Can you get sick from eating nuts?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you get sick from eating nuts?”. Moreover, we will review the side effects of eating too many nuts, nut allergies, and eating nuts in a healthy way.

Can you get sick from eating nuts?

Yes, you can get sick from eating nuts. Some people develop an allergic reaction after consuming nuts. Additionally, eating too many nuts poses a lot of health problems because of their high-calorie content.

Although nuts are highly nutritious, not eating nuts in a moderate amount can lead to serious health issues, both short-term and long-term.

Types of nuts

Nuts come in different varieties, each with a different flavor. Some popular nuts include:

Symptoms associated with nut allergies

When someone is allergic to nuts, their immune system reacts against it as it mistakenly identifies nuts as a harmful substance. If you are allergic to any one type of nut, it is likely that you may be allergic to other types of nuts as well.

Nuts are among the eight common food allergens, which trigger 90 percent of allergies. Some common symptoms associated with nut allergies are:

  • Skin rashes
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Eye irritation
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing difficulties

In serious cases, an allergic reaction from nuts can cause anaphylactic shock, causing the blood pressure to drop suddenly, causing unconsciousness.

For this reason, nuts are not recommended for infants under 8 months old, and if you or your partner is allergic to nuts, do not add nuts in the diet of your child until he is at least 3 years old.

How to eat nuts the healthy way

Nuts are highly beneficial and worth the risk if you know how to consume them. They are a good source of fats, proteins, and other key nutrients. They can enhance the taste of salads and sweet dishes. The key is to only limit the portions and eat them instead of various other foods, especially if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Nutritional status of nuts

NutCaloriesFats (grams)Protein (grams)
Walnut18418.34.3
Pecan20020.12.6
Pistachio160136
Almond168156.2
Cashew161134.3
Brazil18418.64
Hazelnut18217.54.2

How many nuts can you eat every day?

NutsRecommended dose per day
Almond23
Cashew4-5
Walnut7
Hazelnut1 handful
Pecan15
Brazil2
Pistachio1-2 handful

7 Major Side Effects of Eating Too Many Nuts

  • Weight Gain: Nuts contain high amounts of fats. Although a great amount of fat present in nuts is unsaturated fat which is advantageous in lowering cholesterol levels yet consuming them in higher amounts necessitates a higher amount of calories.

Therefore, It is advisable to extract an equal number of calories from your diet, if you are consuming nuts as part of your diet. Or else, you will gain extra weight.

  • High Blood Pressure: To improve the taste of nuts, salt is added to them frequently. If you are consuming nuts in excessive amounts, it can increase salt in your diet, leading to high blood pressure. 
  • Gastrointestinal Problems: Nuts have a high source of fibre that helps in digestion, making them a healthy food. However, if your body is not adapted to high fibre intake, excessive nut intake may lead to symptoms of flatulence, bloating, and diarrhea.
  • Acne: Nuts are not easily digested by our body, so excessive intake can lead to breakout of acne.
  • Selenium Poisoning: Eating Brazil nuts in excessive amounts daily may lead to selenium poisoning, resulting in hair fall, sore joints, and brittle nails.
  • Risk of Fungal and Bacterial Infection: Nuts can get easily contaminated by microorganisms. A fungus known as Aspergillus flavus can grow in them, making them toxic. This fungus produces aflatoxin that may cause liver cancer.

Also, nuts can get contaminated from Salmonella which can cause diarrhea. So, it is better to slightly roast them, to kill microorganisms.

  • Poor Bone Health: Nuts have high phosphorus levels that help bind calcium in bones. Excessive phosphorus intake can weaken bones and cause calcium deposits in blood vessels leading to joint and bone pain, weakness, red eyes and itchiness.

Can nuts go Bad?

Unsaturated fats present in nuts can oxidize when exposed to air, heat, and light, breaking the bonds of fat molecules. This leads to rancidity of the nuts. The nuts having more fat content have greater risk for rancidity. Rancidity can be detected if the nut has a paint-like or grassy odor or if it turns oily, dark or yellow and has a bad taste.

Conclusion

In this article, we have answered the query, “can we get sick from eating nuts?”. Additionally, we have discussed the nutritional status, health benefits, daily intake and side effects of nuts.

References

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-eat-nuts-the-healthy-way
https://www.md-health.com/eating-too-many-nuts.html
https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/nuts-how-many-you-should-really-be-eating-per-day
https://healthfully.com/549916-nuts-their-negative-effects.html
https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/nut-allergy-symptoms#types-of-nuts

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.