3

votes

Why am I addicted to almonds?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 03, 2013 at 3:06 AM

I bought a 9.5 ounce container of dry-roasted, unsalted almonds from Whole Foods just a couple hours ago, and at this point they're almost gone. It says there are 10 servings in the container, 170 calories each. Did I seriously just eat 1,700 calories of almonds basically in a sitting? If I wasn't concerned about my health, I could make this standard practice. They do virtually nothing to my level of satiation, and they taste amazing.

I have a history of massive overeating, and my theory has always been that I had/have some sort of malabsorption issue that leads to my body failing to process the necessary amount of certain nutrients from what I'm eating, causing it to call for more and more food in order to compensate, and that this issue was caused by certain factors that messed up my gut. With this theory, and through applying standard paleo and alternative-health practices (GAPS-inspired protocols, etc), I've managed to fix this overeating issue to a large extent... except with almonds.

I used to overeat to an absolutely ridiculous extent on all sorts of foods. Peanut butter, for example, I could eat an entire jar (e.g. with apple slices), experiencing incredible enjoyment throughout, making it often nearly impossible to exert willpower in order to avert the disaster. I felt like an addict. But I identified the problem as my satiation system not working, which I theorized was a result of certain malabsorption issues, and through information found on this site and throughout the paleo, WAPF, and alternative-health community, I was able to scale back this issue to a manageable extent... except with almonds!

What's going on? Am I deficient in something almonds have a lot of? Or what? I used to be addicted to all sorts of varieties of nuts: pecans, macadamia nuts, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, etc. Nowadays I would never think of eating more than a handful of any of these. Why have almonds remained when these have not, and why are almonds one of the last foods I still have the tendency to binge on? I'm one step away from this binge issue being a thing of the past! I've broken my addiction to all but almonds!

Anyone have any idea what could be going on here?

tl;dr: I have a history of binging on non-junk food, but once my gut started to heal this tendency was cut down to a manageable extent for all foods but almonds. What's going on? Why are almonds the last food standing that I have the propensity to binge on?

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 05, 2013
at 02:20 AM

I don't digest them good??

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 04, 2013
at 02:08 AM

Any idea why nuts give you unpleasant body odor?

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 04, 2013
at 02:06 AM

I wonder why nuts give you unpleasant body odor. I have to be careful with my diet and make sure to get enough exercise in order to avoid unpleasant body odor, so this data point--that nuts give you unpleasant body odor--is to be noted. Thanks

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on March 03, 2013
at 11:58 PM

...and that will teach me to read more carefully before I comment! My bad. I thought your theory was "magnesium deficiency >> drawn to almonds, but almonds have antinutrients, so your body doesn't get enough magnesium from them >> continued cravings/binging"

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 03, 2013
at 08:15 PM

I said it was "extremely unlikely" that it was due to a magnesium deficiency.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on March 03, 2013
at 06:59 PM

Now I'm confused; I thought it would contradict your theory (if binging on almonds is supposed to be due to a magnesium deficiency, why do I still binge despite getting more than enough magnesium?) And I never actually eat almonds anymore because it's easier for me to never eat any than to eat them in moderation.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 03, 2013
at 04:05 PM

Exactly, that supports my case entirely. It might be worth not eating almonds around the time of your magnesium supplementation just so as to reduce the extend to which its anti-nutrients can interfere with it.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on March 03, 2013
at 02:58 PM

Not OP obviously but I'd be interested to hear what you think of my case: I take 150-200% of my RDA of Magnesium every day for IBS-C, and will still binge uncontrollably on almonds (or any other nuts) given the opportunity.

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on March 03, 2013
at 08:31 AM

Binging and cravings are possible even when you're getting adequate nutrients and your physical satiation levels are met. In such cases, it is usually an emotional/psychological thing. It's quite common unfortunately. You say that you used to overeat on various foods and those cravings went away when you healed your gut and started getting adequate nutrients, indicating that there might be something in almonds you're missing out on. But there are many people who meet these criteria who overeat almonds simply because they're tasty - so don't rule it out. Try to simply stop buying almonds.

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on March 03, 2013
at 08:27 AM

Binging and cravings are possible even when you're getting adequate nutrients and your physical satiation levels are met. In such cases, it is usually an emotional/psychological thing. It's quite common unfortunately.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 07:24 AM

To put it another way: that your body craves nuts is a good thing - it's a nutritious class of superfood, after all- your body has the right idea; it just has trouble stopping in time due to the nature of the food. That's where the mental hack, as supplied by your forebrain, has to come in.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 07:23 AM

To put it another way: that your body craves nuts is a good thing - it's a class of superfood, after all- your body is working properly in this respect; it just has trouble stopping in time due to the nature of the food. That's where the mental hack, as supplied by your forebrain, has to come in.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 07:21 AM

To put it another way: that your body craves nuts is a good thing - it's a class of superfood, after all- your body is working properly in this respect; it just tends to stop too late due to the nature of the food. That's where the mental hack, as supplied by your forebrain, has to come in.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:51 AM

Maybe it's because fats require a long time to digest, what with the physical volume of nuts being tiny, that the body doesn't receive a satiation signal until it's overshot. Because I do get satiety from nuts - but only around the 2/5 to 1/2 pound mark.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:46 AM

Maybe it's because fats require a long time to digest, what with the physical volume of nuts being tiny, that the body doesn't receive a satiation signal until you're in overshoot.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:38 AM

Maybe it's because fats require a long time to digest, what with the physical volume of nuts being tiny, that the body doesn't receive a satiation signal until you're far in overshoot.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:30 AM

Maybe it's because fats require a long time to digest, and the physical volume of nuts being tiny, that the body doesn't receive a satiation signal until you've overshot. Just a guess.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:23 AM

Maybe it's because fats take a long time to digest, and the physical volume of nuts tiny, that the brain doesn't receive a satiation signal in time. Just a guess.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on March 03, 2013
at 04:06 AM

I disagree with Don to...Almonds are WAYYY above all other binge foods for me as well. Just do what I do and don't buy them or have them in your house. Whenever theyre in my house theyre all i can think about.

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 03, 2013
at 03:35 AM

But if you still disagree, I can only ask you to provide some evidence for your assertion

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 03, 2013
at 03:34 AM

Almonds are just my current binge? I used to overeat all sorts of foods, but these tendencies went away with solid correlation with the improvement of all sorts of issues related to gut health. Almonds are simply one of the last to go, and I don't know why. It's rather well-known in the alternative health community that deficiencies can lead to overeating, and that there are health issues that can lead to 'functional deficiencies'--that is deficiencies due to problems with absorption, rather than due to inadequate intake

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 03, 2013
at 03:31 AM

Almonds are just my current binge? I used to overeat all sorts of foods, but these tendencies went away with solid correlation with the improvement of all sorts of issues related to gut health. Almonds are simply one of the last to go, and I don't know why. It's rather well-known in the alternative health community that deficiencies can lead to overeating, and that there are health issues that can lead to 'functional deficiencies'--that is deficiencies due to problems absorbing, rather than due to inadequate intake

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 03, 2013
at 03:31 AM

Almonds are just my current binge? I used to overeat all sorts of foods, but these tendencies went away with solid correlation with the improvement of all sorts of issues related to gut health. Almonds are simply one of the last to go, and I don't know why. It's rather well-known in the alternative health community that deficiencies can lead to overeating, and that there are health issues that can lead to 'functional deficiencies', that is deficiencies due to problems absorbing, rather than due to inadequate intake

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on March 03, 2013
at 03:21 AM

If you're a binge eater it's psychological, not primarily physiological. Almonds are just your current binge.

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8 Answers

4
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32566)

on March 03, 2013
at 01:15 PM

If you aren't already supplementing Magnesium, try 400-600 mg before bed. See if you stop binging (give it at least 6 weeks.)

If not, it's likely psychological/emotional attachment.

1
742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 03, 2013
at 09:10 PM

Nuts are not satiating at all. I could eat 2000 calories of macadamias and still not feel satisfied. I would do it more often, I really need the calories, but macadamias, or any nut for that matter, give me terrible breath and body odor.

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 04, 2013
at 02:08 AM

Any idea why nuts give you unpleasant body odor?

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 05, 2013
at 02:20 AM

I don't digest them good??

5bd7f43c7da83282bcb78e3aa33832e0

(266)

on March 04, 2013
at 02:06 AM

I wonder why nuts give you unpleasant body odor. I have to be careful with my diet and make sure to get enough exercise in order to avoid unpleasant body odor, so this data point--that nuts give you unpleasant body odor--is to be noted. Thanks

1
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on March 03, 2013
at 07:11 PM

Sometimes it's not physical, sometimes it's not psychological. Sometime's it just tastes awesome... :) Awesome tasting and no satiety trigger = problem.

Part of self control is understanding the things that cause problems for you and actively working to avoid/mitigate them.

0
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 03, 2013
at 12:56 PM

It's presumably largely because they "taste amazing" and are very easy to eat. I think it is extremely unlikely that you are driven to eat almonds due to magnesium deficiency or some such (especially since almonds, like chocolate, contain a lot of antinutrients which will stop absorption of this nutrient), hence why most people don't find themselves binging on magnesium supplements, tomato juice or spinach. I think one of the main distinguishing features between almonds (unsatiating) and heavy cream (satiating, at least in my experience) is that cream on its own is quite uninteresting.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 03, 2013
at 08:15 PM

I said it was "extremely unlikely" that it was due to a magnesium deficiency.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 03, 2013
at 04:05 PM

Exactly, that supports my case entirely. It might be worth not eating almonds around the time of your magnesium supplementation just so as to reduce the extend to which its anti-nutrients can interfere with it.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on March 03, 2013
at 02:58 PM

Not OP obviously but I'd be interested to hear what you think of my case: I take 150-200% of my RDA of Magnesium every day for IBS-C, and will still binge uncontrollably on almonds (or any other nuts) given the opportunity.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on March 03, 2013
at 06:59 PM

Now I'm confused; I thought it would contradict your theory (if binging on almonds is supposed to be due to a magnesium deficiency, why do I still binge despite getting more than enough magnesium?) And I never actually eat almonds anymore because it's easier for me to never eat any than to eat them in moderation.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on March 03, 2013
at 11:58 PM

...and that will teach me to read more carefully before I comment! My bad. I thought your theory was "magnesium deficiency >> drawn to almonds, but almonds have antinutrients, so your body doesn't get enough magnesium from them >> continued cravings/binging"

0
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on March 03, 2013
at 12:32 PM

I've had a tendency to binge all my life, and after going paleo I binged on dark chocolate, almonds, even steak. There may have been some "positive" reason why I'd binge on one rather than another, but the net effect of the binge wasn't good. I have for the most part removed some binge foods -- dark chocolate and almonds -- simply by doing IF without snacking between meals. That means I eat at mealtime, and two large meals works for me in that while it's true that once I get going I might eat forever, I find I'm able to stop when I'm full: I only have to execute discipline at most twice per day.

That's my approach anyway.

0
37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on March 03, 2013
at 04:40 AM

I struggle not to overeat almonds too. They are just the most available high source of fat on my shelf. If there were brains on my shelf I'd be craving them every time I walked by.

0
39311794c054f89a226f33e1afd08721

on March 03, 2013
at 04:29 AM

You hear about sensory seeking in children a lot, but it persists into adulthood, too. There's a certain, rough texture to an almond, then a crunch, and intense saltiness sometimes.

An intense sensory seeking episode is sometimes called a binge even if it doesn't involve eating.

How about trying to replace it with a toothpick habit?

0
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 03:55 AM

I've noticed my tendency to "binge" is perfectly adaptive when served with traditional fare. That is, when I eat to satiety on meat, veggies, and a bit of grains, I have had just enough nutrition for my height/weight (6'3" 185 lbs).

It's only maladaptive in the context of modern foods that are deceptively caloric dense, fool my caloric feedback system in some way, or trigger an insulin response.

I think nuts (in the modern concentrations that are available) fall into the first two categories.

My mental adaptation is to (1) avoid buying nuts altogether; or (2) buy them in 1 ounce daily servings. Since the storekeepers look at me funny when I do the latter, I have for the moment ceased consumption.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 07:23 AM

To put it another way: that your body craves nuts is a good thing - it's a class of superfood, after all- your body is working properly in this respect; it just has trouble stopping in time due to the nature of the food. That's where the mental hack, as supplied by your forebrain, has to come in.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:46 AM

Maybe it's because fats require a long time to digest, what with the physical volume of nuts being tiny, that the body doesn't receive a satiation signal until you're in overshoot.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:30 AM

Maybe it's because fats require a long time to digest, and the physical volume of nuts being tiny, that the body doesn't receive a satiation signal until you've overshot. Just a guess.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:38 AM

Maybe it's because fats require a long time to digest, what with the physical volume of nuts being tiny, that the body doesn't receive a satiation signal until you're far in overshoot.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 07:24 AM

To put it another way: that your body craves nuts is a good thing - it's a nutritious class of superfood, after all- your body has the right idea; it just has trouble stopping in time due to the nature of the food. That's where the mental hack, as supplied by your forebrain, has to come in.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:23 AM

Maybe it's because fats take a long time to digest, and the physical volume of nuts tiny, that the brain doesn't receive a satiation signal in time. Just a guess.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 07:21 AM

To put it another way: that your body craves nuts is a good thing - it's a class of superfood, after all- your body is working properly in this respect; it just tends to stop too late due to the nature of the food. That's where the mental hack, as supplied by your forebrain, has to come in.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 03, 2013
at 06:51 AM

Maybe it's because fats require a long time to digest, what with the physical volume of nuts being tiny, that the body doesn't receive a satiation signal until it's overshot. Because I do get satiety from nuts - but only around the 2/5 to 1/2 pound mark.

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