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what nuts are relatively high in protein and are low in PUFA and/or high in O3?

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  • what nuts are relatively high in protein and are low in PUFA and/or high in O3?

    Title says it all. As I don't want to eat alot of meat I am looking for nuts to get some extra protein from without getting too much omega 6.

  • #2
    Nuts are a very poor substitute for proper meat. I believe Brazil and Macadamias are the two best, or so I've been told. But this doesn't seem like a good idea from a nutrition standpoint. Why not sub in loads of eggs instead, or dairy if you can handle it?
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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    • #3
      Yeah, it's possibly not a good strategy. Nuts are not particularly cheap for their weight, so I don't know you'd save much on a meat bill. They also have anti-nutrients. It's OK to eat a few raw, but if you begin to eat them in bulk that becomes an issue. Then you really need to soak them in salted water for several hours and dry them slowly before eating them.

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      • #4
        The reason why I don't want to eat too much meat is because I have hemochromatosis and because the primal diet is high in iron I need to consiously reduce the iron I get. Iron uptake from animal foods is much higher than from plant foods. And because meat and eggs are high in Iron I need to limit them somewhat. I do eat dairy (cheese), which I think is low in iron, but since its not really primal I dont eat too much of it. Ofcourse I could also use protein powder but I don't really like that and I really really like nuts :P.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lewis View Post
          Yeah, it's possibly not a good strategy. Nuts are not particularly cheap for their weight, so I don't know you'd save much on a meat bill. They also have anti-nutrients. It's OK to eat a few raw, but if you begin to eat them in bulk that becomes an issue. Then you really need to soak them in salted water for several hours and dry them slowly before eating them.
          I had no idea nuts contained anti-nutrients. Does that mean that (beside the high fat content of nuts) nuts are no better than legumes ?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BlueBear View Post
            I had no idea nuts contained anti-nutrients. Does that mean that (beside the high fat content of nuts) nuts are no better than legumes ?
            I don't know how many/much of these they contain relative to legumes.

            The Aztecs used to soak some seeds, and North American Indians used to soak pecan nuts. It's interesting when there are practices like that around in the record. It suggests people were getting problems off them. Some varieties at any rate are probably best soaked if you're going to be eating a heck of a lot. Mark has a note on it here:

            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/soaking-seeds-and-nuts/

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            • #7
              Thanks, I will definately soak nuts whenever I eat more than a handfull. But now I'm thinking dairy is perhaps a better choise for protein since I can handle dairy well and because it is higher in protein than nuts.

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              • #8
                Oh my, you are in an unusual position. BlueBear, if I were you I would calculate the absolute minimum protein you need daily and then take in no more than that because--as you've learned--the vast majority of protein sources carry iron with them.

                At first it might seem wise to look to nuts for your protein needs, but if you look at them in terms of iron per gram of protein, they're actually a greater risk than some of your other options. Even the ones that are a little lower in iron than average nuts look like this: 1 ounce of macadamias give you 2.2g of protein for 4.9mg of iron. An ounce of almonds gives you 6g of protein for 1.2mg of iron. That doesn't come close to the lower iron ratios for cod (15g of protein for .2mg iron), whole milk (8g of protein for .1mg iron) and best of all egg whites (26g protein for .2mg of iron). Just remember that while egg whites are low in iron, you must ditch the yolk which is iron rich.

                As for omegas in nuts: only macadamia nuts (and coconuts if you consider them "nuts") are low in Omega 6, but unfortunately they also contain some iron. Still, you know your personal iron limits. If you can safely take in some iron and want to include nuts for variety while keeping safe Omega levels, it can be done. Simply offset your higher intake of Omega 6 with lots of extra fish oil pills. (You'd have to do the calculations depending on how many extra grams of O6 you were taking in, but it wouldn't be a hard thing to figure out.) As for the anti-nutrients in nuts, yes they are there and sprouting could help reduce them. Keep in mind that the nuts need to be raw in order to sprout. It can be challenging to find truly raw almonds anymore.

                I'm sure you already give blood regularly, but have you considered hookworks? (I really *really* want Mark to write a post about gut parasites and primal lifestyle. I suspect it's one of those key factors affecting many of us, yet most of us are utterly in the dark about it.)

                Good luck to you.

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                • #9
                  BlueBear, if you have a medical reason not to eat too much red meat, I would look at eggs, perhaps with extra egg white and select types of fish. Do not consume a huge amount of Brazil nuts as the selenium is too concentrated.

                  Also, there was a previous thread somewhere on iron overload which seemed to indicate that too many carbs (particularly wheat) was a contributing factor.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by liss View Post
                    Oh my, you are in an unusual position. BlueBear, if I were you I would calculate the absolute minimum protein you need daily and then take in no more than that because--as you've learned--the vast majority of protein sources carry iron with them.

                    At first it might seem wise to look to nuts for your protein needs, but if you look at them in terms of iron per gram of protein, they're actually a greater risk than some of your other options. Even the ones that are a little lower in iron than average nuts look like this: 1 ounce of macadamias give you 2.2g of protein for 4.9mg of iron. An ounce of almonds gives you 6g of protein for 1.2mg of iron. That doesn't come close to the lower iron ratios for cod (15g of protein for .2mg iron), whole milk (8g of protein for .1mg iron) and best of all egg whites (26g protein for .2mg of iron). Just remember that while egg whites are low in iron, you must ditch the yolk which is iron rich.

                    As for omegas in nuts: only macadamia nuts (and coconuts if you consider them "nuts") are low in Omega 6, but unfortunately they also contain some iron. Still, you know your personal iron limits. If you can safely take in some iron and want to include nuts for variety while keeping safe Omega levels, it can be done. Simply offset your higher intake of Omega 6 with lots of extra fish oil pills. (You'd have to do the calculations depending on how many extra grams of O6 you were taking in, but it wouldn't be a hard thing to figure out.) As for the anti-nutrients in nuts, yes they are there and sprouting could help reduce them. Keep in mind that the nuts need to be raw in order to sprout. It can be challenging to find truly raw almonds anymore.

                    I'm sure you already give blood regularly, but have you considered hookworks? (I really *really* want Mark to write a post about gut parasites and primal lifestyle. I suspect it's one of those key factors affecting many of us, yet most of us are utterly in the dark about it.)

                    Good luck to you.
                    Great post, thanks. Although, iron per gram of protein isn't the golden standard for me because animal iron raised blood iron much more. But it still is a very good point. But what do you mean with hookworks, never heard of it and google isn't much help.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Egoldstein View Post
                      BlueBear, if you have a medical reason not to eat too much red meat, I would look at eggs, perhaps with extra egg white and select types of fish. Do not consume a huge amount of Brazil nuts as the selenium is too concentrated.

                      Also, there was a previous thread somewhere on iron overload which seemed to indicate that too many carbs (particularly wheat) was a contributing factor.
                      I think I remember reading that grains where the main reason for the very common iron deficiency.

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                      • #12
                        I thought eggs were a source of non-heme iron, which means iron won't be absorbed as readily as heme iron (meat, poultry, etc.). Also, not sure if someone mentioned that eating foods rich in vitamin C and meat proteins increase absorption of non-heme iron, so limit those when you consume foods high in non-heme iron. So, essentially, I'd say if you were to eat eggs, I'd just eat the eggs and little else with them (as meat or veggies/fruit will increase the absorption of the iron in the yolks).

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                        • #13
                          Forgot to mention that I have read (maybe erroneously?) in the past that both green & black tea and dairy products/calcium inhibit absorption of iron.

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                          • #14
                            Hi again BlueBear,

                            I can understand your desire to minimize animal iron instake since much of it (beef for example) is heme iron which absorbs easily. The iron in chicken is not, if I recall correctly, heme iron. And most iron in fish is non-heme too. I think this holds for some cuts of pig as well. The non-heme iron is harder to absorb so long as you keep your vitamin C intake at a minimum.

                            If your interest is keeping bio-available iron at an absolute minimum then you may want to rethink the decision of whether to soak and sprout nuts. The "anti-nutrients" in nuts/grains/seeds are the factors that tie up vitamins and minerals in those foods and make them harder to access. When you soak them and rid them of these anti-nutrients, you are in fact making the minerals--including iron--more bio-available. This may not be wise. In your circumstance it might be better to find high quality vitamin and mineral supplements and simply be sure to take them several hours apart from any food containing anti-nutrients.

                            On the subject of hookworms, I don't want to bore you with factors beyond those that affect you directly, so here's what's relevent to you: in paleolithic times it was normal (and probably beneficial) for humans to host a few species of gut parasites. Some of these species are completely safe and will not migrate to other body areas. They live by consuming their host's blood. For people who overaccumlate iron, this is a helpful outlet. It functions much like blood donation, but is a slower, steadier loss. If I were in your shoes, I would *definitely* investigate acquiring a hookworm population. (There are plenty of other health benefits to helminths, but I'll only elaborate if you're interested.)

                            I encourage you to reconsider animal sources of protein that contain non-heme iron. It's your choice, obviously, but in the interest of keeping iron at its lowest level, I suspect it would serve you best.

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                            • #15
                              I'm not understanding why you don't use fish for your protein if you want to avoid meat. I get more protein for fewer calories from fish (compared to meat), and it helps with my omega 3s as well.

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