The nut test

One of the big recommendations of the Hormone Weight Loss diet (and Paleo, as I understand it) is that one snack on nuts – a “good” fat, great for tiding one over to the next meal. I was fascinated by the notion that low-fat diets actually make us fatter, and delighted by the notion of eating Real Butter (!) again and having the OK to snack on nuts.

So a few weeks ago, I decided to engage in a Nut Test. See, nuts are one of my trigger foods – a “red light” food that I have trouble controlling myself around. My Achilles heels have always been pistachios and cashews, but even almonds can go from sensible snack to caloric binge. But the notion of the Hormone Weight Loss diet was that a steady diet of good fats would keep me fuller, longer, and the compulsion to binge should be reduced. I was hopeful, if skeptical.

Planters has a line of Nut-rition mixes, which are formulated for various uses. There’s a heart healthy mix, a bone health mix, even a South Beach diet mix. The heart healthy mix called to me, but the pistachios sounded far too dangerous — so South Beach mix, it was. Yes, it had cashews (yum), but also almonds! And macadamia nuts! So healthy!

Long story short: the nuts defeated me. HARD. I didn’t devour them in one sitting, but I certainly didn’t “snack” on them either. Snack = 5 almonds and a few cashews. I think perhaps if I purchased 100 calorie pack versions nuts-as-snack might work, but buying the tin is just not a good idea for me. What I hate, though, is how expensive those snack packs are — the cheapo in me just can’t stand it!

The lesson? Something might be “good” for us, or recommended by a diet, or another person, but paramount is our knowledge of ourselves, and our limitations. The nut test was needed — every few years, I try to test whether a red light food has become a yellow or green light food for me — but the results were not surprising. I don’t regret it, either — I ate more nuts than I should have (whole tin was gone in approximately three days), but I laughed about it and moved on.

Know yourself, and be smart about “diets.”

(and, dammit, cashews are yummy)

5 thoughts on “The nut test”

  1. Trader Joe’s has single serving nut packs (almonds and a nice trail mix) and they are only 50 cents more than buying the equivalent amount bulk. I think they are actually 200 calories (which might make it easier to not just open another package). They are one of my favorite things.

    1. Oooh! I will have to check that out! I like the *concept* of snacking on nuts, but the logistics of it when cans of nuts are involved are complicated XD

      1. Another trick I use is to leave the package of snack packs in the car, so there is only one or perhaps 2 really available to me at any one time. They aren’t accessible at home or at work it great quantities.

        I know you don’t have a car, but it is what I do.

  2. I haven’t tried this yet but I am tempted to try and make my own snack packs…measure out individual servings into baggies. I think if I did this all as soon as I brought the stuff home, so there’s no tin or big bag sitting around, I might fool myself into the snack pack mentality.

    1. It’s a really great idea! I’ve tried it in the past with other snack foods, but I either get too lazy to make the snack packs, or the temptation of the whole container just overwhelms me. With some foods, I’m not sure I have the strength to bring it into the house at all.

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