7 Reasons to Say “No Thank You” to Nuts & Seeds

Nuts on Chess Board

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.

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Comments

  1. Amanda B says

    Yikes, I need to start limiting my intake. I eat way too many nuts. Usually every time I am home and cooking I am having handfuls of almonds, pecans or walnuts. I also feel that I have a mental issue with food though that I haven’t been able to crack yet. I eat out of habit not because I am hungry. Maybe getting them out of the house is a good idea, but then I can’t cook with them! and that’s no good.

    • says

      I have been eating out of habit as well. Hang in there! We both need to replace this habit with something else. It’s been cold here but when it’s warm I am outside a lot and thus don’t really eat out of habit.

      Don’t buy nuts or seeds anymore. This will surely help.

  2. christina bertges says

    When I eat nuts I try and only buy them whole and in the shell….that way I have to work harder to eat it and you never eat anywhere near as many as you would if they were already shell-less.

    • says

      Great tip! This would definitely work for just about anyone. Too bad nuts in the shells are not as available as deshelled nuts.

      • Stephanie says

        if i had to crack and pry out my nuts!! lol i would give up after one!!! lol! i love me some macadamias!!!! but yes they are definately the most expensive!!! but knowing how expensive they are also stops me from eating too much!!! :-)

  3. says

    my issue is the nut butters- almond butter I eat just about everyday but I can go without regular nuts for the most part… and yes macadamias are superior and also taste the best in my opinion, slightly sweet and buttery mmmm.

    • says

      I’m actually not a huge fan of almond butter. Just not a big fan of the taste. I can eat tons of almonds at once however. Macadamias for the win!

  4. says

    Yeah, nuts are good, but since most nuts of the nuts we eat are shelled already we tend to go crazy on them. I’ve noticed lately that eating more than a small handful of almonds makes my stomach wonky.

  5. Julie says

    I don’t eat a lot of them. They tend to bother me anyway, I think I am sort of Diverticular. I do eat peanut butter, natural, and occasionally garnish with nuts. I love sesame seeds on rolls, but don’t eat a lot of them either. I wish I ate more fish, I just find it harder to buy than chicken. Where I live, it isn’t fresh, so it tends to taste and smell fishy, and I don’t like that. I do take a fish oil capsule a day though.

    • says

      What about frozen fish? This is what I eat mostly. Wild Alaskan Salmon is not too expensive and available at normal supermarkets and Costco or Sam’s Club.

  6. says

    Interesting article! Makes sense, though. For me, I tend to break out if I eat a lot of nuts… seeds not as much if it is chia.. perhaps the gastrointestinal issues or the phytic acid?
    It sure was interrsting anyways to do a juice feast and then add them back in. For me, at least, plain ol fruits, veg, and healthy oils work the best… but Almond Butter..mmmmmmmmm

      • says

        Lately anyways. I’ve done every version of raw & vegan, and even paleo over the last few years…As I mentioned, I just finished a juice feast, however, and the simpler I stay, the better I feel etc… guessing I’m in a ‘cleansing’ state, I’m not sure how long it’ll last, but what matters to me is I’m listening to my body and ditching the dogma. I honestly can’t bash on any type of the eating styles- as they work for different people. Anyhoo – my two cents.

        • says

          “but what matters to me is I’m listening to my body and ditching the dogma.”

          Right on! Just always be open to change depending on how you feel. You can’t cleanse for too long. Just be careful.

  7. says

    It seems logical that eating fatty nuts can’t be good for you. Logic, however, may have no relationship reality. It seemed logical to put radium on phosphorescent coated hands of the clock so people could tell time in the Dark! Unfortunately, all the ladies who swirled the brushes in their mouths to make a nice teeny brush tip died of cancer, along with the discoverer of radium, Marie Curie.

    This year, some huge studies have been published which demonstrated those foods ingested by people who lose weight and keep it off discovered that yes, mashed potatoes aren’t so hot, but nuts, surprisingly, were good! Heard the Prof. in charge of the study interviewed–Johns Hopkins Med School on Public Radio. But fat is BAD for you!, the interviewer said. ” Well”, he said, “fat is a great appetite suppressant.” Another medical study recently published showed that there is something magical about almonds–people who included them in their diet lost weight faster than those who didn’t. I would suggest that global prohibitions on this or that may not be all that useful without rock-hard scientific proof standing behind them.

  8. Smd says

    This is a joke, you are not a squirrel ? Really ? Well that’s one hell of a reason to stop eating them. And I just don’t get it, why trash talk about them and you say you eat them the whole time ?

    • says

      It’s not about being so strict that you stress out. Nuts are a convenient food and are a much better choice than 99% of the food products available in supermarkets.

      I enjoy blanched almonds, pistachios and macadamias. That’s it right now. I may eat them for a week straight and then go a week without eating them. I live in the moment and don’t plan out my nut consumption.

      I’d estimate that at least 51% of the world would feel better if they replaced nuts with the following foods: well cooked or fermented veggies, fruits, veggies that are really fruit like tomatoes (if nightshades are not a problem), meat, seafood, fish, eggs (maybe just the yolk), potatoes, high quality dairy for those who tolerate it.

      Does this make sense and clear up any confusion? When I create an ebook out of my blog posts my thoughts will be up to date.

  9. Bob says

    Good points. But seems the 7 are lumped together just to make a list.

    I have to say I need some serious change. I can eat 2 pounds of nuts a week. Usually I eat at least a pound. Can’t resist. Need to cut them down man. Thanks for the post.

    • says

      Yea 2 pounds is way out there. I recommend folks eat less than 1 oz a day on average and to stick to pistachios, blanched almonds, blanched hazelnuts and macadamias.

      What kinds of nuts are you eating?

      • Bob says

        Mostly grocery store types. A lot of cashews. Then almonds, Brazil, some pecans, hazelnuts.

        I recently come to the realization that nuts are not the only one culprit. Americans consume Omega-6 to Omega-3 over 16:1. The trouble is majority of the foods that include oil are just totally imbalanced, including common oils from seeds.

        So just from the Omega-6 point of view, don’t seem nuts are the worst. I know I am finding excuses. But I am hoping as I consume very little oil through the day, which I do, perhaps I can indulge myself in some nuts.

        Nonetheless I mostly take the approach of not buying buts at all. This way, I can’t lose control. Once in a while when I buy a bag (like a pound), it will be gone in a week.

        • says

          I’ve learned over the years that my body is miserable at digesting raw nuts. Thus, I have virtually ditched them from my diet. I’d rather eat white rice. Each to his own.

  10. Elaine says

    Nuts and seeds give me migraines, so that’s the reason I avoid them. I used to eat almonds all the time, then switched to pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and now I’ve gone cold turkey. What’s hardest now is not being able to cook with nut/seed flours for the rare “paleo” treat.

    By the way, what about coconut?

    • says

      People don’t have nearly as many problems with coconut. A lot can’t do coconut milk but that is mostly because of the guar gum. And coconut is a fruit anyways. I consume a fair amount of coconut water and shredded coconut.

  11. All hail nuts! says

    Nuts are a fabulous alternative for a raw nut and fruit bar or a snack mix, or tossed in with a salad, fruit or vegetable. Dissing eating nuts on a whole is ridiculous. Nuts have been around for yonks and, yeah, lots of people suffer from a uncontrollable force taking over their bodies and hands and mouth when a bowl of nuts or a jar of peanut or almond butter is in front of them, and that can make for a bad time. But I honestly think that a human eating a few good quality nuts; doesn’t really matter what type, each day will lead to better blood sugar levels; there-for less cravings and binges. Each morning I have muesli (which is home-made, in big quantity) with almonds, hazelnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed’s, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, tossed with organic oats; 0 gluten (I have coeliacs but I find those oats make me feel a-ok) and then I top it off with a big dose of home-made Almond milk; deeeeelicious, and healthy! I have 1/2 a cup of that topped with 1/2 a banana, basically half a bowl of blueberries and raspberries and 1/2 a mango…. #Yolo bitches. I can’t do almond butter any more though; had to throw that out, at first I treasured it, now it makes me cringe at the thought of eating it (guess I can’t digest it). Oh and then I eat more nuts later on in the day; usually in the form of a home made raw nut bar, almonds and Brazil nuts are my fav. Then to top it off I have almond milk with my dinner and and avocado. >:) I’m vegan, I feel better than ever, and I weigh 50kg and I’m 169cm tall. I’ve been overweight before, and hell, eating like this makes me thinner. BROADEN YOUR MINDS. Gobble those nuts up; they won’t kill ya ;)

  12. says

    I eat alot of nuts. I also eat at least 4 servings of fruits and veggies a day but usually closer to 7 or 8. Nuts have been a tremendous substitute for some of the other foods that I was eating. And, they help me to lose weight. Usually what I’ll do is just portion out two servings of pistachios and snack on them throughout the day at work. Nuts and an apple make up a big portion of my breakfast. It’s usually some sort of salad with chicken for lunch. I then will eat another apple for a snack and maybe some more pistachios on the way home from work to help avoid stopping at a fast food restaurant. Substituting nuts for fast food and soda has helped me to lose weight. It’s like most everything in life. Don’t go overboard and you’ll be ok in my opinion. I’ve just seen too much research that suggests that nuts are good for you to drop it for a silly 7 point list that has some absolutely ridiculous points added in.

  13. mdancn says

    Macadamias have “Only .36 grams of omega 6 per 1 oz which is super low”
    umm…there are 28 grams in an ounce.

  14. sb petre says

    I can only agree with the last post. I eat quite a lot of all kinds of nuts and seeds. Nuts are great, keep the hunger away, keep junk food out and made me loose 7 kg in 5 month without ever even trying. I also eat lots of salads and fruits, little cereals and hardly bread and the like and even less meat, cheese, dairies and no cold cuts or fast food at all. I watch very well my food combinations so I don’t get bloating, which I used to have a lot. I just turned 50 and feel generally good, have not had a cold for 5 years, don’t have any water retention in my hands and feet anymore and am fit. I suffer though of some pain in my articulations (shoulder) and for that I was checking my diet on the internet. It doesn’t look though as if the nuts are the reason.

  15. says

    I can find so many things wring with this article. Firstly, the article focuses on the negatives. Write an article entitled 7 Reasons to Say “No Thank You” to Aspartame.. Something that we should really be avoiding. There are a million things we can be advising people to START DOING, and focusing on the positive. Stop eating nuts and seeds? Rubbish.

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