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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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March 15, 2010

Dear Mark: Nuts and Omega-6s

By Mark Sisson
276 Comments

Nuts have gotten a surprising amount of flack as of late. Many nuts have a fairly high PUFA content, and most of that PUFA is Omega-6, which is the bad one. It’s easily oxidized, highly unstable for cooking, usually rancid on the shelf, and, thanks to government farm subsidies and public hysteria over animal fat, it’s in absolutely everything nowadays. We Primal types generally avoid it for good reason, and that tends to influence how we react to the O6 content of nuts. Last week I received this email from a reader:

Dear Mark,

I’m a little confused. I get the animal fat, the meat, the veggies, and the lowish sugar fruit recommendations, but what about nuts? I love nuts, don’t get me wrong… I’m just a bit paranoid about the Omega 6 content. You recommend nuts in the book. If you (and pretty much all other Primal bloggers) tell us to avoid Omega 6 fats, should we still be eating them?  I’m having trouble reconciling the two bits of advice and there seem to be mixed messages out there. Thanks.

Is there a place for nuts in the Primal Blueprint diet? Let’s take a closer look.

Omega-6 Content Various Nuts (1/4 cup)

Walnuts – 9.5 g

Almonds – 4.36 g

Cashews – 2.6 g

Macadamias – 0.5 g

Brazil nuts – 7.2 g

Hazelnuts – 2.7 g

Pistachio – 4.1 g

Pine nuts – 11.6 g

Pecans – 5.8 g

The basic takeaway is that quite a few nuts are fairly O6-intensive (with several, like macadamia nuts, being extremely low). A diet high in these nuts, then, would presumably skew the vaunted tissue O6-O3 ratio toward pro-inflammatory bodily processes… right? I mean, if you were to eat food fried in high-O6 vegetable oil at some restaurant, that would be pro-inflammatory. If you were to eat cheap Chinese food stir-fried in cheap, high-O6 soybean oil every day for lunch, you’d expect a good amount of oxidized LDL at your next lipid test. And if you were to supplement your diet with a few daily tablespoons of unheated corn oil, there would be markedly negative effects (besides gagging and/or vomiting) on your body. How are nuts any different?

For one, nuts aren’t just “bags of linoleic acid” (as Stephan Guyenet recently pointed out in a comment board I’ve misplaced). Isolating Omega-6 fatty acids and then exposing them to air or heat is bad dietary policy. I don’t care where it is – in your body, in your cupboard, or in the skillet. But nuts are much more than linoleic acid. In fact, a nut is a pretty complete nutritional source. After all, it’s the seed of a tree, a sort of arboreal egg. Contained within is everything that tree needs to start growing from scratch – fats, carbohydrates, even protein, plus natural antioxidants like Vitamin E and plenty of minerals. We have to remember that antioxidants in foods exist, first and foremost, to protect the food from damage. That linoleic acid in the walnut isn’t meant for you to consume (we’ve adapted to it, not the other way around); it’s there to provide energy for the budding tree. A damaged, oxidized fat is no good to any tree, and Vitamin E helps prevent oxidation. When we strip a nut of everything but the liquid fat, we’re asking for trouble, but if we eat the whole nut, the fat remains protected by the natural antioxidants, at least to a point (eating burnt, damaged, or rancid nuts isn’t the same as eating raw or soaked nuts). In other words, extracting, refining, and isolating a highly unstable Omega-6 fatty acid in oil form is entirely different than eating the odd handful of pistachios every other day or so. If you roast your nuts to the point of burning, then, yeah, you’re probably eating damaged fats, and that could be a problem. But eating a quarter cup of nuts every few days isn’t going to hurt you – even if they’re high-O6 walnuts (the horror!).

Even if the Omega-6 fat in nuts is bad, the positives of the nut seem to weigh more heavily. Whole nut intake seems to reduce markers of systemic inflammation, and inflammation is linked with a wide range of ailments and afflictions (obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease, excess cortisol, etc.). The study’s (PDF) authors hesitate to isolate and praise a single component of the nut, referring to them as “complex food matrices containing diverse nutrients and other chemical constituents.” I think that’s an accurate appraisal of the humble, irreducible nut.

What’s the Downside?

Problems arise with steady year-round access to foods whose historical availability was seasonal and intermittent. If you were a hunter-gatherer, you probably weren’t gathering bushels of nuts on a daily basis – at least, you weren’t finding enough nuts in the wild to eat eight ounces a day. Nuts should never comprise the bulk of your diet, anyway. A quarter cup as a snack every now and then isn’t going to kill you. It’s not even going to compromise your progress. I mean, they’re nuts. They aren’t meals, and they’re not meant to be. They’re snacks, basic supplements to an already nutritious diet replete in animal fat, protein, and vegetables. And in a high Omega-3 diet like the Primal Blueprint they definitely have a place.

Just make sure you treat your nuts as delicious snacks, rather than staple cornerstones of a meal. Don’t burn your nuts, and don’t cook with the oil. The safest bet is to buy them raw and soak or roast them yourself. That way, you control the heat and you can mediate the oxidation.

Overanalyzing your food intake is a good way to stress yourself out and make every little dietary choice an internal struggle. Avoid falling into this trap. Be vigilant of your food choices, but pick your battles wisely. Making sure you ask the waiter to cook your omelet in butter rather than vegetable oil is worth the trouble; stressing over the Omega-6 content of the twenty walnuts in front of you is decidedly not.

This is a fairly contentious topic in the community, with a ton of bloggers weighing in. Richard Nikoley (last I heard) opts for the harvest-and-gorge nut consumption style, going regular periods of time where he eats none at all. He’ll avoid buying any “for 2-3 store visits in a row.” Remember, Grok didn’t have around the clock access to nuts.

Stephan Guyenet and Don Matesz go back and forth in the comments section of Don’s recent post on walnuts, in which Don offers very sound evidence in favor of walnut consumption. Definitely check it out.

My general take, as I see it, is that nuts shouldn’t make up the bulk of your caloric intake. It’s not that Omega-6s are inherently dangerous, especially bound up in whole food, nut form; nuts may even be beneficial to heart health, probably by decreasing systemic inflammation. It’s that they’re often too available, too plentiful, and way too easy to consume in excess. What drew our ancestors to nuts – the caloric density and the fat content – is what makes them “dangerous” to modern man. Most seeds, including grains, were passed over because the labor involved in their gathering and their refining was prohibitive with inadequate payoff. Nuts are meaty, though, and they’re dense and (somewhat) filling. It makes sense that we easily snack on them all day, because our ancestors probably gorged themselves on nuts when they were available. We should eat them, too, but it’s important to stick to reasonable, evolutionarily realistic amounts.

Care to weigh in with your thoughts on nuts? I know a lot of forum members have reservations about them, so I’d love to hear in the comments section.

TAGS:  nuts/seeds

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276 Comments on "Dear Mark: Nuts and Omega-6s"

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Kishore
Kishore
6 years 6 months ago

Mark, does soaking nuts in water overnight reduce anti-nutrients in it?

Biglee
Biglee
6 years 6 months ago

The book “Nurishing Traditions” by Sally Falon talks about soaking nuts in lightly salted water overnight to help with assimilation of the nutrients. I have to get my copy of the book back out and brush up on my nuts! Oops!

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 6 months ago
Since going primal, my nut consumption has dramatically increased. I used to care less about them, but having tuned my taste buds away from overly sweet or salty foods (i.e., junk foods), they’ve quickly latched on to nuts as a delicious treat. For a while around the new year, my nut consumption had ramped up to a daily indulgence. Even though I stuck to the lower omega 6 nuts (macadamia and almonds), I found that I was starting to gain some weight around the midsection and my appetite had increased. Listening to Robb Wolf’s podcasts, I realized that nuts might… Read more »
Grok
6 years 6 months ago

Aaron pumpkin seeds are awesome for salads too. Fewer cals, more protein, & IMO less addictive 😉

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 6 months ago

Do you soak or roast them? Do you need to remove the shell before consuming them?

Grok
6 years 6 months ago

I just buy the raw shelled ones from the bulk at the grocery store. Unless its Halloween, then I just eat the guts raw 🙂 Or… any other time I have squash.

Chris Sturdy
6 years 6 months ago

Like Grok (below) I have also roasted seeds from the various squash varieties that I cook for dinner. It is a little bit of a chore to separate and clean them but worth it. I just roast them with little sea salt. Then I don’t have to wait for Halloween.

E.M.R
E.M.R
6 years 6 months ago

In “Eat Fat, Lose Fat”, Sally Fallon and Mary Enig talk about how eating a lot of monounsaturated fats can cause some weight gain. The idea fat, of course, is saturated fats because, if I remember correctly, you’re body utilizes them and burns them for energy quicker than the unsaturated fats.

I’ve noticed the same thing, too, when it comes to overeating on the nuts. It just gives me a completely different feeling than when I eat saturated fats (especially coconut oil).

So, yeah, up with the saturated fats, and some moderation with the monos/polyunsaturated fats.

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[…] Original post by Mark Sisson […]

Erin
Erin
6 years 6 months ago
I think people might be forgetting that omega 6 is still an essential fatty Acid, meaning our body can’t make it, so we need to consume it. We just need to consume the right ratio of it. It’s only bad if consumed in excess and/or in a damaged form. Remember- our body uses omega 6 to synthesize Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), which is very manti-inflammatory. I personally don’t worry about it too much. I eat a handful of nuts or a few spoonfuls of almond butter on a daily basis and my Omega 9 (monounsaturated) and saturated fat intake still… Read more »
Troy
Troy
6 years 6 months ago

Nuts are mini embryos… like beans, they will make you sterile…

troy

pecanmike
6 years 6 months ago

Now this is just totally freakin stupid.

jamie
jamie
6 years 6 months ago

You can’t seriously believe that! My husband and I eat lots of almonds and beans, as well. I just had my 3rd child 9 weeks ago. There are no fertility problems here.

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 6 months ago

Jamie, beans are usually loaded with phyto-estrogens. Nuts, not really.

Here’s some phyto-estrogen content (mcg/100g or 4OZ) in certain foods:

Flax seed 379,380
Soy beans 103,920
Tofu 27,150.1
Soy yogurt 10,275
Sesame seed 8008.1
Flax bread 7540
Multigrain bread 4798.7
Soy milk 2957.2
Hummus 993

jamie
jamie
6 years 6 months ago

I do not eat soy at all, but properly prepared beans (soaked and sprouted), yes, sometimes. Nuts, though, we eat quite a lot.

simon fellows
simon fellows
6 years 6 months ago

nother Horizon programme..unless in Blighty we canny use BBC I player but can download from myriad other sources.

Very interesting of note in the prog were the bods doing research on oxidative stress and anti-oxidants and if i understood them correctly, certainly in mice…….antioxidants did bugger all.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qm7zr

Jack
Jack
6 years 6 months ago

Exactly.

Lillian
6 years 6 months ago

When I first started PB, I had some nuts every day to help transition over, but I found that it actually make me hungrier.. So now I’ll eat ’em if they’re around, but I won’t go out of my way to stock up on them. I find eating a hard boiled egg is much more satisfying than a handful of nuts 🙂

Athena
6 years 6 months ago

Very interesting post! Im not gonna stress about my almond butter that I have once in awhile, or those *gasp* walnuts I sprinkle on my salad every so often. 🙂 Enjoy life, no one ever died from eating healthy except for nuts! lol

Chris - Zen to Fitness
6 years 6 months ago

Stick to Macadamia nuts predominantly and you will have no problem, they taste the best anyway….

As Mark says though if you use them as a snack you will have no problems. Have a look at this article I wrote on nuts a while back for tips on consumption http://zentofitness.com/nuts-how-much-is-enough/

Grok
6 years 6 months ago

+1

Plus the price of the dang things will keep you from buying them as often 🙂

MalPaz
6 years 6 months ago

i agree macdamia nuts are the best…esp straight out of the fridge!

pecanmike
6 years 6 months ago

As a grower of pecans and follower of your primal blueprint I think your post is fair. I eat a small handful of nuts most days but not as a meal. I raise a grassfed beef for that.

As a side note I recently purchased your book for my brother in law and he can not believe his weight loss and how much better he feels. My results were the same.

Reni
Reni
6 years 6 months ago

Thanks for the clarification Mark! I have been downing a ton of nuts each day. Problem is, I don’t like avocados or coconut so much so I found a handful of nuts at each meal was an easy way to get my fat. Now I understand that I will have to limit that as well. Maybe I will better control my appetite like another poster without all the nuts?

amandamarie
amandamarie
6 years 6 months ago

What about nut butters? Do the same principles apply?

Marc
6 years 6 months ago

My only problem with nuts is that it’s hard to find really fresh ones. Most are old and have mold (you don’t see it by the way)…if you eat them frequently this is an issue I think. Best to keep it random.

Marc

Sébastien
Sébastien
6 years 6 months ago
My body is hyper sensitive and I’m dealing with huge leaky gut, candida and inflammation problems. I get irritated from almost anything except meat, but I want to stay out of ketosis because it seems my kidneys became irritated from too low carb (don’t know why). Right now it’s no nuts, no seeds and no eggs and it seems to be helping. Even eggs, for unknown reasons, are irritation. I know the whites could be Biotin binding, but I don’t know why my system gets irritated from them. Too much fruit seem to irritate also. It might be because of… Read more »
DianeC
DianeC
6 years 6 months ago

For the egg sensitivity… I have heard that some people are sensitive to egg whites. For some people, mixing the white & the yolk (for example, cooking the eggs scrambled instead of sunny side up) is enough to let them eat the eggs without problems. But if they eat the whites & yolks separately they get problems.

Just a thought, maybe something to try. Good luck!

Suvetar
Suvetar
5 years 5 months ago
I’m one of those that’s highly allergic to the whites. I can eat the yolks just fine. I get intestinal swelling minutes after consuming egg whites. Intestinal swelling is an anaphylactic shock in the gut…but it isn’t called that. They only call it an anaphylactic shock when it happens in your throat and cuts off air passage…resulting in death most of the time. Well, for years I had no clue what’s causing my giant ‘8 month pregnant’ belly (I wasn’t pregnant) until I finally had an allergy test done…after having an anaphylactic shock in the throat and was rushed to… Read more »
Dustino
Dustino
4 years 5 months ago

Un digested cooked protein molecules

David
David
6 years 6 months ago
I can really relate to your post. Was diagnosed with colitis in December 2009 after 3 years of symptoms. Had not eaten gluten, corn and or dairy for 10 years because I knew these foods upset my system. But was otherwise high carb low fat and was slowly getting worse over time. Going paleo in July 2009 helped shift the trend to improvement. But was still experiencing minor symptoms until I cut out a daily dose of raw mixed nuts and eggs. Loren Cordain posted an excellent explanation on his blog about why egg whites might cause a problem in… Read more »
WhitsKitch
6 years 6 months ago

Hey have you tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet? Its very similar to Primal– but was created by Drs about 50 years ago to help heal the intestines, usually for patients with Celiac, Colitis etc. But Leaky Gut too. It might be interesting for you to read about.

fidelity
fidelity
6 years 6 months ago

I’m on the same journey with you Sebastian. Leaky gut, candida, adrenal fatigue, you know, the works haha. I also find eggs and nuts irritate me for now and will give your suggestion of staying out of a ketosis a go. Seems like a struggle everyday but I know we can do this!

F

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 6 months ago

Sebastian, L-glutamine in large quantities is an effective way to fix leaky gut. Atleast 15 grams taken 3-4 times a day between meals. Stay away from common allergens: Eggs, wheat, oatmeal, dairy, shellfish. Take enough fish oil (3-5grams daily).

kathryn
kathryn
6 years 6 months ago
Sebastien, I feel your pain. I was like that years ago. I could not eat anything except meat and homemade broth for a long time. It turned out that I have several food allergies. After I strictly avoided the allergenic foods and followed Specific Carbohydrate Diet for better part of a year I was a lot better. It has been a few years since I had to do that – there are still foods that I can not eat but much better than I was. Try extra virgin coconut oil. It is very good for digestion but is very detoxing… Read more »
Allison
Allison
6 years 6 months ago

Is it about the same idea with the Omega 6’s in seeds such as flax and chia. Take them out if your weight is stalling but a few tablespoons are fine?

Jeffery
6 years 6 months ago

Thanks for the tip on eating out – I’ve never thought about request my order be cooked with butter rather than the oil! In fact, the strange looks will be half the pleasure.

WalterB
WalterB
2 years 4 months ago

Better yet bring your own ghee.

chris
chris
6 years 6 months ago

Isn’t the favorable 3:6 ratio for Walnuts and Macadamia nuts what make them our first choices as far as nuts go?

Drumroll
Drumroll
4 years 5 months ago

Recent medical knowledge is coming to agree that you want the ratio of Omega-3s to Omega 6s to be almost 1:1 rather than 1:4 or even 1:2 as was previously thought.

That’s why, in my opinion, Walnuts, which have long been touted to have the “optimal ratio” of polyunsaturated fats definitely do not, as we are (yes, even the Government nutritionists!) slowly learning.

Dan
Dan
4 years 26 days ago

Can you link study refs? Searching Pubmed for Walnut http://tinyurl.com/9e799bu does not result in any articles finding inflammation markers increased. Given that n-6/n-3 is 4 it borderline on the PUFA theory and we don’t have a very good idea how the Walnut is digested. For example, could it be the Omega-3 “beats” Omega-6 to the pathway mediating Omega-6 metabolism? Also, remember the typical American diet has a ratio of 16 to 20.

Todd
6 years 6 months ago
I LOVE nuts. All nuts. I have nuts every day. But, never as a main dish – who does? Nuts are a perfect snack and a perfect garnish to salads. Nut butters are excellent for smoothies/shakes or as a spread on celery. I am going more and more primal as the days progress, but I think I will always love my irish steel cut oats 1-2 times a week 🙂 This with any kind of nut is incredible. Mark, What about coconuts? Coconuts are nuts but seem to be different then a traditional nut? I now consume some form of… Read more »
Bob Ulrich
6 years 6 months ago

My understanding is that Coconut is actually an MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) and is fairly different than the omega3/6 fats available in most other nut products.

Grok
6 years 6 months ago

Almost every day I consume between 500-2,000 calories of coconut. Often much more. Oil, milk, flakes, water (in that order) make up the bulk.

You should be fine.

Todd
6 years 6 months ago
That’s awesome. I admire you, lol. I never ate coconut until about one month ago. My father always had a whole coconut around and added it to various stuff (usually cereal – gross) and I never had any. My mind told me coconut was gross. Thankfully I found this website and have learned that coconut is incredible for you. I now love coconut and it is one of my favorite foods. David Wolfe says it is the #1 natural liquid source of electrolytes…. therefore the perfect sport drink – take that Gatorade. Yes, I understand that coconut is vastly different.… Read more »
Grok
6 years 6 months ago

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see plenty of coconut talk, plus lots of other useless info 😉

Depends on the day, but I usually fall somewhere between 2,500-9,000. Up to 20,000 if I don’t care & go unmetered. 6,000 to 9,000 seams to be where I’ll naturally land for a meal. Keep in mind this is primal food, not junk.

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[…] Original post by Mark Sisson […]

Bob Ulrich
6 years 6 months ago

Interested to see what your thoughts were on Macadamia Nut Oil for cooking Mark. Robb Wolf talks a lot about not using Olive Oil for high-temp cooking, as it’s fairly easily oxidizable. Since then I’ve been using Macadamia Nut Oil, which according to the data from the company I purchased it through is 1:1 in Omega3:Omega6. It also tastes like BUTTER! 🙂

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 6 months ago

My understanding is that the same issues are involved with heating ANY unsaturated oil (either Poly or mono). My advice is to stick with more saturated oils, especially coconut, for your cooking purposes.

Bryan
Bryan
2 years 4 months ago
Olive oil oxidation varies widely with quality. Typically the higher the quality (such as cold pressed extra virgin organic oil) the lower the smoke point. The smoke point of oils is a) literally the temperature where the oil will start to emit smoke, and b) the oxidation saturation point where you’re both deodorizing the oil and converting about 2/3 of the Omega 3 content into trans fats. Due to the wide variation of oil quality and information sources on the subject, I’ve started heating a pan when I receive new brands/bottles of oil and adding a teaspoon and waiting 2… Read more »
Graham
Graham
6 years 6 months ago

I’ve definitely noticed that I can’t eat a ton of nuts. I swear I used to be able to, but not any more. As a snack, a handful is fine, great even (they can be delicous), or as a salad topper, but NEVER as a meal. Oh god, unless you want to have no appetite and terrible BM’s for the next 24 hours.

Just a bit here and there….mmmmmmmmmmmm

Anne
Anne
6 years 6 months ago
When I first moved to AR I noticed we had many hickory nut trees. That fall I collected the nuts and cracked them. They are not like the thin shelled walnuts or pecans – no, the shell is very thick and it was a lot of work getting to the nut. No gorging on hickory nuts – took too long to get a handful. I imagine nuts in paleotime were not the thin shelled varieties we have now. That year I also collected the wild blueberries from the woods. They were very tiny berries with a wonderful taste. Again, collection… Read more »
tac99us
tac99us
6 years 6 months ago

i have super high cholesterol, and have been trying to get a better 0mega 3/6 balance. anyone have a good link or resource that shows foods levels of both 3&6?

Often foods are touted as being high in level 3, but forget to mention that they are 4 times that high in omega 6’s, like all of those ‘heart healthy’ spreads that i no longer use- very frustrating.

xKEVINx
xKEVINx
6 years 6 months ago

I noticed cooking with oils was mentioned because of their high Omega-6 content, so i wanted to ask a question pertaining to Canola Oil. WIth nearly a 2:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids, is cooking eggs and such in canola oil ok?

tac99us
tac99us
6 years 6 months ago

I’d say stay away from canola oil totally. Cook with butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard, tallow or other animal fats.

tac99us
tac99us
6 years 6 months ago

– Butter from grassfed cows, i should add. If you don’t have access to a local farm, there is a brand called irish gold, that is supposed to be from pastured cows, that is readily available. you could google to find others

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 6 months ago

Anchor butter, from New Zealand, is also from grass-fed cows, and is delicious.

Todd
6 years 6 months ago

I searched irish gold and found kerry gold… after some more searching it seems as if they are the same brand? Is this true?

tac99us
tac99us
6 years 6 months ago

Sorry yes. It’s called Kerrygold Irish Butter. I realized last night i got the name wrong……what can i say, I’m just a caveman.

Alejandro
Alejandro
6 years 6 months ago

I ceated a list for myself some time ago:

Nuts and seeds that are low in omega 6:

chestnuts
macadamia
chia
acorn
lotus
breadfruit seeds
~hazelnut or filberts -> border line
~flaxseed, chia, -> other issues
breadnuttree seeds
ginkgo nuts

csauer52
csauer52
6 years 6 months ago

So what’s considered too many nuts in a day? I usually pack 2oz. of walnuts which I snack on throughout the day when I get hungry. Would that be considered too many?

Steven
6 years 6 months ago
Oh no! I probably eat about a quarter pound of nuts a day. They’re all raw and various kinds, (pretty much all the ones Mark listed above). I have to say though, that I have severely decreased BF% and have even lost a fair amount of weight. Daily, I usually consume lots of protien (meat, fish, chicken, etc) and TONS of nuts. I also eat a fair amount of raw sheep and goats milk cheese and have a glass (or a whole bottle, I KNOW, I KNOW) of red wine 2-3 days a week. But, I must say, I am… Read more »
Joshua
Joshua
6 years 6 months ago

I grind up macadamia nuts and coconut oil. I store it in the refrigerator, since the integrity of the nuts have been compromised. I have about 2 oz of the mixture a day. Sometimes spread over some celery, or right off the spoon. Occasionally, I’ll take some unsweetened coconut flakes, and grind them into the butter.

Felicia
Felicia
5 years 5 months ago

that sound so yummy!!!!!

Phil
6 years 6 months ago

I am probably guilty of eating 2 many nuts. I eat a lot of almonds and I have a mature walnut tree in my garden. It is the start of the harvest season and I collect and store enough nuts to last for about 9months of the year. I probably use half a kilogram a week.

My children love almonds and walnuts and if it were a choice between sugary confection or cake I’d rather seem them snack on the nuts.

epistemocrat
6 years 6 months ago

Good take, Mark.

Dave Lull sent me a study awhile ago that showed that eating nuts with yogurt helped minimize the downsides and maximize the upsides of consuming a few nuts here and there. That’s how I eat my nuts: sprinkled on top of yogurt. That’s a primal dessert for me.

Cheers,

Brent

Heather Eats Almond Butter
6 years 6 months ago

Big fan of the nuts here. I figure I get so many Omega 3’s in my diet, that I don’t worry too much about my nut consumption. However, I wish raw almond butter tasted as good as roasted! 😉

Angelina
Angelina
6 years 6 months ago

Good article and timely too. I eat Macadamias and I was glad to see that they have the lowest O6 content on the list. I find them good for a snack since being on the PB because there is little else that I can get that is as handy. Berries are extremely expensive here.

DThalman
DThalman
6 years 6 months ago

i like raw almonds mixed with sunflower seeds and blueberries; that’s my “cereal”. but i only eat it a couple times a week. nuts are a good pack food, too. i’ve been avoiding roasted ones since the post on choosing one’s oils carefully

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[…] Nuts and Omega 6’s […]

Luke M-Davies
6 years 6 months ago
“Overanalyzing your food intake is a good way to stress yourself out and make every little dietary choice an internal struggle” I think this is the crux of the case – Nuts are a healthy food snack and ingredient. I think it is that simple. As always, it is moderation that will do the trick! I have to admit I find them a bit addictive though. I think it is that natural crunch and great taste – they are like nature’s Pringles (crisps) a bit for me… I love the versatility, home made almond milk, nut butter, roasting pumpkin seeds… Read more »
Delaney
Delaney
6 years 6 months ago
I have cut out a lot of junk food and don’t often get enough protein from other sources due to my schedule. I rely heavily on nuts (mainly walnuts and almonds) for breakfast and snacks throughout the day. As a matter of fact, I eat a handful with oatmeal (still working on cutting out carbs) each morning after I workout. I really need some fast breakfast ideas to replace the nuts and oatmeal. Also, what do others use as quick snacks with protein during the day? I keep a cup full of mixed nuts and snack on them between meals… Read more »
DianeC
DianeC
6 years 6 months ago

Can you eat eggs and/or cheese? I usually have a couple of hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, because it’s easy to cook up a dozen at a time & just grab them from the fridge. My snacks usually involve cheese and a few nuts, berries, or olives.

Good luck, I hope this helps!

Bern
Bern
6 years 6 months ago

Hey Mark/All,

I am new to the primal way of eating and still trying to figure out the ‘rules’. I haven’t seen any guidance regarding buckwheat. I usually eat soaked buckwheat for breakfast. They are technically not a grain but a fruit. Are they ok to eat on the primal style diet?

Kevin
6 years 6 months ago

Does this mean nuts eat grains? 🙂

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[…] Nutrition: Reconciling the Omega 6 content of nuts. […]

Chris G
6 years 6 months ago

We have a pretty well stocked pantry at work, I pushed for Raw almonds and they seem to have caught on. In the pic below I tried to encourage people with their choice… later on in the day my addendum was missing, conspiracy???

ksan
ksan
6 years 6 months ago

My understanding is that the ratio of O6 to O3 in walnuts is low relative to other nuts. Macadamias are the only ones close to it.

The ratio is important yes?

Almonds have negligible O3. Ratio-wise, they’re at the bottom of the nut list.

Fernando
Fernando
6 years 6 months ago

So, a meal like Son of Grok’s primal pizza should be eaten very rarely, yes?

Fitness Contrarian
6 years 6 months ago

I eat raw almonds all the time as a snack. I love the taste and consider them a quick and satisfying snack. I buy the small individually wrapped bags at Trader Joe’s so I don’t overdo it.

Best – Mike

Richard Nikoley
6 years 6 months ago

Thanks for the mention, Mark. And you’re right on. This is exactly how I handle nuts, going 2-3 weeks at a stretch without any so that when I do get them chowing down with even a whole cup or more in an evening is no big.

Also, I’m pretty much sticking to macadamias and pistachios from time to time.

Stabby
Stabby
6 years 6 months ago
I have recently re-introduced more omega 6 into my diet after avoiding it like the plague and being an omega 3 junkie for many months. Believe me, you do not want too little omega 6 in your diet and there is some omega 6 that is downright beneficial, not to mention essential for inflammation, regeneration and the nervous system. Omega 3 (both EPA, DHA AND ALA) regulate the body’s conversion of omega 6 fatty acids into the pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes and so where there is omega 3, there can also be omega 6. One omega 6 fatty acid that… Read more »
sandra
sandra
6 years 6 months ago

The consensus seems to be nuts are OK, but in moderation… If the main issue here is n6, what is wrong with eating more than a “moderate” amount of macadamia nuts (only .5 g in 1/4 cup)? Also, since they are so low in PUFA would roasted be OK?

Julie Aguiar
Julie Aguiar
6 years 6 months ago

My only way to regulate my nut consumption (they are SO delicious!!) is to buy them in the shell. Yes it is a royal pain in the ass to de-shell each nut, but Grok had to, right? I just buy a mixed bag… Tip: to max out on the primal factor, dont use a nutcracker either!! Grok on!

Multi Wing
6 years 6 months ago

I am big fan of walnuts.

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