Are nuts as healthy as we think?

If you are a health conscious person, eating clean foods is likely one of your priorities. You may try to avoid foods with labels, you might try to eat lots of fruit and veggies, you probably avoid gluten and dairy, and you most likely consume lots of nuts and seeds.

But are nuts really as good for us as we think?

I am ceoliac and therefore cannot eat any gluten. On top of this, I find that my body has difficulty digesting dairy. This causes me to constantly be looking for gluten and dairy free alternatives to include in my diet. For a period of time, I thought nuts were the answer. I started buying almond milk in bulk to include in smoothies, to drink with tea and coffee and to eat with cereal, I had nut butter on my toast and in sandwiches, I had raw nuts as snacks, and I made desserts and treats using almond meal and other crushed nuts. While I thought I was eating all the right things, trying to eat as clean as possible and avoiding sugars, I couldn’t help but notice my digestion was not improving. In denial for a while, I continued to eat this way until I was extremely uncomfortable and couldn’t hide it anymore.

I read this article and suddenly it clicked. I was eating too many nuts. As stated in the article nuts, like soy and gluten, are actually very hard to digest. I was over consuming nuts, including them in almost every meal. I slowly started to cut back and finally my digestion started improving. I now only eat nuts in moderation, usually in baked goods (I absolutely love cookies made with almond meal and could not give these up altogether!)

In place of nuts I primarily use rice or coconut milk for smoothies and my favourite snacks are chopped carrots and cucumbers. Coconut flour is also a great alternative for baking.

While I know that nuts are difficult to digest for me, I am not suggesting everyone has the same problem. If you eat a lot of nuts and feel as though your gut is not as effective as it could be, try slowly reducing your nut intake and see if there are improvements.

Do you eat lots of nuts? Have you experienced the same problem as me? Tell us below.

NOTE: This article is written based on my own personal experience. I am not saying that nuts do not have nutritional value, I am simply stating that some people may find them difficult to digest. All foods should be consumed in moderation, and every body is different in the way it digests food. Listen to your body and see what foods it has difficulty digesting. If you find that your digestion is not working the way you would like, try avoiding certain foods for a period and see if there is a difference. The most important things is to listen to your body and enjoy a balanced diet.

 

Other interesting resources on the possible downside of nuts:

The Nutrition Coach - Foods to Avoid

Chris Kresser - Another reason you shouldn't go nuts for nuts 

Dr Dobbin Nutrition - Phytates