Nuts and seeds are whole foods. They are “allowed” on the Paleo Diet and can be great snacks.
However, it is best to proceed with caution when it comes to nuts and seeds. Continue reading to find out why you may want to avoid nuts and seeds instead of stuff your face with them.
1. Too many Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Omega 6 is an essential nutrient meaning we must get them from foods we eat. However, this is by far the easiest nutrient to consume. Too much of anything is bad. How much is too much depends on the context.
What our body wants is a balance between omega 6 and omega 3. Fish and seafood is loaded with omega 3 but how much do you consume?
Junk food and even some whole foods like nuts, seeds, chicken fat and pork fat contain a considerable amount of omega 6. Too much omega 6 and too little omega 3 can lead to excessive inflammation which may lead to heart disease.
If I never ate nuts and seeds and enjoyed quality seafood 1-2 times per week then I would personally never worry about my omega 6 intake.
2. Extremely convenient
Are you trying to shed some fat? Passing on the nuts and seeds may help you lose a few extra pounds. I am a big believer in the fact that the convenience of the modern world is a strong contributor to our declined health.
The more “advanced” we get, the sicker we get. This seems to be true anyway.
Meat, eggs and seafood need preparation before they are ready to eat. This is why it’s so difficult to over consume these foods. Nuts and seeds are edible raw straight from the bag you purchased them from.
3. High in phytic acid
One of the major reasons why folks avoid grains is because of anti-nutrients. These buggers, like phytic acid, bind to certain minerals and prevent your body from absorbing them.
Grains are certainly high in phytic acid but guess what? Most nuts and seeds are much higher.
Cooking does destroy some of the phytic acid but not all of it. Soaking can help too but are you doing this?
4. Relatively cheap
I can buy blanched almonds from Trader Joe’s in Chicago for $5 per lb. When you consider the fact that almonds – just like all nuts and seeds – are made up of mostly fat, that is a lot of calories for only $5.
If you only buy a bunch of cheap food then you are more bound to eat more than you should. Grass-fed beef, wild alaskan salmon, caviar, organic produce, pastured eggs and more are easier to savor because they come with a higher price.
5. Lectins in nuts and seeds may cause gut irritation
Lectins are proteins that are meant to protect the plant. These little buggers may cause some gut irritation. A way to find out if this is the case is to avoid all nuts and seeds without doing anything else and seeing what happens.
I personally digest blanched almonds a lot better than regular almonds. The skin of all plants is usually where a fair amount of lectins and other toxins reside.
Want to learn more about lectins? Read this blog post.
6. They taste amazing on their own
If nuts and seeds did not taste good on their own then they would not cause much of a problem. You would naturally eat less. Cod liver oil is convenient but also disgusting. You aren’t going to chug a whole bottle. It just isn’t going to happen.
7. You are not a squirrel
Squirrels eat a LOT of nuts. They love them. I love watching them eat them. It’s quite the entertainment. You are not a squirrel. You are a human being. You knew that, right? Our bodies are simply not designed to eat a lot of nuts and seeds.
Macadamias are Superior to All Other Nuts & Seeds
Consider consuming only macadamias. Why?
- Only .36 grams of omega 6 per 1 oz which is super low
- Can be difficult to find and thus less convenient in a way
- May be lower in phytic acid compared to other nuts and seeds
- Most expensive nut
- Lower in lectins perhaps?
Macadamias are the superior nut. However, these are also very delicious so you may have to watch out. It depends on you really. You are the one that puts your hand in the bag and tosses nuts into your mouth. You are the one that has to learn to say “no thank you.”
Your decisions may be influenced by your environment but you are ultimately responsible for your own actions.
Do you watch your nut and seed intake? Why or why not? What are other reasons to limit nuts and seeds? Leave a comment below with your response.