Q: Are nuts okay to eat?
A: Nuts have long been promoted as healthy because of their polyunsaturated fat content. As such, many people include them as daily snacks in an attempt to eat more healthy fats and protein. However, it’s important that we look a bit deeper to see exactly what nuts are made of.
Firstly, most nuts contain as many carbohydrates as they do protein (approx. 20% of each). For this reason, we can’t really consider them a ‘protein food’. Plus, plant based proteins aren’t as effectively absorbed by the body as animal based proteins are. So, I recommend that you look at other foods for meeting your protein requirements.
In regards to their fat content, it’s important to understand that not all polyunsaturated fats are ideal for health. A typical western diet has extremely high levels of Omega 6 fats and inadequate levels of Omega 3 fats which increases inflammation and therefore the risk of disease and metabolic issues.
Unfortunately, most nuts are high in Omega 6 and low in Omega 3 which further exacerbates this imbalance.
Walnuts are your best bet as they have an O6:O3 ratio of 4:1 (which is ideal) compared to others which have ratios of up to 2000:1.