"The researches of so many eminent scientific men have thrown so much darkness upon the subject that if they continue their researches we shall soon know nothing."

- Artemus Ward

“If you aren’t confused about health and nutrition, then you haven’t studied it long enough or deeply enough.”

- Matt Stone

Seasonal Foods

Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nuts to You

Okay, I admit it. I love nuts, almost all kinds of nuts. I love almonds and cashews and pistachios and pecans. and macadamias. I wish I could eat them every day, even every meal - though when it comes to nuts I'm trying harder to practice moderation. It's just that they are so darn satisfying as a snack in a way hardboiled eggs never are. :-)

I've been avoiding high-PUFA vegetable oils for a long time now, close to a couple years probably, to keep my Omega6 intake on the low side, but I never really thought about nuts in that context. Now suddenly I'm seeing a lot of press about nuts being high in O6 and we need to avoid them if we want to have low O6 intake. The amount of O6 in a serving of nuts? -

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

As you can see, some are far higher than others. The highly touted walnut is close to the top of the list. Nice to see macadamias so low though. I do love them, although I have to be careful if I have them in the house because they are toxic for dogs. But how much O6 is too much? I was discouraged when I first began cutting O6 in my diet to read somewhere that it can take *years* for your body to purge the excess in its tissues. I don't want to hinder that process. I have too many years of damage to undo as it is.

I guess I'm trying to lean towards this quote from a recent blogpost by Mark Sisson:

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.

I love nuts, and could eat them every day, just as I could cheese! Cheese! Nuts! Toss chocolate into the mix and you've got all my faves right now. :-) When I eat nuts it is the whole nuts, not nut oils. I won't avoid them totally but will work harder to make them an occasional thing, and not an every meal sort of thing!


No comments:

Post a Comment