Peanuts are one of the most favored and loved dry fruits in the market. They come in packets, and are enjoyed all over the world. Especially in areas and regions where it's cold.
That's because these nuts have a high amount of fat, exactly what's required to combat the harsh cold. As we all know, fats contain the most amount of energy, followed by proteins and then carbohydrates.
But the real question arises, if someone is on a keto diet, and they are craving some peanuts. The question at hand is “Are Peanuts Keto?”.
As we might know, the keto diet is a diet which requires serious adherence to a flow chart of what you can eat, and what you can’t eat throughout the day. One wrong move could determine whether one stays in the keto diet or not.
Peanuts contain fats and protein that're keto friendly, and they taste amazing as well. The downside to peanuts is that they contain carbs and they aren’t actually nuts.
They're classified as a legume, which is why they contain the most number carbs than other nuts that are keto friendly.
In this article, we aim to inform you all about peanuts and their relation with the keto diet. We will also share some keto friendly, peanut recipes as well. So, you’d want to stick until the very end. Let’s begin!
Are Peanuts Keto Friendly?
Peanuts are very yummy and they don’t cost too much either. These legumes are full of fat, and they're delicious as well, but can one really have these delicacies when they are on the keto diet?
Before answering this question, let’s briefly discuss what the keto diet is, and how it works. So, basically the first thing to keep in mind is that a keto diet revolves around the concept of a strict diet, where one has to consume a large amount of fats, followed by a moderate or medium intake of proteins, and the most important, a very low intake of carbs.
Being on the keto diet means following this breakdown:
● 70%-80% of your daily caloric intake has to come from fats
● 15%-30% of your daily caloric intake has to come proteins
● 0%-10% of your daily caloric intake has to come from carbs
When we break down the nutrients of peanuts, we observe that they can be an ideal food source for people on the keto diet. But that's half the story.
These peanuts contain antinutrients, they contain plant toxins and inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids as well. The source of calories that comes from peanuts is as follows:
● Fats: 72%
● Proteins: 15%
● Carbs: 13%
While we might be happy seeing the low amount of carbs in peanuts, that's not true at all. These contain more number carbs than any other keto nuts on the market. If you're on a 20 gram diet of carbs on keto, then a cup of ⅔ of peanuts will make up for 60% of your allowed carbs. This is why you should consume these peanuts carefully, and in moderation.
On the other hand, these peanuts contain a large amount of fats, which is good because it fits right into the keto requirements. But, a considerable amount of these fats are the Omega-6 fatty acids.
Moreover, they aren’t canceled out with the Omega-3 acid. Which means our bodies are tuned in a way to eat fats that are in the ratio of 1:1 (Omega-3: Omega-6).
Research and studies have shown that the imbalance of these fats can cause diseases of inflammatory characteristics, coupled with heart diseases, diabetes, cancers and even mental diseases such as depression as well.
So, the gist is that peanuts can be taken if you're on the keto diet. They're keto friendly, but only if you take them in a moderate amount, and that limit does not exceed your daily carb limit.
The Nutritional Profile: Peanuts
These peanuts are lined with monounsaturated fats, a good percentage of Vitamins as well, which include Vitamin B, Vitamin E, a good amount of proteins, immunity boosting and helping zinc, and good for the heart magnesium. The following is the nutrition profile of 100 grams of peanuts (⅔ cup):
These were the nutritional contents of peanuts. They come with a lot of energy and are fulfilling all the macronutrients, namely the fats, the proteins, and the carbs. But, the presence of carbs is something that's looked down upon, if you're on the keto diet.
The breakdown for a keto diet involves a high intake of fats, followed by a moderate intake of proteins, and a minimum intake of carbs.
Are Peanuts Nuts or is there some secret?
Yes, it’s true, Peanuts aren’t actually nuts. Even if you take a look at the definition of peanuts, you will see that they're classified as peas, that means they're a section of the bean and the legume family.
Despite their nutritional content resembling that of an almond, rather than peas, the human body has an entirely different reaction to legumes than it does to nuts.
This is the entire reason we don’t only consider the number of calories and the amount of carbs in peanuts, when it comes to the keto diet.
Legumes are known to produce inflammatory reactions and responses in the human body, and it's this chronic inflammation which has killed many people over the globe, and has led to the development of fatal diseases, such as cancers, heart diseases and even type 2 diabetes.
Inflammation is known to cause pain in the joints, and can also build up to autoimmune disorders, such as Arthritis. But on the bright side, these diets that are low carb, change the complexion of the intake of food.
They make people quit eating processed foods, and make them eat more vegetables that are keto friendly, and this means more anti-inflammatory properties of veggies, which will help to combat and reduce inflammation.
Furthermore, the consumption of nuts has shown in studies that it leads to the reduction and the combat against inflammation. This is why you should consume nuts over legumes.
Can Peanuts make you gain weight?
Admit it or not, almost a lot of us have caught ourselves snacking on these crispy and crunchy nuts while binge watching tv shows, or while we're watching the game.
We have all regretted snacking later on as well, thinking about how many calories we consumed in that sitting, and how that will affect our body. Despite being very nutritious and having a lot of benefits for our body, peanuts can affect our health, and not in the best way possible.
This negative effect will show on the weighing scale, that is because peanuts will make you gain weight, if you start consuming them without keeping an eye on the amount you are eating, or how many times you are eating them.
If you can consume them in healthy and adequate amounts, then even if they're high in calories, these peanuts can have a good and positive effect on your body, as it's a rich source of fiber and protein, which help in the building of satiety, which means you won’t feel hungry for a longer time, and you won’t feel compelled to snack and eat either. How cool is that?
Another thing you can try is peanut butter, and there's a huge debate about it as well, because it has its pros and cons. But, if you keep an eye on the nutritional content, and the amount you are eating, there's a way to incorporate peanut butter into your keto diet as well.
Keto Alternative Nuts
Keto can be tricky sometimes, especially when it comes to figuring out what's safe to eat and what's not. Keto foods are generally safe when they're high in fats, and low in carbs.
There are a lot of nuts that have a low amount of net carbs, and have a high amount of fats that are healthy, which makes them ideal for keto consumption.
Moreover, they're packed with good nutrients that are essential for the body, and they're minerals, vitamins, proteins, fiber and antioxidants as well.
Below are a few nuts you can consider alternatively to peanuts. These nuts are healthy and keto friendly, and you can incorporate them into your diet to your liking. The nuts are as following:
These nuts are tree nuts, and are ideal for people on the keto diet. An ounce serving of pecans (28 grams) provides:
196 calories, 3 grams of protein, 20 grams of fat, the total number of carbs are 4 grams, there is 3 grams of fiber. The net amount of carbs is 1 gram. As we can see, pecan nuts are high in fat, and they are keto friendly.
● Brazil Nuts:
These nuts are another type of tree nut, and they are grown and found in South America. An ounce serving of Brazil Nuts (28 grams) contains the following:
185 calories, 4 grams of Protein, 19 grams of Fat, 2 grams of Fiber, the total carbs are 4 grams, and the net carbs are 1 gram. These nuts are a good source of selenium, and are a good choice for the keto diet as well.
● Macadamia Nuts:
Macadamia nuts are tree nuts that are originated and found in Australia. They have a good amount of fat, which makes them a good fit for the keto diet. An ounce serving of Macadamia Nuts contains the following (28 grams):
204 calories, 2 grams of Proteins, 21 grams of Fat, 2 grams of Fiber, and the total carbs are 4 grams whereas the net carbs are 2 grams.
These are probably one of the most enjoyed and famous nuts out there, and they need no introduction. These tree nuts contain the following nutrition information for an ounce of serving (28 grams):
185 calories, 4 grams of Proteins, 18 grams of Fat, and 2 grams of Fiber, whereas the total carbs are 4 grams and the net carbs are 2 grams. These are high in fat, and they can benefit the heart by minimizing the factors that can lead to heart diseases, such as LDL which is bad cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Hazelnuts are tree nuts that have a buttery and a smooth texture, and they are excellent choices for people who want to make desserts. An ounce serving of Hazelnuts contains the following (28 grams):
178 calories, 4 grams of Proteins, 17 grams of Fat, 3 grams of Fiber, and the total carbs are 5 grams whereas the net carbs are 2 grams. These nuts are a great source of Vitamin E, with one ounce providing 28% of the daily intake (RDI).
● Pine Nuts:
Pine nuts are another kind of tree nut, and they are famous for being the pesto ingredient which is essential as it is an Italian sauce that is made using basil, parmesan cheese and olive oil. An ounce serving of Pine Nuts contains the following (28 grams):
191 calories, 4 grams of protein, 19 grams of fat, whereas the total carbs are 4 grams out of which 3 grams are net carbs.
These are all the nuts you should consider, as they're healthy and contain anti-inflammatory properties as well. Peanuts might have a good amount of fat, but that doesn’t substitute or replace the fact that they're not nuts. You can evaluate which of the above nuts best suit your diet, and you can start using them as per your liking and diet.
Keto Friendly Peanut Recipe
If the nuts mentioned weren’t enough to convince you out of using peanuts, then we have decided to share this super easy recipe, so you can enjoy peanuts while you're still on the keto diet, and your body stays in ketosis. The following is a recipe for keto peanut butter bars and they contain 2.2 grams of net carbs only.
You have the freedom to choose any types of nuts and seeds you want to make these delicious granola bars, just remember to choose the ones with the correct amount of fiber and the lowest level of carbs in them.
In order to make these bars you will need a total of 2 cups of nuts and seeds, we choose almonds, pecans and pumpkin seeds to make our granola bars. We also add unsweetened coconut which adds fiber and fat, and keeps the nut butter and the oil mixed well. Other ingredients we use are sea salt, almond butter, sugar free chocolate chips, and flakes of dark chocolate.
Making them is super easy, begin by mixing the granola recipe in a big bowl, and mix the nuts, the seeds, the shredded coconut and the sweetener. The next step is to melt the coconut oil and the peanut butter, and you can do this by microwaving them for 30 seconds, and then proceeding to mix them with the nuts and the seeds.
Now pour the mixture into a square baking dish of 9×9 inch and line it with parchment paper. Evenly spread the mixture and freeze this mixture until it turns rock hard, then cut them and simply serve. Viola!
So, the answer to the question is that you can eat peanuts on keto, as they are keto friendly. But having said that, they aren’t exactly the best option to be choosing from, because if you are on a diet that has low carbs and is for the purposes of weight loss, then you are better off choosing nuts such as almonds, macadamia, or even cashews.
They will make sure that you stay in ketosis, and don’t get thrown out of it.
Peanuts aren’t truly nuts, they are legumes and they don’t have a healthy or good effect on the body either. You would have to consume them in moderate amounts, and there are many other nuts that are great.
We hope this article informed you all about peanuts and their nutritional information, alongside some great alternatives as well. We hope we answered any questions that came to your mind. Until next time, happy cooking!
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