Written by: Suzie Walker



Time to read 14 min

When embarking on a ketogenic diet adventure, you may wonder if nuts are a suitable choice for this low-carb, high-fat way of eating. With their healthy fats and protein content, it's natural to assume that nuts would fit right in. Right?

Well, you might be surprised by the answer…

So, Are Nuts Keto-Friendly? Let's find out!

are nuts keto

Understanding the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to put you in the fat-shredding state of ketosis. When you're in ketosis, your body starts using fat as its primary source of energy, rather than carbohydrates. This shift in fuel for your body, in turn, leads to weight loss and improved overall health.

To successfully follow a ketogenic diet, you need to drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and focus on consuming high-fat foods. Some examples of these foods include natural fats such as olive oil, avocados, and butter, as well as high-fat protein sources like fatty cuts of meat, fish, and eggs.

Since those pesky carbs tend to be found in a range of everyday Western foods, such as bread, pasta, and fruits, you'll need to be highly selective with your food choices on a keto diet.

In general, you should aim for a daily intake of 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates, although at The Keto Collective, we think its probably best to get as close to 20g carbs per day as possible, especially when starting out on keto.

nuts on keto

Evaluating Nuts on a Keto Diet

The world is nuts about nuts!

With a bonkers total production of tree nuts amounting to over 5.46 million metric tons worldwide in the year 2020/2021, the world can't get enough of this convenient snack.

But not all nuts are created equal when it comes to carb content, and some are better than others for a sneaky keto-friendly snack. Some nuts contain a higher amount of those ketosis-killing carbohydrates, making them less ideal for a ketogenic diet. However, there are certainly nuts that can be enjoyed in moderation while keeping your carb intake in check.

To make the most of your keto journey, you need to choose the right nuts that align with your keto goals. Understanding the nutritional profiles of various nuts and how they fit into a low-carb diet will help you make informed decisions and keep your keto journey on track!

Also, it's best to select the best keto nuts that are low in carbs while still providing a rich nutrient profile. Nuts can indeed be a great choice for your keto journey, and provide a big bang for their buck when it comes to high-quality nutrition.

In general, a 30g serving of nuts will have varying amounts of net carbs, which are calculated by subtracting dietary fibre from the total carbs. To make it easier for you, here's a list of some excellent choices of low-carb nuts:

  • Pecans: With 20.4g fat, 3.9g carbohydrates, and 2.7g fibre per 30g serving, Pecans can be incorporated into a keto diet.

  • Brazil nuts: With 20.5g fat, 0.9g carbohydrates, and 1.7g fibre per serving, Brazil nuts are another good choice for your keto diet.
  • Macadamia nuts: With 21.5g fat, 3.9g carbohydrates, and 2.4g fibre, macadamia nuts are a tasty option to help you maintain your daily carbs limit.

Walnuts: With 18.5g fat, 3.9g carbohydrates, and 1.9g fibre, Walnuts are Keto-friendly.

Hazelnuts: With 17g fat, 2.7g carbohydrates, and 2.7g fibre per 30g serving, Hazlenuts offer a delicious and keto-friendly option.

Almonds: A big favourite around the globe, Almonds contain 16.7g fat, 2.1g carbohydrates, and 2.2g fibre per 30g serving, so you can add these to your keto diet, but be mindful of your daily carb limit when snacking on these. The carbs quickly add up and almonds are very moreish!

Pine nuts: With 19g fat, 3.7g carbohydrates, and 1.1g fibre per serving, Pine nuts are a top choice for low-carbers.

almonds on keto

Before stuffing your pockets with these awesome natural snacks, it's worth mentioning that while some nuts are good choices for your keto diet, others have slightly higher carbs content and should be enjoyed in smaller quantities to avoid being kicked from ketosis:

  • Cashews: Unfortunately, with 13.1g fat, 8.6g carbohydrates, and 0.9g fibre per 30g serving, you will be struggling to fit cashews into a keto diet. The high carb content is sure to kick you out of ketosis. Maybe one or two…
  • Pistachios: With 12.5g fat, 7.8g carbohydrates, and 2.9g fibre per 30g serving, these tasty little fellas are going to be barred like cashews. Not keto I'm afraid!

  • Chestnuts: With 0.7g fat, 15.9g carbohydrates, and 1.5g fibre, Chestnuts are a no-go!

When following a keto diet, it's crucial to focus on nutrient-dense, keto-friendly foods where possible. You are going to be cutting out some nutritious but carby foods like fruits from your diet, so it's important to try and replace those healthy big hitters with high-fat, low-sugar alternatives. Remember, moderation is essential; stick to a 30g serving of your preferred nuts to ensure you maintain your carb intake goals and enjoy the benefits of these healthy, low-carb snacks. No need to go overboard!

are nuts keto friendly

Which are the Top Keto-Friendly Nuts?

So you know which nuts you can enjoy on Keto, but which are the very best for this diet?

Here are the top keto-friendly nuts based on their nutritional profile.

Brazil nuts:

Brazil nuts are not only keto-friendly but also packed with nutrients. 

They are high in healthy fats, low in carbohydrates, and provide a substantial amount of selenium, which is essential for immune and thyroid function, and plays a crucial role in protein synthesis. Just one Brazil nut can meet your daily recommended intake for selenium.

They are super high in healthy fats and contain only 1g of net carbs per 30g. Brazil nuts are an excellent source of essential amino acids, which are important for maintaining or even building muscle mass while in a low-carb state.


brazil nuts keto-friendly

Macadamia nuts:

Macadamia nuts are an excellent choice for keto dieters. They are one of the lowest-carb nuts, with only 3.9g of carbs per 30g serving. 

But keto is also about quality fats, and Macadamia nuts are super high in monounsaturated fats, which are great for your heart health. They are also good source of dietary fibre, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Feel free to enjoy macadamia nuts as a snack or add them to your meals for an additional creamy texture!

Pine nuts:

Pine nuts are a good choice for those following a keto diet. They contain only 3.7 grams of net carbs per 30g serving and are high in monounsaturated fats. 

Pine nuts are a great source of vitamin K and B vitamins, which are important for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

Pine nuts are a tasty and versatile addition to a keto diet. They contain healthy fats, offer a moderate amount of protein, and are relatively low in carbohydrates. You can use pine nuts in salads, pesto, or as part of your keto-friendly trail mix. Get them in your trolley!

pine nuts on keto

Pecans nuts:

With only 3.9 grams of net carbs and nearly 21 grams of fat per 30g serving, they are an excellent choice to keep your carbs low on a Keto diet while enjoying a healthy snack.

Pecans not only have heart-healthy fats, but also contain calcium, magnesium and potassium. Perfect for those that suffer from cramps while on the Keto diet!

The best keto-friendly nuts to consider incorporating into your diet include macadamia nuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, and pine nuts. These low-carb nuts will help you stay within your carbohydrate limits while providing essential nutrients and healthy fats. Remember to enjoy nuts in moderation, as their calorie content can add up quickly.

Health Benefits of Nuts on Keto

When following a keto diet, incorporating nuts can provide you with a range of health benefits. They are rich in healthy fats and essential nutrients that support your overall well-being. This includes promoting heart health, boosting the immune system, and providing important fatty acids.

  • Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats, which can help maintain good blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease. By including nuts in your keto diet, you may experience improvements in your cholesterol levels and reduced insulin resistance. This can lead to better heart health and a reduced likelihood of developing chronic conditions. Studies show that a higher consumption of nuts has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Consuming nuts on keto can also benefit your immune system. Many nuts and seeds are high in essential vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, vitamin K, and olic acid. These nutrients play a crucial role in strengthening your immune response and supporting the body's natural defences against illness and infection.

  • In addition to being low in carbs, nuts are versatile and can be easily incorporated into your keto meal plan. Is there a more convenient natural snack than nuts? Just stick a handful in your pocket, and you are good to go. You can enjoy them as a snack, or use nut flour and butter to create delicious ketogenic recipes. Get creative!

With their rich nutrient profile and numerous health benefits, nuts can contribute to good heart health, support your immune system, and provide essential fatty acids. So, go nuts and try all the low-carb varieties of nuts on your keto journey and enjoy their tasty and health-promoting benefits.

lose weights with nuts

Nuts and Their Impact on Weight Loss

You might be wondering about the role nuts play in weight loss. Everyone knows that nuts are super high in fats, but why don't they make you fat?

Well, studies show that not only do nuts not make you gain weight, they actually help you lose weight!

Yes, nuts are typically high in fats, but they're full of healthy fats! And we now know that fats aren't the problem! If you are following the keto diet, you know that carbs are causing issues related to spiking rates of obesity and healthy issues.

Most Nuts are low in carbohydrates, making them perfect for a keto lifestyle. And incorporating nuts into your diet can help you feel satiated, providing both energy and essential nutrients.

They are nutrient-dense, giving your body much-needed vitamins and minerals without piling on the carbs. For example, almonds offer a good balance of fats, moderate protein, and minimal carbs, making them an excellent keto-friendly choice in moderation.

Nuts pack a real punch when it comes to nutrient density!

Different types of nuts have varying properties related to longevity and good health. For instance, macadamia nuts and pecans are high in monounsaturated fats, which can contribute to reduced cholesterol levels and improved heart health.

At the same time, lower-carb nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts are beneficial for sustaining your energy levels while keeping you within your daily carb limits.

However, that being said, it's essential to be mindful of your nut consumption as the calories can add up quickly. Measure out individual portions and resist the temptation to overeat, as this could counteract your weight loss efforts. It's very easy to settle down with a bag of nuts, and by the time you realise it, you're finishing them off!

So choose your nuts and portion size wisely, paying attention to both the nutritional and carb content, to ensure they fit into your daily macros.

Alternative Nut and Seed Options on Keto

On the keto diet, you might be looking for alternative nut and seed options that are low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats. Here are some popular options to consider when deciding your up and coming keto meals:

Almond flour is a fantastic low-carb flour substitute made from ground almonds. It's perfect for gluten-free and keto-friendly baking recipes. Using almond flour in your creations helps you to maintain your ketosis while making your dishes even more delicious. Perfect!

Chia seeds are tiny yet powerful seeds packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and protein. They're an excellent addition to your keto diet as they have very low net carbs. You can use chia seeds in smoothies, as a topping for yoghurt, or as a thickening agent in sauces and puddings. Mix with nuts for a ‘Keto Granola’.

Peanut Butter is a true staple for those following a keto diet. It is low in carbs and high in healthy monounsaturated fats. One tablespoon of peanut butter contains around 3 grams of net carbs, making it a good choice for those who are watching their carb intake. Add to low-carb protein shakes to keep your fats high!

keto chia seeds

Almond butter is lower in carbohydrates compared to peanut butter and offers a delicious alternative to add to your meals. Mix it into your smoothie for an extra flavour boost. It is high in healthy monounsaturated fats and contains only 2 grams of net carbs per tablespoon.

Seed butters, like sunflower seed butter and pumpkin seed butter, are tasty and healthy substitutes for nut butters. They offer a similar creamy texture and can be a more allergy-friendly choice if you're avoiding nuts.

Pumpkin seeds are another delightful option for those following a keto diet. They're high in healthy fats, zinc, and magnesium. You can enjoy them as a snack, use them as a topping on dishes, or ground into a flour for low-carb baking.

keto nut butters

Sunflower seeds are a nutritious and versatile option. They provide vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. You can eat them raw or roasted as a snack or add them to your salads for extra crunch. Be mindful that sunflower seeds contain more carbohydrates than some other seeds, so consume them in moderation!

Hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, are rich in proteins, healthy fats, and essential minerals. They make a great addition to your morning smoothie, sprinkled on your salad or mixed into yoghurt for an added nutritious kick.

Sesame seeds might be small, but they're packed full of nutrients. These seeds are a good source of healthy fats and can be easily incorporated into your diet. Try using tahini, a sesame seed paste, to make dips or sauces for your low-carb meals.

sunflower seeds keto

Experiment with different combinations of these tasty additions to your diet and find new ways to make your keto journey both enjoyable and nutritious.

nuts portion control

Portion Sizes when Consuming Nuts

When following a ketogenic diet, it is crucial to pay attention to portion sizes and consumption of nuts. While most nuts are considered keto-friendly, eating large quantities can quickly add up in terms of calories and carbohydrates. To maintain your keto status and stay within the recommended carb limits, you need to understand the appropriate portion sizes for various types of nuts.

A one-ounce serving is a common portion size for nuts. However, as different nuts have varying macronutrient profiles, the number of nuts per ounce may vary. For a quick reference, here is a list of common nuts and their approximate quantity in a 30g serving:

  • Almonds: about 23 nuts
  • Hazelnuts: about 21 nuts
  • Pecans: about 19 halves
  • Brazil nuts: about 6 nuts

Although nuts can be a great source of healthy fats, fibre, and essential nutrients, it's important not to overindulge. Stick to the guidelines above when measuring out your snacks, and you should be ok.

Keep your consumption in check by measuring out portions and always being aware of the macronutrient breakdown for each type of nut you consume. This will help you maintain a successful keto diet while still enjoying the delicious and healthy benefits of nuts.

nuts on a keto diet

Incorporating Nuts into Your Keto Diet

Nuts are great on keto, and we love them at The Keto Collective. 

Many nuts, including almonds, pecans, and macadamias, have low net carb content, making them ideal for your keto meal plans. Pairing nuts with other keto-friendly foods such as cheese or avocado helps to maintain a balance of macronutrients, so mix things up and get creative.

It can be difficult early on in the diet to reprogram yourself to eat more fats. We have been told since childhood that fats are bad and make you obese. Even though we now that we know that isn't true, it can still be hard to adjust. Nuts can help with that, and a few portions a week will up your healthy fats without you realising!

  • Peanut butter is another delicious and satisfying way to enjoy nuts on a Keto Diet. Look for natural peanut butter without added sugars or opt for other nut butter like almond or cashew. Spread a tablespoon of celery or simply enjoy it on its own for a quick and easy snack.

  • Almond milk serves as a fantastic low-carb alternative to regular milk. Unsweetened almond milk is an excellent choice for use in keto recipes, such as smoothies, sauces, or even a morning cup of coffee. Do ensure that you read the label, as some brands contain sweeteners or additives that are not keto-friendly. always be aware of those sneaky carbs ans sugars, they're everywhere!

  • If you love baking, don't hesitate to explore keto recipes that incorporate nuts as a key ingredient. Almond flour, for example, is a versatile low-carb substitute for wheat flour and can be used to create delicious keto-friendly bread, cakes, and pancakes.

Nuts are super versatile. Put a handful in your pocket and enjoy them as a healthy snack. Use them to enhance recipes, or create dairy substitutes like almond milk and nut butter. By choosing the best options and keeping track of your carb intake, you can add nuts to your keto lifestyle while maintaining your dietary goals.

keto nuts in bowl

Finally On... Are Nuts Keto-Friendly?

The good news is that many nuts are keto-friendly and can be a great source of healthy fats and protein. They carry health-giving properties that you can't ignore, but make sure you choose the right ones:

Pine, Macadamias, Pecans, and Brazil Nuts are high in healthy fats and protein. They are also low in carbs, making them a great addition to your keto diet. Just remember that while nuts are low in carbs, they are high in calories!

Almonds are a big favourite of us at The Keto Collective. Although slightly higher in carbs than the nuts above, they are also packed full of health-giving properties and high-quality fats. That is why we put them in our snacks. Perfect in moderation!

However, not all nuts are keto-friendly. Cashews, Pistachios, and Chestnuts are high in carbs and should be avoided on a keto diet. Avoid mixed bags that contain these nuts, or you will kill your ketosis without realising it!

So what are you waiting for?

Next time you are in the supermarket, don't pass the snack aisle thinking it's a keto walk of shame. Pick up a few bags of low-carb nuts, and boost your intake of high-quality fats!

Suzie Walker - Keto Collective

Suzie Walker

Suzie Walker is a qualified Nutritional Therapist from the College of Naturopathic Nutrition London and co-founded The Keto Collective, a company that aims to make it easier for those following the keto way of eating to find whole food, great tasting, keto alternatives to their everyday favorites.

Suzie is a passionate believer in the power of the ketogenic diet and has researched the many health benefits of low-carb living.

Her goal is to bring keto to the masses and take it mainstream.