Ketogenic Nuts Ranking
If you google “healthiest nuts” you’ll get 1,000 different lists. There is no single correct answer. Having said that, I still have my opinion and, therefore, have determined my own nut ranking that best applies to those who, like myself, are living a ketogenic/low-carb high-fat lifestyle.
To create this list, I determined the three criteria I thought should be the most relevant to nut nuts on a ketogenic diet: (1) macronutrient composition, (2) Omega-6 (Ω6) content, and (3) phytate content. I then standardized the eight most popular keto nuts to a 200kcal serving, which I felt was fairer than standardizing to a 1 ounce serving, and divided them into four tiers.
- The importance of macronutrient composition is obvious. More fat and lower carb is better.
- I chose to look at Ω6 levels, rather than Ω3:Ω6 ratio, because nuts are generally low in Ω3. This means that your nut intake is going to determine your overall Ω3:Ω6 ratio mostly by its contribution to Ω6, whereas fatty fish and flaxseeds will contribute to your daily dose of Ω3.
- Phytic acid is important because it’s an anti-nutrient found in nuts (as well as grains, legumes, and cacao) that binds to minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium and prevents their absorption in the gut. Therefore, if you’re keto and eat lots of nuts, particularly those high in phytic acid, you could develop mineral deficiencies. For many people, this may not be an issue, but it’s relevant to keep in mind. I myself have experienced anemia and gut issues from eating large volumes of pecans, along with cacao in my coffee. One trick you can use to decrease the phytic acid content of nuts is to soak them for 12-24 hours.