Are Peanuts Keto?

If you’re just beginning the Keto diet or you’re considering whether or not it’s the right diet for you then you probably have a bunch of questions about what you can and cannot eat on Keto. If one of the foods you’re wondering about is peanuts, then there’s good news for you because peanuts are a great food option on Keto! The following article will help you understand the benefits of peanuts as well as where they fit into your Keto meal plan.

Overview of Keto

The Keto diet strives to help people lose weight, increase their energy and stabilize their blood sugar levels. It was created by doctors in order to help treat patients that struggled with type two diabetes. These doctors found that an ultra-low-carb, high-fat diet helped their diabetic patients to stabilize their blood sugar levels.

Since that point, Keto has become popular with celebrities, athletes and fitness gurus who praise this diet for its weight loss results, the boost it gives to their energy and the tasty recipes that can be made with Keto-friendly ingredients. There’s something about the allure of bacon that brings people running.

The Keto diet was designed to stabilize blood sugar levels and it does this by changing the way that your body creates energy. High-carb diets allow your body to quickly turn carbohydrates into glucose in your liver. Shortly after eating a high-carb meal, you feel a burst of energy as your glucose levels skyrocket. Unfortunately, shortly after this sugar rush, you feel a drop in energy as your glucose levels drop. This is followed by hunger as your body sends you signals to eat more carbs.

The Keto diet bypasses this problem by removing glucose from the equation. Although your body still produces glucose on the Keto diet (it’s required for your body to function) it’s no longer the primary source of energy. Instead, your body begins producing an energy source known as ketones in your liver. Ketones are created from stored body fat that was once excess carbohydrates that your body stored away for a rainy day.

Because ketones are created from stored fat there’s an abundance of fuel for your body to use for energy. This means that you get hungry less often. Ketones are also a slower burning fuel which creates a steady source of energy without the highs and lows associated with glucose. The stored fat that you use to create ketones is normally stubborn to burn away which can make it difficult to lose weight. However, Keto gives your body access to this stored fat so that you can burn it away and lose weight all while providing your body with an excellent energy source.

What’s in a peanut?

The name, “Peanut” is a bit of a misnomer. Peanuts aren’t really nuts. Instead, they belong to the legume family which means that they’re actually closer to a bean or a pea then they are a nut. Despite this, they’re chock full of important nutrients that benefit your body. For starters, peanuts are chock full of non-animal protein. This can be important for vegetarians and vegans that struggle to find non-animal sources of protein. A handful of peanuts (around a 1-ounce serving) contains roughly 7g of protein which is 15% of your daily protein needs.

They’re also loaded with fibre. The combination of fibre and protein can help you feel satiated and full which allows you to go longer in between meals without snacking. A handful of peanuts is a great snack due to their crunch, flavor and belly satisfying nutrients.

Along with protein and fibre, peanuts are also a great source of nutrients. They’re rich in folate, which makes them an excellent snack for women who are looking to get pregnant. They’re also a great source of niacin and other B-vitamins which can give you a boost of energy. They contain riboflavin which is important for helping your body to break down proteins and fats so that it can convert them into energy.

Choline, which is an essential nutrient, is found in peanuts. Choline is not made by your body in large quantities so it’s important to get enough in your diet to aid in cell growth and metabolism. Vitamin E is also found in peanuts. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that helps your immune system as well as being an important vitamin for eye health.

In addition to vitamins, there are several minerals that can be found in peanuts. Zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, manganese and selenium are all in peanuts. These minerals are all essential in various roles of your body from regulating nerve impulses to the creation of new cells. Potassium, for example, helps regulate the fluids in your body while phosphorus is found in every cell and aids in healthy teeth and strong bones.

There appear to be several health benefits to eating peanuts that extend past the vitamins and nutrients that they contain. The healthy fats that are found in peanuts and peanut oil might be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. Healthy fats are vital to keeping your good HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels high and your LDL (low-density lipoproteins) levels low.

Lowered cholesterol levels can reduce your risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. Peanuts are also helpful in regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure. The healthy fats in peanuts play a role in stabilizing your blood sugar levels while the reduced cholesterol can help your heart pump blood through your body easier which reduces your blood pressure.

There are also signs that peanuts could help with the effects of ageing. There’s a phytochemical that’s found in red wine and grapes known as resveratrol that’s also found in peanuts. Resveratrol acts as an antioxidant that aids in the reduction of your cholesterol levels while lowering your blood pressure. It can help break up blood clots and reduce your chances of developing heart disease or cancer.

Are peanuts Keto?

With all of those health benefits, it’s a good thing that peanuts are Keto! You can eat peanuts on the Keto diet without worrying about them raising your net carbs to high levels. An ounce of peanuts contains only 4g of net carbs. There’s 2g of fibre in an ounce of peanuts so this helps lower the overall carb levels since your body can’t digest fibre and turn it into glucose.

Another reason to love peanuts on the Keto diet is their availability and low price tag. The Keto diet can get expensive due to its high levels of meat and healthy oils, but substituting a few peanuts in will help lower your food bill substantially. You can eat them shelled, or in the shell depending on your preference.

Peanuts that are still in the shell can give your hands something to do while stretching out your snack which forces you to eat slower so you feel more satisfied and full. This can really help with weight loss. Peanuts in the shell also make for a great snack if you’re surrounded by family or friends that are munching on chips or popcorn. There’s something about cracking those shells and the salty crunch of the nut that makes you feel like you’re not missing out.

The fats that are found in peanuts are very healthy. This makes peanut oil a great choice for those on the Keto diet as well. Peanuts contain amino acids that form the building blocks for protein and muscle growth. There’s one amino acid, in particular, leucine that is found in large quantities in peanuts. Leucine is an essential branched-chain amino acid that is very important in the growth of your muscles.

Even though peanuts are a healthy, Keto-friendly snack you need to watch which peanuts you buy. It’s best to stick with unflavored, unsalted natural nuts in order to reap the most benefits. Flavoured peanuts can be higher in sodium and preservatives. Although a little bit of sodium on the Keto diet can help you keep your electrolyte levels up, the chemicals and preservatives that can be found in flavoured peanuts don’t fit in with clean Keto.

Other great nuts to eat on the Keto diet

If you’re not a fan of peanuts there are several other nuts that you can eat on the Keto diet. You should avoid other legumes if you can because they’re too high in carbohydrates. Nuts in general are a great snack to include in your Keto meal plan, and the following nuts are some of the highest in healthy fats and essential nutrients.

  • Walnuts: 2g of net carbs, 4g of protein and 18g of healthy fats
  • Pecans: 1g of net carbs, 3g of protein and 20g of healthy fats
  • Brazil nuts: 1g of net carbs, 4g of protein and 19g of healthy fats
  • Macadamia nuts: 2g of net carbs, 2g of protein and 21g of healthy fats
  • Almonds: 2g of net carbs, 6g of protein and 14g of healthy fats
  • Hazelnuts: 2g of net carbs, 4g of protein and 17g of healthy fats

Conclusion

Peanuts are great Keto-friendly food. Incorporating a handful or two of peanuts into your daily diet can help you get the essential nutrients your body needs along with a healthy dose of fat and protein. Enjoy this heart-healthy nut as a snack that will help you feel full and satisfied so that you can lose weight and stick to your Keto meal plan.

Leave a Comment