If you’re just starting out on Keto and you’re gradually becoming accustomed to a low-carb diet, it’s only natural to miss certain snack foods.
How about cashews?
At first glance, these tree seeds look perfectly Keto-aligned…
Cashews are fairly low in carbohydrates and high in fat while containing plenty of nutrients.
How Many Carbs Are There In Cashews?
If you examine the macros in isolation, cashews are a good fit with a ketogenic diet.
Here’s how a single 1 oz. serving is made up so you can readily calculate your macros…(1)
- Protein: 5.2 g
- Carbs: 8.6 g
- Fat: 12.4 g
So if you factor nothing else into the equation, cashews appear to make a good Keto snack. But is this really the case?
Can You Eat Cashews on Keto?
The good news is that you can still enjoy the occasional handful of cashews…but make sure you exercise restraint.
While the high levels of fat in cashews makes them ideal for Keto, they’re actually pretty carb-heavy. An ounce of cashews is just a snack-sized portion of food, and it contains a third of your carbs for the day!
Plus, moderating your intake might be easier said than done since cashews are incredibly easy to overeat. Salty and often roasted in oil, nuts are generally served in large bags or cans, all too easy to keep dipping into.
The other significant downside of cashews – and other nuts – is that they contain phytic acid, which is considered an “antinutrient”. Phytic acid prevents minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc from being properly absorbed from food. (2)
Because of this, it’s often recommended to soak cashews prior to eating them. (3) This breaks down the phytic acid, making cashews more digestible in the process.
If you don’t like the idea of sidestepping cashews completely, keep a close eye on the quantity you eat. Play it safe and make them an occasional snack.
Remember: a serving of nuts is just about a handful, so be aware of how many you’re eating and put the brakes on before overdoing it.
Is Cashew Butter Keto-Friendly?
The core of a successful Keto diet is to get the healthy fats you need primarily from whole foods. If you calculate your macros, you’ll know exactly how much you need.
It’s often possible to add fat to a meal or snack in the form of a spread or butter.
Cashew butter makes a neat alternative to the Keto staples of peanut butter or almond butter. Be aware, however, that cashew butter does contain some carbs. A 2-Tbsp serving has just under 9 grams of carbs so make sure this meshes with your macros. (4)
When you’re shopping, angle for cashew butter with no added sugar for the most Keto-friendly option.
Is Cashew Flour Keto?
While flour does have some nutritional value, it’s also fully loaded with carbohydrate. A single cup of white flour contains a whopping 95 g of carbohydrate.
In comparison, the same amount of cashew flour has only about 38 g of carbs. (5)
Still, with anything containing cashews, you need to keep close tabs on your macros due to the carb content.
If you’re shopping you’re likely to find both cashew flour and cashew meal. While the terms are often used interchangeably, cashew flour is ground much finer than meal.
Although cashew flour is available online and in specialist grocery stores, you can easily make your own at home. Or – check out these other great Keto-friendly flours.
Is Cashew Cheese Keto-Friendly?
If you’re missing cheese and nuts on keto, why not opt for some cashew cheese and satisfy both cravings without blowing your macros?
Cashew cheese is Keto-friendly and has a texture similar to ricotta or cream cheese. It’s great to use as a spread, a dip for veggies, or to slather on top of your Keto pizza.
What Other Nuts Can You Have on Keto?
As a general rule, nuts are reasonably low in carbs. Be careful though – some are really too high in carbs to fit in well with a Keto diet.
I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s a quick snapshot of 6 of the best Keto-friendly nuts…
- Brazil Nuts: 1.2 g net carbs per ounce
- Coconut: 2.1 g net carbs per ounce
- Hazelnuts: 2 g net carbs per ounce
- Macadamia Nuts: 1.3 g net carbs per ounce
- Pecans: 1.2 g net carbs per ounce
- Walnuts: 2 g net carbs per ounce
As with cashews, bear in mind that a single serving of nuts is about a handful. Nuts of all kinds are easy to overeat, so proceed with caution to keep those carbs in check.
Try These Keto Cashew Recipes
We’ll round out with some of my favorite Keto cashew recipes.
Easy Nut & Seed Granola is a wonderful way to start your day whether you’re following Keto, Paleo or just eating healthy whole foods. It’s super-simple to make and you can always swap in any nuts or seeds that are more to your liking.
And for a wonderful Asian-inspired dinner, try this pork and cashew stir-fry. Make the meal complete by serving it over cauliflower rice.
Moderation is Key with Cashews
It’s perfectly OK to incorporate some cashews into your Ketogenic diet – but not too many.
While most nuts are low in carbs and high in fat, they are quite easy to overeat. Try portioning out a single serving so you’ll be less likely to overindulge.
Cashews can be Keto-friendly! Just keep an eye on your macros. When balanced with lower-carb foods they can be a delicious way to add variety and crunch to your Keto diet.