Nuts are perfect healthy snacks that are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, however, they also have a high amount of calories.
In this article, I will explain if eating nuts is a good idea during intermittent fasting.
Can I eat nuts during my fasting window? You cannot eat nuts during your fasting window because it will break the fast. The moment you start eating, your body will switch from a fasting state, where it uses body fat as fuel, to a feeding state, where it uses calories from the food you eat.
But it all depends on your personal goals. I mean, there is no harm in the handful of nuts, especially if that’s the only snack you’re having. Intermittent fasting is about relationships with food, not about following the rules.
Do Nuts Break A Fast?
Nuts do break a fast because they contain a mix of carbohydrates and fats. Even a small quantity of food that is eaten during the fasting window will trigger secretions of digestive enzymes and start the digestion process. However, a small number of nuts won’t stop the ketosis process.
Depending on what type of nuts you have, some have more carbs than others. And depending on how much you eat, some will break your fast.
But this doesn’t mean you won’t continue with your results. Just because something broke your fast, it doesn’t mean you will gain weight.
If I would eat a tiny handful of nuts every 3 hours for the all day, in theory, I won’t be in the fasted state. Because it takes time for the food to digest, absorb, etc.
But this doesn’t mean I won’t lose weight. Eating only a handful of nuts every 3 hours will put me into a calorie deficit. And that’s what matters.
As long as you eat less calories than your body burns, regardless if you’re fasting or not, you’re gonna lose weight.
I look at it from the perspective of doing what is right, rather than following the rules.
This means if you feel like eating a handful of nuts, but you’re worried that it will break your fast, therefore, you will break the “rules”, I’m gonna stop you right there.
Rules are the guidelines. It’s not a step-by-step process. The whole idea of intermittent fasting is to eat less. Not to be in a fasted state where all the magic happens. What if you fast for 16 hours but then you overeat for another 8?
You will still gain weight.
Multiple studies confirm that most of the benefits that come from intermittent fasting aren’t because of the actual fasted state. It’s because of the calorie restriction.
In other words, doesn’t matter how you reduce your food intake. Intermittent fasting, extended fasting, low-carb or plant-based. As long as you eat less food, you will lose weight.
So don’t worry about the rules.
TIP: If you choose to have nuts during your fasting window, I recommend going for something like unsalted and unflavored nuts (this way you won’t overeat).
Can I Have Nuts During Intermittent Fasting?
Eating nuts during intermittent fasting is allowed during the feeding window. During the fasting window, you shouldn’t consume any calories because that’s when the body is switching from using calories from external sources of energy into calories from internal sources of energy.
Nuts apart from being high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) are also a rich source of proteins, soluble and insoluble fibers, thiamine, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, copper, potassium, and selenium.
Also, don’t forget about antioxidants and phytosterols compounds that are beneficial for the body.
Many studies show that eating nuts on the regular basis has a positive effect on obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and CVD (source).
Can I Eat Almonds During Intermittent Fasting?
You can eat almonds during intermittent fasting because almonds have a positive effect on glycemic control, lipid metabolism, and postprandial blood glucose. Consuming almonds while doing intermittent fasting also helps with satiety, despite high caloric density.
Eating almonds, even in a small amount of 10 grams per day, consumed before breakfast, has been shown to significantly increased HDL cholesterol, and within 6 to 12 weeks it lowered the LDL, triglycerides, and VLDL cholesterol (source).
Another study shows that eating almonds while being in a caloric deficit enhanced weight loss and reduced diastolic BP.
It shows that eating almonds during snack times reduced the appetite and increased satiety levels (source).
Can I Eat Walnuts During Intermittent Fasting?
You can eat walnuts during intermittent fasting because walnuts lower postprandial glycemia, and reduce hunger and desire to eat during the calorie restriction. Calorie restriction is an important part of intermittent fasting, and lower appetite can significantly improve compliance.
This means when you snack on walnuts during your intermittent fasting, it will keep your hunger levels down. On top of the polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids (ALA).
A fascinating study shows that eating 30 grams of walnuts on a low-fat diet not only increased dietary PUFA in the first 3 months but also reduced fasting insulin levels (source).
Which is great news for people with diabetes problems because just a small amount of walnuts per day can make a significant difference
Can You Eat Pistachios While Fasting?
You can eat pistachios while fasting because pistachios apart from being high in proteins, vitamin B6, and minerals like potassium. Eating pistachios while intermittent fasting also improves glucose metabolism, reduces insulin resistance, and improves inflammation markers.
There are multiple studies showing that eating 40-50 grams of pistachios per day has a massive impact on the lipid profile, blood glucose, and insulin resistance (source).
Eating nuts during intermittent fasting seems not only to help with the weight loss results by lowering the appetite and improving satiety levels. But in the long run, it also improves a lot of health aspects.
Despite having a high-calorie density, nuts are a great source of proteins, minerals, and fatty acids. And just adding a few nuts to your meal on a regular basis can have a massive impact on your health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Eat Peanuts During Intermittent Fasting?
You can eat peanuts during intermittent fasting only during the feeding window. During the feeding window, you can eat any type of food, but during the fasting window, you shouldn’t consume any food because it will break the fast and start the digestion of nutrients.