Low Carb

Low-Carb Nuts – the Best and the Worst

What are the best and the worst nuts to eat on a low-carb diet? Check out this guide, the lower-carb options are to the left.


 

Low-Carb Nuts

The numbers are the percent of digestible carbohydrates, i.e net carbs (fibre is not counted).

This means that a hundred grams of nuts (3.5 ounces or about three handfuls) – will contain this number of grams of carbs.

The best and the worst

The three best options are to the left – Brazil, macadamia and pecan nuts – and can be eaten freely even on a strict low-carb diet. This is because they are so full of healthy fats and so satisfying that it’s pretty much impossible to eat too many carbs this way.

The group in the middle can be enjoyed in moderation by most people on low carb.

The worst options are to the right, pistachio and (especially) cashew nuts. Be very careful with these nuts if you’re trying to lose weight or reverse your diabetes, as the carb grams will quickly add up. Just two handfuls of cashews contain 20 grams, the daily allowance on a strict low-carb diet.

Salt and reward

Most people find that nuts taste better and get more rewarding when they are salted. Be aware that this can often result in eating far more nuts than you need to stop your hunger, something that can slow down weight loss. A good option is to just bring out a small bowl of nuts, not the entire bag.

Recipes

Here are our most popular low-carb recipes featuring nuts.

More (including snacks)

 


 

Worse choices

chips

Of course all nuts are still better than most other snack options – like potato chips or candy. All nuts (even cashews) are much lower in carbs than these.

 


 

Similar guides

Meal plans

Get lots of weekly low-carb meal plans, complete with shopping lists and everything, with our premium meal planner tool (free trial).


Low Carb in 60 seconds

 

More low-carb snacks and desserts

 
 

How Low Carb is Low Carb?

Learn more


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Improve this page

Do you have any suggestion – big or small – to improve this page? Anything that you’d like added or changed?
 
Comment below or e-mail us at andreas@dietdoctor.com.

53 Comments

  1. Sean K
    Thank you, Andreas.

    I am a General Practitioner (Family doctor) with lots of insulin resistant patients.

    Your visual guide (nuts, vegetables etc) will make it so much easier to teach people how to eat low carb.

  2. Alistair
    I love this, but would also like a version of this with a scale bar along the bottom. Right now it's not as visually obvious as it could be how far pistachios and cashews are compared to the others.
    Reply: #3
  3. Good point. I rearranged them slightly, will keep thinking about some other version with the true scale.
  4. Eva Galova
    Thank you for the visual aid. I am in strict low carb and pretty much well educated about this, thanks to your website, but the visual aids are VERY helpful for my husband, who is still not sure what and how this works. Thank you!
  5. Marcelle
    Smaller page please
  6. Donna Smith
    Thank you Dr Eenfeldt for the fab visual aid, just wondering where pumpkin and sunflower seeds (unsalted of course) fall into this carb chart?
  7. Meritxell
    What about a printable pdf document?
    And what about a searcher for all kind of foods?
    I mean just a little window where I can write the name of one food and then apperas automatically its carbs per 100 grams.
    That could be very useful for my phone too!
  8. Dominique Melville
    Hi
    I've just started this LCHF diet and am trying to come to terms with the carb content of foods.
    How do I determine the carb content.
    Not all contents are presented the same way.
    Some give the carb content only. Some give the carb and sugar and fibre content. Do I subtract the fibre from the total carb content or does the carb content not include the fibre? Some talk about Total carb content but this is very rarely presented in the packaging.
    Please help. The packet of almonds I have says the carb content is 3% (3g/100g). However your guide suggests they have more than this. It's very confusing.
    Please help.
  9. Kitty Gumm
    Thank you for the guide. I really thought my favorite, pecans, was higher than cashews. Good to know!! This has been an eating plan that I've had no trouble sticking with. I've lost over 13 pounds in about 2 months without feeling deprived. Thank you for the easy to follow guides.
  10. Marcus Conyers
    Andreas, Great graphics! I have enjoyed living the LCHF plan I created for a few months and it helped me cut LDL and Triglycerides in half while boosting my HDL to 69. It is great to be" living the revolution." I plan to share the science and strategies for this approach in an upcoming book.
    Marcus Conyers, Author, Positively Smarter: Science and Strategies for Increasing Happiness, Achievement and Well-being.
  11. a. hollingsworth
    I would like to know if almond milk would be acceptable in moderation while doing LCHF.
    'Blue Diamond' unsweetened vanilla almond milk only has 2g of carbs per one cup.
    I was looking at a smoothie recipe here on the site and saw the use of coconut milk/cream and was wondering could I use almond milk occasionally for a low carb smoothie.
    Reply: #19
  12. Leanne
    Just be careful on how many Brazil nuts you eat each day to avoid selenium poisoning
  13. Martin aus Schweden
    You should make theese into a mini pampflet to distribute. Or at least make them in a printable format. I know, I can cut and paste etc. myself. But your job is to make things easy, right? :)
  14. Chris
    Thank you so much. But yes, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds (unsalted) or barely? Thanks!!
  15. UK
    2 weeks ago I had insatiable hunger and was always snacking on crisps, crackers, milk chocolate. Now my treat is 2 brazil nuts and a square of dark chocloate and I'm genuinely satisfied. It's amazing!
  16. Jamie
    Hi, I've been doing a lot of research on LCHF for awhile now. I love your site, wished I came across it a few months ago.

    Not sure why I only lost 6 lbs. in a few months.

  17. J
    Amazing information, great site.
    Keep up the great work!
  18. Susan F
    Just found your site and it is very helpful. As I read, I feel both good and frustrated. Good being that I realize I am doing things correctly. Frustrated that I am doing things right and not losing weight. I feel healthier but my muscles and joints seem to be hurting more. I have added tumeric, collagen protein and some bone broth (not much, I don't love it) to my diet. Not sure what to change. I did Atkins years ago and gained weight. Gonna see my doctor next week.
  19. Maxine Gelinas
    Hi, did you ever get an answer regarding the unsweetened almond milk? Thank you
  20. Paul-Erik Hansen
    What about the content of fat/oils in nuts, and omega 3 / 6.... are all nuts about the same, or some better in that respect, ie. if you want to eat to lower colesterol etc....
  21. Younus
    Amazing information, Great site.
    Keep up the Good work!
  22. Gary
    I ate lots of nuts all the time especially cashew and never knew it's so high in carbs also almond and peanut
    No wonder why my blood sugar was so high. Thanks
  23. robmay
    Just to mention brazil nuts have selenium in them. About 1/2 brazil nut to 1 brazil nut a day is 100% of the selenium that you need. Too much selenium is toxic and makes your hair fall out as in eating too many brazil nuts every day. It happened to me. Hair still falls out for quite a while after you stop overeating them.
  24. caroline
    Im just worried about eating too much omega 6. 3 walnuts is daily max for omega 6!
  25. Ramesh Govindaraj
    Dear Dr.Andreas,

    God Bless you and your Team. To be precise and short you have hit the bull eye.

    Amazed at the wisdom your team has got to collate this much information, evidence and with such understanding to break every myth that DM's blinds us.

    Appreciate putting all that one needs in one site, so comprehensive with such clarity.

    Above all you infuse confidence in those dejected by giving it free.

  26. Judith
    Another piece of information that may help is cashews are full of starch that converts to blood sugars faster than say, fructose carbs that become blood lipids. A lot of this is in the biochemistry rather than just the "carb count" as such.
  27. anony
    Andreas, consider scrutinizing these carb numbers.

    With nuts, there's a huge elephant in the room. I've asked around and no one has an answer. Namely the fact that carb counts on the package vary wildly for the same kind of nut, even though they taste the same.

    For peanuts, 7% carbs is the lowest figure I've ever seen. Usually I count peanuts as 25%!

    For almonds, it's the same story. Some brands list them at 25g net carb / 100g almonds. A certain brand (forgot which) lists them as 3g net carb / 100g almonds! It almost seems like they're allowed to pull these numbers out of thin air.

    I'm sure you know that carbs are rarely directly tested for, only calculated. People typically don't give a shit about carbs, so it's feasible the producers could fudge the math to reduce the proportion of "calories from fat" or to reduce total calories, depending on what they think will sell.

    I've tried to go around averaging over several brands, but I did an amateur's job of it. Regardless I've come to believe that peanuts are pretty bad. I simplify my life by having two classes of nuts: assume 25g for all peanuts, cashews and pistachios, and assume 10g for all the other nuts out there. Who really knows if a Brazil nut has more or less carbs than an almond anyway, with the wild inconsistencies out there?

  28. Chris Johnson
    How do you come up with 27g of carbs for cashews? In all the nutrition information I've found, cashews have 9g of carbs. Thanks.
    Replies: #29, #34
  29. Hi Chris!

    Do you have an example (link) ?

    I think it's the correct data for 100 grams of cashews.

  30. Chris Johnson
    Hi Peter,

    I was looking at the 1 ounce nutrition information.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Chris

  31. Drew Ryder
    I have diabetes and I do not eat meat or fish. I eat very few eggs (I do not like the texture) and stay away from dairy products too ( I find them mucous forming even though I love cheese!).

    Tofu is a no no for me for several reasons including the same as for eggs above.

    What do you suggest I use to up my protein intake - I love lentils but as I eat them virtually everyday maybe this is why I am struggling with maintaining my blood sugar levels at safe amount.

    I do not eat rice, pasta and only consume bread in small amounts a couple of times per week.

    I eat mainly, vegetables, nuts, lentils, garbanzos, some fruit, oats occasionaly and use almond or coconut milk with my oats

    Reply: #32
  32. Jay
    Try this link for a list of 27 Vegetables highest in Protein:
    https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/vegetables-high-in-protei...
  33. jason
    in the first line after nuts you say...."All the numbers are the percent of digestible carbohydrates, i.e net carbs (fibre is not counted)." wrong. fiber is counted in net carbs.

    brazil nuts have 4.29 total carbs and 1.69 net carbs

    plus its not a percent.... its total grams

    Reply: #35
  34. Bahn
    I'm guessing you're doing what some Amercians do and count 9g per ounce (28g), so roughly a third.... but the previous poster was referring to 27g per 100g (27%).... also roughly a third. You're all quoting the same facts, but just using different languages: stick to percentages (or "per 100g") to keep it simple.
    Nothing winds me up more than manufacturers that quote things "per serving"... and then literally on the other side of the pack in tiny letters it says that a "serving" is half a square of chocolate or two Pringles.... so my idea of a "serving" is 20x more than theirs'... grrr...
  35. Bahn
    Regarding your percent vs total grams comment: that's the beauty of quoting things in grams per 100 grams.... it is percent....

    "A hundred grams of nuts (3.5 ounces or about three handfuls) – will contain that number of grams of carbs."

  36. Martin
    Are these figures right? There seem to be many different versions of carbs/100 grams out there. How have come to conclude these numbers? Also I'm missing pumkin seed and sunflower seed.
  37. Stine
    I am an administrator for the Danish lchf site on Facebook. I am having some trouble with this graphic.
    We refer to the website Frida.fooddata.dk for nutritional information. The site is made by the Danish technical university and I value the data as very good. But both this graphic and the one about vegetables is very different from their numbers. What is your source?
  38. somayeh
    hi im somi from Iran
    i drink light English black tea 3glass in one day and i very small 2 sugar cube with per tea class
    in Iran all people eat sugar cube with tea
    it is soooooooo hard for me that omit sugar cube
    and now what can i do for LOW-CARB diet??
    can i eat just 50gr sugar cube for 1 week?
    Reply: #41
  39. Charlene
    I do like the visual of how they rank but am wondering if you also have a table or chart that ranks additional vegetables. Also, is there a similar ranking order for seeds?
  40. 1 comment removed
  41. Lissa
    You can use Stevia instead! It's sweet like sugar but it's a natural plant ground up! You'll luv it! I never use sugar anymore
  42. Bart
    You list peanuts as 7g carbs. However, when I google carbs in peanuts for peanuts I get either 5-6g or 16g (per 100g). I've also bought 2 different brands of salted roasted peanuts. One has it 6g carbs per 100g ... the other has it has 16g per 100g. Do you know why there is such a difference? Am I missing something really obvious? Thanks.
  43. Sonja Stendera
    You list pecans with 4 grmas of carbs, but they have 9 g/100g. All your values are different from all the sources I know, how come?
    Reply: #45
  44. Katrien
    Thanks for this helpful site :). I was wondering whether you can treat seeds carb-wise like nuts? Is tofu ok to eat?
  45. Hi Sonja!

    We count "Net carbs" (Net carbs = Total carbs - fiber)

    You list pecans with 4 grmas of carbs, but they have 9 g/100g. All your values are different from all the sources I know, how come?

  46. Nwakaego Oputa
    Thanks for this wonderful info,but we here in Nigeria need more lessons on keto living. Haven't made up my mind how to get started yet,need your guidance.
    Reply: #47
  47. Nnenna Ukandu
    Hi nwakaego, i am also nigerian and i have been luving the Keto lifestyle since October. We have a group on Facebook called Ketogenic Lifestyle. You can join us and learn how to do Keto the Nigerian way as our food is way different. Since i joined the group I've lost the weight but most importantly, i feel so healthy and energized
  48. SANDRA COLBY
    ARE TURNIPS LOW IN CARBS, MY HUSBAND LOVES THEM
    Reply: #49
  49. Hi Sandra!

    They are acceptable low in carbs. But don't forget to add other commodities that are rich in fat....

    Why not try this...
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/turnip-gratin

    ARE TURNIPS LOW IN CARBS, MY HUSBAND LOVES THEM

  50. JustFred
    Back to the nuts in the blog. It's not all about being the lowest carbs/100g. It's about the nutrients and types of fats too, and of course Omega 3 and Omega 6. Walnuts are a far better choice than they appear to be in that pictorial.
  51. Karen Brooks
    But peanuts are legumes and aren't thry5 starchy? I don't eat legumes since starting LCHF initially based on Mark Sisson's primal lifestyle bit now much more base on your guidance.
  52. Hi Karen!
    Peanuts could be used as occasional snacks, but I would not recommend to use it as a base ingredient in your diet.
  53. Dominic Greco
    What sweeteners are ok On the LCHF DIET?
  54. Tom G
    When you start listing legumes as nuts and don't cite your sources of information, you can healthily start questioning this graphic's legitimacy. Some of the data is waaay off most global public data on foodstuffs.

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