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 below the nuts are the percent of digestible carbohydrates, i.e net carbs. This means that a hundred grams of nuts (3½ ounces or about three handfuls) will contain this many net carbs.1

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.


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

More (including snacks)


Worse choices


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.

Top 7 low-carb nuts

Top 7 low-carb nuts

Here’s our list of the top 7 low-carb nuts, ranked by the amount of carbs.

  1. Pecan nuts – 100 g (3½ ounces or about three handfuls) contains 4 grams of net carbs.
  2. Brazil nuts – 100 g contains 4 grams of net carbs.
  3. Macadamia – 100 g contains 5 grams of net carbs.
  4. Peanuts – 100 g contains 7 grams of net carbs.
  5. Hazel nuts – 100 g contains 7 grams of net carbs.
  6. Walnuts – 100 g contains 7 grams of net carbs.
  7. Almonds – 100 g contains 10 grams of net carbs. Almonds can also be ground into almond flour. Its neutral flavor makes it a good substitute for high-carb flours, and it’s used in many low-carb recipes for bread or even pizza.
Return to the top of the low-carb nuts guide


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Meal plans

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


More low-carb snacks and desserts



A low-carb diet for beginners
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14-day low-carb diet meal plan
  1. Net carbs means that fiber is not counted.

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  1. 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.
  2. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Karen!
    Peanuts could be used as occasional snacks, but I would not recommend to use it as a base ingredient in your diet.
  3. Dominic Greco
    What sweeteners are ok On the LCHF DIET?
    Reply: #80
  4. 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.
    Reply: #56
  5. Nadine
    I am a vegetarian and would like to sign up for the trial but would want the 14 day meal plan to be vegetarian. Can you please let me know if this is possible and if keto eating for weight loss for a vegetarian can be successful? Thank you!
  6. Not Tom G
    So many uneducated people on here that can barely read, if you people go buy the serving of 100 grams and take the total carbs minus dietary fiber, this graphic is spot on. Also most people Tom think of peanuts as nut and NOT legumes hence them being in this graphic, if not so many people would be asking about peanuts. You and most the people on here are not very clever, in fact the opposite.
    Replies: #65, #85
  7. Luna bS
    Love the graphic and details, thank you dear Dr Diet Doctor Team! As I am happily munching on my 6th or 7th brazil nut, I have a pragmatic question, when you say "A good option is to just bring out a small bowl of nuts, not the entire bag."

    How MANY grams is "a small bowl of nuts" that we should be allowing ourselves to consider one snack on the strict low-carb diet?

    Thanks in advance!

  8. Paula
    Hello! Would like to start this but don't have time to go through recipes to work out the basic ingredients & foods to have in the pantry. Do you have a basic shopping list available?
    Reply: #60
  9. Joan Muscat

    I LOVE THIS SITE! Thank you. My question is why don't restaurants have 'Low Carb Options' list on menus? We are all obsessed with diet, lifestyles, weight etc so why not make it easier for us to eat out? Going on holiday can be a real problem because you might have a bad day but that should not be compounded by not being able to eat out right the next day. The recipes here are VERY easy and great tasting so surely chefs could make lists similar to these? A few cafes are popping up but not restaurants. Places you go at night.

    Apart from starting my own restaurant - which i couldn't do - any suggestions on how we how could get this important NEED out there? It is a need because food and socialising are primary needs.

    Thanks again

  10. Michelle W.
    Look at the meals, i found it a great help as the recipe for the entree and sides are there. There also might be a weekly or monthly type plan that would provide much more info. I stay away from that since I may not like or have access to all the ingredients. But its worth investigating! This is my favorite website so far!
  11. Rebecca
    I notice a bit of concern over Brazil nuts and selenium. Is there any research about selenium poisoning from Brazil nuts? 2 a day seems pretty paltry, and not very helpful if you want a 100g snack.
    Reply: #75
  12. Ajay
    Can I use Soya flour for low carb diet.?
    Can I eat Mango?
  13. Michael
    Some sources show that almonds are actually lower in carbs than peanuts. The other day I went to the shop and checked and peanuts had 12g whereas almonds 9g, and blanched almonds 6g!!! So what to believe??? Note: this was in Sainsbury's (UK) and the peanuts and almonds were from the Sainsbury's brand.
  14. 1 comment removed
  15. Barry Dean
    @Not Tom G.... Hey buddy! You're kind of a pompous ass! These people are not dietary experts hence their participation in this discussion. How about you have a Coke and a smile and take your all knowing, all seeing ass somewhere else.
    Reply: #71
  16. Mike
    Peanuts here have 17g of Carbs.. 2,5 times higher than what is listed.. so what to believe? the nutrition facts or the site data?
    Reply: #67
  17. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Mike!

    We use Net carbs ( Total carbs - Fiber).

    Peanuts here have 17g of Carbs.. 2,5 times higher than what is listed.. so what to believe? the nutrition facts or the site data?

  18. Me
    Great site - thank you. As for all the people spreading hate, just stop it now. If hou don't believe in this stuff just go elsewhere.
  19. Danielle
    Does nitrates effect ketosis?

    I like Parma ham/pepperoni and bacon however they also have nitrates. Previously when I followed the Atkins it suggested you could stall if you eat too much.

  20. Wayne
    In regards to Almonds, they have a GI index of 0, how does that play into your carbohydrate intake since they are not effecting blood sugar?


  21. Ray Biondolino
    Fantastic response! Made my day :)
  22. Nadine
    Wow, what a great site, thank you, thank you. I got lost in it, clicking from link to link to link, then I forget what I was originally looking for; not a complaint, just amusing.
    My daughter turned me onto this and I am eternally grateful. Great articles, recipes, pictures, data, etc.
    I love that fact that I don't crave sweets in the evening any more (I used to eat a bowl or 2 of ice cream almost every night!) Pecans and macadamia nuts are my new tasty snacks.
    I have only been eating like this for 3 days and plan on weighing myself weekly. Hopefully in a year I will be down 50 pounds.
    Again, thank you and bless you!!
    PS I'm going to start the 2 week challenge next Tuesday, YAY!!!
  23. Jesse Richard
    Does sodium have any effect on the keto diet? I've noticed that a lot of store-bought nuts are salted and/or high in sodium.
  24. Susan
    be careful with brazil nut intake; 2/day recommended.
    pecans have excellent benefits without the danger of toxicity; handful a day.
  25. Susan
    see my comment and link from today about brazil nuts.
  26. John
    Help! Can someone explain how to add the article on the nuts to my favorites?
    Looked everywhere on this page for an icon or something.
    Thank you everyone!!
  27. Tim
    Why isn't sunflower seeds listed here?

    Are they high in carbs? Per this package is seems to about 6 carb - 3 fiber = 3 net carbs < 1g of sugar?

  28. Bwoowoo
    Is popcorn okay for a lowcarb diet?
    Reply: #79
  29. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor

    No, it's mostly carbs in popcorn.

    Is popcorn okay for a lowcarb diet?

  30. Daryl Jackson
    I prefer splenda some others prefer other sweeteners like xylotol or erythatol. A good thing to do is test your ketones an hour after eating or drinking something with your sweetener in it. One sweetener affects blood glucose in some people and so on. And no, popcorn is out, it is caebage! There is a version using cheese.
    And it may be good with butter!
  31. Mary Sue
    I use stevia . my daughter has lost 63lbs so proud of her!! I am 64 and need to get off 75+ !!! I will try like hell in 2018. Wish me luck and send me advise and help clues if you would like?
    My email is fairborn22@yahoo.com
  32. Mark Clement
    What about NA beer? I am very interested.
  33. Gab
    Nadine, did you get an answer? I am vegetarian too. Thanks! Gab

    I am a vegetarian and would like to sign up for the trial but would want the 14 day meal plan to be vegetarian. Can you please let me know if this is possible and if keto eating for weight loss for a vegetarian can be successful? Thank you!

    Reply: #84
  34. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Gab!

    The 14 day meal plan is not vegetarian. But you can sign up as member. We have vegetarian meal plans for members. First month is free. And there's no obligation to continue with a second month. :)

    Nadine, did you get an answer? I am vegetarian too. Thanks! Gab

    I am a vegetarian and would like to sign up for the trial but would want the 14 day meal plan to be vegetarian. Can you please let me know if this is possible and if keto eating for weight loss for a vegetarian can be successful? Thank you!

  35. Shay
    Wow you are an ass ?
  36. Shelia
    What about the sweetner Allulose? I read it is a natural sweetner found in figs, raisins and other natural foods and that it does not negatively impact blood glucose. Can it be utilized for a low carb diet. Also, what about flax seeds, and chia seeds on low carb diet?
  37. Irene
    Is peanut butter ok for a snack with celery?
  38. Tina
    Oh my goodness. Cashews and Pistachios - I eat a lot of them. Pistachios expecially because it takes time to peel and eat them. I usually have 25 mid afternoon! Radical rethink needed.
  39. june scheufler
    is there a book with all this info in it. i would rather sit and read and have all the recipes handy rather than try to find it all spread out in a lot of different places.
  40. Jill
    Appreciate your work. This is the best site on ketogenic/low carb that I have seen so far.
    Looking for information on seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax seed) and hemp kernels.
  41. Tanya
    Been on Keto a month now to help with blood pressure, blood sugar and weight loss. Just went back for my follow up and Ive lost 10 pounds!!! I credit it to this site and the recipes, the motivation, the easy to print shopping lists. Thank you for being here!
  42. Gil
    Hi , thank you for the great site ! It is amazing and has everything one could think of! Great job.

    One question regarding nuts and seeds , when does it make a difference if they are roasted ? Or should only be consumed in their natural form ?


  43. Anna
    Hello, thank you for a great website. A question please - is buckwheat allowable, given (I think) it is a seed and not wheat? Thanks in advance.
  44. Marc
    I cant eat egg and the majority of the breakfast options are egg or have egg in them :(
  45. Susan Gensheimer
    What about sunflower seeds?are they allowed?
  46. Manar
    What about sunflower seeds?
  47. Candis
    Sunflower seeds are not nuts, they are a seed. Very healthy I eat these on Keto, along with pumpkin seeds.
  48. Janice Whitaker
    I'm clear on everything except dairy items. Cottage Cheese, WF Milk, sour cream, ricotta, greek yogurt plain, cheeses, etc. (I do understand about the butter)
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