Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Paleo and Nuts - An Affordable Option?

I love nuts - almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts...they're all yummy to me.  The problem is they're EXPENSIVE!

Have you priced nuts lately?  My recent foray into the bulk bins at my local Sprouts Farmer's Market was a scary one.  The only "nut" under $6/lb were peanuts, which is really a legume and not Paleo.  There were many "nut mixes" under that amount but all had peanuts as the first ingredient - not a good sign.

I used to be able to find inexpensive pecans and almonds in the baking aisle of Target.  Not surprisingly, in the last three months, those prices have inflated well past the per-pound prices at Sprouts' bulk bins.  That's when I had to sit down and do some serious thinking - are nuts really worth it?

Anyone will tell you that nuts are a great source of healthy fats.  Best of all, they're portable and require no heating or utensils, making them a perfect snack to take on long hikes or car trips.  But then again, this "portable snack" can backfire on some people - an ounce of nuts looks so small in your hands, your rational mind doesn't realize the amount of calories you're truly eating, calories that could be put into more filling, more nutritious foods.

(Yes, I know calorie counting and Paleo aren't supposed to be mixed but when you're looking at different foods, you need to be able to compare apples-to-apples, and calories allow you to do that easily.)

After shopping around a bit, getting prices from various sources, I finally came to a decision - no more nuts.  I'd rather spend $6 on 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters than on one little pound of nuts.  Financially, it just makes more sense.

What about you?  Are nuts a part of your diet?  Comment below...


  1. I have the same problem, nuts are just too expensive. I don't eat them as a snack anymore, but I still have them on my salad. I find that you can get the cheapest nuts at a foreign food store - like a turkish or north african food store. (here in holland)

  2. You might want to check out Costco or Sam's Club. They often have 2-3 lb bags of raw nuts in their baking aisle. They average about $4 per lb.

  3. @J.M. - I wish I could find similar stores here. I live in a diverse area with a lot of ethnic stores but their nut prices are as expensive (or more!) as the regular stores.

    @half_life - A friend gave me the same suggestion. I used to be a member of Costco for years but dropped it when I realized I just wasn't using it. I think the main reason is because I hate going to Costco - everyone in the valley has a card so the local stores are overran with people. A quick trip to Costco to buy nuts, eggs, bananas, and batteries would take me over an hour and up my blood pressure. No thanks...I think I'd rather drop from nuts from my diet than deal with that mob. ;-)

    Thanks for the comments!

  4. While we all know that we can live without nuts, they are nice from time to time. I think I go through nuts much slower than most paleos.

    Nut butters also seem to cause hyperphagia in many a paleo eater. I find all of them just too sticky.

    Try Walgreens - they have good prices on raw, unsalted nuts. They also run specials on their peanut-free nut mixes and their cashews (also tasty).

    Eating your nuts raw and unsalted really helps if you tend to over eat them. Also, I always buy nuts in the shell when they appear in the big open bins at my supermarket. Shelling nuts definitely slows you down!

  5. I have decided that nuts are condiments. So my plan is to buy one type of nut each week until I have a variety to use as condiments for salads and such. They should last a long time if I don't eat a half cup everyday as a snack. A couple TBS in a salad is nice.


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