Carbs, Fats, and Calories in Nuts and Seeds

Mixed Nuts In a Wooden Bowl
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If you're watching your calorie or carbohydrate intake, it's helpful to know the nutrition facts on nuts and seeds. The following table shows data for one ounce of raw and/or dried nuts and seeds listed, including the grams of total carbohydrates, fiber, net carbs, and the different types of fats. To calculate the total polyunsaturated fat, add the omega-3 and omega-6 figures together. Note that if the nuts or seeds are roasted in oil, there will be more oil and calories than is shown.

Carbohydrates and Fats in Nuts and Seeds (1 Ounce)

 CalTot. CarbFiberNet CarbSat. FatMono Fatω-3 Fatω-6 Fat
Almonds1646.13.52.61.18.903.5
Brazil Nuts1873.32.11.24.66.806.9
Cashews1639.30.98.42.67.702.2
Chestnuts, European69151.413.60.10.200.25
Chia Seeds13811.99.82.10.90.60.046.7
Coconut*1876.74.62.116.20.800.2
Flax Seeds1126.15.70.40.81.606
Hazelnuts1784.72.721.312.901.1
Macadamia Nuts2043.92.41.53.416.700.43
Peanuts1614.62.42.21.86.904.4
Pecans1963.92.71.21.811.606.1
Pine Nuts1913.712.71.45.309.7
Pistachios1597.734.71.76.604.1
Pumpkin Seeds15831.71.32.54.60.025.9
Sesame Seeds1034.22.12.11.253.403.9
Sunflower Seeds hulled1023.51.520.783.20.214
Walnuts, English1853.91.921.72.5013.4

* Coconut - dried and unsweetened

Nuts and Seeds Are Loaded With Other Nutrients Too

In addition to healthy fats, most nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients, especially fiber, minerals (such as magnesium and calcium), protein, and phytonutrients.

It makes sense when you realize that nuts and seeds are meant to nourish the seedling until it sprouts roots and leaves, allowing the plant to begin to gather and make nutrients on its own. All this, plus most nuts and seeds are fairly low in carbohydrates.

Storing Nuts and Seeds

For the best quality, store nuts and seeds in the refrigerator or freezer so the oils won't go rancid.

Nuts and seeds with high levels of polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats) go rancid more easily, as do nuts and seeds that are broken, chopped, or ground into meal.

Nuts May Have Other Health Benefits

In a study of the Mediterranean, olive oil and/or nuts were added to the diets of the participants. Besides some suggestions of positive health outcomes in terms of cardiovascular disease and reversing metabolic syndrome and cognitive decline, it is notable that adding olive or nuts did not end up increasing the number of calories that people ate. It seems that these foods are so satiating that the participants naturally cut back on other sources of calories.

Additionally, nuts may help lower cholesterol and contribute to better heart health, thanks to their ability to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and decrease the inflammation that's associated with heart disease. The jury is still out on whether or not nuts are definitely good for your heart, but they have plenty of nutrients in them, so adding a small amount to your diet can't hurt and may even help.

The Best Nuts for Low-Carb Diets

If you're on a low-carb diet, the nut choices with the fewest carbs are brazil nuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, peanuts, and hazelnuts.

Add them to your salad or cooked vegetables to help minimize hunger and give you some extra protein and fiber.

Sources:

Babio, N, Toledo, E, Estruch, E, et al. Mediterranean Diets and Metabolic Syndrome Status in the PREDIMED Randomized Trial. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2014;186(17):E649-E657.

Estruch, R, Ros, E, Martinez-Gonzalez, MA. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;368:1279-1290.

Mayo Clinic. Nuts and Your Heart: Eating Nuts for Heart Health. Published September 15, 2016.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28, 2016.

Valls-Pedret C, Sala-Vila, A, Serra-Mir, M. Mediterranean Diet and Age-Related Cognitive Decline: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2015;175(7):1094-1103.

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