Are Cashews Keto-Friendly?

Are Cashews Keto-Friendly?

Several keto dieters enjoy nibbling nuts every now and then. But did you know that not all nuts work well with the ketogenic diet?

As with any diet programs, what you eat will have a great impact on your weight loss journey. 

As far as the keto diet is concerned, provided that you eat only high-fat and low-carb foods, you don't have to worry about screwing your keto diet. 

That being said, it's essential that you know which foods are actually good for you and which ones can potentially mess up your keto journey. 

What about cashews? What's the deal behind them? And are they keto-approved?

Nutritional Content of Cashews

In every 100 grams (half a cup) of cashews, there are 553 calories, 44 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs, 3.3 grams of dietary fiber, and 18 grams of protein. 

An ounce of cashews, which is about 28 grams, yields 157 calories, 12 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs, 0.9 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. 

Now let's talk about oil roasted cashews.

Oil roasted cashews carry 580 calories, 48 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs, 3.3 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of protein in every 100-gram serving. 

Eighteen kernels of cashews, on the other hand, are loaded with 164 calories, 14 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, and 4.8 grams of protein. 

Cashews are incredibly nutritious, giving the body 19% magnesium, 9% iron, and 5% vitamin B6 of the recommended daily intake (RDI) per 30 grams.

Are Cashews Keto-Friendly?


For those who are in a hurry, no, cashews are not keto-friendly except in tiny quantities. 

A keto-friendly food is anything high on fat, moderate in protein, and low on carbs. Cashews, however, don't meet these requirements. 

True, they pack a good amount of fats, but that doesn't cover the fact that they also have very high amounts of carbohydrates. 

In fact, cashews contain more carbs than the starchy potato! 

According to the US Department of Agriculture, a 100-gram serving of potato contains 17 grams of carbs, whereas, cashews of the same serving amount yields 30 grams of carbs! 

If we were to compare the carb content of cashews and sweet potato, cashews would still own the stage. 

Sweet potato weighing 100 grams only has 20 grams of carbs. Cashews are still 10 grams of carbs ahead!

If you eat about 30 grams of cashews (13 kernels), you'll be consuming 8 grams of carbs. That's a relatively small amount of carbs, but if you're trying to maximize your carb intake to 20 grams per day, then that's almost half of your daily limit.

Cashew Alternatives

Though we've said that cashews can be keto-friendly if taken in small quantities, it's still best to avoid them and opt for alternatives instead. 

While cashew and its cousin, pistachios, aren't keto-approved, there are still a lot of low-carb nuts that you can nibble. 

Pecans contain only 4 grams of carbs per one ounce. Minus the dietary fiber, which is 3 grams, then you'll only provide your body with 1 gram of total net carbs!

Brazil nuts are also an excellent substitute for cashews. 30 grams of Brazil nuts only yield one gram of total net carbs!

If the two alternatives above don't suffice you, then you can opt for macadamia nuts. An ounce of macadamia nuts carries 2 grams of net carbs only. 

Final Takeaway

If you're following a keto lifestyle, you must know the proximates of the food you consume. Always select foods that are high in fat and low in carbs. 

Cashews do not tick the boxes to be considered as keto-approved.

Even if you consume them in minimal amounts, they're still loaded with carbs that, if unavoided, could screw your entire keto journey. 

The good news is that you can eat its counterparts that are low in carbs, such as pecans, Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts. 

About the Author

Ryan is a personal trainer, athlete, health enthusiast, and entrepreneur. He is researching and expanding his knowledge about the ketogenic diet. He spends most of his time writing content about his new learnings of the ketogenic diet and shares it on Ketogenic Supplement Reviews. You can find me on: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.