Are you nut about nuts? Beware!

For years, almonds and almond butter have been my “non-guilty pleasure”.   And why wouldn’t they be?  A good source of protein, fibre, vitamin E, along with a wealth of other micronutrients.

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Eventually, I expanded my nut portfolio further with cashews (cashew butter…mmm), brazil nuts (great source of selenium) and walnuts (provides Omega 3 fatty acids), etc.   There isn’t a day that goes by without having nuts in one form or another.

I keep them within reach for those unexpected situations when hunger strikes.  A “hungry Danielle” is not a pretty sight (ask my husband!).   So I have nuts stashed in my kitchen cupboards, my glove compartment, my desk, my purse – everywhere.  I even use nut flours into my gluten-free recipes (speaking of which, have you tried my Breaded Chicken“).

Ok, that was enough nut praising.  The reason you’re here is to find out why nut consumption can be problematic…

We already know nuts are high in fat, but the issue is with the type of fat.  Specifically, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids in our beloved nuts is high.  TOO HIGH.  Nuts have more omega 6 (fats that can promote inflammation disease) in comparison to omega 3 fats (can reduce risk of chronic diseases).

The ideal ratio of omega 6 : omega 3 is 2:1.   Yet, the chart above illustrates that most nuts exceed that (i.e. our beloved almonds have a negligible amount of omega 3). **NOTE:  Peanuts are legumes and should be avoided altogether due to their toxicity.

There are many health reasons why we need to limit our omega 6 fat intake versus omega 3 fats.  For instance, minimizing your risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, depression, and the list goes on.

Before you curl up on the couch and cry yourself to sleep (with a jar of unopened almond butter by your side)….there is a silver lining in this dark cloud!  As stated on Mark’s Daily AppleEven if the Omega 6 fat in nuts is bad, the positives of the nut seem to weigh more heavily”.

Nuts should just be eaten whole (avoid nut oils) and they should not replace a meal.  So we can have our nuts, as long as we eat them….in moderation (bet you never heard that before)!



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About Danielle Binns

CrossFitter in the morning. Marketer by day. Nutritionist by night. Foodie all day long. Danielle gives you a glimpse into her paleo and primal lifestyle with recipes (gluten and dairy free), restaurant reviews (searching for the healthiest spots in Toronto), fitness and nutrition tips. Hope you're hungry!