Last updated on May 24th, 2017
I like nuts. My favorites are almonds, macadamias, pistachios and walnuts. I like peanuts, too, and although I know they’re a legume, it’s hard not to lump them in with honest nuts.
A handful of just about any kind of nut is a great snack, packing solid nutrition within a reasonable carb-count (although just how reasonable depends on the nut). Above all, nuts are tasty and easy to eat.
And therein lies the problem for a dieter. Nuts are very, very easy to eat. (Pistachios are a little tougher, though their shells provide only a modest speed-bump.)
I have to admit, in the years I’ve been living LCHF, I’ve occasionally gone nuts on nuts. That alone may explain why I gained back some pounds.
It’s easy to go nuts on nuts, to lose control of the portions you’re consuming.
Take the small handful of macadamia kernels pictured above. It’s an eighth of a cup — five whole kernels and a couple of pieces. According to the package, that’s half a serving. Those few buttery nuggets of nutty goodness contain about 115 calories. True, most of those calories come from fat (87%), and there’s just one net gram of carbohydrate and one of protein. In terms of macro-nutrients, then, those macadamias are a perfect snack for someone eating low-carb, high-fat (LCHF).
That is, if you stop at one or two small handfuls. If you mindlessly keep eating until you’ve eaten six or seven handfuls, or an entire canister, then it’s not a snack at all anymore, but a meal.
But it’s not the kind of meal you should be eating, and odds are, you’ll go ahead and eat dinner, anyway.
Granted, given the high price of macadamias, most of us won’t get fat just on them, but the problem can happen as easily with almonds or any nut you really like, even with legumes posing as nuts. (Yeah, peanuts, I’m talkin’ to you!)
At one time, I ate nuts straight out of the bag or can — not counting, not measuring, and maybe not even enjoying them, at least not as much as I should have enjoyed them. And I think that lack of mindfulness is ultimately the problem. You need to slow down, enjoy your food, and allow the good fats in it a chance to satiate you.
You need to be mindful about your eating, even when eating healthy LCHF food.
It can’t hurt to keep a measuring cup by your stash of nuts!