Have you ever noticed that a walnut looks just like a brain? That could be why they have a healthy reputation as brain food.
Plus, nuts are known to provide healthy fats. But what about the carbohydrates in walnuts? Are walnuts low-carb and as healthy as their image? You’ll find out all that in this article.
Table of Contents:
- Are Walnuts Keto?
- Carbs in Walnuts
Are Walnuts Keto?
Walnuts are one of the most versatile whole foods available. They can be eaten alone, added to a salad, vegetable dish, shake, or dessert.
Botanically, they are the seeds of the walnut tree. Although there are countless varieties, only two accounts for most of the world’s walnut production: English and black walnuts.
While the English walnut originated in Iran, the black walnut is native to the United States.
Walnuts are less expensive than the parade nut of the ketogenic diet: macadamia. Does this make walnuts less suitable for low-carb diets?
Carbs in Walnuts
Whether walnuts are an ideal match for keto determines their net carbohydrate content.
How Many Net Carbs Are in Walnuts?
100 grams of walnuts provide the following average nutritional values (*):
- Energy: 654 calories
- Protein: 15.2 grams
- Fat: 65.2 grams
- Carbs: 13.7 grams
- Dietary fiber: 6.7 grams
- Net carbs: 7.0 grams
Compared to macadamia, which has only 5.6 grams of net carbohydrates (*), the walnut provides an insignificantly worse result.
Fatty acids also clearly predominate in walnuts. In addition, the nut has more than twice as much protein as net carbohydrates.
Their fat-to-net carbohydrate ratio of 9.3 make ketogenic hearts beat faster.
Are Walnuts Keto-Friendly?
Therefore, walnuts are a high-fat, low-carbohydrate food with moderate protein content. The description of ketogenic food could not be better. Walnuts are great for the keto diet.
How Healthy Are Walnuts?
In addition to healthy fats, walnuts also score high in micronutrients. Their variety of vitamins and minerals is sensational. Among them, the following stand out (*):
- Vitamin B6
- Folic acid
This unique parade of minerals, however, comes with a caveat. Walnuts are seeds. Therefore, they contain the antinutrient phytic acid.
Since phytic acid can insolubly bind minerals in the digestive tract, it limits their absorption (Gibson et al. 2010).
The healthiest foods in the world remain animal foods, which are incredibly rich in micronutrients without antinutrients, most notably liver.
The bottom line is that walnuts still deserve to be called health food. In a purely plant-based diet, they are almost mandatory.
Almonds vs. Walnuts on Keto
- Fat: 49.4/65.2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 21.7/13.7 grams
- Dietary fiber: 12.2/6.7 grams
- Net carbs: 9.5/7.0 grams
Comparing the nutritional values of almonds and walnuts gives a 1:3. I have underlined the better result in each case.
The walnut wins because its fat-to-net carbohydrate ratio is better.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.01/9.1 grams.
- Omega-6 fatty acids: 12.1/38.1 grams
- Monounsaturated fats: 30.9/8.9 grams
- Saturated fatty acids: 3.7/6.1 grams
In the fat comparison, we get a tie. Although walnuts are better overall for the keto diet, you can also enjoy almonds in moderation.
Alternating the two foods makes sense, as the almond complements the walnut excellently in vitamins and minerals.
The minor disadvantage of the almond is that it contains a lot of oxalates. This antinutrient can cause kidney stones, for example. In addition, the almond has an even higher concentration of phytic acid than the walnut.
The Bottom Line
In summary, walnuts are a perfect keto snack created by nature. They are high in healthy fats, low in carbohydrates, and moderate in protein.
Walnuts are white a remarkable range of micronutrients and are suitable for keto and other low-carb diets.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are walnuts OK for low carb?
Walnuts are suitable for low-carb diets.
How many walnuts can I eat on keto?
You must eat at least 10 ounces of walnuts to be kicked out of ketosis.
Can I eat walnuts during keto?
Walnuts are suitable for ketogenic diets.
Do walnuts have carbs?
Walnuts have carbs, but they have nine times as much fat.
Gibson RS, Bailey KB, Gibbs M, Ferguson EL. A review of phytate, iron, zinc, and calcium concentrations in plant-based complementary foods used in low-income countries and implications for bioavailability. Food Nutr Bull. 2010 Jun;31(2 Suppl):S134-46. doi: 10.1177/15648265100312S206. Review. PubMed PMID: 20715598.
Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.
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