Discriminating against certain nuts

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 05, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I often hear that walnuts are not paleo because of their high omega 6 content. Instead we should focus on macadamias and cashews. I see that the latter's omega6/3 ratio is better. But what is the evolutionary argument? Did Grok not eat all nuts? Or did he avoid nuts at all? What about primitive people today?



on June 06, 2013
at 01:21 AM

....yes, in moderation (well for me anyways) :)

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on June 05, 2013
at 09:39 PM

Walnuts are great; eat them if you like them.

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on June 07, 2013
at 09:57 PM

Ancestral humans certainly ate whatever they could get, in whatever quantity was available. But nuts weren't available, pre-shelled, year-round, in totally unlimited quantities. Supposedly, modern food also exposes us to more omega-6 fat from other sources, and less omega-3 fat, than ancestral humans usually got. This means that humans may not have evolved to deal with the kind of nutrients that we'll be getting if we consume high omega-6 food sources with abandon.

That said, I really don't think we need to avoid almonds and walnuts. But if you want to make nuts a staple in your diet, then it may be better to go for the ones that are lower in omega-6.


on June 07, 2013
at 08:37 PM

Macadamia nuts are best because O3:O6 ratio. If you have the ratio controlled, eat your walnuts, guilty-free.


on June 05, 2013
at 09:46 AM

Nuts are paleo, no doubt about it, but I think that the approach we should have with them is "use with caution".

This is not based on any study -sorry trial-oriented folks- just based on my current thinking. Think about it: which foods do you know that have both high carb and high fat at the same time? There are almost none. The only ones are milk, nuts and seeds. Why? Because they are meant to give life a great boom, so they are highly anabolic and calorie dense probably because of this.

I hardly doubt that we were meant to eat much of both dairy and nuts/seeds. They are pretty hard to find. For milk, some weird rituals should be done to get it.. hehe. And for nuts and seeds, they are pretty damn hard to get them gathered, peeled and eaten in large quantities. Our neolithic brain has managed to get a trick to be able to gather them in large quantities so we can now eat a full bag of them, but I doubt our paleolithic body will like this kind of overeating on them.

Well, don't get me wrong, I love nuts! But I now see them more as a supplement than a staple food. A tool to play with and I think the best way to use them is to emulate the ammounts of them we should have based on what we might be supposed to have.

That being said, I guess if you're going to eat much of them you'd benefit from getting low omega-6, lectins and phytates from them, so that's why cashews and macadamias might be better. When you abandon the paleo way of eating, then assessing what is best from a scientific/nutritional point of view could be useful to at least see if there's a benefit or a drawback in adopting a neolithic approach to some food.

Just my 2 weird cents hehe.

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