9

votes

Should we have to prepare nuts and seeds in a certain way before we eat them?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 07, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Sally Fallon from WAPF suggests eating nuts and seeds only after they have been de-skinned, sprouted and dried, because of enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. If they, as she suggests, place such a great strain on the digestive system, then why do paleo eaters include them on their list of acceptable foods?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 06:04 PM

fucking dentists... there is only one reason to choose to be one - money.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 06:03 PM

fucking dentists...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 06:03 PM

Indeed. Every time I go to dentist I think about how all this was preventable with vitamin K2 and no sugar.... maybe occasional clay or iodine mouthwash....

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:05 PM

lol In paleo times liking marzipan was not a good survival trait :P The marzipan taste is very strong.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Wish I'd found out about all this diet stuff before I needed all my fillings :(

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:21 PM

Ah, for some reason link doesn't work. See *"Swallowing food without chewing a simple way to reduce postprandial glycaemia"*

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:20 PM

Probably... I also find fascinating levels of undigested shiitake mushrooms. Apart from grains, thats basically the only stuff i dig up from my ass, lol :) Yes, probably need more chewing. But, when I chew more, my fillings tend to drop (fucking dentists...I hate them so much). Other then that, less chewing means less blood sugar, which is also LOL: http://goo.gl/uDxIH

Medium avatar

(3024)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:06 PM

Ok EPIC FAIL! My friend made a face at the bitterness, but I didn't mind it so much. So much for my instincts. The almonds really had a fascinating taste. First a very mild almond taste, then the bitterness sets in, and then a very pronounced marzipan taste which blew me away (and made me want to eat more). Regular almonds don't really taste like marzipan.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:06 AM

Probably need more chewing. I have wondered before if soaking nuts actually has any effect on the phytate level in the whole nuts. I don't think I have ever seen any direct measurement of this happening.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:03 AM

Is cyanide good for you now? :S

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:03 AM

I'd say potential death from cyanide poisoning is still an epic fail :P I reckon your taste buds would probably save you though.

Medium avatar

(3024)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:56 AM

Minor fail! YEH! But it makes a better story to say that you ate a bunch of cyanide yesterday than saying you eat some B17

Medium avatar

(3024)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:56 AM

Minor fail! YEH! It makes a better story to say that you ate a bunch of cyanide yesterday than saying you eat some B17.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:07 AM

BTW, I always find bunch of remains of nuts in the stool. I don't know how that compares to other people .

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:06 AM

Cyanide in small doses is actually beneficial to health. B17 and friends. Hormesis. So it wansn't epic fail.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:35 AM

One case where wild isn't better :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:34 AM

One case where natural isn't better :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 07:15 AM

http://chriskresser.com/another-reason-you-shouldnt-go-nuts-on-nuts#comment-10828

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on March 01, 2011
at 10:25 PM

This is a rodent study, and rodents can do OK eating grains. I wonder how useful the study is in that regard.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 08, 2010
at 07:12 PM

Yeah, I know it is weird. And confessing got me my first negative vote! Waaaaaa.

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 08, 2010
at 02:39 PM

Update to my previous comment: Don Matesz makes a case for not being too concerned about o6 in whole foods: http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/03/paleo-diet-basics-why-i-eat-walnuts.html

5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

(2475)

on March 08, 2010
at 04:40 AM

Yikes! The stuff in apple seeds is actually cyanide! http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/apples.asp (Probably not that big of a deal unless you eat a ton of them...)

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9

on March 08, 2010
at 02:02 AM

that study is from 1984 and does not represent modern thought on phytic acid (not that modern thought is always correct). But there are other studies that have been done in more recent times even on humans showing removal of phytic acid increases mineral bioavailibility. I still don't know why this would make nuts less digestible.

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 08, 2010
at 12:22 AM

I don't actually care for nuts, so in some way this is a moot point for me, but another issue with most nuts is that they are awfully high in omega 6s (and more so if roasted in veggie oils!). A lot of folks (paleo or not) think it's important to minimize those and not just achieve a good 3/6 balance. David Brown has more info on this: http://bit.ly/9QoSVG

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 07, 2010
at 09:22 PM

Good point about veggie oils being used to roast them- maybe it's best to roast your own if you plan to indulge.

5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

(2475)

on March 07, 2010
at 08:51 PM

That's a great question. Nuts seem like a great Paleo food but, for me, they seem to go straight to fat storage. I can down handfuls of pecans and almonds without putting a dent in hunger. I envy those who can get away with it. Perhaps the stuff you're asking about is related? I'll have to investigate some more.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 07, 2010
at 06:02 PM

Excellent question! Not only b/c of what you mentioned, but often these nuts are "roasted" in veggie oils.

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7 Answers

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2
58a55f0986b8f49a8bc5666e10492569

on March 07, 2010
at 11:08 PM

When I prepare pecans, almonds, etc. the WP way (soak in brine for 7 hours, then dry in a food dehydrator) I find that they are less gassy and easier to digest.

I don't think it's the phytic acid (IP6) though. Everybody's afraid that IP6 prevents minerals from being absorbed. Graf and Eaton fed radioactive minerals combined with IP6 to mice, and found that the IP6 did not affect absorption (Effects of Phytate on Mineral Bioavailability in Mice). IP6 is actually in most foods, even animal foods, to varying degrees and seems to be an essential metabolite used to handle iron and other minerals.

So it must be something else in the nuts that makes them hard to digest. I've never seen a good explanation of what that is. I suspect it is the indigestible carbs a.k.a. dietary fiber, and that soaking removes or alters some of those.

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9

on March 08, 2010
at 02:02 AM

that study is from 1984 and does not represent modern thought on phytic acid (not that modern thought is always correct). But there are other studies that have been done in more recent times even on humans showing removal of phytic acid increases mineral bioavailibility. I still don't know why this would make nuts less digestible.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on March 01, 2011
at 10:25 PM

This is a rodent study, and rodents can do OK eating grains. I wonder how useful the study is in that regard.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 07:15 AM

http://chriskresser.com/another-reason-you-shouldnt-go-nuts-on-nuts#comment-10828

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 08, 2010
at 04:32 AM

I think that the less you muck with what you eat, the better it is. I can't see myself soaking nuts in brine or whatever before eating them. If you are going to eat nuts, just eat them and if they scare you, leave them alone.

As a kid I remember eating grape pips and throwing the grape away. Have no idea what brought that on. I have also always liked picking the white part out of apple seeds and eating it. It's probably poisonous or something, but it hasn't killed me yet.

5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

(2475)

on March 08, 2010
at 04:40 AM

Yikes! The stuff in apple seeds is actually cyanide! http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/apples.asp (Probably not that big of a deal unless you eat a ton of them...)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 08, 2010
at 07:12 PM

Yeah, I know it is weird. And confessing got me my first negative vote! Waaaaaa.

2
9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on March 07, 2010
at 06:19 PM

My take is that nuts and seeds have less toxins and antinutrients than grains and legumes, enough to make a case for them in moderation when properly prepared. Some paleo eaters judge them on that basis, others simply by how long we've been consuming them -- by that standard, nuts and seeds have been around longer, which puts them higher on the list of acceptability.

1
27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:01 PM

I don't think any prep is necessary at all if you can digest them. People have been cracking open tree nuts and enjoying them for ages. I don't buy the phytic acid/anti-nutrient arguments. Can anyone produce a single human who has gotten a proven mineral deficiencies from eating too many raw nuts? Cracking open fresh nuts is part of the whole experience...I'll take mine raw and fresh with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Downsides to nuts? Sure -- some people like my husband get itchy throat from raw almonds/hazelnut and especially walnuts. Dry roasted are easier for him to tolerate. He also has trouble digesting raw nuts. I can eat a pound in a sitting with no issues -- he'd be doubled over in pain. Nuts are typically very high in arginine which can provoke a herpes/cold sore outbreak in susceptible people. Ditto for chocolate. Solution? Balance with higher lysine foods or supplement with lysine or limit portions or even abstain until outbreak is over.

Dr. William Davis( heart scan blog doc) eats raw almonds and hazelnuts and scans himself -- so if there were issues with the phytic acid pulling calcium from bones and depositing in arteries, I'd think he'd know. He is against heating the delicate oils in nuts -- I tend to agree. He also posted a response on his blog about how raw nuts are not as fattening as roasted or nut butters -- much is carried out in your poop. Raw nuts help keep me regular -- but binging on too many can have the opposite effect. Because I have a hypothyroid condition, I would not eat lots of raw walnuts -- I'll indulge a little, but not the way I would with other nuts. Too bad because I love walnuts.

For those looking for a great online source - I've been very happy with the service from nutsonline. We've purchased the shelled organic hazelnuts; inshell non-organic (wish they were organic but dig cracking the shell too much to worry about it; truly raw organic almonds from spain -- amazing -- organic whole raw macadamia nuts; raw organic shelled walnuts (they threw these in as a free sample -- would've preferred in-shell) plus assorted dried fruits and some baked treats for hubby. Excellent customer service; excellent product -- and they always include a generous free sample with your order.

1
Medium avatar

(3024)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:20 AM

This has to be a personal decision based upon

a) how sensitive you are to nuts, and

b) how often you eat them.

I don't feel any reaction when I eat nuts, and eat them in small quantities now and then, so I don't soak. My friend has a gassy reaction when she eats nuts, and she likes them a lot, so she soaks them, dries them in the sun on her patio, then roasts them. For her, it's worth the effort.

P.S. That same friend and I collected some wild almonds and wanted to shell and treat them. Bad idea. Luckily we only ate 6 or 7 before finding out that their bitterness is none other than cyanide.

Epic fail.

Medium avatar

(3024)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:56 AM

Minor fail! YEH! It makes a better story to say that you ate a bunch of cyanide yesterday than saying you eat some B17.

Medium avatar

(3024)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:56 AM

Minor fail! YEH! But it makes a better story to say that you ate a bunch of cyanide yesterday than saying you eat some B17

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:03 AM

I'd say potential death from cyanide poisoning is still an epic fail :P I reckon your taste buds would probably save you though.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:03 AM

Is cyanide good for you now? :S

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:34 AM

One case where natural isn't better :)

Medium avatar

(3024)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:06 PM

Ok EPIC FAIL! My friend made a face at the bitterness, but I didn't mind it so much. So much for my instincts. The almonds really had a fascinating taste. First a very mild almond taste, then the bitterness sets in, and then a very pronounced marzipan taste which blew me away (and made me want to eat more). Regular almonds don't really taste like marzipan.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:05 PM

lol In paleo times liking marzipan was not a good survival trait :P The marzipan taste is very strong.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:35 AM

One case where wild isn't better :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:06 AM

Cyanide in small doses is actually beneficial to health. B17 and friends. Hormesis. So it wansn't epic fail.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 07:18 AM

I don't think we should be concerned about it. I have seen on numerious places benefits of IP6. Here is my response on Chris Kresser's site: http://goo.gl/2f1pE

The quotes are from the "Phytate: impact on environment and human nutrition".

Anti cancer properties are also known. Bill Sardi wrote about it in the article "The Overlooked Cancer Cure From Japan"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:07 AM

BTW, I always find bunch of remains of nuts in the stool. I don't know how that compares to other people .

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 06:03 PM

Indeed. Every time I go to dentist I think about how all this was preventable with vitamin K2 and no sugar.... maybe occasional clay or iodine mouthwash....

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Wish I'd found out about all this diet stuff before I needed all my fillings :(

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 06:03 PM

fucking dentists...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:21 PM

Ah, for some reason link doesn't work. See *"Swallowing food without chewing a simple way to reduce postprandial glycaemia"*

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 06:04 PM

fucking dentists... there is only one reason to choose to be one - money.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:06 AM

Probably need more chewing. I have wondered before if soaking nuts actually has any effect on the phytate level in the whole nuts. I don't think I have ever seen any direct measurement of this happening.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:20 PM

Probably... I also find fascinating levels of undigested shiitake mushrooms. Apart from grains, thats basically the only stuff i dig up from my ass, lol :) Yes, probably need more chewing. But, when I chew more, my fillings tend to drop (fucking dentists...I hate them so much). Other then that, less chewing means less blood sugar, which is also LOL: http://goo.gl/uDxIH

0
33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 08, 2010
at 07:28 PM

I have been doing some research and although I have been avoiding nuts because of the very fact that I have no desire to soak and then dry them, I think it is actually worth it, the nutrients (vitamin B's and C) increase, so some sources say ten-fold, and the 'anti-nutrients' whether phytic acid or cyanide :) decrease markedly.

I think it is actually also very important to source the freshest nuts possible by cracking your own nuts from the shell. I read that the fats in nuts go rancid very quickly, so the fresher the better.

I think that paleo man would have utilized every food source he could find, and I am sure that he would have eaten nuts in the autumn, (a damp time of year - perfect for soaking them?) after all, they are delicious aren't they?

I think I will start to eat them, but only when I can find them fresh and whole in the shell from local markets or even directly from the walnut tree at the end of our village and I will then soak them for at least 12 hours and then dry them by the fire (no roasting in sunflower oil).

thank you.

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