Nuts are known for being high in healthy fats and protein but low in carbs.

While most nuts can easily fit into a low carb eating plan, certain kinds are particularly low in carbs.

For those following stricter low carb diets like the ketogenic diet, sticking to nuts that are lower in carbs may be especially beneficial.

Here are 9 nuts perfect for a low carb diet.

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1. Pecans

Though often associated with sweets, pecans are healthy nuts that provide a host of nutritional benefits.

In fact, pecans are loaded with an array of important nutrients like thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc (1).

They’re also very low in carbs, delivering a little over 1 gram of net carbs per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.

Often referred to as digestible carbs, the term “net carbs” refers to the number of carbs in a food minus the fiber content (2).

Because your body doesn’t easily absorb naturally occurring fiber in whole foods, it can be subtracted from a food’s total carb content to determine the amount of net carbs.

One ounce (28 grams) of pecans contains (1):

  • Total carbs: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 1 gram
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 8%

Pecans are also rich in soluble fiber, a type of dietary fiber that has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and improve other blood markers linked to heart disease, including high cholesterol levels (3, 4).

One study had adults with overweight or obesity consume either a typical American diet that included 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of pecans or a diet matched in calories, fat, and fiber but without pecans.

It found the pecan diet group experienced significantly reduced heart disease risk factors, such as insulin resistance, elevated fasting insulin, and beta cell dysfunction (5).

What’s more, according to a review of 12 studies, diets that include at least 2 ounces (56 grams) of tree nuts — including pecans — per day provide significant reductions in fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C, which is a marker of long-term blood sugar regulation (6).

Summary

Pecans are low carb nuts that may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce certain risk factors for heart disease.

2. Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are highly nutritious and make a great addition to low carb meal plans.

They’re an excellent source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese (7).

One ounce (28 grams) of macadamia nuts contains (7):

  • Total carbs: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 2 grams
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 8%

These buttery-tasting nuts are also rich in monounsaturated fats.

Studies show that foods high in monounsaturated fats benefit heart health by regulating cholesterol levels and improving markers of inflammation (8).

One small older study in 17 men with high cholesterol found that eating 1.4–3.2 ounces (40–90 grams) of macadamia nuts per day significantly reduced several markers of inflammation and oxidative stress (9).

Following a diet high in flavonoid-rich foods, such as macadamia nuts, may also reduce your risk of heart disease, cognitive decline, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer (10, 11).

Summary

Macadamia nuts are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Including these low carb nuts in your diet may boost heart health and reduce inflammation.

Brazil nuts are large, low carb nuts that are loaded with important nutrients.

They’re also one of the best natural sources of selenium available. In fact, just one Brazil nut delivers over 100% of the recommended Daily Value (12).

Additionally, they’re high in fiber and low in carbs.

One ounce (28 grams) of Brazil nuts contains (12):

  • Total carbs: 3 grams
  • Net carbs: 1 gram
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 8%

Selenium is a mineral involved in many critical bodily functions, including metabolism, reproduction, DNA production, and immune health.

It’s also essential for thyroid function and acts as a potent antioxidant, protecting your cells against free radical damage (13).

Studies have shown that eating Brazil nuts reduces multiple markers of inflammation and improves cholesterol levels (14, 15).

Because Brazil nuts are extremely high in selenium, it’s recommended that adults keep their intake to under 4 nuts per day to avoid surpassing the upper limit of 400 mcg (16).

Summary

Brazil nuts are low in carbs and considered one of the best natural sources of selenium, a mineral that’s essential for health.

4. Walnuts

Walnuts are not only low in carbs but also loaded with nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, antioxidants, and fiber (17).

One ounce (28 grams) of walnuts contains (17):

  • Total carbs: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 2 grams
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 8%

Eating walnuts on a regular basis has been shown to improve heart health, reduce cancer risk, promote brain function, and even support weight loss, in large part due to their polyphenol content (18).

For example, a 12-month study in 293 people found that those who received dietary counseling and ate approximately 1 ounce (30 grams) of walnuts per day achieved significantly greater weight loss than those who received dietary counseling alone (19).

Walnuts are also high in healthy fats, including a plant-based source of essential omega-3 fats called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Diets high in ALA-rich foods may be linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke (20, 21).

Additionally, walnuts have been shown to improve blood sugar management among people with type 2 diabetes (22).

Summary

Walnuts are low in carbs and rich in heart-healthy fats. Adding walnuts to your diet may promote weight loss, protect against heart disease, and improve blood sugar management.

5. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are rich in heart-healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, manganese, and vitamin K (23).

They’re also low in net carbs and can be easily incorporated into a low carb diet.

One ounce (28 grams) of hazelnuts contains (23):

  • Total carbs: 5 grams
  • Net carbs: 2 grams
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 10%

Hazelnuts also contain numerous antioxidants, which help fight inflammation in your body (24).

Additionally, these nuts are high in L-arginine, an amino acid that’s a precursor to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that promotes heart health by relaxing your blood vessels, improving blood flow, and lowering blood pressure (25).

Hazelnuts are also rich in fiber and monounsaturated fats, both of which are beneficial for heart health.

Studies show that diets rich in hazelnuts help protect against heart disease by reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing cholesterol levels (26).

Summary

Hazelnuts are an excellent source of antioxidants and contain heart-healthy nutrients like L-arginine, fiber, and unsaturated fats.

Sourced from the cones of pine trees, pine nuts have a distinct flavor and buttery texture due to their high oil content.

They’re an excellent source of nutrients and particularly high in vitamins E and K, magnesium, zinc, copper, and phosphorus (27).

One ounce (28 grams) of pine nuts contains (27):

  • Total carbs: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 3 grams
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 8%

Like many other nuts, pine nuts have been shown to benefit heart health by regulating cholesterol levels and preventing the buildup of plaque in blood vessels (28).

What’s more, people who consume tree nuts, including pine nuts, on a regular basis are more likely to maintain a healthy body weight compared with those who don’t eat tree nuts regularly (29).

Plus, frequent tree nut consumption has been linked to improved insulin resistance, reduced blood pressure and inflammation, and increased levels of HDL “good” cholesterol (30).

Try adding pine nuts to homemade trail mixes, sprinkling them on salads, toasting them, or eating them raw for a simple snack.

Summary

Pine nuts are packed with nutrients and may help support heart health and weight management.

7. Peanuts

Though peanuts are technically legumes, they’re commonly considered nuts and often enjoyed the same way.

Peanuts contain a wide array of nutrients, including folate, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.

They’re also an excellent source of plant-based protein, delivering 7 grams in a single serving (31).

One ounce (28 grams) of peanuts contains (31):

  • Total carbs: 6 grams
  • Net carbs: 4 grams
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 14%

Peanuts are rich in antioxidants, including resveratrol, an antioxidant compound that has been shown to protect against heart disease, certain cancers, and cognitive decline (32).

Studies have shown that eating peanuts may benefit weight management and lower heart disease risk factors (33).

Since they’re high in protein and have a pleasant, mild taste, peanuts make an excellent and filling ingredient that can be paired with various healthy foods.

Summary

Peanuts are high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eating peanuts may benefit heart health and promote weight management.

8. Almonds

Almonds are low carb nuts that pack a powerful nutritional punch.

They’re an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin, copper, phosphorus, and manganese (34).

One ounce (28 grams) of almonds contains (34):

  • Total carbs: 6 grams
  • Net carbs: 3 grams
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 15%

They are also high in protein, delivering 6 grams per serving.

Research has shown that a diet rich in almonds promotes weight management by reducing hunger and curbing your desire to eat (35, 36).

Whole almonds pair well with a variety of foods and are a convenient option for snacking on the go.

Additionally, almonds can be used to make other low carb ingredients.

For example, almond flour is a popular substitute for traditional all-purpose flour and can be used to create lower carb versions of recipes like pancakes, muffins, and crackers.

Summary

Almonds are a good source of protein and several other important nutrients. Studies show that eating almonds could decrease appetite and support weight loss.

In addition to whole nuts, nut butters are naturally low in carbs and can be a delicious option for those following low carb meal plans (37, 38).

Almond butter, for example, is a versatile and nutritious ingredient made by grinding almonds into a paste.

One tablespoon (16 grams) of almond butter contains (37):

  • Total carbs: 3 grams
  • Net carbs: 1 gram
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 12%

Natural peanut butter is another option that works well on a low carb diet.

One tablespoon (16 grams) of peanut butter contains (38):

  • Total carbs: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 3 grams
  • Percent of calories from carbs: 15%

Natural nut butters without added ingredients like sugar provide the same nutritional benefits as whole nuts but can be used in different ways, including as a low carb spread for fruits and crackers.

Nut butters can also be added to low carb smoothies to provide a boost of protein and heart-healthy fats.

Summary

Nut butter is a convenient, nutritious, low carb ingredient that can be added to a variety of tasty recipes.

Nuts are highly nutritious and low in carbs.

They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and powerful plant compounds that can benefit your health in several ways.

Adding more nuts to your low carb meal plan can enhance your heart health, promote weight management, and keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Plus, they’re delicious, versatile ingredients that make a great addition to almost any meal or snack.