Nuts are a favorite snack to consume on the ketogenic diet. They are an excellent source of fats, vitamin E, and minerals such as phosphorus, selenium, and magnesium. However, not all nuts are ideal in the ketogenic diet if not for the high carbohydrates, the anti-nutritional properties, and the origin.
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The best nuts to eat on keto diet
The macadamia nut is the fruit of Macadamia from Australia. Today the main production is located in the Hawaiian Islands, but also in Brazil and California, where the trees from Australia were imported during the late 19th century.
The Macadamia nuts have low carbohydrates and high fat which makes them excellent for the ketogenic diet. These nuts also have a high amount of minerals and antioxidants. In fact, they are rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that are excellent for purifying the toxins to which we are exposed daily.
Furthermore, Macadamia nuts are a valuable source of nutrients for our brains. Minerals such as magnesium, manganese, copper, vitamin B2 of which these nuts are rich, are excellent for brain health and very important in the ketogenic diet.
The Pecans are the result of pecan, a native North American tree, but are also present in southern Italy in some plots.
These nuts have a high-fat content and a low carbohydrate content, therefore they are perfect as a snack, but having a concentration of calories among the highest in the category, moderate consumption is recommended. Like many nuts,it contains vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin E and vitamin B1 (thiamine) just to name a few.
The Pecan nuts also contain oleic acid which helps control cholesterol levels and prevents diseases of the circulatory system and various types of tumors. So these nuts are good for the heart, muscles,and nervous system.
Pili nuts are native to Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea, and North Australia, but are grown predominantly in the Philippines.
These nuts are best for those on the ketogenic diet, having the highest fat content and lowest carbohydrate content of all tree nuts. Being grown in volcanic environments, they have a high content of minerals and nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.
They are rich in anti-oxidants and promote circulatory health and thus help maintain a healthy heart. They help fight insomnia thanks to the essential minerals they are rich in, in particular magnesium.
The Brazil nuts are nuts of Amazonian origin and is the fruit of the Brazil nut. They are native to Brazil but also grow in Peru and Amazonian Bolivia.
These nuts have a high content of healthy fats and are also among the most caloric nuts of all, so it is advisable to consume them in moderation.
They are an abundant source of selenium, an essential mineral for purifying the body from free radicals and heavy metals such as mercury. In addition, selenium helps support the thyroid by helping to convert the hormone T4 (inactive form) into T3 (active form).
The nut is the fruit of the Junglas kind. The two most common species are Juglans regia of Persian origins and Juglans nigra of North American origins. China is the largest producer of walnuts, but the world’s largest exporters are the United States and Turkey.
Several studies have proven that walnuts are fantastic for brain health, especially in Alzheimer’s patients an improvement in cognitive function was noted compared to the control group.
Studies have also shown how they can help prevent certain types of cancers such as colon, prostate and breast cancers.
Lastly, walnuts help support a healthy gut, which is the starting point for overall health.
Nuts to avoid or eat on keto diet
Cashews come from tropical trees in the Anacardiaceae family. They are currently produced in the equatorial areas of Central America.
Cashews are the only nuts I recommend avoiding as they have the highest concentration of carbohydrates and can create digestive problems. In fact, the shell contains urushiol, an oil with toxic and allergic properties. Furthermore, the cashew is technically not a nut fruit, but the seed of the cashew fruit.
Although the flavor of cashews is very good and the fruit contains many minerals there are several nuts with better nutritional values that are preferable to consume.
Peanuts are the fruits of the peanut, a plant of South American origin. They are mainly produced in Africa and Asia, but there are also plots in Europe, in particular Greece, Spain, and Italy.
It is advisable to avoid this type of walnut because of the allergic reactions it could create, but above all because it could contain aflatoxins or mycotoxins produced by some types of fungi and which are among the most carcinogenic substances in existence.
Pistachio is the fruit of the Pistacia tree, which belongs to the Anacardiaceae family. Pistachio has Middle Eastern origins and Iran is considered the world’s largest exporter.
Pistachios have a slightly higher amount of carbohydrates than almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts,etc. However, they can be consumed in moderation and being usually still sold in the shell and since it takes longer to shell them it is also easier to eat a few at a time.
The almonds are a good source of minerals and are probably the most common and consumed nuts.
They have become popular on the ketogenic diet because almond flour is a substitute for common flour in many recipes, especially sweets, desserts and bread, and this makes overeating very easy. In moderation, they shouldn’t cause problems, but it is good to be aware of the number of almonds present in these ketogenic recipes.
In fact, almonds contain phytic acid which is considered an anti-nutrient. This means that it has a contrasting effect on nutrition by reducing the absorption of nutrients and the greater the amount we take in, the lesser the amount of minerals the body will be able to absorb.
Watch Video: Best and worst nuts to eat on keto diet
Nuts are a great snack, source of vitamins and minerals and healthy fats. There are several types of nuts with excellent nutritional properties, such as Pili nuts, Brazilian nuts, and macadamia nuts. As they are little known they are not yet consumed in abundance but are preferable to more common nuts such as cashews and peanuts.