8

votes

So what is the deal with nut binges...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 16, 2012 at 11:26 PM

It seems to be a reoccuring pattern on these boards, people who have to completely avoid nuts and nut butters (myself included), because they trigger an instant binge. Does anyone have any literature on why nuts have this magical power to induce a feeding frenzy? Is it a fat/palatability combination or perhaps a dopamine release similar to the effects of chocolate(or crack)?

Has anyone figured out what it is that makes us nuts over nuts?

A0c6d1e41fc0441b593a05050aefada7

(342)

on May 01, 2013
at 04:51 PM

I eat as many nuts as I want- usually raw almonds. They might be loaded with fat and calorie dense, but really I have no problem with that. It's hard to gain weight on this diet, and if I gain some I really don't mind. Still clean eating.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 01, 2013
at 03:36 PM

Unless you're bingeing on chestnuts (a true nut and also starchy), I don't think the trace, digestible carbs in nuts were your issue. If you ate a **cup** of walnut piecs, there's only 16g of carbs and 8g are fiber. You feel like a balloon 'cause you overate a savory, delicious food - simply as that. ;-)

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on December 02, 2012
at 10:12 PM

I think this might be a very good observation. Anytime I go low carb I CRAVE nuts. But the problem is some of us can't lose weight unless we ARE low carb...

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on December 02, 2012
at 10:08 PM

its just you...

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on December 02, 2012
at 10:08 PM

Not really true... I've binged on just as many raw nuts/nut butters as salted or roasted ones.

3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

(2262)

on August 20, 2012
at 10:47 AM

We already buy raw and unsalted, almonds are delicious on their own without anything added to them.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:40 PM

Yeah but try opening a macadamia, it is not fun at all.

D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on August 18, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Almonds are so blah, I can't understand how anyone could overeat them. Is it just me or do they have little to no flavor?

3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

(2262)

on August 18, 2012
at 11:50 AM

Like the almond butter?

3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

(2262)

on August 18, 2012
at 11:49 AM

I have that problem too, but I was still wondering why this food affects so many people in this way and not others. I never have gone to town on a few pounds of beef.

949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

(1021)

on August 17, 2012
at 07:08 PM

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...gooey, warm cinnamon rolls...

A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:34 PM

mmmmmmmmmm...peanut butter. I miss peanut butter.

Ee04db68fcab556868524acb55ac5fd4

on August 17, 2012
at 04:39 PM

That's weird, when I ate a pound of almond butter a day my shits were quick and smooth.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on August 17, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Yeah. Robb Wolf has said something like: plain, raw nuts are delicious, but intake is controllable. Roasted nuts are harder to stop eating. Roasted and *salted* nuts are damn near impossible to quit.

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on August 17, 2012
at 02:36 PM

I have a friend who says he can't keep nuts in the house because he will eat them to the point of bowel distress! I love nuts, but I never want to eat THAT much of them. As for dried fruit - I really like it too, but I once ate a whole bag of mixed dried fruit and the, um, bowel distress was very inconvenient because I was backpacking at the time. :)

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:52 AM

Oh, Murph, I know it wasn't fun, but your description of your day after made me laugh.

429e01b74c31847aed3af35ef9973256

(427)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:21 AM

Nuts, like all seeds, are really hard to digest and personally I get serious IBS if eat to many. One time I uncontrollably ate TWO one pound bags of cashews and the next day was honestly like trying to shit gravel.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 17, 2012
at 01:51 AM

exactly! if they weren't so yummy no one would have gone to all the trouble of picking them and shelling them. worms were an easier find, but who wants worms when they can have almonds!

C0c839648b31512515daaffe8e4e9ad1

(468)

on August 17, 2012
at 12:17 AM

This happens to me too with dried fruit. Makes... me... want... more!

B958be1f3a4a9743998ab2ea51d9c945

(205)

on August 17, 2012
at 12:10 AM

This is my issue! Must opt for small bags. The convenience of these little foods make it hard to control my binge. I pretty much stopped buying the butters because of this. I stopped mainly because of the high caloric density.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Pistachios http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3136/2. Awesome macro breakdown. Good array of minerals and OK on the vitamins.

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21 Answers

best answer

5
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on August 17, 2012
at 12:13 AM

Imagine you're a hungry hunter-gatherer and you find a nut tree in nature. You're gonna eat just one? Nope. You're going to gorge until you're full. Nuts are tiny packages of yummy energy.

Unfortunately for us modern humans, we don't have to expend much energy to "gather" big bags of pre-shelled nuts. I personally cannot stop at a few per day, so I gave up trying. It's best for me to not buy them in the first place and keep them out of the house.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 17, 2012
at 01:51 AM

exactly! if they weren't so yummy no one would have gone to all the trouble of picking them and shelling them. worms were an easier find, but who wants worms when they can have almonds!

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:40 PM

Yeah but try opening a macadamia, it is not fun at all.

4
46f6b440a524a0af9e24501ae72bea77

on August 16, 2012
at 11:36 PM

I find tht using nuts in food n cookin helps me control portion size. Never is it a stand alone snack.

4
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:31 PM

Cause they are GOOOOOOD. I actually think including an ample amount in your diet is a very good idea. Good minerals that are a bit lacking in other paleo foods including magnesium.

Nut butters are easy to over indulge in the same way that drinking your meals makes it easy to overindulge.

Slow it down by buying them in the shell...and eat em with impunity. I don't buy the fear mongering around nuts.

I should say that there are time when I make a supper out of shelling some nuts, eating good cheese, and having a couple glasses of wine in the evening. Eating them WITH a meal or as part of a meal makes them just fine....Snacking on them all day is as problematic as any snacking syndrome, be it apples or nuts.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Pistachios http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3136/2. Awesome macro breakdown. Good array of minerals and OK on the vitamins.

A0c6d1e41fc0441b593a05050aefada7

(342)

on May 01, 2013
at 04:51 PM

I eat as many nuts as I want- usually raw almonds. They might be loaded with fat and calorie dense, but really I have no problem with that. It's hard to gain weight on this diet, and if I gain some I really don't mind. Still clean eating.

3
6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on August 17, 2012
at 02:35 PM

Try raw and unsalted - it really cuts down on how many you eat.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on August 17, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Yeah. Robb Wolf has said something like: plain, raw nuts are delicious, but intake is controllable. Roasted nuts are harder to stop eating. Roasted and *salted* nuts are damn near impossible to quit.

3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

(2262)

on August 20, 2012
at 10:47 AM

We already buy raw and unsalted, almonds are delicious on their own without anything added to them.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on December 02, 2012
at 10:08 PM

Not really true... I've binged on just as many raw nuts/nut butters as salted or roasted ones.

3
963322f175cdd4c5f7d52cc372b3a167

on August 17, 2012
at 06:27 AM

You guys are all nuts.

3
429e01b74c31847aed3af35ef9973256

(427)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:46 PM

Convenience + palatability + consequences

Nobody really cares or complains when they binge on lunch meat, cheese, fruit, whatever...

Nuts on the other hand are very high-calorie and kind of irritating to the gut when you go over board so the nut binge really sticks out in peoples mind.

FYI I can't buy cashews unless I get the really small bags you see in convenience stores.

B958be1f3a4a9743998ab2ea51d9c945

(205)

on August 17, 2012
at 12:10 AM

This is my issue! Must opt for small bags. The convenience of these little foods make it hard to control my binge. I pretty much stopped buying the butters because of this. I stopped mainly because of the high caloric density.

2
Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on January 13, 2013
at 08:29 PM

I have a nut binge story of my own that I hope is helpful to you:

This past summer, I also experienced crazy nut binges. Earlier in 2012, when I first went paleo, I was VLC. I needed this because I had 25-30 pounds of fat to lose from my 5'1" frame. I experienced no nut cravings for the first 3 or 4 months as I was losing weight. However, once I achieved a low body fat rapidly, I began to experience intense nut cravings. I could not have a handfull of nuts or a scoop of almond or sunflower butter without going wild and killing the whole thing. This continued for about six months. I was training hard, running intervals about 4 times a week and doing long crossfit-style bodyweight exercises and kettlebell exercises. All of the calories from the nuts added up, and I gained back some of the weight. Every subsequent attempt to go VLC failed. I would binge on nuts every time. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to add a small-to-moderate amount of paleo starches to my diet. I couldn't personally do fructose. I had an apple and got a sugar headache and crash, finding myself hungry within an hour. However, I found bananas, sweet potatoes, and chestnuts to be successful. I still keep carbs under or very close to 100g per training day. I found that coupled with a zone-style meal with protein and fats, I was fuller longer and no longer craving nuts. I can now eat a scoop of almond or sunflower butter on my banana and be satisfied.

At the end of the day, everyone is different, but this is what has worked for me. Adding a little bit of safe starches prevented the thousands of calories worth of nut binges. I hope this helps! :)

2
C91f120f5121f58aab1c1ba9017e5e24

on August 17, 2012
at 02:13 PM

Nodding along, with my hand in my bag of cashews. Large bag. Almost empty large bag.

1
E0f5cc680bb8ae31c07abeb706d70a15

(370)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:30 PM

I've noticed this trend on various Paleo sites and message boards as well, and I think it sticks out to us more because, frankly, nuts are one of the few snack foods that Paleo-ers can eat that you can just grab from the grocery store and don't require intense cooking skills to make at home (I tried to make my own Kale chips once and they ended up tasting like soggy green turds). Think about all the snack foods that exist on the typical standard American diet- endless varieties of chips, crackers, pretzels, cookies, processed Little Debbie-esque garbage, the list goes on into infinity. With all that variety, you don't notice how much you're snacking because it's spread out amongst an entire ocean of different snack foods, where as when you only have 1 or 2 snack foods to choose from, you feel like you're constantly eating them.

As far as controlling the overeating of nuts, I've found one thing that works for me is to just make them slightly less accessible. I tend to buy mine in bulk because they're cheaper, and I used to just pour them into an empty coffee can when I got home, making it incredibly easy to just pop the lid off and grab a handful every time I walked by the kitchen. Instead, I started keeping them in a plastic produce bag under guard of an intentionally-stubborn knot. Now, if I have a sudden urge to grab a handful of nuts, I tend to shy away from doing so, because I realize that getting that knot out is going to be a pain in the ass, and 9 times out of 10 that's enough to make me say "forget about it" and grab a handful of carrot sticks from the fridge instead.

I think everyone should find little tricks like this to help control the craving as opposed to just completely cutting them out of their diet, because when eaten in normal amounts, nuts are a powerhouse of nutrition. I've recently gotten in the habit of eating a handful of almonds before workouts, and the amount of energy they give me is very noticeable. LONG LIVE THE NUT! That's what she said.

1
B43eab49eb3a97793630ce6e45592c23

(20)

on August 18, 2012
at 03:05 PM

I had a few 'nut binges' back when I used to carb-restrict. Now that I'm out of that hell-hole, nuts aren't even all that appealing.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on December 02, 2012
at 10:12 PM

I think this might be a very good observation. Anytime I go low carb I CRAVE nuts. But the problem is some of us can't lose weight unless we ARE low carb...

1
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on August 17, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Never met a nut I didn't like. ("That's what she said," ba-dum-bump!)

Seriously, I like all nuts and seeds. And while I can go overboard on plain, raw nuts, I find it's much easier to but the brakes on with those than it is with roasted or roasted salted, especially.

I know peanuts are technically legumes, but I wish I knew what it was about peanuts that hits all the right buttons that almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, and all the others don't. I can step away from walnuts and pecans. Peanuts? All bets are off. For me, they're what Dallas & Melissa Hartwig (from Whole9) call "food with no brakes." Funny...you would think I was talking about gooey, warm cinnamon rolls or something. Nope, just peanuts & PB. Can't. Stop. So I keep them out of the house.

I do have almond or cashew butter now and then, but I can close the lid and walk away. Not so with PB.

I think only buying them in the shell and having to "work for 'em" is a good method of forced portion control. PITA, but a good strategy if you really, truly can't stop. (Or even better, don't start.)

949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

(1021)

on August 17, 2012
at 07:08 PM

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...gooey, warm cinnamon rolls...

A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:34 PM

mmmmmmmmmm...peanut butter. I miss peanut butter.

3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

(2262)

on August 18, 2012
at 11:49 AM

I have that problem too, but I was still wondering why this food affects so many people in this way and not others. I never have gone to town on a few pounds of beef.

1
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on August 17, 2012
at 08:19 AM

As said above in the wilds we would have walked long and then climbed the tree and had to shell all the things to get them. Instead in 5 minutes I can buy just about any food I want where I live and I can easily eat 1000 calorie packet of pecan nuts at one go. Why is that a problem? As I put on weight and am trying to lose 28 pounds. So answer? I buy a small packet of almonds. Even those I cannot save. I will always eat them the day they are delivered with the weekly food shopping.

Dried fruit I have had to cut out entirely as it is the same.

Chocolate is my very very very worst.

1
Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

on August 17, 2012
at 03:54 AM

There is absolutely no evidence to support this, but I really think that high-Lectin foods are addictive. Beyond high-palatability... After a nut or cheese binge, I'll crave *any high-Lectin food for days (nuts, dairy, a lot of eggs). I wish I had evidence, but I'm sticking to it!

1
F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

on August 17, 2012
at 02:02 AM

I just started buying walnuts instead of almonds because I don't like the taste nearly as much.

D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on August 18, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Almonds are so blah, I can't understand how anyone could overeat them. Is it just me or do they have little to no flavor?

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on December 02, 2012
at 10:08 PM

its just you...

1
96f9196d670ced8b2b2a247af0f1df9e

on August 17, 2012
at 01:44 AM

Its like natures junk food. They are salty, crunchy, delicious, easy to eat. I have recently bought measuring spoons and only eat a serving per day. Thats the only way I can handle nuts or seeds or fruit for that matter. Otherwise the bags are a serving size.

0
Df6b0f7a9eaae65ff62cfe4ed900c653

on January 08, 2014
at 12:55 AM

Wow so I'm not the only one!!

0
Df6b0f7a9eaae65ff62cfe4ed900c653

on January 08, 2014
at 12:54 AM

Wow so I'm not the only one!

0
64e8117cb4a16e0222b15c471f9c905f

on May 01, 2013
at 03:29 PM

I feel like shit now, i binged again.. last time it was bag of raw organic brazil and walnuts, now pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.. not buying again , even shelled ones, weird maybe that teh tiny amounts of carbs there makes me eat them as im on low carb. i feel like a baloon now

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 01, 2013
at 03:36 PM

Unless you're bingeing on chestnuts (a true nut and also starchy), I don't think the trace, digestible carbs in nuts were your issue. If you ate a **cup** of walnut piecs, there's only 16g of carbs and 8g are fiber. You feel like a balloon 'cause you overate a savory, delicious food - simply as that. ;-)

0
5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on August 18, 2012
at 04:01 PM

Peanut butter is my Kryptonite. Give me a jar of peanut butter and a spoon and I can clean it out in minutes. Nuts are a great way to exceed your calorie totals if you are not careful. When you are trying to hold a 1500 cal/day line and a tsp of peanut butter is over 100 calories, well, it's a slippery slope to say the least.

0
783704d6b31f91d4aebb402f089e082f

on August 18, 2012
at 02:04 PM

My only issue is with Almonds, I will eat those things all day long if they're roasted. So when I get them I try to keep them raw now. I used to buy them raw and then roast them myself in a little bacon drippings with salt/pepper/red pepper flakes on them. They were great but way to easy to find yourself circling back for "just another handful" so they're not in the house anymore. I still eat some other nuts, mostly Pistachios, in the shell it keeps me from going too crazy on them. I keep some nut butter in the house, but mostly only use that for cooking. Without bread and grape jelly I just have no desire to sit there and eat the stuff. I think it's a great part of your diet if you can keep yourself from just eating them because you're bored. When I travel I always bring some with me to keep from picking up something else just because I'm hungry and it's there.

0
Ee04db68fcab556868524acb55ac5fd4

on August 17, 2012
at 01:52 AM

What are the negatives associated with nut binges? Other than "it's easy to go overboard with calorie consumption".

429e01b74c31847aed3af35ef9973256

(427)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:21 AM

Nuts, like all seeds, are really hard to digest and personally I get serious IBS if eat to many. One time I uncontrollably ate TWO one pound bags of cashews and the next day was honestly like trying to shit gravel.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 17, 2012
at 05:52 AM

Oh, Murph, I know it wasn't fun, but your description of your day after made me laugh.

Ee04db68fcab556868524acb55ac5fd4

on August 17, 2012
at 04:39 PM

That's weird, when I ate a pound of almond butter a day my shits were quick and smooth.

3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

(2262)

on August 18, 2012
at 11:50 AM

Like the almond butter?

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