Nuts Are Not a Healthy Snack

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/25/2023

Ever grabbed a handful of nuts as a quick snack? Most of us have, believing it's the healthier choice. But did you know there could be some hidden pitfalls?

We often hear about nuts' high protein and healthy fats but rarely discuss potential downsides. Sure, they can be yummy and a cinch for snacking on the go. Yet, not everything that glitters is gold.

This post peels back the curtain to reveal how snacking on nuts can impact your health negatively – from altering hunger hormones like GIP to spiking blood sugar levels in diabetics. We'll even explore why eating them at mealtimes might make more sense.

Intrigued? Hang tight because we're just scratching the surface here! Ready to rethink your snacking habits?

The Nutritional Profile of Nuts

Regarding packing a nutritional punch, few foods can compete with nuts. Nuts offer a unique mix of beneficial fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber - making them the perfect pick for those looking to stay healthy.

A single ounce of nuts contains approximately 14.2 grams of fat, which might seem high, but remember - these are good fats.

They help keep your heart in check by lowering LDL (the 'bad' cholesterol) while raising HDL (the 'good'). So yes, this little snack is pretty big on benefits.

But let's not forget about protein. Each serving dishes out around 6 grams of quality protein. That’s equivalent to the amount found in an egg. Protein keeps you full longer, so snacking on nuts could prevent overeating later.

Nuts: A Low Carb, High Fat Powerhouse

If you’re following a low-carb or ketogenic diet plan, then rejoice because our nutty friends have only 6.1 grams of carbohydrates per ounce. But wait...there's more.

Around half that carb count is dietary fiber – making them a smart choice for those watching their blood sugar levels.

Understanding Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide (GIP)

GIP, as it is commonly referred to, is an intriguing element of our body's metabolic activities. This hormone-like compound has some pretty essential roles in the body.

The Role of GIP in Appetite Regulation

Firstly, let's talk about appetite regulation. For instance, when you snack on something - like nuts - your body responds by releasing GIP. But why does this happen?

You see, GIP acts as a trigger, signaling your pancreas to get ready and start producing insulin.

This might not seem evident at first glance, but bear with me. The release of insulin aids in regulating blood sugar levels after eating, ensuring we don't experience those dreaded energy crashes.

Gut Instincts and GIP

Our bodies are incredibly intuitive machines that respond accordingly to what we feed them. So when snacking becomes frequent, too does the production of GIP. According to research, increased frequency can stimulate excessive insulin production.

The Impact of Snacking on Blood Sugar Levels

Nothing, particularly on nuts, may influence your blood sugar levels. Yes. This impact is particularly significant for individuals with diabetes. But why?

Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

Gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) is a hormone-like compound that circulates in the body when we consume snacks. When we snack, GIP is released into our system. Its job? To stimulate insulin production.

This might sound like a good thing – insulin helps regulate our blood sugar levels. However, diabetics may not benefit from GIP due to insulin resistance.

Studies show that people with diabetes are not responsive to GIP - indicating an issue known as insulin resistance. And what does this mean? Higher blood sugar levels.

So, tread carefully when snacking on nuts and other foods throughout the day. If you have diabetes or are prone to elevated glucose levels, monitor your intake of snacks like nuts.

Snacking vs. Mealtime Consumption

Ever find yourself reaching for a handful of nuts between meals? Snacking on those crunchy morsels might not be the wisest choice. Why? Let's look at our bodies' response to eating outside meal times.

Snacking on Nuts - Pros and Cons

Snacking on nuts can trigger the release of GIP, a hormone-like compound that causes your body to produce insulin and disrupts blood sugar levels.

This hormone-like compound triggers insulin production. It sounds fancy, but remember it as an unwanted guest who makes your blood sugar levels go haywire.

This is especially true for people with diabetes because their bodies don't respond well to GIP—leading to higher blood sugar levels. But don't swear off nuts just yet.

Incorporating Nuts into Meals

The solution isn't to stop eating nuts altogether—it's about when you eat them. Instead of mindless munching throughout the day, try adding them to regular meals or right after finishing one.

This can help control that pesky GIP release while letting you enjoy all those nutritious benefits of these crunchy little wonders. Now, that’s how we crack this nutty issue.

Intermittent Fasting for Health and Weight Management

Abstaining from food may seem intimidating, but it's a straightforward yet potent approach for managing health and weight. The beauty lies in its flexibility—you can adjust the duration to fit your lifestyle.

The Science Behind Intermittent Fasting

When fasting, your body will burn through its stored glucose (sugar) for energy until it uses fat cells' stored fatty acids as fuel. Once this supply is exhausted, fat cells release stored fatty acids—your body starts burning fat instead of sugar.

This metabolic switch helps with weight loss and has several other benefits, such as improved brain function and reduced inflammation.

A study published in Cell Metabolism found that mice on an intermittent fasting regimen had better learning and memory than those fed regularly.

Intermittent fasting on a notepad

Intermittent Fasting and Diabetes

Fascinatingly, there are potential benefits specific to individuals with diabetes, too. This eating pattern could be a game-changer by helping control blood sugar levels naturally through meal timing adjustments rather than relying solely on medication.

An article from Diabetes Care Journal suggests that intermittent fasting might help reverse insulin resistance—a common issue among diabetics—and possibly even manage or prevent the disease altogether.

Keto Friendly Snack

Looking for a delicious and satisfying keto-friendly snack to keep your low-carb diet on track? Keto snacks are the perfect solution!

These snacks are specifically crafted to fit within the confines of the ketogenic diet, providing a tasty way to curb your cravings without derailing your nutritional goals.

With various options, from savory nuts to creamy cheeses, keto snacks make it easy to stay in ketosis while indulging in flavorful treats.

Whether you're on the go or simply looking for a guilt-free snack, keto snacks are a must-try for anyone embracing the ketogenic lifestyle. Enjoy the convenience and deliciousness of keto snacks while staying committed to your health and wellness goals.


We've unearthed some eye-opening insights regarding the negative effects of snacking on nuts. Nuts pack a nutritional punch but have a high-fat content and can mess with hunger hormones like GIP.

They can spike blood sugar levels in diabetics, making mealtime consumption a smarter choice. Balancing is key - integrating them into meals rather than grazing all day could be beneficial.

If you're diabetic or trying to manage your weight, consider intermittent fasting as an effective strategy for health and control.

Nutrition can be tricky, so ensuring your snacks aren't messing up your health objectives is crucial. It's high time we take charge of our eating habits! ️‍️

Supporting Data

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan