The 8 Best Nuts for Keto (And 2 you should avoid!)
The Versatility of Nuts
Nuts are the ultimate food for your keto and low carb toolbox. Not only are nuts (and seeds) highly portable (you can bring them basically anywhere), they are tasty, filling, and are some of the most nutritionally dense foods on earth.
But what are the best nuts for keto?
First off, nuts are a triple threat, combining the best of fat and protein content with relatively minimal carbohydrates. We say “relatively minimal” because not all nuts are created equal and there are a few that you should watch out for.
It starts with the manufacturer and source.
The Brand Difference
Even with the same type of nut or seed, there can always be a variation in net carbs between different brands due to where each product is sourced from and the growing conditions there.
So, make sure to check the nutritional label, which should always be available, even in the bulk section of the grocery store.
Due to the variation in nutritional values, we were careful to list out the best nuts for keto (and seeds), specifically by the brands that we eat.
Watch out for these two nuts!
You are generally pretty safe eating most nuts but pistachios and cashews are definitely not on the best nuts for keto diet list. They are on the high end of net carbs, easy to binge on, and therefore the carbs add up really fast!
This is due to the greater amount of natural sugar these nuts contain.
Another thing to watch for is nut butter and added sugars that might be used to enahnce the taste of certain products.
Since nuts are so nutritionally and calorically dense, you do have to monitor quantity more closely to ensure you stay within your target macros.
We find that it’s a lot easier to eat half a jar of nut butter versus eating the same amount in the whole nut form, so be careful!
Generally, the fruits with the lowest glycemic load are going to be berries. So why not pair the best nuts for keto with the top keto fruits to make the best low carb trail mix in seconds?!
Low Carb Berries (Unsweetened and Dried):
- Golden Berries
- 3g net carbs per 1/4 cup
- Tart! And our FAVORITE!
- 4g net carbs per 1/4 cup
- 3g net carbs per 1/4 cup
- Goji Berries
- 4g net carbs per 1/4 cup
**If you’re feeling extra adventurous: Cut up and add your favorite low carb and keto chocolate to the trail mix! Check out our article on our favorite keto friendly chocolate options on the market!
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Best Nuts for Keto Diet
We are NUTTY for Macadamia Nuts, specifically the Kirkland Macadamia Nuts. They seem to have the best ratio of saltiness to nut with the perfect amount of dry roast.
This brand of macadamia nuts is sourced from tropical locales all around the world, one of which is Australia, which is in our opinion is where the best-tasting macadamia nuts are grown.
Macadamia nuts are the highest calorie nuts out there and have tons of fat making the macadamia keto friendly, and one of the best nuts for keto.
Per 1/4 cup (28g), there is an astounding 24g of fat and 2g net carbs which is hard to beat! This is really great for the keto diet and allows you to hit your fat macros easily, especially if you’re struggling to eat fat in other forms.
Do note that you can definitely overdo it very quickly, so I would monitor your intake closely. But please indulge! We have a couple servings of these a day on average and these are our absolute favorite / best keto snacks.
Pro-Tip: Since there is so much nutrition packed into macadamia nuts, they are great for traveling! These have saved us on some long flights where we didn’t have access to very keto-friendly food.
We love the Eden Organic Spicy Pumpkin Seeds. They come in convenient little portable packs that you can take anywhere. Eden Organic Pumpkin Seeds all have zero net carbs, while other brands generally range from 1-2g net carb per 1/4 cup.
This is extremely important to note! For example, another popular brand of potential pumpkin seeds keto options, Go Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds, actually has a net carb count of 3g per 1/4 cup serving. To be fair, that’s still decent but it can easily add up!
Like macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds have a great amount of fat, this brand comes in at 16g per serving!
Also, their Spicy Pumpkin Seed flavor adds a really nice kick with some cayenne pepper and tamari soy sauce (definitely our favorite flavor!).
#3 Raw Walnuts
Walnuts have such a distinct taste and are one of the lowest net carb nuts available. I’m sure some people eat walnuts plain but one of the main reasons they are on the best nuts for keto diet list is because we love to add these to our salads, adding both a crunch (missing croutons?!) and a lot of fattiness.
Our favorite keto hack is adding walnuts to a nice caesar salad in lieu of croutons. The flavors complement perfectly and it helps keep you full for a long time.
Again, not all brands are created equal. However, the Nut Cravings Raw Walnuts brand has ZERO net carbs per 1/4 cup, so snack away!
I’ll start by saying that you’re not going to see candied pecans here. Sorry! We like raw or salted pecans the best.
We find that pecans go very well with sweetness (hence the candied pecans statement). So, we highly recommend adding some of the low carb berries we listed above to the pecans and make a trail/nut mix.
The sweetness just complements the unique flavor of the pecan so well and being from Texas, we just had to rep these native keto nuts of ours.
We found a bulk brand on Amazon that sells Texas-grown halved pecan keto options that come in at only 1g net carb per 1/4 cup with 21g of fat!
#5 Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are relatively exotic and we’ve seen them in a lot of organic and natural trail mixes. We find the flavor of these nuts to be pretty neutral, so they can definitely be bolstered by adding some low carb berries.
The stats here are good as well, with the Nut Cravings brand of Brazil Nuts having only 1g net carb per 1/4 cup with 19g of fat.
A quick note on brazil nuts: Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium. However, it is such a good source that you can overdo it and have too much selenium in your diet, which can lead to various health side effects. Basically, enjoy Brazil nuts in moderation!
Almonds are the most common nut that we run into in the states, so there’s not much we can say about almonds that you don’t already know.
They are extremely flavorful and come in at only 2g net carbs per 1/4 cup (16g fat). Almonds also characteristically do not have a lot of saturated fat, so you don’t get as much of that fatty taste of other nuts on this list.
The Blue Diamond Lightly Salted Almonds variety has a great roasted crunch with the perfect amount of salt.
Peanuts are one of those nuts that people can binge on so it gives them a bad rep in the low carb keto world. However, if you have good self-control they are low enough to be one of our keto nuts and can be enjoyed in moderation.
The Peanut Shop Handcooked Virginia Peanuts have only 4g net carbs per 1/4 cup and 13g of fat.
Note: Most canned peanuts add sugar, so beware!
Pro-Tip: You can limit the number of peanuts you eat by buying the variety with the shell still on.
You don’t have to be a baseball player to enjoy sunflower seeds. They are actually extremely versatile and tasty and the Woodstock Sunflower Seeds keto option comes in at only 2g net carbs per 1/4 cup (15g fat).
Again, like the peanuts above, you can limit the amount you eat by keeping it in the shell, like the classic David Sunflower Seeds.
Sonja & Thanh: foodies at heart, globetrotters and avid discoverers of keto, low carb and organic products. Based out of Austin, Texas, we scour the world for food options that fit our healthy, active lifestyles.Learn more