I keep seeing people in different places suggest that nuts are inflammatory due to their omega 6 content. I don't eat large amounts of nuts but they are a regular part of my diet.
Does anyone have any evidence or experience that eating nuts is inflammatory?
There does not seem to be that much research into nut consumption as they only minor part of most peoples diet but what there is seems to suggest the opposite. These are two reviews of the subject that are free to read:
"In conclusion, nuts are complex food matrices containing diverse nutrients and other chemical constituents that may favourably influence human physiology. These substances may inhibit the activation of the innate immune system, probably by decreasing the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as CRP, IL-6, TNF-α or IL-18, and increase the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as adiponectin. This may improve the proinflammatory milieu, which in turn ameliorates endothelial dysfunction at the vascular level, and ultimately decreases the risk of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. The capacity of nuts to modulate inflammation may explain at least in part why frequent nut consumption is associated with reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in epidemiological studies."
"CONCLUSIONS Nuts are complex food matrices with many bioactive components that may favorably act on inflammation and decrease the risk of insulin resistance. More and more evidence suggests that oxidative stress and inflammation are associated with insulin resistance. Therefore, the potential effect of nut consumption on inflammation and insulin resistance as well as oxidative stress status is an essential topic for future study. The evidence summarized in this review indicates that introducing nuts into one’s diet has protective or, at least, no deleterious effects on inflammation and insulin response in healthy people or individuals with hypercholesterolemia, metabolic syndrome or diabetes".
This is n=1 evidence, but I was eating about 8 oz of almonds each day for half a year and had very low inflammation during that period (my excuse: I was college student trying to follow paleo who got lazy with procuring other food). Possible explanations: 1. I recall reading a article that 30% of calories (thus, some fat) from almonds aren't even processed by the body. 2. High Vitamin E. Now that I've been learning more about omega-6, I've cut back on almond intake. However, I don't feel any worse eating them, so I don't think they are as evil as their PUFA content purports them to be.
Well n-6 is obviously inflammatory, but many of the studies use soybean oil or the like. Some of the antioxidants or other compounds in nuts may make their n-6 less of a problem. The kung eat a lot of mongongo nuts and don't seem to be suffering too much. Also, maybe only one neolithic agent is not so bad as long as it's in moderation? Sorry, no hard evidence. Most studies are epidemiological and therefore tell us nothing.
I may be incorrect, but I interpret the lack of numerous answers to mean that this group doesn't have empirical evidence to support an inflammatory response. My experience is nuts is moderation are a good addition to one's diet.
I think inflammation is more the result of your overall Omega profile. If you have strict control over your 3's and 6's throughout your diet, you might not accumulate enough Omega 6's to trigger inflammation from nuts.
But I would say lean towards nuts with lower amounts of 6's because they can add up and of course the goal is to boost 3's and lower 6's since they compete for space in the blood stream and in cells. Since brain cells are 60% omega 3's I would make sure I'm consuming a high amount of wild caught fish and wild caught seafood. I wouldn't want to do anything but optimize the health of my brain cells and nervous system.
Walnuts are high in 6's compared to the rest.