When I first went primal in April of 2010 I ate a lot of nuts. I had a whole stash in my bedroom of almost every nut you can imagine. Nuts are nutritious, easy, convenient and cheap.
However, all nuts, except for macadamias, are full of omega 6 fatty acids. One of the benefits of eating according to the Primal Blueprint eating plan is getting as close as possible to the ideal omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio of 1:1.
If you eat a lot of nuts then your ratio is going to creep towards the danger zone that leads to inflammation. Read this post and this one to learn more about the nutrition content of nuts. I listed the omega 6 content so you can see for yourself.
Is It Right To Dismiss A Food For One Reason?
I am not sure. There are other reasons to avoid nuts but the most solid reason is the high omega 6 content. But, how do we really know what is an ideal ratio. I have heard that anywhere from 1:1 and 1:4 in favor of omega 6 is ideal. I also heard that the ratio has to be a lot higher in favor of omega 6 for any sort of inflammation to occur. So, what does one do?
Nuts are great with many foods. They add texture and color along with flavor and lots of nutrition. They can also be used as a substitute for wheat flour if one wishes to bake but avoid the harmful effects of grains.
A lot of people who decide to eat a primal/paleo diet don’t stop baking. To be honest, this never made sense to me. I always felt all vegetables and just about all animal products (all meats and some dairy) were superior to nuts. I felt like people were eating copious amounts of almond meal which is not at all an ideal food. Is it better than wheat flour? Yes. But, again, the omega 6 fatty acid content can really add up.
If you wish to bake something then using a recipe with almond flour or coconut flour (my choice) is better than wheat flour. But, meats and veggies are still far superior in taste and nutritional value.
Mark Sisson, the creator of the primal movement claims to eat only macadamia nuts. He adds other nuts as a garnish to other foods occasionally. Why would he do this? I truly believe it is solely because nuts contain too many omega 6 fatty acids. He understands that too much o6 and too little 03 leads to inflammation. It’s more simple to eat less omega 6 than to eat more omega 3 because seafood can be costly.
Lots More to Come On Nuts, Omega 6, Etc.
I must admit, I was very tired while starting to write this post. I had no idea what I was going to type on my lovely MAC but nuts and their omega 6 fatty acid content came to mind. I don’t wish to bash nuts but if one is to avoid wheat completely then I believe that same person should place a threshold on how much nuts they consume unless they are macadamias.
I wish to learn more about nuts, omega 6’s, omega 3’s etc. and thus will blog more about these subjects in the coming weeks and months. Now, I turn it over to you. I love your comments as it adds content and can help more people which is what this blog is all about.
How many nuts do you eat during the week? Do you eat less now compared to before? What do you think about their high omega 6 content – worry or not worry? How many nuts is too much? Please share your opinions below!