Nuts are very healthy and make a perfect quick snack, a handful of nuts fills the hunger gap until dinnertime!
Most Healthy Nuts To Eat
The most healthy nuts to eat are listed below, all with carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls. These contain carbs at the lower end of the scale so you can eat more of these:
Brazil nuts – 4 carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls
Macadamia nuts – 5 carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls
Pecan nuts – 5 carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls
Macadamia nuts – 5 carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls
Walnuts – 7 carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls
Nuts with a higher carb content are below so definitely exercise portion control:
Pine nuts – 9 carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls
Almond nuts – 10 carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls
Pistachio nuts – 19 carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls
Cashew nuts – 27 carbs per 100g or 3 ½ ounces or 3 handfuls
Health Benefits of Nuts With Lower Carbs
I adore the taste of Macadamia nuts, I actually prefer the salted ones though as opposed to the unsalted. They have a wonderful, smooth, melt in the mouth taste and are extremely moreish. I can never stop at one, one becomes two, becomes, three, etc and pretty soon there are no Macadamia nuts left (a sad moment).
Because I can never stop at one or a few nuts I tend to limit myself to a dozen at one shop, that way I can appreciate the taste but not gorge myself and my wallet is better for it. Dieticians actually suggest eating no more than 25g or 1 ounce of nuts per day.
The health benefits of Macadamia nuts are many – although they are high in fat, the vast majority of that fat (78% to 86%) is monounsaturated which helps lower cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart disease and a stroke.
Macadamia nuts are one of the rare foods that contain palmitoleic acid which increases fat metabolism which reduces your body’s fat storing ability.
Lastly Macadamia nuts contain flavonoids which our bodies turn into antioxidants, the antioxidants then hunt and kill free radicals in our system, left unchecked free radicals can cause heart disease and other illnesses.
MEMORY MOMENT – Before starting Keto my favourite item at Subway were their White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies, they are now sadly a fond memory.
Another favourite nut I enjoy eating are Brazil nuts. I only buy a small bag of these as they are extremely filling and you cannot eat too many nor should you. Sods Law says that in every bag I eat I will find an off tasting nut that will make me wrinkle my nose in distaste.
Brazil nuts contain selenium, the body uses selenium to prevent cell damage that may help prevent lung, colorectal, prostate and liver cancers. Just one Brazil nut a day provides your daily selenium requirement which is good for your health and your purse.
Eating just one Brazil nut a day is good for prostate health (men only).
Pecans are my partner’s favourites and are another wonderful source, they nearly have the same fat content as macadamias and they are contain magnesium. Magnesium is good for the health of your bones, reduces inflammation and supports your immune system.
Walnuts are wonderful too, they contain lots of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) which reduces inflammation and the risk of diabetes, heart disease, etc. .
Health Benefits of Nuts With Higher Carbs
Almonds are not one of my favourites already shelled, I find them quite hard texture wise. If I had a bag of nuts at Christmas though and cracked the nuts open myself the almonds would be a lot softer in texture. They contain a lot of magnesium though which is good for strong, healthy bones, stabilizing blood pressure, controlling blood sugars which in turn prevents heart disease.
Pistachio nuts are also healthy containing fats, fibre and protein. I commonly see bags of unshelled pistachio nuts for sale and although I adore the taste I don’t have the patience or strong enough fingernails to crack such small shells open. Again sods laws means there are always a certain amount that I just can’t prise open!
Health Warning: Not All Nuts Are Actually Nuts
Peanuts are not actually classified as nuts, they are classified as legumes so should not be consumed on the Keto diet.
Peanuts grow in the ground so are classed in the same ways as vegetables on the keto diet, see below:
Vegetables grown above ground contain fewer carbs and you can eat as much of these as you choose (5 carbs per 100gm or 3 ½ ounces).
Vegetables grown below ground contain more carbs and you need to limit the amount you consume.
Nuts Are Good For You In Small, Daily Doses
You can obviously eat a small portion of nuts as a snack, add a small amount to salads, try adding walnuts with pumpkin and chicken to make a delicious salad. Sprinkle chopped nuts over any dish.
The most healthy nuts to eat are unfortunately normally the most expensive, in my local supermarket the cashiers advise shoppers how much their bag of Macadamia nuts actually costs and many shoppers leave their bag of nuts behind!
The flip side of the coin though is that you do not need to eat many nuts to feel full and to get the health benefits.
Don’t forget you get various nut butters such as Macadamia, Almond and Cashew as well as various nut milks, almond being the most popular. Other nut milks are cashew and hazelnut. As with any other food or drink always read the nutritional labels!
Very domesticated people (not me!) make their own nut milks and butters, there are various recipes online so find one to suit your taste and modify it to fit your palate.
Having said the above though an awful lot of people on the keto diet will not give up their peanut butter and there are various recipes for peanut butter fat bombs, etc!
MEMORY MOMENT – When I was a child in England all those years ago we only had nuts (almonds, brazils, hazelnuts and walnuts) at Christmas, how times have changed! Nowadays it is rare to find bags of nuts still in their shells and nutcrackers are even rarer.
What nuts bring back memories for you? Do you recommend a particular nut butter or nut milk? Do you have any favourite recipes you are willing to share?