5/31/13

How Nuts Fixed, and Then Ruined Your Diet

The shopping list of many New Year’s revolutionist’s contains some very delicious snack items, in particular nuts. These are usually in the form of almonds or sunflower seeds. Even your run of the mill American “dietician” can understand that nuts are a great snack substitute. They normally recommend that you snack on some nuts instead of shotgunning a kilo of potato chips. You can even stay keto by taking a handful of pecans. At this point I’m just embellishing the magical powers of tree babies, so I will move forward with my point.


One day I was sitting at my computer doing some reading while munching on some sunflower seeds. I had a one pound bag of shelled seeds that I demolished within the hour. I barely felt satisfied; it was quite disappointing to be honest. I looked on the back of the package and saw that I had consumed 16 servings at 180 calories per serving [2880 Kc]! I sat down for a snack and ate over half a day’s worth of calories. On so many occasions I have caught myself at a steakhouse knocking out an entire bucket of peanuts by my lonesome. For me this can happen every now and again, but for some this might be a daily splurge.

When I train people I always make sure to work on their diet as well. To break the hormonal destruction brought on by highly concentrated and processed sugars I prefer they use a low carb protocol. Nuts have a great fat to carb ratio that reduces insulin resistance and gives people something crunchy to munch on. The problem is that the closer they get to their goal, the more nuts they eat, and the harder it is for them to lose those last few pounds! This is the dilemma that I keep seeing with clients and other low carb amigos out there. The over consumption of nuts can lead to thousands of calories sitting around your midline, putting a giant red stop sign in front of your goals.

Let’s take a trip on our time machine back to before tractors and processors could harvest nuts by the thousand. To even get a handful of nuts you would have to pick them from a tree, and then crack them. Being from Texas I would just walk out to my backyard to find a pecan tree. During harvest season pecans would fall all over the ground, ripe for the eating. However, picking them up and getting the nuts out was a job. I couldn’t knockout 16 servings in an hour, more like 16 nuts in one hour [okay not that few but you get my point.] The primary goal of a nut was not to be sped processed and bagged up, rather taken down and cracked for calories. This would explain why nuts don’t shut off our hunger response like easier to buffet on foods.


The ultimate diet snack has now evolved into the one thing keeping your handles lovely. Take this advice from me, a guy who has blown up his diet, keep an eye on how many nuts you munch on. A serving size is a handful not a bagful, remember that. Something noteworthy is that some nuts have an inflammatory response causing added water weight on top of the bounty of calories. So the next time you need a crunchy substitute for your diet be careful of overconsumption!

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.