Nuts might silently be holding you back from ketosis, so it’s important to understand which nuts are the best for a nutrient dense, gut-friendly, ketogenic diet. You might be wondering if they are okay to eat, after all, they’re tasty and high in fat. They are also widely marketed as being super healthy. But maybe you’ve heard some conflicting information about nuts and aren’t sure if they fit into the ketogenic diet and promote ketosis. Let’s set the record straight in this guide to the pros and cons of nuts on a ketogenic diet.
When consumed in moderation, the high fiber content of nuts and seeds can curb your appetite helping you to avoid excess calorie intake. The healthy fats and antioxidants in nuts is credited with providing the anti-inflammatory activities responsible for regulating lipid concentrations, preventing against depression, Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders (59).
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Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentil, peanuts, etc). Apart from peanuts, legumes are relatively high in carbs and should be avoided. Apart from their high carb content, legumes contain lectins and phytates which makes them hard to digest. They have been linked to leaky gut syndrome, PCOS, IBS and Hashimoto's. When it comes to peanuts, some people avoid them while others use them in moderation. If you are considering peanuts, make sure you read this post first: Peanuts on a Ketogenic Diet: Eat or Avoid?
Sea vegetables are another rich source of green-nutrition and are a very low carb vegetable. Seaweed is also a good source of iodine, essential for thyroid hormone production. Used in sheets it can make a great practical alternative to bread, rolled into a tube like sandwich. Algae is also a potent antioxidant protects us from various diseases. Sea vegetables are anti-cancer, anti-coagulant (reducing the risk of stroke) and antioxidant. You can eat plenty of seaweed on keto and it’s also high in sea salt.
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Regarding sugar alcohols, there is a big difference between erythritol and other sugar alcohols like xylitol. The difference is that erythritol gets absorbed in the small intestine, but then poorly metabolized. In contrast, xylitol and other sugar alcohols don’t get absorbed at all and continue to the large intestine, which is where they can cause stomach pain or other digestive issues for some people. Since erythritol doesn’t make it to the large intestine in the majority of people, it rarely causes stomach upset. No one I know has had this side effect from erythritol alone. Sure, it’s possible, but at that point there are lots of other foods that cause stomach upset in a small number of people. Of course you know your family best. 🙂
Plus, many nuts are salted and may have been roasted in a tasty oil. That makes them really enticing and can lead to overeating or binging on them, which can cause weight gain as well as kick you out of nutritional ketosis. With that in mind, if you find yourself feeling out of control around nuts, you might be better off staying away from them altogether.