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Are boiled peanuts keto? Can you eat them on low-carb diet?

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A Southern Favorite: The Boiled Peanut

If you're from the Southern United States, chances are you've indulged in a handful of boiled peanuts. This ballpark snack is a favorite for many, but when following a ketogenic diet, a common question arises: "are boiled peanuts keto-friendly?" The good news is, we're about to take a closer look, exploring the nutritional value of this popular salty snack.

keto boiled peanuts are in white bowl

Understanding Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a type of legume that are simmered in salt water and usually served at room temperature. They differ from the roasted peanuts often found in a standard American diet, given their soft texture and higher water content. You can boil peanuts at home, using your crock pot or Instant Pot, or you can find them at your local grocery store - look out for popular brands like Peanut Patch boiled peanuts.

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The Nutritional Value of Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts, particularly green peanuts, pack a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin B, and healthy fats. They're also a good source of antioxidants, which are known to lower the risk of chronic inflammation and heart disease.

If we take a closer look at the nutritional database website EatThisMuch, we find that a single serving of green boiled peanuts (about a handful or 1g serving) contains around 14 grams of total carbs, 4g of fiber, and 2g of fat. After subtracting the fiber, that leaves us with 10g net carbs.

But how does this fit into a ketogenic diet, which typically encourages high-fat foods, moderate protein, and low carbs for weight loss?

Are Boiled Peanuts Keto-friendly?

In a nutshell, boiled peanuts can be a relatively low-carb food and a decent addition to a ketogenic diet, but portion sizes are key.

Given the general guidelines of the ketogenic diet, you should aim to stay under 50 grams of carbohydrates daily, with many keto dieters striving for a more stringent 20 grams of carbs. This means a single serving of boiled peanuts can fit into your daily diet if consumed moderately.

Another great news is that the fats in boiled peanuts are mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which are good fats. Monounsaturated fat (oleic acid) is beneficial for heart health, while polyunsaturated fat contains essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot produce.

However, if your daily carb limit is very low or if you find it hard to stop at a single serving, you might want to consider alternative nuts like macadamia nuts that are higher in healthy fats and lower in carbs.

Tips for Incorporating Boiled Peanuts into a Keto Diet

While boiled peanuts can be a great addition to your ketogenic diet, it's important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Check Nutrition Labels: Always check the nutrition labels for any added sugars or food additives. Even though raw peanuts are relatively low in carbs, additional ingredients can up the carb count quickly.
  2. Watch Your Portions: As with any food on a ketogenic diet, portion control is crucial. Enjoy your boiled peanuts, but keep it to a single serving.
  3. Choose Wisely: When making your own boiled peanuts recipe, choose the right kind of peanuts. Green peanuts are an excellent choice as they are lower in carbs compared to other types of peanuts like the Spanish peanut.

Keto boiled peanuts


  • 1 pound raw peanuts, in the shell
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder


  1. Rinse the peanuts in cold water.
  2. In a large pot, combine the peanuts, water, salt, peppercorns, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the peanuts are soft.
  4. Drain the peanuts and let them cool slightly.
  5. Shell the peanuts and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 12 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 10 grams


  • For a spicier flavor, add more black peppercorns or cayenne pepper.
  • For a sweeter flavor, add a tablespoon of sugar or honey.
  • To make your own seasoned salt, combine 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 cup garlic powder, 1/4 cup onion powder, and 1 tablespoon black peppercorns in a small bowl.
  • Store boiled peanuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Nut Variety
Net Carbs (per 1 oz serving)Healthy Fats (per 1 oz serving)Protein (per 1 oz serving)Fiber (per 1 oz serving)
Boiled Peanuts10g2g7g4g
Macadamia Nuts1.5g21g2g2.5g

Remember, when looking at this chart, portion control is key on a ketogenic diet. While boiled peanuts have higher net carbs than other nuts, they are still a great source of protein and fiber, and can be included in a keto diet when consumed in moderation.

The Peanut: A Versatile and Healthy Snack

As we've already noted, peanuts are a favorite snack for many and come with a host of health benefits. They are not only a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats but also contain key nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamin B.

While most people are familiar with the roasted peanut, there are actually several types of peanuts. The green peanut, Spanish peanut, and Virginia peanut are just a few examples, each offering a unique flavor and texture.

Peanuts: A Keto-Friendly Snack?

Despite the health benefits, peanuts can often be overlooked in a low carb diet. However, it's essential to remember that peanuts can be keto-friendly when consumed in moderation. This is where portion control becomes crucial: a decent amount of peanuts might have more carbs than you expect. For instance, a single 1g serving of boiled peanuts contains about 10g net carbs. That's quite a number of carbs for a small handful of peanuts, so be mindful of how many you're eating.

Exploring Peanut Recipes

One of the great things about peanuts is their versatility. They can be incorporated into numerous peanut recipes, from simple snacks to complex meals. You can enjoy boiled peanuts with a touch of cajun seasoning, or perhaps you might like to try your hand at making a low-carb peanut sauce. These recipes not only make great use of this nutritious legume but also add variety to your ketogenic diet.

The Phytic Acid Controversy

Something that often gets mentioned in relation to peanuts is phytic acid. This is a natural compound found in many seeds and nuts, including peanuts. While phytic acid can inhibit the absorption of certain minerals, it's generally not a concern unless your diet relies heavily on nuts and seeds. Cooking methods like boiling also reduce the levels of phytic acid, making those tender peanuts even more appealing.

A Quick Tip: Store Your Peanuts Correctly

One common mistake people make is not storing peanuts properly. To keep your peanuts fresh and tasty, it's best to store them in a freezer bag or airtight container in a cool, dark place. If you live in a hot climate or won't finish your peanuts in a couple of months, storing them in the freezer is a good idea.

What's Next?

The first thing to remember is that, like any food, peanuts should be eaten in moderation. While they're a good fit for a low-carb diet, they also contain a fair amount of carbs. So, be mindful of your portions and always check the nutritional information on the package.

Peanuts can be a great addition to your diet, offering key nutrients without the weight gain associated with many snacks. They're particularly popular in North Carolina and other parts of the Southern United States, where boiled peanuts are considered a delicacy. Whether you prefer your peanuts boiled, roasted, or as part of a recipe, they can be a delicious and nutritious part of your diet.


Can I include peanut butter in my ketogenic diet?

Yes, but choose peanut butter that is natural and without added sugars. Like boiled peanuts, be mindful of portion sizes, as it's easy to consume more carbs than intended with peanut butter.

Can I make boiled peanuts in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make boiled peanuts in an Instant Pot. This method cuts down the cooking time and still gives you instant access to a nutritious snack. Just add raw peanuts, water, and salt in the pot and let the pressure cooker do the hard work for you.

Key Takeaways

Boiled peanuts are a southern favorite that can be a good fit for a ketogenic diet with some caveats:

  1. Carb Count: A single serving of boiled peanuts has around 10g net carbs after subtracting the dietary fiber.
  2. Nutritional Value: They're a great source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and Vitamin B. They also offer a decent amount of antioxidants.
  3. Portion Control: To maintain your ketogenic diet, remember to keep an eye on portion sizes.
  4. Choice of Peanuts: Opt for green peanuts or raw peanuts for a lower carb count.

The next time you reach for a snack, remember that a handful of boiled peanuts could be a good choice. It might just be the tasty, nutritious snack you need to help you stick to your ketogenic diet.

And if you're ready to get creative with your peanuts, why not try some new peanuts recipes? Whether you use your Instant Pot, crock pot, or a simple microwave-safe bowl, you could soon be enjoying a delicious, keto-friendly snack.

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