164: Are Nuts Healthy? Go Nuts or No Nuts?

Apr 12, 2016

I get a lot of questions about nuts. Everything from, “Are nuts healthy?” to “How can I stop overeating nuts?”

Let’s tackle these questions and everything in between!

There is no black & white answer on the nut issue. In today’s episode, as we explore the question, “Are nuts healthy?”, I want to show you how to find the right answer for you & adjust your strategy based on your needs, not on universal all-or-nothing statements about nuts.

I will show the types of things you need to consider such as:

  • What is your goal?
  • How often are you consuming nuts and in what quantity?
  • What type of nuts are you consuming?
  • Is inflammation a problem for you?
  • Is nutrient deficiency a problem for you?
  • How many omega-3 fatty acids do you consume on a regular basis?
  • What other regular sources of omega-6 fatty acids do you consume?
  • Are nuts a trigger for you or are you able to moderate your consumption?

Don’t miss the whole episode for the facts about nuts and their impact on your health & fat loss.

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Are Nuts Healthy?

In today’s episode we look at the pros and cons of nut consumption as well as the differences between different types of nuts in nutrient profile, omega 6 fatty acids and anti-nutrients like phytates & lectins.

Calorie & Macro Breakdown of Nuts

Are Nuts Healthy

Nuts are a significant source of phytic acid which binds to minerals and can reduce or prevent their absorption. The amount of phytic acid varies significant based on the type of nut. One of the strategies to reduce the impact of phytic acid on nutrient absorption is to not consume nuts along with mineral-rich foods like vegetables. You can also soak the nuts to neutralize many of these anti-nutrients.

Mg of Phytic Acid per 100 grams

  • Cashews: 1866
  • Hazelnuts: 1620
  • Almonds: 1280
  • Walnuts: 760
  • Chestnuts: 47

Nuts are a rich source of dietary fat & much of that fat is in the form of omega-6 fatty acids. When we consume more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, it initiates inflammation in the body. Each type of nut contains a different amount of these omega-6 fatty acids and we also need to consider our consumption of omega-6s from other sources as well as our overall consumption of anti-inflammatory omega 3s and whether or not inflammation is a challenge for us.

Grams of Omega-6 Fats per 1/4 Cup

  • Pine nuts: 12
  • Walnuts: 10
  • Brazil nuts: 7
  • Pecans: 6
  • Almonds: 4
  • Pistachios: 4
  • Hazelnuts: 3
  • Cashews: 3
  • Macadamia nuts: 1

Strategies for Healthy Nut Consumption

  • Eat nuts raw
  • Soak them to reduce anti-nutrients
  • Avoid salted, roasted or flavored nuts
  • Eat nuts separate from vegetables or fruit
  • Limit consumption
  • Increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Limit other sources of omega-6 fatty acids

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