Sunday, June 3, 2012

Unlimited Nuts => Weight Gain for Me

Regular readers may know that I have dessert for breakfast (and sometimes dip for dinner). But the past few weeks saw me working long hours at ramming speed. Something had to give: it was my almond meal chocolate cookies and Dr. William Davis's low-carb brownies, both made with nut flour.

This had a happy result (besides the good paychecks): the five pounds I put on a few months ago when I discovered these is leaving my midriff. It isn't the lack of sweetness at breakfast, since I've been having low carb, dairy-free chocolate custard for breakfast instead--two big pieces of it, along with coffee with coconut oil. I haven't completely given up nuts, I just don't have them every day, and when I do, I eat a handful of pistachios.

With all due respect to Dr. Davis, I can't eat unlimited nuts and keep a flat belly. Dr. Richard Bernstein is on to nuts raising blood sugar,(1) and therefore, for some of us, causing weight gain:


Although all nuts contain carbohydrate (as well as protein and fat), they usually raise blood sugar slowly and can in small amounts be worked into meal plans. As with most other foods, you will want to look up your favorite nuts in one of the books listed in Chapter 3 in order to obtain their carbohydrate content. By way of example, 10 pistachio nuts (small, not jumbo) contain only 1 gram carbohydrate, while 10 cashew nuts contain 5 grams of carbohydrate. Although a few nuts may contain little carbohydrate, the catch is in the word “few.” Very few of us can eat only a few nuts. In fact, I don’t have a single patient who can count out a preplanned number of nuts, eat them, and then stop. So unless you have unusual will power, beware. Just avoid them altogether. Also beware of peanut butter, another deceptive addiction. One tablespoon of natural, unsweetened peanut butter contains 3 grams of carbohydrate, and will raise my blood sugar 15 mg/dl. Imagine, however, the effect on blood sugar of downing 10 tablespoons.

I don't think I have a big appetite, but it's too easy for me to eat half a can of cashews at one sitting. Or a few celery stalks with almond butter. (And yes, I realize I'm very fortunate that this is my most pressing health issue.)

With dairy gone, wheat gone, and excessive nuts gone, my hunt for interesting low-carb food continues.

1. Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution by Dr. Richard Bernstein, Chapter 10: Diet Guidelines Essential to the Treatment of All Diabetics. Accessed June 3, 2012.


Sidereal said...

I agree completely. Nuts are not a real LC food because it's virtually impossible to eat them in small amounts. Also problematic is their omega 6 content. I went through a spell when I started believing I could eat more varied food and still lose weight. I ate a modest amount of nuts and a small amount of berries mixed in Greek yoghurt for breakfast. I immediately hit a "mysterious" weight loss plateau which lasted a couple of months and disappeared as soon as I cut out that junk.

Lori Miller said...

I can take some pistachios in my lunch and enjoy them. Once they're gone, I can't keep eating them.