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Are Macadamia Nuts Keto-Friendly? (& Alternatives)

On the ketogenic diet the goal is to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. What about macadamia nuts, are they keto-friendly?

Macadamia nuts are a popular nut, that is round and yellow-ish when peeled. Besides on their own as a snack, macadamia nuts are also consumed as macadamia oil, butter, milk, and ingredient in baked goods.

The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in macadamia nuts is around 5.6 grams per 100 grams. This comes down to about 40 macadamia nuts.

Most people can eat at least around 20 macadamia nuts (which is 1.7 ounces or 50 grams) on keto. This amount of macadamia nuts contains 2.8 grams of net carbs. Depending on your personal situation you may be able to eat more or fewer macadamia nuts on keto.

While it depends on the rest of your diet, for most people macadamia nuts are very keto-friendly.

You may however want to exercise some portion control with macadamia nuts anyway for reasons like fiber intake, calorie intake, and protein intake. Being in ketosis is no guarantee for goals like losing weight.

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 macadamia nuts

100 grams of macadamia nuts contains the following amounts of carbs (2):

  • Total carbs: 14.2 grams
  • Of which fiber: 8.6 grams
  • Net carbs: 5.6 grams

While possible depending on the other foods in your diet, it is not that likely that the 5.6 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of macadamia nuts are enough to kick you out of ketosis.

One ounce of macadamia nuts is about 28 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 1.6 grams

In short, macadamia nuts can be a great option if you’re looking for keto-friendly foods. Whether or not macadamia nuts are keto for you ultimately depends on your individual situation and the rest of your diet.

Other nutrients in macadamia nuts

Other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still matter on the ketogenic diet.

100 grams of macadamia nuts contains the following nutrients (2):

  • Calories: 718
  • Protein: 7.9 grams
  • Carbs: 14.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8.6 grams
  • Fat: 75.8 grams
  • Manganese: 207% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Thiamin: 80% of the DV
  • Copper: 38% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 33% of the DV
  • Iron: 20% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Besides being low in net carbs, macadamia nuts can also provide you with great amounts of valuable nutrients. A great combination for a ketogenic diet.

Alternatives for macadamia nuts on keto

Macadamia nuts are not the only option when you want to eat nuts on the ketogenic diet. While macadamia nuts relatively high on our list of low-carb nuts, there are other nuts that are also keto-friendly.

Some of the following nuts may be good alternatives to macadamia nuts on the keto diet. These are the net carb values per 100 grams (3, 4, 5, 6, 7):

  • Pecans: 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
  • Almonds: 9.5 grams of net carbs

If you don’t like macadamia nuts for whatever reason but still want to eat nuts on a ketogenic diet, you can choose some of these alternatives to macadamia nuts.

How to avoid eating too many macadamia nuts

While in reasonable portions macadamia nuts can fit in your keto diet, some people may have to exercise some portion control for calorie, protein, or fiber intake anyway. Having a big bowl of macadamia nuts 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 macadamia nuts with some of the following tips:

  • Plan ahead, how many macadamia nuts will you eat?
  • Put the planned amount in a bowl and leave the rest of the macadamia nuts 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 are not losing or gaining weight even if you are in ketosis it is possible that you need to reduce the number of macadamia nuts you eat.

What is your goal with keto?

Even in some cases, a small number of macadamia nuts 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, macadamia nuts 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 macadamia nuts contain a relatively high amount of calories.