Nuts offer a lot of nutrition. They are full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and are even a somewhat decent source of protein. In addition, just about all nuts are rich in omega 6 fatty acids. We need these lovely things but too much of the 6 and too little of the 3 can lead to trouble.
Many believe the golden ratio is 1:1. Others say a ratio of 4:1 in favor of omega 6′s is fine. Most Americans’ ratio is around 10:1 or even 20:1. When you follow the primal/paleo eating plan, your ratio naturally improves for the better. Eating grass-fed, pastured meats improves the ratio even more.
If you eat plenty of seafood then you are golden. Most of us are not able to afford wild-caught fish from quality sources as much as we wish. Supplementing with fish oil helps a lot.
Would it be easier to simply cut out as much omega 6 fatty acids as possible?
I think so.
What is an easy way to accomplish this?
Limit your intake of nuts. Nuts, except for macadamia nuts, are loaded with omega 6 fatty acids and contain little to no omega 3 fatty acids. For those of you who are skeptical of this please check out the following stats for nuts. All my information is coming from Nutrition Data.
Omega 3 vs Omega 6 in Milligrams
- Macadamias – 60 vs 360
- Almonds – 2 vs 3400
- Hazelnuts – 20 vs 2200
- Pistachios – 70 vs 3700
- Brazil Nuts – 5.1 vs 5800
- Cashews – 7 vs 2200
- Walnuts – 2500 vs 10,100
- Pine Nuts – 31 vs 9400
- Pecans – 280 vs 5800
Do you now see why it may be smart to limit your intake of nuts even though they are filled with nutrition? Walnuts may have 2,500 mg of ALA omega 3 fatty acids but 10,000 of omega 6 fatty acids?! That’s going overboard.
When we think of eating like our ancestors the general rule is lean meats, seafood, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Lean meats as in grass-fed beef, pastured pork, etc. People who are trying to lose weight limit their intake of fruits for good reason. Fruits may have a lot of vitamins and minerals but they are loaded with sugar. Leafy greens and other fiber rich veggies beat fruits any day.
What about nuts? Macadamia nuts?
I love almond butter. Costco carries a large container for a measly $5 (maybe $7?). I can buy half the size and pay a little more at Meijer, the major supermarket in Michigan. After finding this great deal I started to take spoonfuls of the almond butter right out of the jar as a snack and/or treat. I discovered that it does not agree with my body as much as I thought it would which is why I decided to look for an alternative.
I had known about the high omega 6 content in nuts within the first couple months I went primal, and knew that macadamia nuts were particularly low. I decided to lower my intake of nuts but I still ate them regularly since I was in the “beginning stages” of eating the primal way.
My 2, 12 oz. bags of macadamia nuts should arrive this week and once they do I will say goodbye to all other nuts for at least a while except for the occasional garnish.
Whether or not you do the same is completely up to you. My theory is that macadamia nuts are superior to all other nuts. But, who really knows? If you want to buy them inexpensively then check them out on Amazon. Pick and choose your vendor as there are plenty.
What is your opinion on nuts? Do you eat them? Did you know they had this much omega 6 fatty acids? Will you change your habits?