When starting a ketogenic diet, people often struggle with snacking. This is because when you think about snacking, your mind most likely goes to things like chips, cookies, and snack cakes, which of course are all terrible options when you’re trying to eat low-carb. For some reason, nuts are often overlooked and I’m baffled by that fact because if you choose from some of the best keto nuts, they can literally be the perfect snack food.
Why You Should Eat Keto Friendly Nuts
There’s a reason nuts are considered to be a superfood. While the weight-loss aspect is great, there are a lot of other benefits that can be gained simply by snacking. The nuts we’re going to be talking about here all have a few things in common. They’re all high in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. They’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals that our bodies crave.
In addition to the nutrients, there are health benefits that come from nuts as well. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, nut consumption can lead to decreased health risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. Even more impressive, a study performed at the University of Cambridge showed a link between consuming tree nuts and decreasing the risk for colon cancer.
It’s easy to see why nuts make a great snacking choice for someone on a keto diet. Not only do they taste great, but they promote overall health right now, but long-term as well. With that said, it’s important to understand that not all nuts are created equal. While most of them will give you the fat this diet needs, there are some that are just too high in carbs and calories.
What Are The Best Keto Nuts?
Almonds are a great keto snack. Not only do they give you that all important crunch, but they are one of the richest sources of vitamin E that you can find. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a single ounce of almonds provides more than a third of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin E.
Feel like your dragging in the middle of the day? Almonds can help with that too. The manganese and riboflavin actually help your body produce more energy. If that’s not enough for you, the potassium contained within the nut can help replenish the electrolytes you might not be getting.
Okay, these may not exactly fall into the nut category, but seeds are actually closely related so I’m throwing this in here. What makes pumpkin seeds so attractive to keto dieters is the extremely low amount of carbohydrates they contain. Each ounce is only a single carb so you can snack on quite a few of them. Pumpkin seeds also contain approximately 8g of protein per ounce, making them the highest protein snack on the list. Surprisingly, it can be difficult to find pumpkin seeds in some stores but Bob’s Red Mill offers 24-ounce packages at a reasonable price.
Next on the list of best keto nuts is the macadamia. This nut is one of the rare food sources omega-7 fatty acids, which is great for helping you keep your cholesterol and blood sugar levels in check. They also have a rich flavor, requiring fewer nuts to give you satiety you’re looking for. Mauna Loa is considered to be the best Macadamias on the market.
I debated whether or not to include pistachios on this list as they are higher in their carb count, coming in at 4 to 5 carbs per ounce. Ultimately, these nuts made the list because of their shells. You have to really work on them to get to the delicious nut inside. The action of getting the nut out of the shell has proven to make you eat slower, allowing your brain to get the satisfaction signals that cause you to eat less. I recommend Kirkland In Shell Pistachios for their flavor and richness. You should pass on pistachios that are already shelled.
Don’t Go TOO Nuts
Not every nut is a good choice for a ketogenic diet. Since the best keto nuts are listed above, I wanted to include which nuts should be avoided. Cashews are the worse nut for a low-carb diet. Once ounce is a whopping seven carbs, which is over a third of the carbs some low-carb dieters strive for in a day.
Peanuts, while not actually a nut, should also be avoided. They don’t provide many health benefits and their small size makes it very easy to overeat them without realizing how many you’ve had. Also, if you’re a fan of peanut butter, be sure to choose natural options with no added sugar. The best types or the ones with nothing but peanuts and salt on the ingredients list.
While it is true that nuts make a make a great snack for keto dieters, you have to pay close attention to your portion sizes, even if you’re eating one of the best keto nuts. Stick with two ounces or less to avoid eating too many carbs and calories.
Need more snacking ideas: Check out the 10 Best Keto Products Available on Amazon
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