The BEST Keto nuts and seeds you can eat are the ones with the lowest amount of carbs. However, not all nuts and seeds are created equal when it comes to their carb counts. So, today I'll be breaking down the best ones you can snack on if you're following the keto diet, and a few you might want to avoid!
The Top 15 Best Nuts and Seeds to Eat on Keto – and the 3 Worst
Nuts and seeds are a nutritious and delicious addition to the keto diet!
They’re loaded with healthy fats and make a great snack or ingredient in keto desserts. I have a ton of delicious keto recipes featuring nuts and seeds.
But did you know that they aren’t all low carb?
I’ve compiled a list of the best, low carb nuts and seeds that are delicious and keto-friendly alongside some surprisingly high carb ones that you may want to eat in moderation.
1. Pili Nuts
Though you may not have heard of them, pili nuts are actually one of the most low carb and nutritious nuts out there!
Something to love about pili nuts is that they have a light and buttery flavor similar to higher carb nuts like cashews, making this superfood a guilt-free and protein-packed keto substitute.
Try them roasted, blend them into nut butter, or incorporate them in your favorite keto desserts!
Most people know this delicious nut as the star of the beloved dessert, pecan pie.
But did you know that pecans are also incredibly low in carbs and a great addition to any keto diet?
Also, besides being low carb, pecans also have the highest amount of antioxidants compared to other tree nuts.
By the way, these low carb keto nuts are the perfect topping to my keto banana bread.
3. Macadamia Nuts
Rich, buttery, creamy macadamia nuts covered in chocolate are a favorite souvenir from Hawaii.
But even without the chocolate, these nuts are delicious.
If you love the decadent taste of the macadamia nut, you’ll be happy to know that they’re also one of the best low carb keto nuts you can eat.
Pro-tip, coat these in a tiny bit of baking spray and add a little garlic salt and onion powder to them. They'll literally taste like a low carb Cool Ranch Dorito.
You might recognize the sweet taste of hazelnuts from the popular spread, Nutella.
They’re extremely low carb and are a great option for keto. I mean, each 28-gram serving has less than 2 net carbs!
These low carb nuts are full of healthy omega-3 fats, and those fats are good for your brain, eyes, and heart.
Walnuts are also high in magnesium, so they're good for your bones too.
By the way, if almond flour isn't "your thing" try using walnut flour in its place.
You can substitute them for one another on a 1:1 basis in most recipes.
6. Flax seeds
Flax seeds are not only great for keto, but they're also great for your gut health! Mostly since they're LOADED with fiber.
And since they're so high in fiber, they can help keep you regular too.
That said, to get the full benefits of these seeds you'll want to make sure you eat the "ground up".
Otherwise, you're body won't be able to utilize all of the nutrients from them!
Pro-tip, replace a ½ tablespoon of almond flour with a ½ tablespoon of ground flax seeds, for an added boost of nutrition in any keto recipe.
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds make a fantastic addition to any low carb keto recipe. They have excellent texture and make a great thickener for many keto snacks and desserts.
They also are also packed full of fiber, nutrients, and minerals. And since they have so much fiber, they're great for your gut health just like flax seeds are.
Personally, I love using these chia seeds to make low carb jam with.
They’re a great, low carb option and make keto recipes taste fantastic!
However, a handful - or two - of almonds also makes an amazing on-the-go keto snack idea.
So check those out, if you haven't yet.
If you’ve been following my recipes for a while, you know that peanut butter is one of my absolute favorite recipe ingredients.
Plus, peanuts also have anti-inflammatory properties, and they're loaded with vitamin E.
10. Poppy Seeds
You probably already know poppy seeds as the deliciously crunchy seeds found in bagels and muffins.
Another reason to eat more poppy seeds? They’re nutritious, low carb, and keto-friendly!
They're also high in fiber and good for sleep and anxiety.
So give that a shot, if you're trying to sneak some poppy seeds into your day!
11. Pine Nuts
Pine nuts may not get as much attention as other tree nuts, but these low carb nuts are actually a great keto option!
These keto-friendly nuts are a great, low carb addition to salads. Try it with this avocado chicken salad, one of my favorites during the summer!
Also, there are many health benefits to pine nuts.
They're rich in vitamin k, a good source of fiber, and heart-healthy too!
12. Pumpkin Seeds
There are so many fantastic ways to eat pumpkin seeds.
You can have them roasted, mixed with other low carb nuts and seeds, or added to all sorts of keto recipes.
At just 2.8 grams of net carbs per serving, these deliciously crunchy seeds would be a great addition to your keto diet!
Plus, they're rich in fiber, and heart-healthy too!
13. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are a versatile, low carb nut that can be eaten raw, roasted, or ground.
They're rich in selenium so these nuts are great for your heart, immune system, and thyroid.
Brazil nuts are also anti-inflammatory too!
14. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds have such a unique and delicious flavor.
Sesame oil, especially this one, plays an irreplaceable role in some of my favorite savory keto recipes.
Also, sesame seeds are full of fiber, good for your bones, and they have anti-inflammatory properties too.
Plus, they're good for digestion too.
So don't hesitate to incorporate these low carb seeds into your keto diet!
15. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds have a great nutty flavor and crunchy texture that makes them excellent for adding to keto baked goods.
They're also an amazing low carb keto snack idea if you get them in the shells because they take so long to eat.
Plus, they're a good source of fiber, they're rich in iron, and vitamin E.
Also, a lot of people don't know you can substitute sunflower seed flour for almond flour on a 1:1 basis in most keto recipes.
Worst Nuts For Keto
If you’re on keto and love pistachios, you don’t have to worry about avoiding them completely.
But, pistachios are definitely a nut you'll want to eat in moderation.
That said, they are higher in carbs than many of the more keto-friendly nuts out there, so keep an eye on your daily carb intake limit if you indulge in them.
At 8 net carbs per serving, just a few handfuls of cashews can already fill your carb limit.
So, you may want to think about avoiding cashews completely.
If you find a recipe calling for cashew, there are lots of great substitutes on the list above like pili nuts, pine nuts, and walnuts!
Unlike some of the other nuts on this list, chestnuts are definitely a nut you’ll want to avoid.
Just one serving of roasted chestnuts has 13 grams of net carbs!
And that carb count really makes them off-limits if you're doing the keto diet.
So my advice is to just avoid these altogether.