When I first went raw, I jumped in with both feet and went 100% raw for 30 days. The first few weeks I found myself eating tons of nuts! I know it’s not uncommon for people transitioning to raw food to overeat nuts, so I decided to share my story and advice about nuts.
Why The Nuts?
Why do most of us immediately reach for the raw nuts and seeds when we switch to a raw diet?
1. We want to feel full.
Since nuts are solid, crunchy, and filling, we have a tendency to use them as a replacement for cooked food. For example, when I first went raw, I would still feel “hungry” after eating a generous salad. I’d eat a handful or two of nuts to get that semi-drowsy feeling I was missing.
2. Nuts are crunchy.
Of course another reason why we might overeat nuts at the beginning is that we miss that crunchy yummy sort of salty feeling. Nuts make a natural replacement for chips, popcorn, crackers, and other snacks. Here’s a quick tip if that’s why you’re reaching for the nuts: try crunching on some celery, or make kale chips!
3. It’s an easy snack food.
You don’t need to wash, cut, or blend anything to eat nuts. If you’re in a hurry or feeling tired, you can just open a jar or reach for a container of nuts and enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with this behavior, but if you’re overeating nuts you will want to prepare adequate snack foods in advance.
Remember that being prepared is half the battle when it comes to eating healthy foods.
Nuts: The Good and The Bad
On the one hand, nuts make us feel full because our body is expending energy trying to digest them. Nuts are harder to digest than fresh fruits and vegetables. In reality we probably wouldn’t be eating tons of nuts in nature, unless they were fresh and in season. How many of us live next to a Brazil nut tree? That’s what I thought.
Nuts have tons of great nutritious qualities, and I don’t think we should shun them entirely. The healthy oils found in nuts are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for the brain, and for keeping your stress levels under control. Alternative sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds and flax seeds.
Most people have an easier time digesting seeds than they do digesting nuts. Also, the reason why more people are allergic to nuts than seeds is that nuts tend to go rancid if kept on a shelf for too long a time.
The Nutty Conclusion
So what’s the verdict? No, you won’t go insane if you eat too many nuts. But try to limit yourself to one handful per day, since they are hard to digest. If you feel bloated or gassy after eating nuts, cut down.
Also, you should avoid eating nuts with fresh fruits since that will definitely cause some discomforts and gas!
Other than that, go nuts. :D