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Abdul1993 03-03-2013 09:44 PM

Walnuts and other nuts and seeds
 
I'm wondering what are the net carbs in walnuts. I read somewhere that it has under 1 net carbs, and I assumed the writer of the article was describing plain walnuts since it was giving carb counts for general nuts and seeds. Her article also had pumpkin seeds having net carbs. This didn't make sense to me, because I eat a lot of walnuts, and on packet it says, Total Carb: 3g, fiber: 3g. Same thing with a packet of pumpkin seeds I had. So I'm curious about that :o. Also, I take a multivitamin to get most of my daily requirements. I eat a lot and lot of walnuts since its the easiest thing to eat. would this be overdosing on anything at all? I wouldn't want toxicity from vitamins. Lastly, what are your recommendations for nuts and seeds that have no carb or very little carbs, but don't have too much calcium. I found some of the nuts and seeds, but all the brands in stores seem to have carbs. Thank you

picklepete 03-03-2013 09:54 PM

USDA site is good: Foods List

It's definitely possible to overdose on nuts--more from the omega-6 than the carbs. I would not exceed 2 oz/day (including butters, flours, tahini, etc.)

svenskamae 03-03-2013 11:57 PM

Nuts are very calorie dense, relative to volume, so it's possible to eat too many calories of them easily. I limit myself to a quarter cup of whole nuts or two tablespoons of nut butter. There's a lot of variation in carbs in nuts, too; macademias are high in fat and low in carbs, but cashews are carb-heavy, as I recall. Check the USDA site, as Pickle Pete suggests, or another tracker.

emel 03-04-2013 04:13 AM

I measure out my nut portions, but I'm not paranoid about overeating them.
If you're snacking on ANYTHING by reaching in to the big package of them, you can overeat. I think there's too much freakout about overeating on nuts. They are very satisfying and can keep me full for hours.

This is from Atkins website:
Quote:

Nuts and Seeds Serving Size Net Carbs
Almonds 24 nuts 2.3
Brazil nuts 5 nuts 2.0
Cashews 9 nuts 4.4
Hulled sunflower seeds 2 T 1.1
Macadamias 6 nuts 2.0
Pecans 10 halves 1.5
Pistachios 25 nuts 2.5
Walnuts 7 halves 1.5

Punkin 03-04-2013 05:04 AM

I am very sensitive to carbs so I did a lot of research on nuts. I checked many different sources and found pecans to be the safest for net carbs, and walnuts second. Pecans are pretty expensive, but I try to buy them in bulk and then just take them with me as snacks. They don't cause me to overeat and a small amount such as 1 oz does wonders.

biancasteeplechase 03-04-2013 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abdul1993 (Post 16293842)
This didn't make sense to me, because I eat a lot of walnuts, and on packet it says, Total Carb: 3g, fiber: 3g. Same thing with a packet of pumpkin seeds I had. So I'm curious about that :o.

Might be a simple question of the label rounding to the nearest whole number - if there are 2.6 grams of fiber, and 3.4 total grams of carbs, the label will still say "3" and "3", but there'll be .8 net carbs per serving.

Just Russ 03-04-2013 05:50 AM

I have been eating a half oz of walnuts (baking type, no additions) successful. I am very sensitive.

I snacked & OD'd on walnuts last night... regained the last pound back on the scale... so that's a trigger for me. :doh:

Dr Atkins Diet Revolution (1972) lists walnuts, pecans, brazil, macadamia under 5G carbs per 1 oz.

clackley 03-04-2013 06:00 AM

Walnuts are, per ounce approx. 4g carbs and 2g fibre with an effective carb count of 2g. This translates to 1 cup of walnuts having 14g of carb with 7g fibre - effective carb count of 7g. Not bad of a cup.

I have never heard of toxicity with the consumption of nuts.

avid 03-04-2013 06:13 AM

Nuts are incredibly healthy foods. Really packed with nutrition.
I make a point of eating a handful every few days.
My favorites for carb count are Macadamias (really delicious) and walnuts.
I also love peanut butter which is technically a legume but is also nutritious.
A spoonful of peanut butter with some sf preserve is a favorite snack of mine.

Knittering 03-04-2013 08:04 AM

I love nuts but they are highly caloric so if you need to watch calories in order to lose, I recommend that you pre-portion them out before digging in. :) These days I tend to use them like I do cheese -- an occasional sprinkle on top of salads or roasted veggies.

ravenrose 03-04-2013 08:25 AM

if the nut nutrition analysis nets out to zero carbs, it's just rounding! there are carbs in all of them, always.

Mistizoom 03-04-2013 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clackley (Post 16294156)
I have never heard of toxicity with the consumption of nuts.

Nuts have phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient (grains, beans, and seeds have these as well). If one consumes a lot of nuts it is best to soak them in salt water for a period of time (depending on the type) then dry them (such as in a dehydrator or low oven) before eating. I don't often do it myself, but I can really tell the difference, especially with walnuts, between soaked and non-soaked nuts. Non-soaked walnuts have this strange bitter quality to them. I like walnuts, don't get me wrong, but soaking in salt water then drying them makes them even better, and healthier.

picklepete 03-04-2013 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mistizoom (Post 16294809)
Nuts have phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient (grains, beans, and seeds have these as well). If one consumes a lot of nuts it is best to soak them in salt water for a period of time (depending on the type) then dry them (such as in a dehydrator or low oven) before eating. I don't often do it myself, but I can really tell the difference, especially with walnuts, between soaked and non-soaked nuts. Non-soaked walnuts have this strange bitter quality to them. I like walnuts, don't get me wrong, but soaking in salt water then drying them makes them even better, and healthier.

Yeah, nuts stress me out--I adore them so much but they have issues. Many of the the bulk bins are of questionable age and straight up rancid/oxidized. Roasting nuts at low temp releases the oils and makes them more digestible and delicious, but commercial roasted nuts are typically done way too hot with the cheapest oils (cottonseed etc.)

So my policy is to eat perhaps 5-10 as a garnish, and use caution when buying and prepping them. The first time I bought a fresh refrigerated batch and slow-roasted them in coconut oil and sea salt it was like tasting each one for the first time in technicolor.

rubidoux 03-04-2013 09:11 PM

I am feeling more nut friendly since I read that Peter Attia eats a ton of them. He's not worried about his weight and he works out like a mad person, so his situation is pretty different than mine. But I do think they are a very healthy food, and I will probably make a point of getting some more in my diet.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mistizoom (Post 16294809)
Nuts have phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient (grains, beans, and seeds have these as well). If one consumes a lot of nuts it is best to soak them in salt water for a period of time (depending on the type) then dry them (such as in a dehydrator or low oven) before eating. I don't often do it myself, but I can really tell the difference, especially with walnuts, between soaked and non-soaked nuts. Non-soaked walnuts have this strange bitter quality to them. I like walnuts, don't get me wrong, but soaking in salt water then drying them makes them even better, and healthier.

I have been wanting to try this!

Also, I love to fry a few pecans in kerrygold and sprinkle with salt and truvia for a decadent snack. :)

avid 03-06-2013 06:29 AM

Anti nutrient?
Never heard that phrase before.

emel 03-06-2013 07:08 AM

For avid:
Probably more than you'd ever want to know about phytate, or Phytic acid as an anti-nutrient, along with Mark Sisson's advice on eating nuts:

Quote:

Nuts contain a lot of phytic acid, AKA phytate, AKA IP-6, AKA the storage form of a plant’s phosphorus, and antioxidant to the seed in times of oxidative stress (PDF). When something that contains it is eaten, phytic acid binds to minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium, and manganese in the gastrointestinal tract, unless it’s reduced or nullified by soaking, sprouting, and/or fermentation. Bound minerals generally cannot be absorbed in the intestine, and too many bound minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies. Animals who produce phytase – the enzyme that breaks down phytate – can thrive on phytate-rich foods. Rats, for example, produce ample amounts of phytase and can handle more dietary phytate without exhibiting signs of mineral deficiencies. Since humans produce around 30 times less phytase than rats, phytate-heavy diets might be problematic for humans.

By dry weight, nuts generally contain more phytic acid than similar amounts of grains and legumes. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this table, pulled from Chris Kresser’s excellent article on phytic acid in nuts:

In milligrams per 100 grams of dry weight

Brazil nuts 1719
Cocoa powder 1684-1796
Oat flakes 1174
Almond 1138 – 1400
Walnut 982
Peanut roasted 952
Brown rice 840-990
Peanut ungerminated 821
Lentils 779
Peanut germinated 610
Hazelnuts 648 – 1000
Wild rice flour 634 – 752.5
Yam meal 637
Refried beans 622
Corn tortillas 448
Coconut 357
Corn 367
Entire coconut meat 270
White flour 258
White flour tortillas 123
Polished rice 11.5 – 66
Strawberries 12

So, 100 grams of almonds has between 1138 and 1400 mg of phytic acid. Walnuts have 982 mg, and 100 grams of Brazil nuts tops the list with over 1700 mg!

Meanwhile, 100 grams of brown rice has between 840 and 990 mg, lentils have 779 mg per 100 grams, and oats contain just over 1100 milligrams.

So what’s the deal? Why do nuts get a pass, while grains and legumes get condemned?

First of all, grains and legumes are generally seen as dietary staples. They form the foundation of meals. People don’t have a “small handful” of refried pinto beans (and not just because that’s an incredibly messy way to eat them) or “one or two” grains of brown rice. They eat plates of this stuff, they rely on them for protein and calories, and sure enough, cultures whose diets are based on (improperly prepared) grains and legumes often suffer the symptoms of widespread mineral deficiencies, like nutritional rickets.

Nuts, on the other hand, are an adornment to a meal or a snack in between. A condiment. They are not meals themselves. And though I hear stories of people going Primal and subsequently going crazy with nuts, eating almond flour bread with every meal and downing a pound of pecans each day, I just don’t see it. I could be mistaken, of course. If I am wrong, and you guys are indeed eating large quantities of phytate-rich nuts every day, don’t do that. Keep it to about a handful (which is between one and two ounces, depending on the hand) per day. But my general sense is that people aren’t eating copious amounts of nuts. They’re eating some nuts in between meals, on those days when they just need a snack. They’re making almond meal pancakes once or twice a month (cause let’s face it – they’re kind of a drag to make and clean up after).

It’s quite telling that all the studies looking at the effect of phytate on mineral bioavailability focus on grains and legumes, not nuts, because grains and legumes are what people are actually eating and relying on for nutrients. In 2007, the average American ate 610 grain calories and just 89 nut calories per day. I strongly suspect those numbers would look a little different for a Primal eater, but my point stands: you don’t see any studies examining the effect of almond intake on mineral bioavailability because nobody’s relying on almonds for their nutrition.

Second, those figures are for “phytate per 100 grams dry weight.” 100 grams of almonds is a little different than 100 grams of brown rice in the real world, on your plate, and in your mouth. The brown rice is about 362 calories, while the almonds are 575 calories. You’re far more likely to plop 362 calories of brown rice onto a plate and go back for seconds than you are to eat almost an entire cup of almonds in a sitting. 100 grams of rice is a standard meal; 100 grams of almonds is veering out of “snack” and into “meal” territory.

Is there an “ideal” way to eat nuts with respect to the phytic acid content?

Although asking “What would Grok do?” doesn’t give us definitive prescriptions for what we ought to do, it can be a helpful starting point. How would our ancestors have eaten nuts? By the plastic shrinkwrapped pre-shelled and salted bagful? Or by the laboriously gathered and hand-shelled occasional handful? Eating nuts is effortless now, but it wasn’t always like that. Ever crack a macadamia shell by hand? A Brazil nut? An almond? It’s hard work. You’re either trying to break open a rock-hard shell or sifting through fragments of shell and nut to find something edible. If you eat your nuts like you had to gather and shell them yourself – rather than gorging on them by the handful – you won’t be able to consume a significant amount of phytic acid.

If you’re still worried about phytic acid from nuts, you can play around with food timing. In order for phytate to impair absorption, it has to physically come into contact with the minerals in question. Since mineral absorption – or non-absorption caused by phytate chelation – happens in the gastrointestinal tract, that wild and crazy place where masticated and partially digested food particles gather, mingle, and sometimes pair up, keeping the food in your gut away from the phytic acid in your gut by eating the nuts separate from other foods might improve your mineral status. The minerals in the foods with the phytic acid will presumably be affected, but the impact on other sources of minerals should be reduced. Eat your nuts apart from other sources of minerals. Sorry, those Brazil nut-crusted oysters, while delicious, might be a bad idea for zinc absorption.

This is in stark contrast to the way most people eat their phytate. The average person out for Mexican food, who eats grains and legumes with relish, is having four corn tortillas (448 mg phytate) with a small scoop of refried beans (622 mg) and some brown rice to, ya know, be healthy (990 mg). He throws in a few hefty slices of carne asada, but the combined 2060 milligrams of phytic acid for that meal will impact its overall mineral contribution.

The average Primal person, who avoids grains and legumes, has an ounce, or a small handful of almonds as an afternoon snack (350 mg phytate) with a couple Brazil nuts (171 mg) for the selenium. Being snacks, they’re separate from his meals. Being separate from his meals, the antinutrient effect of the phytate on the other minerals is lessened. If he bumped that up to 100 grams of each nut for over 3000 mg of phytate and over 1200 calories, then, yeah, he’d have a phytate problem (and an omega-6 problem). But he’s not doing that.

Unless you’re a Hadza, you shouldn’t be relying on nuts for the bulk of your nutrients and calories. And that’s the important thing: you don’t have to, nor are you compelled to, because the Primal eating plan is an overall nutritious one, full of mineral-rich vegetation, animals, and yes, the occasional handful of nuts. You’re not relying on plant foods for your zinc – you’re eating shellfish and beef and lamb for the far-more-bioavailable animal-based zinc. According to the evidence I was able to find, phytic acid simply isn’t a major concern in the context of a nutritious diet, especially one that contains ample amounts of animal-based minerals and protein.

Besides, you wouldn’t want to completely eliminate phytate from your diet, even if it were possible. There are a number of possible beneficial health effects of a moderate amount of phytic acid which I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention, like:

Phytic acid can inhibit calcium crystallzation and reduce kidney stone development.
If you have hemachromatosis – a tendency to absorb too much iron – you actually want to reduce your iron absorption, and dietary phytic acid can (famously) do just that. It’s also one of the only iron chelators that does not induce lipid peroxidation or the formation of reactive oxygen species (PDF). If you’re trying to absorb more iron – maybe you’re pregnant or anemic – taking some vitamin C with the phytic acid will inhibit its iron-binding ability (PDF).
Phytate may also be an effective anti-cancer agent with the curious tendency to ignore the healthy cells and focus only on the cancerous ones.
So to answer your final question, yes, I’d say you can definitely eat and enjoy nuts in moderation, an ounce or two (especially soaked) as long as you’re eating an otherwise nutrient-dense diet.

ETA... as far as toxicity, it's the selenium. brazil nuts are the most likely nut to cause a selenium toxicity, because 1 oz of them contains twice the RDA for selenium. That's the richest food source of selenium there is. OTher nuts do not appear on a list of the top food sources of selenium. Those, which aren't nearly as rich in selenium as brazil nuts, are seafoods (oysters, mussels, caviar, crab lobster liver, fish), sunflower seeds, brans, and bacon.

Rancid nuts can contain molds and toxins, but other than that, the phytic acid issue, and the selenium in brazil nuts, I'm not concerned about toxicity with normal quantities of nuts.

avid 03-06-2013 07:43 AM

Interesting, and thanks for the info.
I guess I'm ok...I eat nuts sparingly. I like them but a handful every couple of days is typical. Or in the case of peanut butter, a teaspoonful or two every other day or so.
I don't eat grains, peas, lentils, etc. so my overall intake is very low.
I must be doing something right because I have lost alot of weight while gaining muscle and vitality.
It never ceases to amaze me that if we look hard enough we can always find the downside to anything. It's the internet. So much info available at the touch of a screen.
I'm reminded again of the sage advice "moderation in all things"
I keep getting reminded of this great truth again and again.


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