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Peanuts and Keto: My Informative Confession

Hi, my name is Chris. I do keto. I eat peanuts. You could say I’m a peanut addict. I’m here to talk to you today about my peanut addiction and keto.

It all started when I was 9 years old. I was with a friend. After running around playing in the front yard for most of the day, we came inside to eat. His parents didn’t have lunch prepared. So, we scoured the kitchen looking for ANYTHING that looked appetizing. We came up empty-handed.

But, we DID find a solution. We decided to just scoop plain peanut butter out of the jar…No bread… No jelly… It was fantastic… It was REALLY GREAT… 21 years later I still have my daily peanut butter scoop. I have a problem…

Anyway, I still eat peanuts AND peanut butter all the time while doing keto. Peanuts are one of my go-to foods for backpacking. I may not eat as many of them as I did at one point in my life, BUT I still love them!

Introduction – Peanuts on Keto

In this article, I’m going to cover the basics of eating peanuts on keto. I’ve also written about natural peanut butter and keto.

Peanuts have earned their place in the keto diet but only for some of us. Nuts and seeds are very easy to overeat, and there are enough carbs in them to make this is a problem.

But, peanuts are a GREAT source of protein and fat. They also have a high amount of magnesium and potassium, two nutrients we could always use more of while doing keto.

But, let’s get to the point. Are peanuts on keto okay? My answer to this would be a big – YES! But… (of course, there’s always a but) you should consume them in moderation for TWO important reasons.

  1. Peanuts have 7 grams of net carbs per 100g.
  2. Peanuts have lots of Omega–6 but ZERO Omega–3. Too much Omega-6 means inflammation.

In other words, watch your net carbs, and consume peanuts with Omega–3 rich foods. Or, reduce how much of them you eat. Make sense?

Big picture, what do you NEED to know about peanuts on keto?

Shazaam!

peanuts and keto infographic. Can you have them?

Peanuts, Nutrition, and Keto

If you are living a ketogenic lifestyle, you already understand that carbs need to be limited. Peanuts are one of those foods that we need to keep an eye on, unfortunately.

Let’s take a look at the nutrition of peanuts. (You can skip over this. I highlight the important things right below.)

Peanuts Nutrition Info Keto

There’s a lot of good stuff in there!

Macro Nutrients (100g):

  • Total Fat: 49g
  • Net Carbs: 7g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Protein: 26g

Notable Micro Nutrients (100g):

  • Potassium: 705mg (20% dv)
  • Magnesium: 168mg (42% dv)
  • Riboflavin: 1mg (60% dv)
  • Vitamin E: 26.2mg (131% dv)
  • Vitamin B–6: .3mg (15% dv)
  • Calcium: 92mg (9% dv)
  • Zinc: 3.3mg (22% dv)
  • Iron: 2.3mg (13% dv )
  • Selenium: 7.5mcg (11% dv)
  • Copper: .7mg (34% dv)

So, how do peanuts stack up nutritionally against other nuts?

Well, peanuts aren’t technically a nut… BUT, In terms of micronutrients, peanuts are about AS NUTRITIOUS as any other nut out there. So, that’s good!

Peanuts DO have a bit of sugar. Is this a concern?

Well, the nutrition label should include the sugar IN the total carbohydrates; After all, sugar is a type of carb. So, don’t worry about the additional sugar as long as it is INCLUDED with the carbohydrates on the label.

In terms of net carbs, are peanuts on keto okay?

Yep, they’re fine! But this is assuming you are not eating peanuts like dumbo the elephant (I’m mostly referring to myself). But, peanuts are NOT the best option in terms of net carbs compared to other nuts. If you are willing to mix in some other nuts to your diet, this may help.

Nuts and Net Carbs (per 100g)

 Net CarbsTotal Fat
Flax Seeds242
Brazil Nuts466
Pecans472
Macadamia Nuts576
Chia Seeds631
Peanuts749
Hazelnuts761
Walnuts765
Pumpkin Seeds849
Almonds1049
Sunflower Seeds1151
Pistachios1845

Brazil Nuts, Macadamia Nuts, Flax Seeds, and Pecans really stand out here as having low amounts of net carbs. Of course, brazil nuts and macadamia nuts cost quite a bit more.

Macadamia nuts are like a superfood though when you ALSO look at Omega ratios. They really excel both nutritionally and with the quality of their Omegas.

Peanuts and Omega–6 to Omega–3 Ratios

This is where peanuts are going to get us into trouble.

The ratio of Omegas we get is very important. It is recommended that we eat a 3:1 ratio of Omega–6s to Omega–3s. Most of us are somewhere in the 25:1 range. [*] Unfortunately, peanut butter isn’t helping in this scenario.

The Omega–3 ratio for peanuts is the worst when compared to any other nut or seed This means it is more likely to cause inflammation. Nuts, in general, don’t have great Omega ratios. But, peanuts have a lot of Omega–6 and ZERO Omega–3.

Omega Ratios of popular nuts (Omega–6 to Omega–3) including peanuts.

Omega-6: Omega-3 Ratio
Chia Seeds1:3
Flax Seeds1:4
Macadamia Nuts1:6
Walnuts4.2:1
Brazil Nuts4.2:1
Pecans21:1
Pistachios52:1
Hazelnuts90:1
Pumpkin Seeds114:1
Sunflower Seeds312:1
Almonds1987:1
Peanuts5230:1
[Fatty Acid Ratios]

The standouts here are Macadamia Nuts, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Brazil Nuts, and Walnuts.

As you can see, peanuts are by far the worst in terms of their omega ratio. They’re the MOST likely to cause inflammation when we eat a lot of them. The next best thing we can do is to balance peanuts out with other foods high in Omega–3.

Foods High In Omega 3

  • Flaxseeds and Flax Oil
  • Salmon Oil
  • Cod-liver Oil
  • Flaxseeds and Flax Oil
  • Grass-Fed Butter
  • Fatty Fish
    • Mackerel
    • Salmon
    • Herring
    • Sardines
    • Anchovies
  • Caviar
  • Chia Seeds
  • Walnuts

Conclusion

I’m obviously a HUGE fan of peanuts on keto. They’re great sources of protein and fat as well as key micronutrients like magnesium and potassium.

But, if you’re like me and you eat A LOT of peanuts, you need to balance out the omegas in your diet. Consume more foods high in Omega-3s such as flaxseeds, salmon, and chia seeds. If we do this, we can keep inflammation to a minimum AND keep on enjoying this very TASTY food.

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