On the ketogenic diet the goal is to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. What about alms, are they keto-friendly?
Almond is the name used for both a species of tree and the seeds inside the fruit that grows on the tree. Botanically they are not considered part of the nuts category, in terms of nutrients and culinary use you can consider almonds as nuts.
The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in almonds is around 9.5 grams per 100 grams.
Most people can eat at least around 23 almonds (which is one ounce or 28 grams) on keto. This amount of almonds contains 2.7 grams of net carbs. Depending on your personal situation you may be able to eat more or fewer almonds on keto.
While it depends on the rest of your diet, for most people almonds are low-carb and keto-friendly in small amounts.
Even if you eat them in keto-friendly portions you may want to exercise some portion control with almonds anyway for reasons like fiber intake, calorie intake, and protein intake. Being in ketosis is no guarantee for goals like losing weight. There are also nuts alternatives that are more helpful for staying in ketosis.
When is a food keto-friendly
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into ketosis, a state where it starts mainly burning fat as a fuel (1). This comes down to more or less getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.
For most people this comes down to eating around 20g – 50g of carbohydrates a day.
In reality, this number is different depending on a lot of factors. For example, people who exercise a lot may be able to consume more carbohydrates before getting kicked out of ketosis.
That being said that daily amount can be a good general guideline.
It is also common to exclude fiber from this amount since it doesn’t get absorbed into your body the same way as regular carbohydrates.
Carbs in almonds
100 grams of almonds contains the following amounts of carbs (2):
- Total carbs: 21.7 grams
- Of which fiber: 12.2 grams
- Net carbs: 9.5 grams
Combined with the other foods in your diet the 9.5 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of almonds can certainly be enough to kick you out of ketosis.
One ounce of almonds is about 28 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:
- Total carbs: 6.1 grams
- Of which fiber: 3.4 grams
- Net carbs: 2.7 grams
The number of net carbs in 1 ounce of almonds, 2.7 grams, is slightly easier to fit into a keto diet. Whether or not almonds are keto for you ultimately depends on how many almonds you have in mind, your individual situation, and the rest of your diet.
Other nutrients in almonds
Other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still matter on the ketogenic diet.
100 grams of almonds contains the following nutrients (2):
- Calories: 575
- Protein: 21.2 grams
- Carbs: 21.7 grams
- Part of the carbs that is fiber: 12.2 grams
- Fat: 49.4 grams
- Vitamin E: 131% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Manganese: 114% of the DV
- Magnesium: 67% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 60% of the DV
- Copper: 50% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.
Even though they are slightly higher in net carbs, almonds do contain a nice amount of valuable nutrients per 100 grams compared to many other foods.
Alternatives for almonds on keto
Almonds are not the only option when you want to eat nuts on the ketogenic diet. In fact, almonds are relatively high in net carbs compared to other nuts.
- Pecans: 4.4 grams of net carbs
- Brazil nuts: 4.8 grams of net carbs
- Macadamia nuts: 5.6 grams of net carbs
- Walnuts: 7 grams of net carbs
- Hazelnuts: 7 grams of net carbs
- Peanuts: 7.6 grams of net carbs
If you have trouble staying in ketosis it may be smart to choose some of these substitutes over almonds.
How to avoid eating too many almonds
By now it is clear that to be able to fit almonds in your keto diet, you will have to exercise some portion control. Having a bag of almonds near you and hoping that you don’t eat too many is not the ideal way to do this.
You can avoid eating too many almonds with some of the following tips:
- Plan ahead, how many almonds will you eat?
- Put the planned amount in a bowl and leave the rest of the almonds out of sight
- Don’t eat during other activities like watching TV
- Consider not buying them if you can’t control yourself
If you notice you get out of ketosis you may need to reduce the number of almonds you eat.
What is your goal with keto?
Even in some cases, a small number of almonds added to certain daily diets can potentially put you just over the net carbs border, out of ketosis. Depending on the goal you have with keto this may or may not be a problem.
If your goal is to stay strictly in ketosis 24/7 you want to be careful about your carbohydrate intake. Even though they are low in carbs, nuts can still kick you out of ketosis.
If your goal is to lose weight and become healthier, almonds can be a good food option even if they potentially put you at a carbohydrate level slightly above your ketosis level. That being said, if losing weight is your goal, keep in mind that almonds contain a relatively high amount of calories.