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    Primal Moose's Avatar
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    Why are nuts and seeds okay?

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    Anyone else ever thought of this? I was as I was munching on some mixed nuts at my brother's graduation bbq this last weekend. We don't eat wheat or oats or any other grain or cereal, because of the anti-nutrients. I get that. The plant doesn't want it eaten because if you eat a wheat berry, it's dead. It cant reproduce. Why then, are nuts and seeds okay? If I eat an almond, it can never grow into a tree. If I eat sunflower seeds, it will never grow either. Those aren't designed to be eaten...or at least, they don't want to be eaten. Unlike a fruit or berry which propagates itself by having its fruit eaten and seeds passing through the eater or having the core left on the ground. Don't nuts and seeds have defense mechanisms that, while maybe not harmful, make eating them useless like grains?

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    Yep. Some people soak nuts before eating them. Some buy sprouted nuts. Some avoid them entirely. I don't eat many seeds, myself.

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    I've thought a lot about this too. Whatever it is, a nut, grain or seed, the division between them is arbitrary. Whether we be talking about buckwheat, quinoa, almond, wheat, rice, every one of them is a seed. Ancient grains, new hybrid grains, GM grains (shudder) they are all the seeds of a new plant.

    I use nuts and seeds and always soak and activate them. The soaking removes the chemical (can't remember the name right now) that is designed to preserve the seed till it can spring to life. It's toxic for us. The activation starts the germination process, so the seed is at optimum nutrient level.

    I'm new to primal and once my health improves (sigh) I'm going to experiment with the seed/no seed/ some seed options.

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    I agree that drawing a bold line between grass/pulse seeds and tree/flower seeds is hard to justify. They both pose a serious portion hazard due to the lack of water (5-10%). The main difference is the macronutrient--carb vs. fat. Perhaps an acute excess dose of carb is more disruptive than an acute excess dose of fat?

    The main criticism against grains is probably their ubiquity. Culturally and economically they have a way of dominating our calorie intake in a way that nuts can't due to expense.

    I would never ban all nuts because they have interesting micronutrients and unique flavors, but I do cautiously measure them by the ounce (or half-ounce). I can't think of a reason to treat grains and legumes differently so I'd be fine eating 1-2 tablespoons of them as well BUT their role in the SAD is not 1-2 tablespoons.

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    ciep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Moose View Post
    The plant doesn't want it eaten because if you eat a wheat berry, it's dead. It cant reproduce. Why then, are nuts and seeds okay? If I eat an almond, it can never grow into a tree. If I eat sunflower seeds, it will never grow either. Those aren't designed to be eaten...or at least, they don't want to be eaten. Unlike a fruit or berry which propagates itself by having its fruit eaten and seeds passing through the eater or having the core left on the ground. Don't nuts and seeds have defense mechanisms that, while maybe not harmful, make eating them useless like grains?
    Animals don't want to be eaten either. If you eat an animal, it would also be dead and unable to reproduce. Try taking a bite out of a buffalo sometime, you'll probably be introduced to its defense mechanisms pretty quickly.

    Primal isn't about avoiding things that have defense mechanisms (or things that "don't want to be eaten"), it's about eating the things that our species has evolved to eat, because these things tend to be the most compatible with our bodies.

    Regarding the comparison between grains and nuts, most grains provide virtually nothing in terms of nutrition, while often containing harmful compounds (some more, some less). On the other hand, nuts tend to contain a lot of micronutrients, especially certain minerals, as well as healthy fats, while tending to be much lower in harmful compounds.

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    When I was eating vegetarian, I had raw almonds everyday. I spent a good amount of money on them too. I found them still undigested in my poop and realized that they were not doing me much good unless I soaked them.

    Since then, I usually have some soaked, and de-skinned almonds made into butter on hand, for when I need a nice hearty apple and butter desert. And for a while I was eating lots of natural peanut butter with raisins because it tasted like a PB&J.

    But they are no longer core ingredients of my diet, especially peanuts, and I feel it is probably best to keep them to an absolute minimum.

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    Primal Moose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciep View Post
    Animals don't want to be eaten either. If you eat an animal, it would also be dead and unable to reproduce. Try taking a bite out of a buffalo sometime, you'll probably be introduced to its defense mechanisms pretty quickly.
    No, but animals aren't rooted to the ground and unable to defend themselves. As you stated, go try to bite a buffalo, you'll get your ass kicked. Plants that don't want to be eaten don't have that ability, so they have to defend themselves through other means (chemical, for instance).

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    Quote Originally Posted by picklepete View Post
    The main criticism against grains is probably their ubiquity. Culturally and economically they have a way of dominating our calorie intake in a way that nuts can't due to expense.
    I can see that.

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    ciep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Moose View Post
    No, but animals aren't rooted to the ground and unable to defend themselves. As you stated, go try to bite a buffalo, you'll get your ass kicked. Plants that don't want to be eaten don't have that ability, so they have to defend themselves through other means (chemical, for instance).
    Hmm, I think the defense of most nuts is mainly just inaccessibility. Generally they're always found in hard shells that protect them from being eaten. If a critter manages to get past the shell (as we can), then I think it's got a pretty safe meal.

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    Some avoid them entirely.

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