto-friendly snack. A one-ounce serving (28 grams) contains[*]:

  • Calories: 160
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Carbs: 7 grams
  • Net Carbs: 2 grams

Sesame Seeds - Keto

Sesame seeds are associated with decreased inflammation[*]. While inflammation is a natural defense mechanism by the body, the issues begin when the inflammation becomes chronic.

9. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a more popular seed among the general population. Their salty, crunchy taste makes them an attractive option for a keto-friendly snack. One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds contains[*]:

  • Calories: 164
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Net Carbs: 4 grams

Sunflower Seeds - Keto

Sunflower seeds are high in vitamins such as vitamin E, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. These anti-inflammatory antioxidants have been shown to improve inflammation and help prevent diabetes[*].

10. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are another popular seed found in most convenience stores. Not only are pumpkin seeds keto-friendly, but they’re a great addition to your diet in general, keto or not. A little over one ounce (30 grams) of pumpkin seeds contains[*]:

  • Calories: 180
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 1 gram

Pumpkin Seeds - Keto

Pumpkin seeds are a reliable source of magnesium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-6 fatty acids, and they’re packed with fiber to aid in digestive health.

11. Hemp Seeds

Hemps seeds (also referred to as hemp hearts) are derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. These tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch while being keto-friendly. One ounce (28 grams) of hemp seeds contains[*]:

  • Calories: 155
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Carbs: 2 grams
  • Net Carbs: 1 gram

Hemp Seeds - Keto

Hemp seeds provide many different benefits. Along with being a good source of plant-based protein, hemp seeds also help improve your gut health, may improve skin, may reduce symptoms of PMS, and may improve digestion due to the high fiber count[*].

3 Nuts You Can Enjoy (in Moderation)

Peanuts, pistachios, and almonds are healthy snacks and keto-friendly, but they have a higher carb count that could kick you out of ketosis if you don’t keep an eye on your serving size. You can still consume them on the keto diet but enjoy in moderation.

1. Peanuts

Surprisingly enough, peanuts are technically a legume (other legumes include beans and lentils). Nonetheless, peanuts are a great go-to keto-friendly snack that can be found in most stores. A one-ounce serving (28 grams) of peanuts contains[*]:

  • Calories: 164
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Net Carbs: 4 grams

Peanut - Keto Nuts

Peanuts are a top plant protein source with their whopping 7 grams of protein per 28 grams. Peanuts are exceptionally high in an amino acid called leucine. Leucine is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) known for its role in muscle building[*].

2. Pistachios

Like peanuts, pistachios are another popular source for plant protein. Pistachios are a fun and tasty nut that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. A one-ounce serving (28 grams) of pistachios contains[*]:

  • Calories: 159
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • Net Carbs: 5 grams

Pistachios - Keto Nuts

Pistachios are abundant in several different vitamins and minerals, including thiamin, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. They are also a notable source of vitamin B6, which helps regulate blood sugar and the transportation of red blood cells[*].

3. Almonds

One of the biggest questions regarding nuts is whether or not almonds are keto-friendly. The answer is yes! Almonds and other products like almond butter, almond milk, and almond flour have become staples in the keto diet. A one-ounce serving (28 grams) of almonds contains[*]:

  • Calories: 164
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Net Carbs: 2 grams

Almonds - Keto Nuts

Along with being a great alternative to different kinds of milk and flours, these tree nuts pack a powerful punch of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and a number of vitamins, including vitamin E and magnesium[*].

Which Combination of Nuts and Seeds Are Best for Keto?

If you’re trying to keep your net carbs as low as possible but still want to enjoy these delectable foods, there’s no need to stress. You can enjoy a number of our suggestions listed above (in moderation, of course). The top keto-friendly nuts and seeds (with the least amount of net carbs per serving) include pecans, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds.

These five only have 1 gram of carbs per serving, so you can enjoy them without any concern of going over the recommended 20 to 50 grams of net carbs as recommended in the standard ketogenic diet.

What to Watch for When Eating Nuts and Seeds

Weigh Your Portions

Most nuts and seeds out there today are keto-friendly. However, many individuals make the mistake of not properly weighing their serving sizes. Have you ever eyeballed a tablespoon serving size of peanut butter and it turns out you had 2 tablespoons? It’s the same idea. Be vigilant with your portions and weigh your serving, so you’re not consuming too many carbs (or fats, for that matter).

Avoid Pre-Packaged Nuts and Seeds

While packaged nuts and seeds can be a convenient and healthy snack, beware of the label on the back. Many of these packages contain additional ingredients, such as salt or sweeteners.

Beware of Food Allergies

Nuts and seeds are a top keto snack, but if you react to any of them, chances are you have a food allergy. Tree nut allergies are one of the most common types of allergic reactions among individuals today, so it’s recommended you get a food allergy test if you’re experiencing symptoms.

Some symptoms to be aware of include stomach cramps, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, nausea, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, and any itchiness of the mouth, throat, eyes, or skin[*].

Bottom Line

Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and key antioxidants. Along with being tasty and filling, they provide many health benefits.

Consume them in salads, smoothies, shakes, desserts, and a number of different recipes. Add these nuts and seeds to your keto meal plan for a boost in your health and diet.

Which are your favorite nuts and seeds? Let us know in the comments below!


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