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While nuts are a wonderful part of the ketogenic diet, some are more keto-friendly (high-fat) than others. Enter the pili nut. Haven’t heard of it? Pronounced “peel-y,” it hails from the Filipino rainforest, is tender yet crunchy like a macadamia nut, and boasts a strong, unique flavor reminiscent of a hybrid between a macadamia nut and a cashew nut. Better still, it contains the highest fat and lowest carb content of any nut (even more than macadamias!) and delivers a variety of other nutrients along the way! 

Typically served as a deep-fried, sugar-coated dessert, the nut is now available in the U.S. via Pilli Hunters, which offers them as a selection of keto-friendly sprouted snacks in four flavors (Coconut & Himalayan Salt, Rosemary & Olive Oil, Spicy Chili, and Raw Cacao).

The pili nuts look like large sliced almonds and have a texture like the macadamia nut. The bite is a soft crunch that packs a delicious burst of natural buttery flavor. 

Available in resealable packages that range in size from mini-snack packs to 3 pound bags suitable for filling snack bowls at gatherings, the flavors are varied and appeal to a wide variety of tastes. Although one flavor (Raw Cacao) isn’t quite as keto-friendly due to its inclusion of raw coconut sugar, they still have extremely low carb counts and the rest of the flavors are right on target, featuring just a few, whole ingredients that are vitamin-and mineral-rich. In fact, they even include ever-important magnesium, an essential mineral on a keto diet. Plus, they’re loaded with decadent, wholesome fats, which results in excellent macro ratios, making them a perfect “fat bomb” to ward off hunger or kick any cravings that crop up throughout the day or night.

About The Company

Pili Hunters founder Jason Thomas is an endurance athlete who discovered pili nuts while surfing in the Philippines. Blown away by the rich buttery taste, he brought a 15-pound bag of the nuts back to the states to share with friends. A wildly enthusiastic response encouraged Jason to launch his pili nut company to cater to endurance athletes, who appreciate the excellent sustaining energy source of healthy fat. The low-carb, high-fat combo quickly attracted the keto community as well.

How They Taste

Soft yet crunchy and satisfying, Pili Hunters Pili Nuts flavors are straightforward but distinctly different. 

  1. Coconut & Himalayan Salt flavor is buttery and rich, with a subtle aftertaste of sharp cheddar cheese. Anyone missing a buttery, crunchy snack during movie night or anytime will appreciate these. 
  2. Rosemary & Olive Oil pili nuts burst with aroma. A simple opening of the bag whisks your nose to an Italian restaurant. The flavor is savory and reminiscent of buttery rosemary bread. It’s perfect on its own or sprinkled over a salad with an Italian-inspired dressing. 
  3. Spicy Chili introduces itself with straightforward buttery aromas, but one bite confirms the name; expect a kick of salty heat, but less noticeable chili flavor than we would like, even though they’re flavored with an ethically sourced Filipino chili called the Siling Labuyo Chili. 
  4. Raw Cacao is not as keto-friendly due to its sugar content. But it does have a nice, sweet chocolatey coating, which unfortunately masks the buttery character of the pili nut a bit. 

Ingredients & Macros

Each variety of pili nuts are sprouted, which aids in the digestion process. Many of the ingredients are organic and all are natural. Below we break down the ingredients for each variety. 

Coconut Oil & Himalyan Salt

Ingredients: sprouted pili nuts, extra-virgin coconut oil, Himalayan salt
Serving size: 1/4 cup (30g) / This is an adequate serving size for a snack.

  Calories: 210
  Protein: 3g
  Fat: 24g
  Carbohydrates: 1g
  Fiber: 1g
  Net Carbohydrates: 0g

Rosemary & Olive Oil

Ingredients: sprouted pili nuts, organic rosemary, organic extra-virgin olive oil, Himalayan salt
Serving Size: 1/3 cup (52g)/ This is an ample serving size for a snack.

  Calories: 360
  Protein: 5g
  Fat: 39g
  Carbohydrates: 2g
  Fiber: 2g
  Net Carbohydrates: 0g

Spicy Chili

Ingredients: sprouted pili nuts, extra-virgin coconut oil, sea salt, Siling Labuyo chili
Serving Size: 1/4 cup (30g)/ This is an adequate serving size for a snack.

  Calories: 360
  Protein: 6g
  Fat: 41g
  Carbohydrates: 2g
  Fiber: 3g
  Net Carbohydrates: 0g

Raw Cacao

Ingredients: sprouted pili nuts, raw cacao, coconut sugar
Serving Size: 1/4 cup (30g)/ This is an adequate serving size for a snack.

  Calories:352
  Protein: 6g
  Fat: 37g
  Carbohydrates: 5g
  Fiber: 3g
  Net Carbohydrates: 2g

How It Affects Blood Sugar and Ketones

We always put foods we review to the test by testing our ketones and blood-glucose before and after eating the food in question. You’ll see from the chart below that when we tested the Coconut Oil and Himalayan Salt flavor, we saw an acceptable/minor elevation in glucose and very little change to our ketone levels, which essentially means they passed our test with flying colors. We suspect the Rosemary & Olive Oil and the Spicy Chile would fare the same although the Raw Cacao might not.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/LOLZtn-9K253alKcPjnE2EkgUkc2MxdfBxowLpLJWgRI8jJMVkt8O8hTGXbAdmyUEH1Xgz6Ox27pn2-AXSStRCppncNUr2POJ7fQgxjpLXOiQO-lCOZIOK2CvB7NnPtmXIcfHvGw

The Final Word

Big thumbs up to the pili nuts from Pili Hunters. Three of the four flavors are entirely made with keto-friendly ingredients and all are natural and nutritious. The flavor selections are diverse and will accommodate a wide range of differing tastes. The macros are perfectly balanced for keto ratios with fat grams higher than any other nuts on the market, making it easier to hit your daily macros. The carbohydrates are low, even without calculating net carbohydrates. The serving size is perfect for a snack, and it packs a powerful punch of magnesium, sodium, and fat. The price is what you would expect to pay for a specialty food created for the specific niche of endurance athletes. 

Pili Nuts can be purchased  here or  here.

Keto-Mojo is a participant in some affiliate programs and some of the links above will generate a small commission if you make a purchase through a product link on our site. This is at no cost to you and all proceeds go directly to the nonprofit Ketogenic Foundation [501(c)3 pending] to assist with their mission funding education and research into the ketogenic diet and lifestyle. Keto-Mojo in no way profits from these links.

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