Want to know which nuts are high in protein? Which nuts have the lowest carbs?

If you want to try the protein-sparing modified fast (PSMF diet), you can download the free printable PDF guidebook, meal plan, PSMF food list, and PSMF calculator.

Nuts and seeds are delicious and versatile plant-based proteins but you have to know which nuts are the highest in protein (and which ones are the lowest in carbs). If you are following a high-protein low-carb diet, you may also want to see how much protein is in dairy and which is the highest protein meat.

Are you ready to create the ultimate 12-month blueprint for reaching your health & weight loss goals this coming year?

How to Lose Weight & Transform Your Health for Life

Our free on-demand video training will walk you through how to make 2024 THE year you set health goals…and keep them.

Curious if you can hit your protein macros by eating nuts and seeds? This guide will tell you all about the best high-protein nuts and seeds that you can eat on a low-carb diet.

How much protein do you need?

Minimum protein intake: for a 70kg sedentary women = 0.8g/kg (0.36g/pound) = 56g protein per day.
High protein diet: for a 70kg sedentary women = 1.5g – 2g/kg = 105g – 140g protein per day.

How much protein you need depends on your size and activity level – which is all calculated when you find your personal macros using my FREE macro calculator.

What are macros? Macros are carbs, protein, and fat. Just by changing the ratio of each macronutrient, you can be on a low-carb diet, keto diet, low-fat diet, or a high-protein low-carb diet.

Are nuts a complete source of protein?

A complete source of protein contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Examples of complete protein foods are:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Fish

Examples of incomplete protein foods are:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Grains
  • Vegetables

It’s important to make sure you eat enough protein containing all the essential amino acids, especially if you are a vegetarian and only eat plant-based protein.

You need to know which are the best high-protein vegetables and high-protein fruits to enjoy.

Protein-rich nuts are also perfect for those eating a low-carb or keto diet, but some nuts are higher carb than others, so knowing what to enjoy and what to avoid is crucial.

Nut nutrition information

Nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense and a delicious source of protein, amino acids, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, and are low in carbs.

However, some nuts contain a surprising amount of carbohydrates which adds up fast if you aren’t using portion control to monitor how many you are consuming.

Cashews, for example, are high-carb and are usually avoided in high numbers on the keto diet.

In this guide, you’ll see how much protein, healthy fat, and net grams of carbs are in each type of nut and seed.

Fat in nuts

Nuts are generally low in saturated fat and full of healthy fats like polyunsaturated fatty acids which are great for heart health (along with other benefits).

Nuts contain both Omega-3 and Omega-6 are polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are said to be ANTI-inflammatory, while Omega-6 is said to be PRO-inflammatory. Getting your ratio of Omega 3:6 is crucial to prevent inflammation. (1)

Nuts also have alpha-linolenic acid, which is an Omega-3 essential fatty acid that is known as being beneficial for your heart health. (2)

Health benefits of nuts and seeds

When you increase your protein intake with high protein foods like nuts and seeds, you have the opportunity to reduce risk factors for heart disease and improve cardiovascular health, supports thyroid health, improve gut health and reduce your risk of type two diabetes. (3).

Eating nuts high in protein, calcium, zinc, and magnesium (an essential mineral) can help strengthen weak and brittle bones. (4)(5)

When you eat plant-based protein from nuts and seeds, you are boosting protein intake, essential fatty acids, nutrients, and fiber which are amazing for your overall health.

Selenium in nuts may support thyroid health and fiber supports your gut health too. (6)

High protein nuts

Now let’s look at protein-rich nuts that you will enjoy adding to your favorite recipes. These commonly consumed nuts are tasty and contain important vitamins which are beneficial for your overall health, as well as providing fiber and other nutrients.

To see which are the best low-carb nuts to snack on, check out the complete guide to carbs in nuts.

Nutritional values from cronometer.com

Brazil nuts

Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 19 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 5.6 grams per cup.
Fat: 89 grams per cup.

There are an astounding 19 grams of protein per cup but only 5.6g net carbs in this powerhouse nut! These are popular because they have a buttery texture. If you need to eat extra protein, grab a handful of Brazil nuts.

Brazil nuts are also high in vitamin B1, E, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and of course, a fabulous source of selenium.

Macadamia nuts

Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 11 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 7 grams per cup.
Fat: 101 grams per cup.

When it comes to macadamia nuts, protein is one of the biggest benefits of eating them. There are 11 grams of protein in each cup. But with the high-fat content, you may want to make sure you don’t go over your daily fat limit.

They also have a sweet creamy taste compared to other nuts.

Macadamias are high in vitamin B1, iron, and magnesium.


Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 38 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 11 grams per cup.
Fat: 72 grams per cup.

Even though peanuts are technically legumes, I added them to this list. There are 38 grams of protein per cup.

There is even more protein in peanut butter – 57 grams of protein AND a whopping 44 grams of net carbs. Peanut butter needs to be portion-controlled carefully.

Peanuts are very popular when ground and enjoyed as peanut butter. This keto peanut butter smoothie is a great example of how to enjoy this nut while still sticking to your macros.

Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie Recipe
All the flavors of a peanut butter cup milkshake but sugar-free, low-carb, and keto friendly.
Check out this recipe
Keto Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
Easy 6 ingredients keto peanut butter cookies that are soft and chewy.
Check out this recipe
Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe (no-bake)
If you love peanut butter you will love no-bake keto chocolate peanut butter cheesecake.
Check out this recipe

Pine nuts

Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 18 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 12 grams per cup.
Fat: 92 grams per cup.

Pine nuts are also a good source of plant-based protein and unsaturated fats. They have 18 grams of protein per cup but are quite high in net carbs.

Pine nuts (which are technically seeds (7)) have a sweet taste and contain vitamin B1, E, K, choline, manganese, and zinc.

Pine nuts are delicious sprinkled on salads and used to make homemade pesto.


Nutrition values per cup: (chopped)
Protein: 27 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 11 grams per cup.
Fat: 65 grams per cup.

They are delicious and almond protein is easy to find. Here is how much protein is in the most popular types of almond-based foods:

  • Whole almonds – 30 grams per cup
  • Almond butter – 3.4 grams per tablespoon
  • Almond milk – 1 gram of protein per cup

Almonds are high in vitamin B2, E, manganese, and phosphorous.

I commonly use almond flour in my recipes as it is high in fat and protein and relatively low in carbohydrates. This low-carb almond flour bread is a staple in my house!

Art and Science Of Low Carb Living
Check out this recipe
Almond Flour Keto Donuts Recipe (Chocolate Glaze)
Soft and delicious Keto donuts made from almond flour with a sugar-free chocolate glaze.
Check out this recipe
Six almond flour keto donuts resting on a white serving tray.
Low-Carb Almond Flour Pancakes
You will love this light and fluffy almond flour pancakes!
Check out this recipe
Low-carb almond flour pancakes recipe - sugar-free


Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 15 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 7 grams per cup.
Fat: 65 grams per cup.

As for walnuts, protein isn’t as high in them. There are just 15 grams of protein in each cup.

Walnuts are high in vitamin B1, B6, folate, copper, and phosphorous.

However, if you have a craving for walnut, or you want an easy way to increase walnut consumption, you may find these keto chocolate walnut brownies or sugar-free “nutella” to be tempting!

Keto Chocolate Walnut Brownies Recipe
This is it! The PERFECT Keto Chocolate Walnut Brownies.
Check out this recipe
Annie Lampella
Check out this recipe

Nuts to avoid


Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 24 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 35 grams per cup.
Fat: 57 grams per cup.

Cashews are the most controversial nuts when on a keto diet. Cashews are a high-carb nut that most people avoid, or at the very least, portion control. It is too easy to consume an entire cup of salted roasted cashews at one sitting and go over your daily carb limit.

Are cashews keto? There is no such food that is keto (or isn’t keto). It’s the number of carbs you limit yourself each day that will determine whether you are in nutritional ketosis, or not.

You can eat cashews but in a limited quantity. Just don’t sit there with a jar of cashew butter in the evening on the couch and expect to hit your weight loss goals. Overeating nut butter is one of the biggest reasons you may have stopped losing weight.

It may be better to choose other nuts, such as brazil nuts, to get more protein and amino acids.

High protein seeds

Not only is the protein content in these seeds high, but they also have lots of vitamins and minerals and a high-fat content that is good for you too. Add these seeds to your favorite trail mix!

Chia seeds

Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 26 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 12 grams per cup.
Fat: 49 grams per cup.

There are 26 grams of protein in one cup of whole chia seeds. This is an easy way to increase protein and fiber in your diet. But remember that a serving size is usually a few tablespoons, not an entire cup.

If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend giving these chia seed “oats” a try!

Low-Carb Living Summit: Schedule
Check out this recipe
Sugar Free Chia Jam Recipe
An easy recipe for sugar free chia jam that can be ready in under 20 minutes with no boiling or sterilising. Spread on low-carb 3 seed bread, keto waffles or low-carb pancakes.
Check out this recipe

Pumpkin Seeds

Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 27 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 19 grams per cup.
Fat: 52 grams per cup.

There are 27 grams of protein in a cup of pumpkin seeds. I like to add them to my granola, granola bars, salads, and soups, like this keto pumpkin bacon soup!

Easy Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Chicken
Check out this recipe
Joe & Rachel Stauffer
Check out this recipe
Keto Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe
Easy no-bake chewy keto granola bars for peanut butter lovers.
Check out this recipe

Sunflower seeds

Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 29 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 16 grams per cup.
Fat: 72 grams per cup.

There are a surprising 29 grams of protein in each cup of these powerhouse seeds. They are full of vitamins and minerals and easy to add to your salad or eat by the handful as an easy snack.

Sunflower seeds are almost 50% fiber, the largest amount of vitamin B1, E, folate, copper, and selenium.

Kasey Knight Trenum
Check out this recipe
Sugar Free Nutty Granola Recipe (coconut free)
Finally … an easy healthy sugar-free nutty granola – no shredded coconut. It's also gluten-free and your kids will LOVE it. Say goodbye to sugary granola forever!
Check out this recipe

Hemp seeds

Nutrition values per cup:
Protein: 50 grams per cup.
Net carbs: 7.5 grams per cup.
Fat: 78 grams per cup.

Another seed that is a balanced snack is hemp seeds. They have the most protein – 50.4 grams in each cup. That is as much protein as 1 cup of low-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup of raspberries.

Just be aware that a serving size of hemp seeds is usually a few tablespoons, not an entire cup.

Frequently asked questions

If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.

What are the top 3 healthiest nuts?

The answer can depend on your health goals, but in general, the top three healthiest nuts are almonds, walnuts, and brazil nuts. Each of these has a high protein content, healthy fats, and is the lowest in carbs.

Which seeds are high in protein?

Sunflower, pumpkin, and hemp seeds are all very high in protein.

Are cashews keto?

No, cashews are one of the highest carb nuts so are generally not eaten if you are on the keto diet.

I added them to this list to highlight they are almost three times the net grams of carbs than all other nuts. Even though cashews make tasty nut butter, one ounce of cashews has 9 grams of carbs. That can add up quickly!

How many nuts can I eat each day?

How many nuts you eat depends on your health goals and dietary goals such as calorie and carb limits.

TOP TIP: It is easy to eat too many nuts from nut flours often used in keto baking which can quickly make you go over your daily carbs, fat, and calories.

Which nuts have the most protein and least carbs

Brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts.

Is peanut butter keto?

Yes, peanut butter is keto, depending on how much you eat. Peanut butter is higher in carbs than most nut butters but as long as you eat it in small quantities you can still stay within your daily carb limit.

Peanut butter is low-carb, high fat, and moderate protein.
1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter (salted) contains 2 g net carbs, 7.9 g fat, 3.9 g protein, and 94 calories.

How many almonds can I eat on keto?

How many almonds you can eat will depend on your daily carb limit. 1 ounce, 28 grams, or 22 almonds has 6 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of net carbs, 14 grams of fat, and 164 calories.

Should I stop eating nuts to lose weight?

No, eating nuts on a regular basis is not associated with weight gain but you may wish to portion control them so you don’t exceed your daily calories, carbs, or fat.


High protein nuts (and seeds) are a delicious snack and are an easy way to provide your body with essential amino acids and lots of healthy fats. Especially important for vegetarians who can often find it tricky to get enough protein.

Since protein and amino acids are the building blocks of muscles, eating snacks (such as chopped walnuts or almond butter with a creamy texture) will give you a quick boost of usable energy.

Pick out your favorite nuts and seeds and enjoy the health boost! Yes, even meat-eaters can enjoy the benefits of these plant compounds.

Get our FREE guide to finally fix your metabolism!

Losing weight & getting healthy is never easy, but lately you might feel like it’s suddenly become impossible.

Our Flip the Switch guide will help you clearly understand what’s been going on, as well as exactly what you can do to get your metabolism working again so that you can look and feel your best—it’s easier and more simple than you think!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Why is there such a big difference in carbs of peanuts vs peanut butter?

    1. Great question. Peanut butter is higher in carbs than whole peanuts because peanut butter is the pureed form of peanuts so more “fit” into a cup.

      1. The math does not work out. For example Almonds are listed as 6 grams of protein for 1 oz, but 27 grams of protein in a cup.

        1. Hello, the grams of cup sizes may differ based on your country of origin. US cup sizes are larger than New Zealand cup sizes and European cup sizes are even smaller so this may where the difference in calculations is coming from. Thank you.