Dietitians have weighed in on reasons why nuts could be the perfect
low-carb snack. There’s a reason Regina George didn’t ask if nuts were a carb.
Until the recent rise of low-carb-everything, no one worried about the carb content in
these 10 healthy nuts. The keto craze has made people take a closer look at the
carbs in practically every food on the planet – as such we’ve gained valuable
insights into the do’s and don’t of carb-conscious eating. And here’s what we
found on different nuts with amazing health benefits for your low-carb diet.
“Nuts are a great
snack because they are packed with heart-healthy polyunsaturated and
monounsaturated fats, which help lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol,” says New York
City-based dietitian Jill Keene. They’re also packed with the fill-you-up duo
of protein and fibre, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to feel satisfied after
That fibre also means that
most nuts have pretty few “net carbs” (grams of total carbs minus grams of
fibre), so you can snack on all sorts of nuts without worrying about the carb
load. Fun fact: according to ADSA, healthy nuts in your diet are good for
you’re carb-conscious or just curious about the stats of your favourite mid-afternoon
snack, here’s the lowdown on the 10 healthy low-carb nuts you can
eat. Easily found at your nearest greengrocer.
ignore these the next time you are at your local greengrocer or health store.
Super low-carb Brazil nuts deserve a starring role in any healthy diet.
the richest dietary source of the mineral selenium, an antioxidant that plays
an important role in protecting against cell damage, immune health, and
metabolism,” says Keene. The antioxidant contained in Brazil nuts is good for
boosting the immune system (strong body), preventing cardiovascular diseases
(strong heart) and reducing the risk of certain cancers. Brazil nuts are also
good for your thyroid, which secretes the hormones T3 and T4 that are essential
for the body’s metabolic function.
Per 28g serving (1 ounce): 185 calories, 18.8 g fat (4.5 g
saturated), 3.3 g carbs, 2.1 g fibre, (1.2 g net carbs), 0.7
g sugar, 0.8 mg sodium, 4 g protein
care and remember that everything is better enjoyed in moderation. Too much of
this nutty goodness can lead to some serious health problems, one of which is selenium toxicity. A single Brazil nut contains your daily recommended selenium
intake, so there’s really no need to go overboard.
Read more: Should you refrigerate your peanut butter? Here’s what nutritionists say
pecans are good for more than slim shavings on a delectable slice of
cheesecake. If you’re on a higher fat diet or are looking to incorporate more
high-quality sources of healthy fat, pecans are among the highest-fat nuts.
(They’re also one of the lowest in carbs.)
Per 28g serving: 196 calories, 20.4 g fat (1.8 g saturated), 3.9 g
carbs, 2.7 g fibre, (1.2 g
net carbs) 1.1 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2.6 g protein
can be enjoyed raw, incorporated into baking or crushed into a healthy
smoothie. They are full of many different minerals and nutrients and
antioxidants, promoting bone strength while reducing the risk of degenerative
diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
third-lowest-carb nut in the game, macadamia nuts are a favourite among keto
nuts are the most calorie-rich nuts because of their higher fat content,” says
Keene. Made up of mostly of healthy monounsaturated fats (including a hard-to-find,
brain-boosting fat called palmitoleic acid), macadamias boast a rich, buttery
Per 28g serving, roasted: 203 calories, 21.6 g fat (3.4 g
saturated), 3.6 g carbs, 2.3 g fibre, (1.3 g net carbs),
1.2 g sugar, 100 mg sodium, 2.2 g protein
fact: Peanuts are technically legumes.
Another fun fact: They also happen to be the easiest low-carb snack to find.
The peanut and raisin combo remains a national favourite, second only to
are a decent source of protein as well as heart-protective nutrients folate and
niacin,” says Kimball. (They’re the highest-protein “nut” on this list, FYI.)
Per 28g serving, roasted: 170 calories, 14.9 g fat (2.5 g
saturated), 4.3 g carbs, 2.7 g fibre, (1.6 g net carbs),
1.2 g sugar, 1.7 mg sodium, 8 g protein
Read more: Can you have dairy on keto? Yes – and these are the 6 best options
low-carb option, walnuts are also a great source of plant-based omega-3 fats,
says Molly Kimball, a registered dietitian and
author of The Eat Fit Cookbook. They’re a must if
you don’t eat fish on the reg.
Per 28g serving: 185 calories, 18.5 g fat (1.7 g saturated), 3.9 g
carbs, 1.9 g fiber, (2 g
net carbs), 0.7 g sugar, 0.6 mg sodium, 4.3 g
of the highest-fibre options in the bunch, hazelnuts are still pretty darn low
in carbs – and an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin E. (A serving
supplies nearly 30% of your daily needs.)
Per 28g serving: 176 calories, 17 g fat (1.3 g saturated), 4.7 g
carbs, 2.7 g fibre, (2 g
net carbs) 1.2 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4.2 g protein
are a rich source of the mineral magnesium, which can help relax muscles and
ease cramps (including, yes, period cramps), says dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, a registered
dietician and author of the new The Better Period Food Solution.
Per 28g serving: 167 calories, 14.9 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 5.3 g
carbs, 2.8 g fibre, (2.5 g
net carbs), 1.3 g sugar, 5.4 mg sodium, 6.1 g
not unusual to find Almonds on anything form a breakfast cereal to a tuna
salad, they offer unbeatable taste and are a great source of fibre.
8. Pine nuts
wonder what makes pesto so creamy? Yep, pine nuts. (Okay, the Parmesan works
hard, but these nuts work harder.) These often-overlooked nuts provide iron and
potassium; totally deserve a spot in your healthy low-carb snacking rotation.
Per 28g serving: 190 calories, 19 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 4 g carbs,
1 g fibre, (3 g
net carbs), 1 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g protein
little higher in the carb department than some other nuts, pistachios are still
by no means a high-carb nut.
also packed with potassium, an electrolyte involved in blood pressure
regulation. “A 28 gram serving of pistachio kernels has 282 mg of potassium,
which is about what you’d get in a small banana,” says Kimball.
bonus: Pistachios are higher in protein than most other nuts.
Per 28g serving, roasted: 160 calories, 12.8 g fat (1.6 g
saturated), 7.9 g carbs, 2.9 g fibre, (4.7 g net carbs),
2.2 g sugar, 1.7 mg sodium, 5.9 g protein
peanuts, cashews are technically legumes. And though they contain 7.6 grams of
net carbs per serving (is this why they’re so delicious?), they still totally
fit into a healthy, low-carb lifestyle.
addition to that creamy-good flavour, cashews also provide lots of zinc (more
than any other nut) and iron, says Beckerman.
Per 28g serving: 164 calories, 13.5 g fat (2.4 g saturated), 8.5 g
carbs, 0.9 g fibre, (7.6 g
net carbs), 1.4 g sugar, 3.7 mg sodium, 4.8 g
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za