Nuts are a nutritious food that can help boost your immune system and overall health in many ways. They are of different varieties, including macadamia and peanuts. However, you might find it hard to find which variety fits your keto diet.
A ketogenic or keto diet involves eating foods with very low carb content but loaded with fat. Figuring out the nuts to include in this diet may be a challenge. Many nuts and seeds contain low net carbs, that is, total carbs without fiber, and contain high amounts of healthy fats. They are also rich in antioxidants, proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Unfortunately, some varieties contain lower fibers than others. This article will discuss the best seeds and nuts you can comfortably add to your keto lifestyle.
Peanuts are grouped together with lentils, peas, and beans because they are legumes. Such a closer relationship is not common with other nuts. Peanuts are the most available than other nuts, and many keto dieters find it a great choice. As per the Food Data Central of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) database, 28 g of peanuts provides 164 calories, 7 g of protein, 14 g of fat, 6 g of total carbs, 2 g of fiber, and 4 g of net carbs. Peanuts provide high-quality plant based-proteins and essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. One particular amino acid found in abundance in peanuts is leucine which is a type of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) important for the growth of muscles.
Peanuts are a versatile food you can enjoy as snacks or add to protein shakes, smoothies, or keto desserts. They can also be used for flavoring Asian dishes in various sauces like satay sauce. Going for unsalted peanuts and those without added sugars is a perfect choice for maintaining good health.
Pecans are a perfect suit for keto dieters because they are loaded with beneficial nutrients. Per the USDA database, 28 g of pecans contains 196 calories, 3 g of protein, 20 g of fat, 4 g of total carbs, 3 g of fiber, and 1 g of net carbs. As you can see, pecans are high in fat and low in carbs, making them keto-friendly and effective at reducing insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone released by your pancreas to help convert foods into fat and storing them in the body. You, therefore, need to eat foods that help keep insulin levels low at all times for a significant weight loss. Studies suggest that pecans can help increase insulin sensitivity. You can add pecans to your keto diet by enjoying them as snacks or crushed.
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are either black or white seeds with a firm coat. They contain omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fiber. As per the USDA database, 28 g of chia seeds contains 138 calories, 5 g of protein, 9 g of fat, 12 g of total carbs, 10 g f fiber, and 2 g of net carbs. Only a few plants, like chia seeds provide essential omega-3 fats which are known to help relieve inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of chia seeds are so powerful that they can significantly reduce the markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). Additionally, chia seeds can help reduce weight, fat around the belly, and waist circumference. In your keto diet, you can simply add chia as pudding, which is a soaked version of chia seeds, or add them to protein shakes and smoothies.
4. Brazil Nuts
Native to South America, Brazil nuts are nutritious and a perfect choice for a keto lifestyle. Per the USDA database, 28 g of Brazil nuts provides 185 calories, 4 g of protein, 19 g of fat, 3 g of total fat, 2 g of fiber, and 1 g of net carbs. Brazil nuts are also a great source of selenium, a trace mineral that possesses antioxidant properties and improves reproductive health and the synthesis of protein. Since following a keto diet may compromise your selenium levels, according to studies, adding Brazil nuts can help meet your recommended daily value with just a single nut providing over 100% of daily selenium need. That said, it is best consuming between one and three Brazil nuts a day so as not to overconsume selenium, as this may negatively impact on your health.
5. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are a type of tree nut widely grown in Australia. Their high-fat content makes them a perfect choice for the keto diet. Per the USDA database, 28 g of macadamia nuts provides 204 calories, 2 g of protein, 21 g of fat, 4 g of total carbs, 2 g of fiber, 2 g of net carbs. Several studies speculate that macadamia nuts can improve cholesterol levels. For example, consuming up to 15% of your calorie intake from macadamia nuts can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by up to 5.3% and increase heart-friendly HDL (good) cholesterol levels by up to 8%. You can consume macadamia nut butter, flour, and milk in your keto diet.
6. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are another excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fats and healthy fiber. The database in the USDA states that 28 g of flax seeds contains 131 calories, 6 g of proteins, 9 g of fat, 9 g of total carbs, 8 g of fiber, and 1 g of net carbs. Researchers believe that flax seeds can effectively benefit your heart health and put blood pressure in check. You can buy flax seeds and add them to various keto-healthy foods, such as smoothies, protein shakes, and baked goods.
They are also a good nut alternative for keto dieters. Per the USDA database, 28 g of walnuts provides 185 calories, 4 g of proteins, 18 g of fat, 4 g of total carbs, 2 g of fiber, and 2 g of net carbs. They can benefit your health in various aspects, including heart health and blood pressure.
Keto dieters should consume foods high in healthy fats and low in carbs. Finding foods that can fit their diet, including nuts and seeds, can be a challenge. Many seeds and nuts, such as macadamia nuts and flax seeds, are high in fat and low in net carbs fitting perfectly into the keto diet. You can add them to your diet as pudding or into smoothies.
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