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Is Pili Keto-Friendly?

Pili on a kitchen counter

The ketogenic diet, with its focus on high-fat, low-carb foods, has brought about a reevaluation of many staple foods.

One food that stands at this crossroads of dietary discussion is Pili, a popular nut hailing from the Philippines with numerous nutritional benefits.

Yet one question emerges, "Is Pili Keto-Friendly?" Drawing on a detailed exploration of Pili's carbohydrate content, nutritional profile, and keto-compatible alternatives, it appears that while Pili bears notable health merits, its higher net carb content casts a shadow on its compatibility with a strict ketogenic lifestyle.

Join us as we delve deeper into this topic, providing you with insights and alternatives for your keto journey.


  • Pili, while rich in nutrients and beneficial monounsaturated fats, is not ideal for a strict keto diet due to its higher net carb content.
  • Navigating a keto diet with Pili can pose challenges in maintaining metabolic ketosis.
  • Alternatives like macadamia nuts, pecans, or Brazil nuts are lower in carbs and can offer variety in a keto-friendly diet.

Is Pili Keto-Friendly?

So, the million-dollar question: is Pili Keto-friendly? Well, in a word: No. Let's see why.

The heart of a keto diet lies in its strategic distribution of macronutrients - chiefly, it's a high-fat, low-carb nutrition plan where carbohydrates are kept significantly low. The aim is to nudge your body into a state of ketosis, where, instead of burning carbohydrates for energy, it resorts to fat-burning. It's a shift in the metabolic gear, so to say.

Now, turning our attention to the Pili. Hailing from the Southeast Asian tropics, Pili nuts are delectable, loaded with health benefits, and offer a nutritional profile that's hard to ignore. They're rich in healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals, and perhaps more importantly for our discussion - they contain carbohydrates. Specifically, Pili has 9.05g net carbs per 100g.

While this might not appear much at first glance, it’s crucial here to remember the context. When you’re maintaining a ketogenic diet, your net carb intake usually caps at around 20-50g per day. So a handful of Pili nuts could, quite easily, scale up your carb count and potentially disrupt ketosis.

Therefore, although Pili prides itself on its nutritional merits, it falls short as far as keto compliance is concerned. Keep in mind that this doesn't undermine the health benefits Pili brings to the table, but it does indicate that a strict ketogenic diet plan and Pili nuts might not be the best companions.

Can Pili be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Given that Pili contains 9.05g net carbs per 100g, its inclusion in a strict ketogenic diet can be a quandary. In the context of stringent ketogenic goals, where a day's net carb allotment hovers around 20-50g, a serving or two of Pili could cause an unexpected carb surge. But can one still manage to incorporate Pili into a strict keto diet?

While it may be technically possible to include Pili in a strict keto diet, it would require careful planning and precise tracking of each day's net carb consumption. That means being exceptionally mindful of your total daily carb intake - a few Pili, here or there, must not tip you over your net carbs limit.

Meticulous tracking of your food intake is essential here. There are several apps and online tools available today that facilitate quick logging of your meals, snacks and beverages, and they calculate the net carbs for you. By diligently logging every bite and sip, you can gain insight into how much room you have for Pili in your keto regimen, if any at all.

Moreover, we recommend that any major shifts in diet, including the introduction or omission of specific foods, should invariably be accompanied by a thorough understanding of your body’s unique needs and responses. Personal tolerance for carbohydrates can vary significantly from person to person, and understanding your body's specific carb limit that allows you to maintain ketosis is crucial.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Pili

To thoroughly grasp why Pili does not align with a standard keto diet, let's drill down deeper into its carbohydrate profile.

Carbohydrates are one of the primary macronutrients found in foods, alongside proteins, and fats. While carbohydrates are essential for many physiological functions, their role is somewhat diminished in a ketogenic diet. The aim of a keto diet is to limit carbohydrate intake significantly, causing your body to switch its energy source from carbs to fats, thus entering a metabolic state called ketosis.

Now, let's talk net carbs, a term you'll often encounter when dissecting the carbohydrate content of foods on a keto diet. Net carbs refer to the total carbohydrates in a food, minus the dietary fiber and sugar alcohols. It's this net carb content that individuals on a keto diet are particularly concerned with.

And here's where Pili enters the scene. One 100g serving of Pili nuts contain 9.05g of net carbs. To put that into perspective, if your daily net carb limit on a keto diet is 20g (a common benchmark for those adhering to a strict keto regimen), almost half of it would be occupied by this single serving of Pili nuts.

For instance, imagine enjoying a handful of Pili nuts - about a quarter cup, or approximately 30g. This small snack would already contribute roughly 2.71g net carbs to your daily total. That might not seem much in isolation, but remember, on a stringent keto diet, every gram counts. All the other foods and drinks you consume throughout the day add up, and the extra carbs from Pili could be the tipping point, potentially ousting you from ketosis.

Nutritional Snapshot of Pili

Pili presents an impressive nutritional profile that's both broad and diverse. For every 100g serving, Pili contains 21.15g of protein, delivering a good amount of this essential macronutrient that supports muscle growth and repair. Meanwhile, 49.93g of total fats with 3.8g of saturated fats and a considerable amount of mono and polyunsaturated fats characterize Pili's fat content. These heart-friendly fats help maintain good cardiovascular health.

Pili is also beneficial in managing your daily carbohydrate intake, containing 21.55g of carbohydrates of which 12.5g is dietary fiber. Notably present as a micronutrient, fiber aids in digestive health and provides a sense of satiety, helping control appetite without adding notable calories.

The presence of 9.05g net carbs also defines Pili's compatibility with low-carb diets like Keto. The minerals present in Pili significantly contribute towards daily values, including noteworthy levels of Magnesium (270mg), Calcium (269mg), and Potassium (733mg), essential for bone health, muscle function, and maintaining body fluid balance respectively.

With a rich collection of vitamins such as Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) at 25.63mg and B vitamins including Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Niacin, Pili provides an array of these key nutrients supporting various body functions, from skin health to energy production.

The interesting presence of 2.46g of Arginine, and 6.21g of Glutamic acid signifies Pili's unique contribution to the essential amino acids profile, supporting protein synthesis and neurotransmitter function.

Fatty acids composition in Pili is also noteworthy. It contains 31.55g of monounsaturated and 12.33g of polyunsaturated fats, contributing positively to heart health by potentially lowering levels of "bad" cholesterol.

While Pili is not directly linked to weight loss, these nutritional contributions offer essential benefits to overall health and wellbeing when incorporated into a balanced diet.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 9.05g
Carbohydrate, by difference 21.55g
Fiber, total dietary 12.5g
Total fats 49.93g
Protein 21.15g
Sodium, Na 1.0mg
Potassium, K 733.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 270.0mg
Calcium, Ca 269.0mg
Vitamin B-6 0.14mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 25.63mg
Copper, Cu 1.03mg
Iron, Fe 3.71mg
Phosphorus, P 481.0mg
Selenium, Se 4.1ug
Zinc, Zn 3.12mg
Beta-carotene 1.0ug
Lutein + zeaxanthin 1.0ug
Betaine 0.5mg
Manganese, Mn 2.18mg
Thiamin 0.2mg
Riboflavin 1.14mg
Niacin 3.62mg
Pantothenic acid 0.47mg
Folate, total 44.0ug
Choline, total 52.1mg
Calories 579.0kcal
Water 4.41g
Tryptophan 0.21g
Threonine 0.6g
Isoleucine 0.75g
Leucine 1.47g
Lysine 0.57g
Methionine 0.16g
Cystine 0.22g
Phenylalanine 1.13g
Tyrosine 0.45g
Valine 0.86g
Arginine 2.46g
Histidine 0.54g
Alanine 1.0g
Aspartic acid 2.64g
Glutamic acid 6.21g
Glycine 1.43g
Proline 0.97g
Serine 0.91g
Fatty acids, total saturated 3.8g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 31.55g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 12.33g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Pili' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Nuts, almonds' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Pili on a Keto Diet

Let's delve into the potential health implications of including Pili in a ketogenic diet and why it could be more trouble than it's worth for those seeking to maintain ketosis.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that incorporating Pili into a strict keto diet can pose a significant challenge due to its net carb content. As we've discussed, achieving and maintaining ketosis requires strict adherence to a low-carb diet, usually between 20-50g net carbs per day. Given that Pili has 9.05g net carbs per 100g, indulging in this nut can invariably lead to higher daily net carb consumption. Consequently, this can result in a disruption of the metabolic state of ketosis, the cornerstone of ketogenic diet benefits.

However, just because Pili and a ketogenic diet aren’t entirely harmonious doesn’t mean Pili lacks nutritional value or health benefits.

Pili nuts are a nutritional powerhouse and are rich in several important vitamins and minerals. Known for their high protein and healthy fat content, Pili supplies a plethora of essential nutrients for overall well-being, including magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. In addition to these key nutrients, Pili is said to be rich in antioxidants, compounds that protect your cells against potential damage from harmful molecules called free radicals.

Moreover, Pili has a high content of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which is known for its heart-healthy benefits. Studies have shown that monounsaturated fats can help to reduce LDL cholesterol (the 'bad' cholesterol) levels while increasing HDL cholesterol (the 'good' cholesterol) levels when they replace saturated or trans fats in one's diet.

Avoiding Pili in Your Keto Meal Plan

With its higher net carb content, keeping Pili off your keto meal plan can be a crucial step in maintaining ketosis. But, how can you effectively avoid Pili, especially if it's a food item you particularly enjoy? Here are some practical tips and considerations:

  1. Identify Foods and Dishes Containing Pili: This might seem like a no-brainer, but being aware of the foods and dishes that may contain Pili is the first step. Pili nuts may show up in a variety of dishes like salads, energy bars, nut butter, or may be roasted and consumed directly as a snack. Curating your dishes in a way that does not include Pili can help you stay within your net carb goal.
  2. Remain Mindful of Nutrition Labels: Always take a moment to read food labels and nutritional breakdowns when shopping for your food. Be on the lookout not just for Pili but also for high-carb ingredients in any packaged food.
  3. Find Low-Carb Substitutes: If you're used to having Pili in your meals, finding keto-friendly substitutes can be extremely helpful. Options such as macadamia nuts or pecans can serve as excellent low-carb alternatives.
  4. Manage Pili Cravings: If you have cravings for Pili, it might be worthwhile to indulge occasionally, but in very controlled portions, ensuring you're not exceeding your daily net carb count. Alternatively, satiating your taste buds with other keto-friendly nuts or snacks can help to curb these cravings.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Pili

Stepping away from Pili on your ketogenic journey doesn't mean your options are limited. There's a wide array of truly keto-compatible nuts and seeds that can adequately fill in for Pili, satisfying your cravings while ensuring that you stay comfortably within your net carb limit. Let's explore a few of them:

  1. Macadamia Nuts: This rich, buttery nut is an excellent low-carb alternative to Pili. In a serving of 100g, it packs a much lower net carb content of about 5.6g. Macadamias are also valued for their high monounsaturated fat content, which is beneficial for heart health. In your keto journey, you can enjoy them in their raw state, roast them for a crunchy snack, or even incorporate them into homemade keto granola.
  2. Pecans: Pecans are another delightful replacement for Pili, boasting only about 4.26g net carbs per 100g serving. They're also powerhouses of monounsaturated fats and contain essential minerals like magnesium and zinc. You can add crushed pecans to your keto-friendly salads or use them to make a pecan crust for your keto desserts.
  3. Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are remarkably low in net carbs, with just about 4.24g per 100g serving. They're significantly high in selenium—a powerful antioxidant. Like the substitutes mentioned above, these can be either eaten straight out of the shell or used in a variety of keto recipes such as a topper for your keto smoothie bowls.

When selecting an alternative for Pili, remember that aside from the nutritional composition, you must also consider flavor and texture preferences to ensure that these low-carb substitutes can satisfy your cravings while keeping you within your ketogenic limits.

Concluding Thoughts on Pili and Keto

Throughout this exploration of Pili and its relationship with the ketogenic lifestyle, one key takeaway that emerges is that while Pili has numerous nutritional benefits, its higher net carb content makes it less-than-ideal for a strict keto regimen. Despite its rich profile of essential nutrients, antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, undeniably, its carb content could cause potential hurdles, disrupting the desired state of ketosis for avid keto adherents.

We've also taken a look at some flavorful and nutritious alternatives to Pili, such as macadamia nuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts. Each of these options offers its own unique blend of textures and flavors, and their significantly lower carb content makes them more accommodating for a keto lifestyle. Experimenting with these substitutes not only broadens your keto culinary experiences but also helps maintain your ketosis without the Pili-induced carb bumps.

One unique idea sprouting from this discussion would be to consider these findings in the broader context of balance. Regardless of the specific dietary approach you follow, seeking balance in your nutrient intake and food choices is instrumental in attaining sustainable, long-term health benefits.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

While Pili is rich in several key nutrients, its higher net carb content renders it less suitable for a strict ketogenic diet. You might need to limit your intake of Pili to stay within your daily carb limits for ketosis.

Absolutely. Keto-friendly alternatives like macadamia nuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts are much lower in net carbs compared to Pili. Experimenting with these can help add variety to your diet while keeping within your carb limit.