I've been on a low carb, Paleo-like diet for over a year. (I say Paleo-like because I eat modest amounts of dairy from time to time.) There's no question that the diet has helped me improve, especially my gut symptoms. "Nausea and gut disturbances" used to be a category on my daily health chart, but I was able to eliminate that category about 3 months after switching to a low carb diet. I don't experience gut issues any longer unless I break from the diet.
But since changing to a low carb diet, almonds have been a major staple in my diet. I toss those suckers back by the handful; I drink almond milk daily—all because I read somewhere that almonds are one of the few nuts that are compatible with an anti-Candida diet. (My blood tests continue to show high Candida antibodies.)
On the other hand, an anti-inflammatory diet is important for PWMEs. It is thought that inflammation is one of the causes of many of our symptoms in ME/CFS, and it seems that the low carb diet crowd keeps growing and growing in ME/CFS circles. God knows, it has helped me.
Now, one of the keys to an anti-inflammatory diet is maintaining a low ratio of Omega 6's to Omega 3's. Omega 6's are pro-inflammatory fatty acids, while Omega 3's are anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Omega 6's are much more common in our foods, so it's difficult to achieve a 1-to-1 ratio of 6's to 3's, but a reasonable goal is about 3-to-1 or 2-to-1.
So as I was reading tips to lower one's Omega 6/3 ratio, I came across this tidbit from whfoods.com:
"So, how can you go about lowering your 6:3 ratio? One excellent approach is to [eliminate] foods in your diet that are relatively high in omega-6s and low in omega-3s.
For an example, let's take almonds. With no omega-3s and about 4-5 grams of omega-6s per cup, your almonds are a member of the nut family with the highest possible 6:3 ratio. Once you've located a food like almonds with a very high 6:3 ratio, look inside of that same food group (in this case nuts) for a food with the most possible omega-3s. In this case, walnuts would make an outstanding choice within the nut group because walnuts have about 2.25 grams of omega-3s per quarter cup and a 6:3 ratio of about 4:1. Just by replacing almonds with walnuts, you could make an important shift in your 6:3 ratio."I checked the accuracy of this ^ statement against other sources and it appears to be true. Many other sources warn against the pro-inflammatory qualities of almonds. It's just a little vexing to know that I may have been cancelling out some of the benefits of my diet for the last year. On the other hand, I suppose it's encouraging that I might reap even more benefits from my diet by making one simple elimination.
Now, the challenge is to find a replacement for all those nutty almond calories. Walnuts? We'll see...