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Nuts in the Paleo diet?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

I hear a lot of anti-nut sentiments in the paleo community, and I'm a bit confused... Why do people advocate slathering everything in butter or animal fat, but then turn around and shun nuts and nut butters because they're "too high in fat and calories" and "cause weight gain." Can anyone clarify? Seems like a double-standard to me.

Thanks!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on February 28, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Just curious to hear if you have you ever tried eating soaked/sprouted nuts? I find nuts don't "sit well" with me unless they are ones that have been sprouted and those give me not issues at all. It's a lot of work too so it keeps me holding nuts in a special place and not an everyday thing.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:27 PM

That is correct. It's the high n6 that could be problematic. On the other hand nuts pack a lot of nutrition. Have some, just don't make it the base of your pyramid.

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5 Answers

9
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on February 28, 2012
at 06:26 PM

Hi, Lenore. :)

I do not eat nuts because they contain lectins (peanuts), all of them (except macadamia nuts, AFAIK) contain too much Omega 6, and contain phytic acid. Also, because the fat is not as ideal as animal fat. (Explanation at end of post.)

ETA: Forgot to write that coconuts are a drupe, not a nut. Reference:

http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/coconut.html

Coconuts are very high in salicylates, which cause problems for some people. The MCTs may be problematic for some, too. Also, it has no cholesterol, which is vital. (See Uffe Ravnskov's site on The Cholesterol Myths.)

Here is some information about lectins: http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

If it is new to you why too much Omega 6 is bad, Dr. William Land's talk is a good introduction:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgU3cNppzO0

And phytic acid blocks mineral absorption.

For me, avoiding these problematic things is key to a healthy food plan.

ETA: Nuts are also not as high quality a source of protein as ruminant meat, and because the fat does not contain the same types of nutrients that beef fat or butter does.

Here is some information on fats from a page on the Optimal Diet:

The best are the fats which contain the highest percentage of energy contributing constituents, or in other words, such in which COOH group is attached to the longest fatty acid chain. Short fatty acid chains contain around 30-40% of energy-contributing constituents, the longest ones more than 90%. Long-chain fatty acids fully saturated with hydrogen, yields approx. 10 cal/g when metabolised, the same as petrol. Fat's value as a "fuel" for our body increases with the increase in the amount of hydrogen per gram of carbon in its molecule, with the increase in the energy-contributing constituents. Chemically, the best are long-chain fully saturated fatty acids, that is to say, solid fats of animal origin. Only fats with the length of the chain above 10 carbon atoms are suitable to be utilised by our cells and tissues without conversion. These fats are directed straight to the blood stream via the lymphatic system, and they do not have to be converted and made suitable by the liver, as is the case with inferior fats (with shorter chains), or all other constituents of consumed and digested foods. Long chain fatty acids are the best medication for those suffering from liver diseases. Chemically and factually long chain fatty acids are the best "fuel" for our bodies.

The less saturated with hydrogen the chains, the more inferior the "fuel". One has to remember that when buying fats. A margarine is made from unsaturated fats by inserting hydrogen into them. Metal ions are used as a catalyst and some remain in the margarine. These are not neutral to our health. Furthermore, hydrogen inserted into unsaturated fat in that process does not bind to the carbon atom in the same formation in which it is present in natural fats. Half of the hydrogen binds in the so-called cis formation, and the other half in transformation. In natural fats all of the hydrogen is bound in cis formation. Our bodies are set up for the metabolism of such fats.

The best fats are of animal origin, solid fats, eaten within natural animal tissues. Pork rind will always be better than a lard, and pork dewlap better than eel or salmon. Provided one eats optimally. Lard may by less damaging than pork rind when eaten as a part of wrong nutrition. This won't be direct damage, but an indirect one.

The most suitable for humans are fats contained in the yolk of a hen???s egg. Those contained in quails' egg are similar, but these eggs are far more expensive. The real value of egg yolk fats, for our body, according to a reliable scientific investigation, is four times higher than the value of the fat from butter or cream, and dramatically higher than the biological (and factual) value of the remaining fats.

[Dr. Kwasniewski is keen on pork and pork fat. I don't know if the pigs in Poland are better than here in the U. S. I don't eat pork at all.)

Hope this helps a bit. :)

8
Ee70ee808f748374744404a00e1c22ed

(1163)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:32 PM

Many people avoid nuts because of the omega-6 and phytic acid content. Sometimes they get a bad rap for being calorie dense because it is very easy (at least for me) to overeat them without really noticing, especially in nut-butter form.

7
887a9c6c0ee243584548f02d45c439a6

(415)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:22 PM

I thought most people reduce their nut consumption because of omega-6 content. Fat/calories have nothing to do with it.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:27 PM

That is correct. It's the high n6 that could be problematic. On the other hand nuts pack a lot of nutrition. Have some, just don't make it the base of your pyramid.

4
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:53 PM

I don't eat nuts because my body responds to them in the same way that it responds to grains -- I get bloated and get horrible heartburn. To me, that says that there's something just not quite "right" about me and nuts. I suspect that, like grains, the concentrated plant defenders used to 'protect' the valuable nutrients inside that shell disagree with my very sensitive body processes.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on February 28, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Just curious to hear if you have you ever tried eating soaked/sprouted nuts? I find nuts don't "sit well" with me unless they are ones that have been sprouted and those give me not issues at all. It's a lot of work too so it keeps me holding nuts in a special place and not an everyday thing.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:51 PM

I put nuts in the same category as fruit because they were not available to our ancestors year round. I think it's reasonable to give coconut somewhat of an exception as they are available year round in the tropics. Our evolution was most likely complete before we got there, but whole coconut has a verified track record and seems benign/beneficial. I personally am not comfortable using a lot of processed coconut products and prefer to take it relatively whole.

Anyhow, I eat nuts in the fall when they are falling off trees in the wild--any other time I consider them out of season and I go few to none.

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