“Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light" captures the duality of much in life. We all know a nut when we see one, don’t we? I don’t talk to myself. No, I just sometimes talk aloud!!! Nuts come in all shapes and sizes, from coconut to peanut, through to chestnuts and walnuts. You may love them, be indifferent to them or even cross the road to avoid them, but they are a true wonder to behold.
Although the majority of the fat in nuts is the ‘healthy’ unsaturated type, this is as much of a challenge to our digestive system as are ‘less heathy’ saturated types when it comes to breaking them down for absorption. Nuts are also rich in fibre. Too much of any type of fat or fibre can be problematic.
How much is too much? Your own gut can tell you this. Getting enough fibre is a ‘healthy’ eating target for everyone, but for some of us, consuming even a little more than the recommendation may be the tipping point that leads to production of loose and frequent stools. And the same for fat, of course. Our own gut is the best way of figuring out how much is too much.
The tricky bit can be knowing where the starting point should be when modifying fat and fibre intake. Making better choices, such as those suggested as part of the Starter diet recommended by Eat2beat IBS, and doing the gut-friendly habits we also encourage, may be all someone with bloating, tummy pain, and other gut symptoms, needs do to get satisfactory relief.
And where do nuts fit into this? As said, these are a truly nutritious food, and if the intake of fat from far less wholesome fare, such as crisps, cakes, biscuits and the rest is cut-back, then nuts, in moderation, are usually well-tolerated – just be aware that ‘healthy’ foods, as well as junk, can be a source of gut trouble!
Tony Hirving, RD