Are Pine Nuts Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Pine nuts can be a good way to add some taste and nutrients to certain dishes. Find out whether or not they are also keto-friendly.

100 grams of dried pine nuts contain around 9.4 grams of net carbs which comes down to total carbohydrates minus carbs from fiber.

Since this is a reasonably high amount of net carbs, you can say that pine nuts are not that keto-friendly.

At the same time, it is worth mentioning that you could likely implement small amounts while staying in ketosis if you are interested in their taste and nutrients.

In any case, there are foods similar to pine nuts but lower in carbs too. You may prefer these options for this and other reasons.

Carbs in pine nuts

How many carbs pine nuts contain plays a big role in whether they are keto-friendly, what amounts would kick you out of ketosis, and how many carbohydrates from other foods you can eat.

100 grams of dried pine nuts contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 13.1 grams
  • Of which fiber: 3.7 grams
  • Net carbs: 9.4 grams

The 9.4 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of pine nuts is likely enough to kick you out of ketosis in combination with the other foods you eat.

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

  • Total carbs: 3.7 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.1 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.6 grams

Eating smaller portions of pine nuts would also make it so you consume fewer carbohydrates. In turn, your chances of staying in ketosis become higher.

At the same time, you may still need to pay attention to the other foods you eat.

Even then, whether you want to spend so much of your “carb budget” on a small amount of pine nuts is another question.

Other nutrition information pine nuts

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the keto diet is only about how many carbohydrates you eat.

Other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still play important roles in things like whether you stay in ketosis and many areas of your health.

100 grams of dried pine nuts contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 673
  • Protein: 13.7 grams
  • Carbs: 13.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 3.7 grams
  • Fat: 68.4 grams
  • Manganese: 440% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K: 67% of the DV
  • Copper: 66% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 63% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 57% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

One thing to keep in mind is that consuming too much of certain nutrients can cause negative effects.

There is a recommended Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for manganese.

The UL means “the highest level of nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in the general population.” (2).

If you are a healthy adult, eating about 100 grams of pine nuts gets you to this Tolerable Upper Intake for manganese (3).

So pine nuts can offer great amounts of valuable nutrients and in turn, offer many benefits if you don’t overdo it with them.

That means you could consider adding small amounts of pine nuts to your keto diet if you are interested in some of the nutrients above but still want to stay in ketosis.

Why pine nuts are sometimes keto-friendly

Pine nuts are somewhat higher in carbs but that does not mean you can never have them on keto. The keto fundamentals can help you understand why this is and help you avoid overdoing it.

The ketogenic diet is basically any way of eating where you get in ketosis. This is a state where you mainly use fat as fuel (4).

Being in ketosis leads to some interesting internal processes that can potentially be helpful. To get into this state you need to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough.

Exactly how few carbohydrates and how many grams you need to consume of other nutrients can vary from person to person.

For example, people who have a lot of muscle mass tend to be able to consume more carbohydrates before getting kicked out of ketosis.

Some rough general keto recommendations include getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

In practice, that means most people will need to eat somewhere around 20g – 50g of carbohydrates (not including fiber) a day to stay in ketosis.

These guidelines are not perfect but they do help you estimate how many grams of pine nuts and other foods you can eat.

Substitutes for pine nuts on keto

Pine nuts may have a somewhat unique texture and taste but they are not the only nuts and seeds out there. There are a few similar foods that are lower in carbs and in turn, more keto-friendly.

The amounts of carbohydrates next to the pine nuts substitutes are the net carb values per 100 grams (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10):

  • Flaxseeds: 1.6 grams of net carbs
  • Pecans: 4.4 grams of net carbs
  • Brazil nuts: 4.8 grams of net carbs
  • Macadamia nuts: 5.6 grams of net carbs
  • Dried chia seeds: 6.1 grams of net carbs
  • Hazelnuts: 7 grams of net carbs

These nuts and seeds are obviously not the perfect replacements for pine nuts in every single way.

However, you may end up really enjoying them as more keto-friendly ingredients in some of the same dishes as pine nuts.

At the same time, you want to keep in mind that it is also still possible to overdo it on keto with these pine nuts substitutes.

How to avoid eating too many pine nuts on keto

By now it should be clear that if you want to eat pine nuts on a ketogenic diet, you will have to implement some portion control.

Just pouring a big bag of pine nuts over your favorite (low-carb) dish and hoping that you don’t eat too many carbs is not an ideal way to do this.

Keep your pine nut consumption within limits with some of these tips:

  • Estimate beforehand how many grams of pine nuts fit into your keto diet
  • Weigh out this amount of pine nuts and leave the rest of the bag somewhere out of sight
  • Don’t start mindlessly snacking pine nuts during other activities like watching a movie
  • If you really like pine nuts, you may even need to consider not buying them. That way you can’t overeat them

Something else to note is that your initial estimations about keto-friendly pine nuts portions could be suboptimal.

If you notice you get out of ketosis while eating them, you may need to limit your portions of pine nuts or other foods.

Why do you follow a ketogenic diet?

Since they are somewhat higher in carbs, there is a very real chance pine nuts will kick you out of ketosis. How much of an issue this is depends on your goals with the ketogenic diet.

You may really need/want to stay in ketosis every hour of every single day. In that case, you definitely want to be careful about your carb intake and likely want to stay away from pine nuts.

On the flip side, pine nuts can be decent/good for weight loss and health. Even if they kick you out of ketosis.

The ketogenic diet is typically not the only way to lose weight and get healthier.

Are pine nuts low-carb?

Pine nuts contain around 13.1 grams of carbohydrates (including 3.7 grams of fiber). In turn, it is fair to say that pine nuts are not that low-carb.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.