Pistachios are tasty nuts packed with healthy nutrients, but are pistachios keto?
Most keto dieters know that the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein diet, focusing mainly on restricting net carbohydrates (total carbs – fiber).
While pistachios are a healthy food, this post will examine whether or not these popular nuts are acceptable to eat on the ketogenic diet.
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Short answer: No. Pistachios contain about 10g of net carbohydrates per half-cup serving. This is on the higher end of what we consider keto-friendly food. However, you may be able to eat pistachios on occasion without going over your daily carb allowance. Keep the serving size low and make other accommodations in your daily diet.
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What Are Pistachios?
Pistachios are tree nuts that are members of the cashew family. They are distinctive nuts that are green in color with a hard outer shell. Pistachios are commonly eaten raw, roasted, or dried.
The pistachio is also used in many ways to cook or flavor a dish. The nut is versatile and can be used for savory or sweet foods. Many different cultures use pistachios in their cuisines.
Some common foods that contain pistachios are pistachio ice cream, baklava, spumoni, kulfi, and halva.
What Makes a Food Ketogenic?
For a food to be considered keto-friendly, it must be low in net carbohydrates. To get net carbs, you take the total amount of carbohydrates and subtract the dietary fiber. This is because dietary fiber is not broken down and digested, so it does not impact blood sugar levels.
How Many Carbohydrates are in Pistachios?
Pistachios have 33.5g of total carbs, 13g of fiber, and 9.42g of carbohydrates coming from sugars, according to the USDA food nutrition database. That would mean the net carbohydrate count in 1 cup of pistachios is 20.5g.
1 cup of pistachios also contains 689 calories, 24.8g of protein, and 55.7 grams of fat. This makes a 1 cup serving of pistachios high in calories, which can be problematic for dieters. However, the healthy fat content can be good for you.
Are Pistachios Keto-friendly?
Most people who follow the keto diet tend to set their daily carb allowance to 20g or fewer.
This means a 1-cup serving of pistachios, with 20.5g of net carbohydrates, would put you at or over your daily carb allowance. Try our keto calculator to get your exact daily net carb needs.
Even if you consume only 1/2 a cup of nuts, it would still be about 10g of net carbohydrates, half of most people’s daily carb limit.
This means that pistachios are not keto-friendly. However, healthy fat and fiber can benefit you, even following a keto diet. It may be possible to eat pistachios occasionally if you limit the net carbs you consume in other meals for that day.
We would not recommend making this a common occurrence, though.
What Are Some Alternatives to Pistachios on the Keto Diet?
Nuts can be a great snack if you’re following a low-carb, high-fat diet. Not only do they contain fiber and healthy fat, but they can be a great replacement for high-carb snacks like potato chips.
Keto-friendly flavored almonds are one of my personal favorite keto snacks. Almonds are keto-friendly because they only contain about 2.5g of net carbohydrates per serving.
In addition to almonds, some of the best nuts for the keto diet include pecans, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts.
Do Pistachios Have Health Benefits?
Even though pistachios are not a food you want to eat regularly on the keto diet, they have some general health benefits.
- Aids in digestion – The high fiber content of these nuts helps prevent constipation. The fiber also helps to feed your gut bacteria.
- Packed with antioxidants – These can help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals and potentially prevent some diseases.
- High in Protein – Compared to other nuts, pistachios are high in protein which can help you build and restore muscle.
- Heart healthy – Pistachios are high in healthy fats that can help to prevent heart disease, lower bad cholesterol, and increase good cholesterol.
- Boosts the immune system – The high Vitamin B6 content helps build a stronger immune system.
As you can see, occasionally consuming pistachios can be very healthy, even if you follow a ketogenic diet.