Fruit and nuts are great because they are both tasty and portable. This makes them a great Paleo snack food. If you are traveling, or if need a small snack to boost your energy before a workout, or want to add some flavor to a meal, then fruits and nuts can be great additions. However, consider some important caveats as you prepare to use fruit and nuts in your diet.
Fruits are very high in sugar, especially fructose sugar which is processed by the liver into liver glycogen. Too much fructose consumption can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and belly fat. There is suspicion and likelihood that all the high fructose corn syrup that people consume as soda, candy, and other sweetened items is a major cause of obesity in our population today. Look HERE for more information on sugar.
A healthier source of carbohydrates on the Paleo Diet are root vegetables like sweet potatoes because these have more glucose in them than fruits do and glucose is processed into muscle glycogen which will be used when you work out. Another great feature of glucose is that it is easier on the liver because it does not have to be processed by the liver in the same way that fructose does.
The problem with nuts is that they are high in Omega-6 fatty acids and phytic acid. In larger quantities these can lead to inflammation and poor nutrient absorption, respectively. In the tips below we discuss how fruit and nuts can be used best in the Paleo diet. The key is to maximize the benefits you gain from these delicious foods while minimizing the costs and risks through quantity and quality control of their consumption.
It is great to have a variety of healthy foods on the Paleo diet. Many foods such as high quality meats and fats are not quantity-limited on the Paleo diet while other foods are quantity-limited because too many of them can be a bad thing. Examples of foods to watch the quantities of are carbs, especially from fruit, and nuts.
Save the fruit consumption for traveling and for times around workouts. Use unroasted, pre-soaked and dried nuts as a travel, occasional snacks, or as a minor source of protein and fat in some meals like salads or stir-fries. For the most part Paleo diet is about the kinds of foods that we eat or don’t eat and we generally don’t keep track of the amounts that we eat. Fruit and nuts are an exception because too many of them can spike your blood sugar and burden your liver as in fruit, or increase your Omega-6 fatty acid consumption and add unnecessary phytic acid to your diet as in nuts.
Do you find yourself eating too many fruits and nuts? What alternatives have you found to help you get the fruit and nut consumption under control? Do you us fruit or nuts in a favorite recipe? Make a comment below or post a question or comment on The Paleo Transition Facebook Group!
For 12 tips on overcoming your SUGAR CRAVINGS, click HERE.
For more information on how to start a PALEO DIET, click HERE.
Disclaimer: We are not doctors and the information in this blog should not be construed as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease.
Terry Shanahan is a functional nutrition and performance consultant, blogger, and online diet and fitness coach. His client list includes world champions, NBA and NFL stars, and Olympic medalists. Terry also helps individuals who are suffering from chronic health issues including autoimmune, endocrine, inflammatory, and digestive disorders, as well as those who simply want to improve their quality of life, health, and physical appearance.