3 simple steps to lose weight as fast as possible. Read now

Nuts for keto

The 13 best nuts and seeds for keto

Though many nuts and seeds fit a ketogenic diet, some varieties are lower in carbs than others. Here are the 13 best nuts and seeds for your keto lifestyle.

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
We look at both sides of the argument and strive to be objective, unbiased, and honest.
The 13 best nuts and seeds for keto
Last updated on July 16, 2023, and last reviewed by an expert on July 12, 2022.

Figuring out which foods are suitable for a very low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet can be tricky.

The 13 best nuts and seeds for keto

Many nuts and seeds are low in net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) and high in healthy fats, making them a perfect fit.

They’re also full of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Still, some varieties are lower in carbs than others.

What is your main goal?

Struggling with keto? Get a personalized meal plan. Take our quiz and get a custom keto plan and shopping list tailored to your needs.

🔥 Lose weight 💪 Gain muscles 🥗 Eat healthy 🍱 Explore new cuisines
Powered by DietGenie

Here are the 13 best nuts and seeds to fit your keto lifestyle.

1. Pecans

Pecans are tree nuts with an excellent nutrient profile for keto. One ounce (28 grams) of pecans provides:

They’re a high-fat, keto-friendly nut that may help reduce levels of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that can cause your body to store fat, so it’s ideal to keep insulin levels low when trying to lose weight.

A 1-month study in 26 adults found that those who ate around 1.5 ounces (43 grams) of pecans per day experienced reductions in insulin levels and improvements in insulin sensitivity, compared to the control group.

Pecans can be enjoyed on a keto diet as a snack or crushed and used as a crunchy, low-carb crust for fish or chicken.

2. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are a type of tree nut grown in South America. One ounce (28 grams) of Brazil nuts contains:

They’re also an excellent source of selenium, a trace mineral that is needed for various bodily functions, including reproduction and protein synthesis.

Some research suggests that people following a keto diet may be at an increased risk of selenium deficiency.

One single Brazil nut provides more than 100% of your daily needs for selenium, making it an ideal way to get enough of this vital mineral in your diet.

Nonetheless, due to their exceptionally high selenium content, it’s best to limit your intake to one to three Brazil nuts a day to avoid consuming too much of this mineral, which may have negative health effects.

3. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are tiny, firm, black or white seeds that are packed with healthy fiber and omega-3 fats. One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds provides:

With about 60% of their fat content consisting of omega-3 fats, they’re an excellent plant-based source of these essential fats that offer powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

9 healthy nuts that are low in carbs
Suggested read: 9 healthy nuts that are low in carbs

A 6-month study of 77 people found that those who consumed about 1 ounce (30 grams) of chia seeds for every 1,000 calories eaten daily experienced greater reductions in the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) compared to a control group.

The same study showed that those who consumed chia seeds daily lost more weight and had greater reductions in waist circumference than the control group.

Chia pudding is a popular low-carb dish made by soaking chia seeds in liquid for several hours until they take on a jelly-like texture. You can also add chia seeds to smoothies or protein shakes or use them in a keto cracker recipe to add crunch.

4. Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are tree nuts native to Australia. They’re very high in fat, making them perfect for the keto diet. One ounce (28 grams) of macadamia nuts contains:

Several studies link macadamia nuts to improved cholesterol levels.

For instance, a 4-week study of 17 men found that those who consumed 15% of their calorie intake from macadamia nuts experienced a 5.3% reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and an 8% increase in heart-protective HDL (good) cholesterol.

Macadamia nuts are a perfect high-fat snack. You can also buy keto-friendly macadamia nut milk, butter, and flour to replace higher-carb versions of these foods.

5. Flax seeds

Flax seeds are full of fiber and omega-3 fats. One ounce (28 grams) of flax seeds provides:

These tiny seeds have been studied for their potential beneficial effects on blood pressure and heart health.

Suggested read: The top 9 nuts to eat for better health

In a 6-month study of more than 100 people, those with high blood pressure who ate about 1 ounce (30 grams) of flaxseed meal daily experienced significant reductions in total blood pressure levels, compared to a control group.

Flax seeds can be bought whole or as a ground meal, both of which can be added to keto-friendly baked goods, soups, smoothies, and protein shakes. Flax milk is also available as a low-carb milk alternative.

6. Walnuts

Walnuts are a popular type of tree nut grown and eaten worldwide. One ounce (28 grams) of walnuts contains:

They’re a high-fat, keto-friendly nut that may benefit heart health by reducing heart disease risk factors, such as high LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure.

A 6-month study in 100 people showed that those on a low-calorie diet who ate 15% of their calories as walnuts had lower levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as greater reductions in blood pressure, than those on a standard low-calorie diet.

Walnuts can be enjoyed as a satisfying snack or as an ingredient in keto-friendly, low-carb desserts like brownies or fudge. They also make an excellent addition to salads.

7. Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. They’re an excellent source of plant-based protein and healthy fats. One ounce (28 grams) of hemp seeds provides:

Some research indicates that the unique proteins in hemp seeds may help reduce blood pressure.

What’s more, they’re high in linoleic acid, a type of fat that has been shown to potentially protect against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases in animal studies.

Hemp seeds can be used in a variety of keto-friendly recipes, as a substitute for oatmeal or grits, as a crunchy salad topping, or mixed into smoothies and protein shakes.

8. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are tree nuts with a smooth, buttery texture that makes them well-suited for desserts. One ounce (28 grams) of hazelnuts contains:

Suggested read: 8 incredible health benefits of nuts

They’re also an excellent source of vitamin E, with a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving providing 28% of the reference daily intake.

Vitamin E has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, as it acts as an antioxidant by neutralizing harmful free radical compounds, potentially reducing heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol.

In a 4-week study in 48 adults with high cholesterol levels, consuming about 1 ounce (30 grams) of hazelnuts daily reduced total cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and vitamin E levels.

Their taste and texture make hazelnuts a perfect pairing for chocolate. Try combining hazelnuts with high-quality dark chocolate for a low-carb dessert. You can also use hazelnut flour as a keto-friendly flour alternative.

9. Peanuts

Peanuts are technically a legume, which means they’re more closely related to beans and lentils than other nuts on this list. However, they’re one of the most widely available nuts and a great choice for keto dieters.

One ounce (28 grams) of peanuts contains:

They’re an excellent source of plant-based protein and packed with essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein that you must obtain through your diet.

Peanuts are particularly high in leucine, an essential branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) known for promoting muscle growth.

Peanuts and peanut butter can be enjoyed as an easy snack or an addition to smoothies, protein shakes, or keto desserts. They can also be used in savory Asian-style sauces like satay sauce and add crunch to dishes like stir-fries.

It may be best for your health to select unsalted peanuts and natural peanut butter without added sugar.

10. Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are a popular ingredient used around the world, most notably as a topping for baked goods like hamburger buns. They’re low in carbs and high in fat, making them a good choice for ketogenic diets.

One ounce (28 grams) of sesame seeds contains:

They’re also packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants called lignans.

Several studies associate sesame seeds with decreased inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of conditions, such as heart disease and certain cancers.

Sesame seeds can be enjoyed as a crunchy topping for stir-fries and salads, or as an ingredient in keto crackers and bread. Tahini, a spread made from ground sesame seeds, is also a tasty, keto-friendly option.

11. Pine nuts

Pine nuts are tree nuts that are best known as an ingredient in pesto, an Italian sauce made with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and basil.

Suggested read: 10 foods high in omega-6

However, they’re extremely versatile and have a unique, earthy flavor that pairs well with many foods. They also happen to be low in carbs and high in fat.

One ounce (28 grams) of pine nuts provides:

They contain a fat called pinolenic acid, which may decrease hunger by regulating hormones that affect appetite, such as cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

One study in 18 overweight women postmenopause found that participants ate 36% less food after taking 3 grams of concentrated pine nut oil with breakfast than when they took a placebo.

While promising, more research in this area is needed.

Pine nuts can be used in many dishes to add an extra level of flavor. Plus, pesto is a naturally keto-friendly sauce for meat or vegetables. These nuts can also be eaten raw or roasted as a snack.

12. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are a popular, high-fat snack that can make an excellent addition to your keto diet. One ounce (28 grams) of shelled sunflower seeds contains:

Some research shows that eating sunflower seeds may benefit health in several ways.

For example, these seeds are high in anti-inflammatory antioxidants, such as vitamin E, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, and have been found to have antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory properties in animal studies.

Sunflower seeds are mostly eaten by themselves as a snack but also make a great salad topping. In addition, you can buy sunflower seed butter at most grocery stores.

As with peanuts, it’s best to opt for unsalted varieties.

13. Almonds

Almonds and related products like almond butter, milk, or flour are versatile keto diet staples.

One ounce (28 grams) of almonds contains:

Like other tree nuts, almonds have been linked to a variety of health benefits due to their nutrition profile.

In addition to their high concentration of protein, healthy fats, and fiber, almonds are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants like proanthocyanidins.

Some research shows that eating almonds may decrease your risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Almonds can be enjoyed raw or roasted as a keto-friendly snack. You can also buy or make keto-friendly almond milk or butter. In addition, almond flour is a widely used flour alternative.


Nuts and seeds are filling, versatile foods that are popular with people following low-carb, high-fat eating patterns like the ketogenic diet.

They add flavor, variety, and crunch to keto-friendly meals and snacks. Both nuts and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

They can be eaten alone as quick and easy snacks or added to salads, shakes, desserts, and many other recipes. Some nuts and seeds can also be processed into keto-friendly milk, spreads, and flours.

The 13 nuts and seeds outlined above can be tasty, health-boosting additions to your keto lifestyle.

Share this article: Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter / X Email

More articles you might like

People who are reading “The 13 best nuts and seeds for keto” also love these articles:


Browse all articles