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I want to empower your health with the steps that freed my life of chronic pain and medications.

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348 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing this! One of my “beefs” with Paleo, gluten-free, or any other currently popular diet is that it seeks to take modern convenience foods and replicate them at home, only HEALTHY! This post is a good reminder that there are no quick fixes, that eliminating grains or going on GAPS is going to require sacrifice and a change in our eating habits, not simply a replacement of the “bad” stuff with new foods.

    I think it’s also worth noting the investment and waste that goes into producing our substitute foods. I believe there is a reason nature encased the almond in a shell and required a great investment of time and labor to produce almond flour. We are not meant to make it a staple of our diet.

    • Yes, so well said: “eliminating grains or going on GAPS is going to require sacrifice and a change in our eating habits, not simply a replacement of the bad stuff with new foods.” I completely agree! And that is another good point about the almonds requiring time to produce almond flour. I talked a bit about that in my Fixes for 5 Paleo Mistakes… it would take a caveman a whole day to produce enough almond flour for a batch of pancakes!

      • I say instead of eliminating anything (unless you have to for health reasons), just concentrate on eating more whole foods. don’t just replace ingredients but change the way you look at food all together. i make raw desserts but i eat them like i would regular desserts, once in a great while. i changed the way i look at food all together, i look at it as fuel and eat to live not live to eat. that took a while but totally doable.

      • Is there a way to substitute coconut flour for recipes that specifically call for almond flour?

        • It’s not a good idea, because almond flour is very different from coconut flour. Coconut flour absorbs a lot more liquid, so you’d have to change all the ratios and you’d end up with a different end product. You should find recipes that are made for each flour. Each flour has it’s own nutritional and digestive issues. I think trying each and judging how they work on your own body is the way to go.

    • I love your post and Tienne’s comment! Good to think through how some of these diet changes may affect our bodies and whether we need to greatly reduce our intake of almond flour. I agree with Tienne and think that it is important to not try to eat a more healthy version of the way we’ve always eaten but to dramatically change what we are doing for optimal health! I’m making a valiant attempt to forget about baked goods for a bit and focus on increasing veggies (especially fermented), quality protein, fruit and drinking more water! If I can get fermented cod liver oil down, I can do anything! 🙂 Thanks for the post.

      • So true! I’ve heard it said, if you have to put Paleo in front of it, it’s not Paleo. I’m pretty sure cavemen didn’t have Paleo pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, etc. It gets hard cuz sometimes you just want something sweet, and this is a good reminder to stick to coconut flour if you MUST!

        • Cavemen also didn’t fry things in olive oil or make spaghetti from a spaghetti squash, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with those things. The Paleo Diet is about making food choices that are more like our ancestors and good for our bodies, not mimicking cavemen exactly.

      • Ruthie. I’m laughing about the fermented cod liver oil! I know it too well. I bought the Blue Ice chocolate flavored……but anyone who has bought this will know there is NO chocolate mask!! I learned of a “trick” to taking this oil…which you may or may not be doing…..but it’s definitely worth posting. I put it in the fridge which keeps the oil somewhat hard. I then spoon out the amount I want on the end of a butter knife and ever so slightly scrape it off with my teeth and then swallow it down with water. I never taste it….no lingering taste…nothing! Works like a charm!

        • My friend gave the unflavored fermented cod liver to her 4 year old daily when trying to heal his tooth decay. He put it on his tongue and would holler for the chaser (fruit juice). I tried a taste once and gagged horribly (which is saying something because I can take almost any herbal tincture straight without even water to wash it down). Are the flavored CLOs any better?

            • I take the FCLO (Cinnamon Tingle w/ stevia). Tastes pretty good. After I take it, I follow it with a swig or two of GT’s Synergy Kombucha. That takes care of any taste that might be hanging around. 🙂

          • I play mind games to swallow the FCLO. I use the Cinnamon Tingle… and tell myself I’m swallowing a cinnamon roll… It gets it down! 😀

            • So about the amount of time required to gather and prepare almonds (the paleo man) Prehistoric North American Indians would gather acorns from oak trees, cure them, shell them, grind them into flour, and bake on a rock or fry if Animal Fats were available. High yield almond groves are a more recent invention. And to further the point of just eat “whats available in nature” their seems to be some picking and choosing here to further ones sales pitch for coconut flour. How many Cod did Paleo man have to catch to squeeze out a table spoon of oil? Thank you for disclosing that you are paid for what you say, and recommend.

    • I also appreciate the post a great deal. Please forgive me, but I take umbrage with one of your comments: ‘I believe there is a reason nature encased the almond in a shell and required a great investment of time and labor to produce almond flour.” Isn’t this true for every flour we use? It’s an incredible process every time. Rice has a covering, wheat has a covering, going through the process of making any flour from start to finish requires a great deal of work no matter what the original source. I know someone with Crohn’s and nut allergies and the only two flours she can have are almond and coconut. Sometimes those are the choices you have and you’re grateful you have them.

    • I agree, although I wouldn’t link that to Paleo/gluten-free – just look at all the vegans’ recipes for faux cheese and meatless sausage substitutes. I think it’s just our (American?) nature to want to change our lives dramatically but be reluctant to actually face the sacrifices those changes entail. I actually love browsing those recipes myself, but I know if I eat paleo pancakes and paleo chocolate chip cookies every day I won’t lose the weight. It’s still junk food, just slightly more nuitritious junk.

    • It’s really annoying when site like this take a healthy food such as almonds and try their hardest to turn people off from it. would you rather us eat loads of gmo wheat and get sick? be very skeptical when they push other flours as it’s likely a money motivated reason pushing them. it’s also funny someone said that god designed us to eat wheat!! lol

    • Tienne, I totally agree!! If something is bad – sugar, carbs etc, — substituting often brings on other issues – too many calories being one of them. . Just eliminate cakes and cookies or pasta and breads.

      This was brought to mind just a moment ago. After eating 2 handfuls of store bought tortilla chips, I thought I should find a Paleo way to enjoy the chips. After finding a Paleo tortilla chip recipe made with almond flour, I nearly died to find out they would have been 1212 calories!! O_o

      I decided to say no to tortilla chips. I will use celery with my guacamole dip — period.

      • The sweet potato chips are delish with salsa and guac….yum !,had a corn chip…spit it out ….Terra makes yummy vet chips which include parsnip taro swert potato yuca and batat in the same bag…my new heaven:) enjoy!

    • I don’t really think almond shells are natures way of protecting us. I eat about three pounds of roasted almonds per month and at age 46 I manage to run five miles per day six days a week, at a seven minute per mile pace. I have no health issues, take no prescriptions and feel great. I have had one cold in the past ten years, despite working out doors as a ski instructor in the winter time.

  2. Great post! I have been avoiding almond flour for a while now, without really any thoughts as to why, I just felt it was the right thing to do (I also don’t really eat nuts anymore, honestly I don’t feel all the soaking and dehydrating is worth it, plus not all the phytic acid is removed). I do love coconut flour, though. I feel I am more successful when baking with it compared to almond flour, and my stomach feels better. I still try to restrict my consumption of it, it is so easy to go overboard with healthy baked goods making it not so healthy… Luckily I am having a love affair with gelatin desserts lately, like your lemon mousse (so good!).

    • Yay! So glad I’m not the only one obsessed with gelatin desserts… thank goodness for grassfed gelatin!

      And it sounds like you know how to listen to your body… good for you! There was a reason your body was telling you to avoid almond flour.

      • This is good to know.
        I am in Canada and have your ebook. I am having trouble finding the grassfed gelatin.

        Can you give me some ideas as to where to find this product?

        • I couldn’t find it in Laurens Marketplace tab above, but I bought mine from Amazon.com

          • You should talk to your grocery store. I can order almost anything at my local co-op. Many places are willing to stock items to see if they’ll sell – they just don’t know there’s a demand if noone tells them. My co-op, even if it won’t stock items, will still let me order them.

            I’m shocked at the gelatin price on Amazon for Great Lakes. I can get it for $13ish at my co-op – half as much as Amazon. Gotta get a group of friends in your community to push the brick and mortar retailers to stock what you want. If they can make money selling it, they will. Better that your local community makes the profit and not Amazon or an online seller.

      • I’ve read how gelatin is made. I wouldn’t touch it with a stick. re Paleo, it’s pretty much just a new name for South Beach, which was a new name for Atkins. Everybody is different and one diet plan will not work for all. (I got a kidney stone from South Beach, so I am opting these days for a varied and balanced diet. I think it is really important to cut out refined sugar as much as possible, and my husband is allergic to wheat, so we’ve cut out bread, beyond that, the best way to lose weight and thus become healthier is to limit calorie consumption. That applies to most of us. So-called health foods are only considered healthy until we learn, for example, that most rice (especially brown rice, organic or not) is loaded with arsenic (Thai jasmine rice–a white rice–is actually better), it’s the soil. Kale, the wonder food, contains huge amounts of oxalate, and you shouldn’t eat the vaunted cruciferous vegetables every day either. Don’t eat any one thing every day.

  3. Wow this was an eye-opener! We have almond milk shakes for breakfast, almond flour pancakes etc…. I don’t use too much coconut flour because it requires so many eggs and I seem to have a problem with them. Any suggestions for egg subs for baking?
    Going to read your five fixes next. Thanks for the great information.

    • We have egg allergies so haven’t been successful with alternative flours yet. I have tried flax and water but still not great with coconut flour. 🙁

      • Bananas are a good alternative to eggs. 1 banana= 1 egg. OR 1/4 cup applesauce= 1 egg (more for brownies or more moist foods though). Also, try Ener-G Egg Replacer, which is a mixture of baking soda, baking powder, tapioca flour, & potato starch I believe (I make it myself).

    • I use applesauce. It seems to work well in pancakes, muffins and cakes. About 1/4 of a cup or so (I don’t really measure) replaces one egg.

    • If I am making a double batch of coconut flour muffins and it calls for 6 eggs total, I will use 4 eggs, 2 T. flax meal and 6 T. warm water. This makes the muffins a lot less eggy to me and my family.

    • Chia with water can replace eggs. I don’t have theexact measurement but it’s google-able. Chia becomes very gelatin like so is a good sub for eggs.

        • If you make your own almond milk, it isn’t heated at all, and you avoid ingesting all of the additives. (It is really easy to make.) As long as you are just drinking the almond milk, not heating/cooking with it, you won’t have the adverse effects.

    • All you have to do is make your own almond milk…buy them raw, soak them 12 hrs, drain them, rinse them VERY well and then use the nuts (now free of all anti-nutrients) to make yourown almond milk . There are tons of recipes online.

  4. I would absolutely prefer to use coconut flour. Do you know what to do when a recipe calls for almond flour and you want to use coconut flour instead? I think you have to add more liquid or something I can’t remember.

    I never used either very frequently but will use coconut flour as a substitute. Thanks!

  5. I REFUSE to “buy into” the “pale-approved” flours thing. Including your beloved coconut flour, :-). Except for the 5 times a year when I feel the need to be a “good mother” and bake birthday cakes. I use a traditional european torte recipe based on finely ground almonds/almond flour, no leavening, and layers filled with fruit puree in between. It is awesome, particularly so with cultured whipped cream on top (cultureing the cream helps it beat up better and also helps to balance the sweetness of the final cake). Mostly, I’ve just stopped baking since going paleo. Flour isn’t good for us, no matter what the flour is made from. Although, paleo friendly flour can make the transition quite a bit easier for those with baked goods addictions. 🙂

    • Totally agree!! We can’t simply replace Twinkies (I know most of you would never eat those but you get my point) with a paleo version of the same. It needs to be a total nutrition revolution! We have to change the way we think about what we eat and why we are eating. I also can’t ascribe to the “everything in moderation” theory either…if it’s making you sick, stop eating it….hello!? With 4 children there is always something to celebrate: a birthday, a good grade, a won game, a reached goal. There is always an excuse to eat a “treat” if you are looking for one. The only things I’m missing out on by passing on the cupcakes, pancakes, and other baked treats is a stomach ache, a headache, and acne! Thanks, another great post!

      • I agree with you both. Corrisa love your last point there, same here. I personally don’t tolerate the flour free stuff very much either. And again just like with everything it’s very dense and it’s not actually micronutrient dense. It’s lots of fats, fiber and with addition of eggs more fat and protein. Which can be good, but still if we are eating too many of these things along with all these foods in other ways we are getting a lot of these macronutrients and not all the finer micronutrients and minerals.

        I think it’s good for a “transition” and I do save a lot of “paleo” style bread, pancake, waffle recipes etc for future reference but I don’t use them in replacement for eating pancakes every day (not that we ever did) I bake on occassion and bake a small amt and once that’s gone it’s gone till the next time.

        It’s about changing our whole paradigm and way of eating. My kids would eat anything resembling bread or muffins all day, every single day of the week if it were offered. But then they wouldn’t be eating any of the other good stuff they should be eating because they would fill up on these confections. So I am trying to stay away and change their mindset to eating foods in their natural state and not needing this concoction of mashed foods to be able to enjoy eating. There is something mind altering I think of the eating of breads and baked things, crackers, cookies, cakes all of it. Something about it changes receptors I feel like, because I see families who NEVER ate this stuff and those kids eat whole foods and fresh produce like my kids would eat crackers or cookies. So yeah I use it as a transition but I am trying to wean them away from that “need” of having these hard, crunchy, sweet or salty confections all the time.

        Just my thoughts.

      • Wanted to share…As a culture, we tend to turn to food for comfort or celebrations. This subliminally trains our minds to “live to eat” rather than “eating to live”. I too, have children but want a healthier way of living all aspects of life than what American culture pushes, rather talking about food, modesty, etc. I completely agree that with kids there is ALWAYS something to celebrate. Something we have begun doing is rewarding with an extra family activity (it’s difficult to get Dad to sit down sometime, but he’s supportive and joins in), or painting fingernails for a good attitude in school all week (I have girls and we homeschool), or because we live out in “tin-buck-two” we’ll schedule an extra play date. Sometimes we may take them to the dollar store and let them pick out something for less than 2 dollars. You get the idea, but this allows for more variation in rewards and also helps in teaching delayed gratification. Hope you are able to use this post as a spring-board for other ideas!

        • I agree! It’s a slippery slope to train your kids in the food-as-reward system. Leads to over-eating adults who determine they need a treat for just about everything. 🙂 I too try to keep my rewards to extra playtime and more physical or family things. That was we are NOT training the next generation of over-eaters.

    • Aren’t we talking about almond consumption here as the main issue and not almond flour? The only part of the post that pertains to the flour is that one would tend to eat more by eating almond flour. Eating ground almonds made into baked goods still would lead to the other issues. That being said, we eat a lot of nuts here so this is something kind of tough to think about.

      • the main problem with almond flour is when it it exposed to heat. so consuming raw almond products would not have these issues thats why nuts are best eaten raw & soaked.

        • As far as oxalates, raw, soaked, and roasted almonds are all very high oxalate. Since most of the oxalate is insoluble, soaking doesnt reduce the oxalate levels substintially.

    • I couldn’t agree more! My favorite pancakes are actually made from plantains. Recipe from thepaleomom.com
      Replacements are going to cause their own problems, one must change. Bottom line.

    • It has been thirteen years since I started the SCD diet and would be lost without almond flour.I have a quarter of a cup each day, in a pancake or to make almond milk which I heat for Cappuccino. Yes, if I overdo it by eating too many almond flour nut muffins it does irritate the gut. I seem to react adversely to coconut.

  6. Wow! I’m nursing a dairy sensitive baby and switched to almond milk as I can’t drink soy and all the others don’t taste good to me. I bet all of these concerns hold true for almond milk too. He’s almost a year and should be outgrowing it soon. Not soon enough…

    • i am still allergicot cows milk. i had ot have goats milk as a baby. have you tried that? Only other thing I can think of is coconut milk for the baby.

      • Since he can’t have the protein (casein) in milk which is the same for both goat and cow I haven’t even tried it. He gets so bad I just avoid trying to set him off. He’ll break out in hives, cry and scream, not sleep, you can tell he’s in pain! The ped said to try a formula but I’ll just avoid it until I have to. Thanks for the suggestions though!

        • Wow, I’m somewhat incredulous that your doc said to try formula. Do they not know that most formulas are MILK-based? And those that aren’t are soy-based? Unless they want you to try the elemental amino acid formulas, that is SO way off-base.

          Not to sound upset, but I had the same issue with my little one, and I’m still annoyed by some of the comments I got about my exclusive breastfeeding… LOL

          Glad you have figured out what works for you 🙂

          • To be fair he suggested Nutramigen or soy. I want to stay away from soy though as I do think there is way too much soy in our diet already through even the limited amount of processed food we eat. I don’t want to do formula at all but he went through a phase where he didn’t want to nurse. I think I ate something he didn’t like and was “waiting it out.” We’re back on track and didn’t have to use formula!

      • As long as there is no reason to avoid it, I think fresh goats milk is a great substitute for mother’s milk (I read that it is closest in formulation to human breast milk). I once had a friend whose newborn daughter was not gaining weight and was pale and a bit lethargic. She was only breastfeeding her. When her midwife suggested that her milk wasn’t rich enough (?), she supplemented with fresh goat’s milk (from a reliable source). Within a week, her daughter gained a pound and and “pinked” up and was more active.

        • Actually, donkey milk is the closest to breastmilk. I live in India and we dont have many choices for our children if nursing is not an option, so they feed under age 1 donkey milk fresh and raw.

    • I’m no expert but I’m thinking that almond milk is somewhat different. You aren’t consuming all of the fiber and such from the almonds when they are turned into milk. Almond flour is just ground up almonds, so I can see the argument against using too much of it.

      Have you tried full-fat canned coconut milk diluted? It can be a good alternative to dairy, almond & soy milk! My little one drinks goat’s milk but not sure if yours will be able to tolerate it or not. Best wishes and kiddos to you for sticking with nursing despite the dietary hardships!

      • I just can’t stand the taste of coconut milk! I like it in ice cream but that’s just about it 🙂 It’s way too strong for me.

    • I think it is ok as an option, in moderation. But I think the almond milk might vary a bit since you aren’t eating the pulp and filling up with all the fat and fiber still contained in the pulp. And if it’s a replacement for dairy milk treat it the same again with moderation. Just consider if you are drinking it or also baking/cooking with it in larger amounts. (a few tsp/TBSP here and there wouldn’t be a big difference in a dish, but a cup or 2 cups etc….)

      Oatmilk is nice and you might see if you like that as something to trade off.

    • What do you drink almond milk in? My baby is dairy sensitive too – and he’s coming up two. He hasn’t outgrown it yet, although he can cope better if I have wee bits of dairy now.
      I pretty much have stopped drinking any milk – I use water in recipes which works fine and drink water.

    • I would also suggest looking into goat’s milk. Nearly 60 years ago my older brother, as an infant, was hospitalized. No one told our mother that to maintain her milk supply, she would need to express milk, so she dried up. When the baby got out of the hospital, he was on a special formula that had to mixed by a pharmacist; they didn’t have powdered formulas like now and he couldn’t digest cow’s milk. During a holiday trip, as my parents were getting 4 kids under 6 out of the car, the glass jar of formula got dropped and broken and the formula was lost on Grandma and Grandpa’s driveway. Being a holiday, none of the local pharmacists were available, so Mom called her home pharmacist for advice. He asked if there was anyone around that was breastfeeding that could serve as a wet nurse. Mom, in frustration said that the only thing nursing around there was the goat. The pharmacist was like “Why didn’t you tell me this before? You could have saved so much money on formula.” They put the baby on the goat’s milk with no problems at all. It is much more similar to human milk. Probably worth a try for you and your little one, and a much better choice, in my opinion than the synthetic formulas.

  7. Very, very interesting. Thank you to The Coconut Mama for sharing this on Facebook! I use an inordinate amount of almond flour. I make everything from cookies, buns, and cakes with it! Maybe this is one reason why even though I don’t consume gluten, grains, or conventional dairy, I still can’t seem to shed any significant amount of weight. I wonder if making your own soaked and dehydrated almond flour would be better? I also cook a lot with coconut flour but it’s a bit dry and not as good as almond flour, imo. I may have to just stop using almond flour for a while and see what happens.

  8. Thanks for this! I agree with many of you that indulging can be okaaaay but trying to make all your “bad” sweets into grain free ones is not what changing your food habits are all about. I do agree though that when starting out in the switch we need some transition time to move away from feeling deprived because of eliminating the sweet junk and getting our body less reliant on a sugar or carb rush. Once feeling good in our health get to be NORMAL once you have made the switch to better food choices…those goodies are not such a big deal anymore because you are satisfied with better options and only treat once in a while. The idea is not purity but longevity in your overall food choices.

  9. Very interesting information. I tend not to do a lot of baking with substitutes period, just because carbs in general are an issue for me, so try to stick to meat, healthy fats, lots of veggies and small amounts of fruits. When I do bake, I have been modifying recipes with almond flour or almond meal by subbing ground flax seed for half the almond flour and have had great results with that combo. I actually tend to prefer the coarser texture that gives (just like I used to prefer the really coarse sprouted breads when I was eating that stuff…I think I must’ve been a peasant in a previous life. LOL) Coconut flour I haven’t had such good luck with and it’s very tetchy…I just don’t have the patience for it.

    • Sounds like you are doing a great job. Do you find most of your recipes on the net or just do the old fashioned meat and potatoes?

  10. how about lets heal the gut and then we can eat what we want. I can eat gluten again 3 months into my healing program. I just prefer not too .. just like I prefer to be mostly raw. probiotics are our friend as well as ingestible green bentonite clay . or take the short cut and get a fecal transplant, but to do that right now and have it covered by insurance one needs a c difficile infection. or get a gastro to do it if you have IBD. IBS and leaky gut studies underway.. the human microbiome system. Johns Hopkins research director figures it will be beyond fecal transplants to customized probiotics based on each persons existing microbiome. propensity/ probiotic gut health is passed down by mother to child. probiotic levels are affected by pollution, sugar, processed foods, medication etc etc.. peace and happy healing.

  11. Hi there,
    I have been consuming almonds soaked and dried in my smoothies daily now for a while. I thought I was being healthy and had no idea. Are there any nuts or seeds that are better than almonds or is the idea to stay away from these most of the time?

    • Robin…I usually have an almond flax seed muffin for breakfast in the morning and that’s the only time I use it. I make birthday cakes with it on occasion but that’s not everyday. Using almond flour muffins once a day has no impeded my weight loss, but everyone is different.

      M

    • Almonds are healthy. I came across this article while looking for a recipe and I am saddened by the lengths people will go to to scare others. Of COURSE it wouldn’t be healthy to eat 33 almonds in one sitting. Just like it’s not healthy to drink a gallon of coconut milk or eat three sticks of butter. You need to be smart about what you eat and pay attention to the way your body feels after eating it and whilst digesting. There are flaws in just about every food but you have to consider whether the flaws outweigh the benefits. Don’t get upset over one article.

      • Celine, thank you for saying that. I found this article and discussion very interesting. But, as you say, there are no perfect foods. Most things in excess can cause problems, and everyone is different, so what maybe excess for me could be totally different for someone else. Only by experimenting can we find what works best for us. We have to balance what we eat, and do the best we can.
        I have always loved to bake, so for me, and for my family, I do bake “substitute” treats, just not in excess. We also eat tons of fresh produce, mostly what we grow for ourselves, as well as meat we raise for ourselves. It works for us. However, I do love to read different points of views, and different choices as it makes me reflect on our own food choices.
        I also found interesting someone’s comment about being paid to push certain products, and I think we all need to be mindful of the fact that marketing is everywhere….we need to be fully informed by referencing as many different reliable, non-paid sources of information as possible.

  12. I love matt stones perception on nutrition. Being obsessive isn’t healthy either. Maybe challenge yourself to 30 days of just eating. Don’t stress and worry. Live and love life. Make good choices but if u wanna piece of pizza do it. See how u feel after 30.days. adrenaline and cortisol Really not good for us either and when we stress about the perfect diet we allow those toxins to have a field day in our body. Get sleep, some exercise, move and be active..so we notice how no health guru agrees!?! So who is right!?!? Just eat whole foods…not to much and not to little…..see what happens…..

  13. oh good lord what are we “supposed” to eat? everything is bad. free-range organic air is about all that’s left.

      • That’s why I eat what works for me and not what works for someone else. We are all different. In fact, I don’t think my eating could be called anything specific except that I eat whole organic foods. I don’t eat red meat as it doesn’t work with my sensitive digestive system. I have celiac so therefore don’t eat gluten. If I eat starchy vegetables I gain weight. Etc. Etc. I think we all have go find what works for each of us.

    • haha free range organic air lol thats so funny. i agree, i am definitely aware of all the good points that the post makes and i try to avoid recipes that use copious amounts of almond flour, BUT a treat is a treat is a treat. if you are consuming almond flour once or twice a day or even any other day, youre making far too many baked goods, AND lying to yourself that its okay to eat it every day because its not gluten. youre just trading one unhealthy habit for another. almond flour is a good substitute flour for a treat (which is never a meal and is not going to be over the top healthy ANY which way you swing it), because youre only having it once in awhile. the same principle can be applied to what we could have used instead of almond flour. when people sit down to eat pancakes, think about what youre eating in the same manner. 1 cup of flour, a bunch of butter, some eggs, water, salt, sugar. fry it up in oil and add more butter and sugar and eat it. a regular pancake is just as much of a treat as is a gluten free one. i dont think its fair to say we should avoid almond flour altogether because its not perfect. pick your poison: gluten, or free radicals? if you cant afford to pick that poison and youre trying to heal an inflamed body, maybe you shouldnt be eating pancakes at all, whether its a gluten pancake or an almond pancake.

      having said that i do try to avoid recipes that over use almond flour, for many reasons. one its an ingredient that goes into treats its not a daily snack. two, baked goods with almond flour usually have a lot of calories. im a counter so regardless of what it was made out of this matters. three, when i look at recipe testing, i try to understand what im going to be eating before i make it. example if i were to separate all the raw ingredients and put them on a plate and just ate them all like that, would it just be a bunch of gunk or would it be semi alright for a treat?

      in most cases this is where coconut flour wins because youre eating mostly eggs, some sweetener, some spices or flavourings, maybe some milk for liquid or coconut oil, and then a small serving of coconut flour. i can deal with that. BUT, its still a treat. i also have a great cookie recipe that my whole family prefers over any other cookie recipe, and the main ingredient is almond flour. but you know what, theyre cookies. if youre eating them everyday, or if youre eating 10 of them in a sitting, youre doing the same injustice as you would be eating 1 gluten cookie per day or 10 gluten cookies per day. its a treat … youre not supposed to be eating this stuff every day. that doesnt mean it has to be avoided entirely.

      • Very well said Caiti ! I have been eating a restricted form of Primal/paleo for about 4 months now. I am just starting to experiment with cooking with almond and coconut flour. My goal is to find a few good recipes for an occasional treat. I think that anything in excess is unhealthy long term, but, when my bushes are full of ripe blueberries I want blueberry pancakes and blueberry cake ! Can anyone recommend a good recipe ?

      • I completely agree! I don’t believe in breaking down every little thing we eat and obsessing over it. I also think we all have certain things we can and cannot eat, and we should each listen to our own individual bodies. I think when we truly start to scrutinize everything we put into our mouths, we begin to lose focus of what food should really be: a source of energy.
        With regards to the coconut flour, saturated fat is not a good fat as it increases the cholesterol in our blood, per the American Heart Association. So, while we’re gaining one benefit of replacing almond flour with coconut flour, we’re also gaining a nasty side effect. If anything, we should eat foods in moderation and in healthy proportion, including nuts. I’ve included a link to the AHA’s website about saturated fats and there are hyperlinks that provide information about polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
        http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp
        Also, I checked my almond flour and didn’t see a mention of polyunsaturated fat. I am by no means a nutrition expert, but does that mean there is no polyunsaturated fat in my brand of flour (Bob’s Red Mill) or does that mean there is a negligible amount that they do not have to list it on the nutrition label?

    • Exactly. Dogma is horrifying enough. Dogma distilled into “my paleo is more paleo than your paleo” is worse. Obviously, if you’re eating too much, or eating too much of one thing, bad things can happen. Sucking all of the joy out of life by insisting that to be truly paleo we adhere to ever stricter and more severe rules is counterproductive. Experiment – if it doesn’t work for *you* don’t eat it. If it isn’t a problem, then don’t sweat it. Alienating people from a much healthier lifestyle by quibbling over what they’re allowed to eat is actually a massive negative IMO. Bike shedding, if you will.

      Almond butter chocolate cake FTW 🙂

    • OMG. this made me laugh so hard 🙂 it true. I don’t even know why I clicked into this site. I was searching uses for almond flour… Lol….and I just had a damn almond flour biscuit before I read this post!!! This is too much…..

  14. I have a related question. I’m on the GAPS diet and I also have sensitivity (pre-GAPS) to almonds so I don’t eat them at all. However, my youngest daughter likes to have a bottle to go to sleep with (please no lectures on dental hygiene, we’re well aware) and neither of my children tolerate cow or goat milks. We’ve done a little coconut milk with her, also different seeds, rice & nut milks, but the one we go back to is almond milk. It’s the easiest to purchase in a pinch if we don’t have any made and it’s grain-less obviously. I’m guessing that almond milk is not that great either after reading this…what other milks do you all recommend? Coconut, I presume? Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Almond milk is not comparable to almond flour. Basically almond milk is just almond starch + water. It’s very low in all macronutrients compared to whole almonds or almond flour. I’d say it’s fine to continue with almond milk for a baby, though if you are looking for something with more basic nutrition, I’d go with diluted coconut milk. Those fatty acids are so good for babies! For my kiddos I diluted a can of coconut milk with 2 1/2 cans of water, sometimes added a little vanilla or almond extract for flavor. Over time you can slowly increase the dilution until she’s just drinking water, if you wish. Good luck!

  15. I am a little disturbed by this article. Almonds are actually one of the best nuts for you to eat as 70% of the fats in them are actually MONO-UNSATURATED (ie the good, heart healthy and cholesterol lowering ones). Almonds also contain large amount of calcium, iron and omega 3s. There is actually proven research of a reduction in risk of Cardiovascular Disease death of 8.3% for each 30g serving eaten.
    From clinical trials where larger serves of almonds have been included (68 to 84g/day), there is up to a 10% reduction in LDL Cholesterol.

    Your comment regarding the heat stability of the fats in almonds is also untrue. Roasted nuts have the same nutrient and fat content profile as raw nuts (UNLESS they are roasted in oil/fat or something similar). Dry roasted almonds are just as nutritious and healthy as raw almonds.

    The sources you have quoted are between 6 and 14 years old – an eternity in medicinal science. There are many reputable organisational studies and clinical sources/publications that can dispute the claims above:
    http://australianalmonds.com.au/health/nutrition_research
    http://www.nutsforlife.com.au/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

    • I am not saying you are right or wrong, however….if you are going to use research to back up your statement on nuts, maybe it’s a good idea to not use a website that promotes or sells nuts. It’s a conflict of interest =)

      • Hi Lisa,
        Thanks for your comment – The websites and sources I have quoted all contain links to articles and studies by dietitans, board certified physicians in internal medicine trained in Public Health Nutrition and by other world wide recognised health professionals, these links are conduits to the actual clinical trials and published studies.
        Sorry to cause confusion.

      • Um Lisa, unless those nut companies conducted the studies themselves or funded them your statement is pointless.

    • Yes, even mono-unsaturated fats should only be raw. That is why olive oil shouldn’t be used for cooking, only raw preparations. Roasted nuts may show the same “fat content profile” on nutrition labels, but the chemical composition of the fats are changed. Some of the fats WILL be oxidized with heat. Roasted nuts will also be devoid of the beneficial raw enzymes. The omega-3 content of almonds is very, very small in comparison to the omega-6 content: http://paleodietlifestyle.com/are-nuts-and-seeds-healthy/. I’m not saying that almonds are bad, I’m just saying they should be consumed in judicious moderation and in their raw (preferably soaked and dehydrated) form.

    • I agree with this counterpoint. I make muffins with almond flour and ground flax seeds (ends up being 1/8th cup of flour per muffin which is well within the realm of an acceptable serving size) and I find this blog post demonizes a food that has a lot of well documented health benefits.

      Here’s what I believe is an unbiased review of almond’s health benefits: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20 It also discusses the oxalate issue and reaches a different conclusion. There’s a long list of citations as well.

      Here’s an entire post on the oxalate issue: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=48 If we’re putting oxalate on the poison list, nobody should eat spinach either! Or blueberries! Ever again!

      Yes almonds do have Omega 6 fats in them which can be a problem if you are baking with almond flour and still eating fast food meals. However, most people using almond flour don’t have the junk sources of Omega 6 fats in their diet anymore and you do need them in balance with Omega 3. I’d much rather eat too many almonds than too many french fries!

      Folks with dyslipidemia, diabetes or risk of diabetes will find that almonds can be a big help.

      This post is very imbalanced and imprecise, in my opinion. Too much emphasis on ‘almonds are bad’ for my tastes.

      M

    • “Mono-unsaturated” = heart healthy? And this is being equated to lowering cholesterol? That would be amusing if it were not patently false. Even the almond packaging with the heart logo said it is a CORRELATION and not PROVEN. Read it next time you are in the store. And then go get a box of Cheerios with a heart logo – guess that must be healthy too!

      In the studies that showed reduction for every 30g eat, the individuals were eating the exact same diet otherwise? Or was this a food reporting study which is essentially junk?

      The sources YOU claim are 40-50 years old (regarding cholesterol and unsaturated fat) and have been long-since buried.

    • Lisa, we are in a minority. In my previous post I did not add that I do not separate pulp and liquid but just dilute almond flour with water ratio three parts water to one part almond flour, I heat it and froth it for Cappuccino. However it is made from skinless blanched almonds and is more digestible than whole almonds with the skin on. The separated liquid alone has no body and is just too watery.

    • I agree. I think this is nonsense, and I’m tired of it coming up every time I google recipes using almond flour. There will be someone who says something is wrong with every single thing we eat now. If you try to eliminate as much as you can you will go crazy. Change the way you think about your food. If you’re thinking your food will harm you, it will.

    • I agree with your comment. I was doing a web search for almond flour sources, and came across this site. It is full of pseudo-scientific information. For some reason the author has some odd agenda against almond flour and has produced relatively sketchy data to back it up.

      If anyone is looking for more substantial information on the latest in nutrition science, I recommend doing a web search for Peter Attia or Gary Taubes.

  16. I’ve been munching on roasted almonds to the tune of a pound every 2-4 days- for months now. My fibroids have grown,. my periods are wacky, and normally i conceive pretty easily- i havent gotten pregnant? and i’ve gained about 10 pounds this winter. I seriously thought it was just the natural progression to be expected with fibroids. i had no idea it could be the almonds. sounds so dumb now. glad to know all this about almonds. thankyou

    • As someone with all sorts of hormone whackery…there is no food cure in my experience for hormonal imbalances. Avoiding foods may help tone down symptoms but it won’t be a cure not if your ovaries are pumping out the wrong levels at the wrong times.

      By all means, eliminate almonds and see, but I’ll think you’ll find it would produce the results you hoped for.

      M

    • Almonds are a beast to the thyroid which can be a beast to our fertility. google almonds or soy and then Mary Shomon. She is a patient advocate and a lot of knowledge about the effects our diets can have on our very delicate endocrine system.

  17. Very interesting! I do prefer almond flour because I never have problems with it in the kitchen, and I just prefer the flavor. I don’t love the flavor of coconut flour and sometimes it’s tricky to use. Also, I can get wonderful almonds locally while coconut is an imported food. I do love coconut products but I generally keep them to a minimum.

    But I am conscious of the fact that almond flour is not an ideal food source, for all of the reasons you outlined above. So I keep my grain-free treats to once a week or so. I don’t really eat nuts all that often and I never consume vegetable oils, so I think my PUFA intake is pretty low and I can handle some almond flour once a week. I am experimenting with coconut flour, too, though. I try to keep an open mind on both fronts. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Great post, Lauren! Almond flour kills my tummy. These days I just stick with sprouted wheat, but for those that need to be grain-free, I definitely agree that coconut flour is a better way to go.

  19. Thank you! We went crazy on almond flour when we were newly on GAPS pre paleo. And my daughter’s tooth decay returned (after two years of no decay on traditional foods). Now we treat nuts as that – a treat – and have replaced most of our AF recipes with coconut.

  20. I agree that people should not tons of almonds or any other nut for that matter. When we were doing SCD I started to really get concerned at the amount of almond flour they wanted us to consume as part of the diet and considered a good thing.
    The bummer here is – I dislike coconut flour! The texture is terrible and I’m just not that into eating THAT many eggs.
    Doesn’t coconut flour have to be processed? Doesn’t it travel thousands of miles to end up on your grocery store shelves? Something about that bothers me.

  21. Good article! I had started backing off on the almond flour in order to reduce the risk developing an allergy, but these are good thoughts as well. I have had really good success using 1/2 almond flour and 1/2 sprouted spelt flour (which I make myself- it’s expensive!) in traditional recipes.

  22. For me it boils down to this: I am not eating gluten or any other grains, I am not eating soy, corn syrup or hardly any dairy and no refined sugars. If I want a treat….I am going to make what ever “paleo flour” treat that appeals to me. Too much focus on “whats good, safe, unsafe etc” is unhealthy for our stress level and out spirit.

    • I so agree with Carmen. Let’s face it, we are not living in cave times where food was not so readily available and mostly raw. In these times, surrounded by junk food all around us, if I need the occasional treat made with almond or coconut flour to stay on track, I say go ahead. I know I’m still waayyy ahead of 90% of the population that is subsisting on garbage.

    • For goodness sakes, I am not demonizing almond flour. I don’t want to make people afraid of almond flour, I just wish to equip them with information so that can make educated choices about their diet. I agree with you that almond flour can certainly be enjoyed as a part of a healthy diet. I will repeat myself once again: MODERATION.

      • Amen! People are so reactive these days. It was a good article that was informative. Take what you need and leave the rest people!

        • I agree. I think if you read the article thoughtfully, moderation is definitely promoted.

          This article was something of a wake up call for me. It’s true that until I paused and really looked at how much ALMOND I am giving my kids via the almond flour, which, say, goes into the cookies I bake for my kids several times a week, I thought nothing of it. There was a disconnect between the almonds = almond flour. Now, I’m like, “DUH!” I really appreciate this information – and while I will still make them chocolate chip cookies from time to time, I won’t be making them at nearly the rate I have been. I appreciate the awareness provided by this article.

          • Interesting comment, since the title is 5 reasons to avoid almond flour. Doesn’t sound like demonizing but definitely doesn’t seem to promote moderation over avoidance.

            I’m new to paleo and trying to find my flow (if you will) in terms of what works/what doesn’t work. I am truly convinced that EVERYTHING is problematic, even water. And it’s extremely stressful to read stuff like this when the whole point of moving to this healthier way of eating was it’s health benefits. I bought a can of almond flour definitely don’t plan to do it often because it’s expensive. So it will for necessity of my budget be in moderation. I guess I just have to trust my gut here…since I can read one article promoting the use of almond flour and another like this one, promoting avoiding it.

  23. great post, Lauren. You make some good points. I’m trying to move away from eating any ONE thing too much. All things in moderation. The bummer is that I have used coconut flour several times and it always upsets my gut (bloating). Maybe too much fiber??? not sure. But good reminder….. 🙂
    ps….. I love your post on sunflower seed flour. I’ve been experimenting…….

  24. Wow, really good info about almond flour. I (should have but) didn’t think about how many almonds 1 cup of almond flour would equate too. I don’t bake very often so it hasn’t been an issue for me. But one of my concerns with coconut flour is the bad texture I’ve gotten with nearly everything I’ve tried to make. From pancakes to cookies, the coconut flour just zaps up all the moisture and never seems to cook through all the way. I’m left with dense, chewy (not in a good way), strangely textured goods. I realize it won’t be the same as using conventional wheat flours, but how do you all combat this? Do you just get used to the strange texture, what gives?

    • It’s really about finding recipes that are created specifically for/with coconut flour in mind. Yes, there can be some texture differences — it really depends on the item. I make some coconut flour items that are really moist and dense but others that are quite close to “regular” (gluten!) items. Check out her recipes on this site! I do know one thing: ANY baked goods I make with non-gluten flours (for the most part, coconut), go straight into the freezer when they’re cooled. They have zero staying power on the counter and get dry and gross in the fridge.

  25. Thank you for this post! I see loads and loads of recipes calling for almond flour these days, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to end up being the next food allergen since people are using it SO much. (My hubby is allergic to almonds anyway, so I don’t buy it.)
    Like you said I think the important part is MODERATION. We aren’t gluten-sensitive/allergic to wheat at our house, so we continue to enjoy those things in moderation as well. 🙂

    • The widespread allergens and reactivity to wheat and other grains are more likely due to their genetic modification than “overuse”.

  26. If anyone is concerned about allergies, a big one we’re setting ourselves (and our children) up for is the sulfites contained in almost all coconut products. I’ve emailed a few companies to find out if their flour contains sulfites, and none have replied. If an ingredient contains sulfites before it’s included in the product – it doesn’t need to be on the label! If you have an allergic child, please do them a favor and be careful with coconut products.

  27. My ayurvedic doctor told me to be careful not to eat more than 7 soaked almonds a day, and that applied to many people. I’ve overdone this many times, ending up in itch and digestive difficulty. There’s wisdom to heed here.
    Thanks for bringing this issue forth, much needed.

  28. Great article! You did omit one other issue with Almond flour that caused me quite a bit of misery! It is extremely high in Arginine. Shortly after I discovered baking with almond flour and having great ‘success’, I came down with shingles on my scalp. While I was back to work in 2 days, I could not get my scalp to heal for months – all the while eating lots of almond flour goodies… Then I had eye involvement. Coincidentally, I had come to the conclusion almond flour and I didn’t get along. Suddenly my scalp and eyes healed. I still didn’t know about the Arginine level in almond flour. I started l-lysine and continued to improve.

    Then I baked scones – with almond flour; first time in a month. And I had a minor relapse. I did more research and finally made the connection!

    It you have shingles, chicken pox or any retrovirus (including herpes or HIV) be aware of the Arginine levels in many foods!

    • Beth, I feel your pain!!! I recently discovered the magic of almond flour and went a little nuts with it. I made all sorts of treats… pancakes, onion rings.. the possibilities were endless! About a week later I broke out with a huge rash on my back/hip area. I had no idea what it was. The doctor told me it looked like shingles and prescribed some anti viral meds and steroid cream. I was so confused! I’ve been eating super clean and healthy, not stressed at all, everything seemed fine. The rash was spreading and I had no idea it was due to the insane amount of almonds I was eating. It wasn’t until today when I was doing some research on the web, I stumbled upon an article that talked about arginine and lysine balance. I immediately went to the drug store and bought some lysine and vitamins. I hope it helps! I don’t want the rash to spread any more!! I’m so bummed that I will no longer be able to use almond flour to make yummies. Shingles is no joke and people should know the dangers of this food!

      • Omg!!! I went paleo after getting mono at work…and I’m al.most 40! Bed ridden two Months I was desperate….I made almond flour banana not muffins this weekend…first time using almond flour…and boom! Full bedridden relapse this week…more antibiotics and steroids cuz not only did mono flare…bit sinus and bronchial…I’ll try again to see if its a fluke…but thank you for the knowledge!!!!!

  29. Good things to know. Very depressing! I hate coconut flour! I can’t have anything else due to carb content and gluten. This is all so frustrating!

  30. You can add another to the list, almond is expensive and these days dry fruits are packaged using SO2 in industries which is toxic to body.

  31. Such an interesting post. Have been consuming handfuls of almonds. Started with itching bumps on my face. As soon as I stop eating almonds it disappear. Only recently made the connection

  32. Ah eff, I just baked some cookies! But seriously, I started gaining a lot of weight fast in the past five or so months. My ND suspected my thyroid and looks like she was right, due to my love of the almond flour. I will let my husband finish the cookies (they were for him anyway) and save the almond flour for paleo fried chicken. Thanks for the reality check!

  33. I hear lots of people’s frustration with ANOTHER food we should minimize…..having troubled guts is tough! Our bodies respond to so many things, and i love having information to help connect dots. When we did 100% paleo for a few months….I too noticed an issue with my increased nut consumption….when I limited the almond flour, I felt much better, and now I know why. Probably biggest thing I have learned is to limit my baking addiction! It does not matter what diet mold i craft it into…grains, paleo flours in excess…or anything in excess is not going to help people with troubled guts. Sigh…changing food habits can be tough! Thanks Lauren.

  34. I juice carrots in a masticating juicer. Instead of putting the pulp in a compost pile, I dehydrate the pulp and then pulverize it into carrot flour in a high speed blender. I use the carrot flour in baking. Depending on the recipe I sometimes mix it with coconut flour. Being sensitive/allergic to gluten, eggs, soy and with a troubled gut I also have practically stopped eating all baked goods. I do however like to consume non-dairy milks; they seem to coat my stomach and calm it down. But I find that I become allergic to them if I consume the same kind over and over again, which has happened with almond milk and coconut milk. I like flax and hemp milk but I know that varying the milks is the key for me.

  35. I’m surprised at your 90 almonds = 1 cup of almond flour. When I make it at home, it doesn’t take nearly that many.

    • Yes, I agree. I make my own almond flour/meal at home and definitely doesn’t take that many almonds to make a cup.

  36. Interesting post.

    I don’t normally have too much of it as it is friggin’ expensive. That being said, coconut flour is around the same cost. We always need to be aware of what we’re actually eating and the milling of a product is definitely deceptive.

  37. I recently started itching like crazy when I would eat peanuts or almonds but I didn’t put those two together. Then one day I made some almond flour shortbread and I almost had to rip my skin off as the itching was so bad. I even had to take benadryl. I’ve never had an allergy to nuts and would eat 12 to 16 almonds as a snack a few times a week, but after eating the almond flour shortbread now I start itching immediately once I eat even a handful of almonds or peanuts. Does that make sense?

  38. Very interesting article. I was not aware that almond flour was so toxic. I do have it and I use it sparingly. However, I do drink almond milk every day. I’m wondering if that has the same effect? And, I just bought a cookbook called Uncheese cookbook and it uses almonds in many of the recipes – blanched ones too.

    • I believe that nuts can fit into a healthy diet, especially if the digestive tract is strong and healthy. But I think the article you linked undermines your argument that I am overstating the omega 6 concern. Mark says that “a quarter cup of nuts every other day isn’t going to harm you” and I agree with him, if the individual can digest nuts. As I discussed, the issue with almond flour is that is allows us to eat huge amounts of almonds without realizing it–way more than a handful of nuts everyday.

  39. I must say I find this article a bit of scare mongering. If one was to delve into the positives and negatives of any food, an article, for or against, that food could easily be written. In a years time I’m sure someone will end up writing an article on why coconut flour is “bad” for us … Why not just use that good old adage of “everything in moderation”? Common sense and a balance diet with everything in moderation, and there would be no need for this type of thing. PS I am a lactose intolerant, coeliac, vegetarian, so I understand the principles of avoiding specific foods for specific reasons 😉 Happy Health to All.

    • I think the point is using almond FLOUR is not using almonds in moderation.
      Not scare mongering, it’s reality. If you are using almond flour you are using a food item NOT in a way nature intended.

  40. Great article. As a dairy-allergic, I have used almond flour, but did not like the results. When I made almond bread, it had a very noticeable smell of ammonia! Gross! Unfortunately, they don’t sell coconut flour around here.

  41. While I don’t disagree with the overall principle here (i.e that you can eat way more nuts than what you would in whole form – a good point), I think it is interesting you chose to point out that cavemen would have taken a whole day to make enough almond flour to go into a recipe. Do you suppose they would have had an easier time making coconut flour? I think it boils down to common sense and really, it you critically evaluated both coconut and almond flour I think you would find that neither is necessarily ‘better’ than the other, both have pros and cons, and both should be consumed in moderation. Just like EVERYTHING should be consumed in moderation. It kind of disturbs me if there are actually people out there who don’t realise that there isn’t any one food that is ‘free’ and that overconsumption of any one food item isn’t going to lead to some kind of problem. Unfortunately though there are a lot of people that are uneducated in basic nutrition (and lack common sense) and take every word on every blog on the internet as gospel, for those people I think this kind of article is scare mongering because they won’t take it with a grain salt, rather literally, and start going around telling everyone that almond flour is the devil.

  42. I bought almond flour for the first time two days ago.

    I am on the GAPS diet, and I am also watching my calories.

    I don’t bake, don’t eat pancakes, so I didn’t buy it for replacement of anything. When someone says “avoid grains” I don’t think they meant “replace grains that our ancestors never could have made with something that they also would not have been able to make.

    My whole take on “paleo” or original diet is very simple: if our ancestors that didn’t have dishes could not make it, it won’t go into my mouth.

    In the past year I have gotten so much better, it is unbelievable. In addition to mental, emotional, and gastric health, I also have my hair grow back on the palm size bare patch on the top of my head.

    I got to your site by researching methods to make almond milk for a friend of mine: I read the label of her carton and was horrified, so I wanted to tell her how to make it at home.

    This article about the misuse of almond flour is really well thought out, thank you for that.

    I think I’ll just eat my almond meal (Bob’s brand) on teaspoon at a time, as snack. It’s about 7 almonds… my guess.

    • No, I don’t allow my articles to be re-published. But of course you are welcome to include a link to this article on your website.

  43. Hello,

    My question is short. Basically, I’ve found out that using a strict non-starchy foods Paleo diet it’s possible to heal ( or least make better) Crohn’s disease that my friend has. I would like to know if it’s any good book or if you can give some information regarding this matter, as I have tried to research on the Internet, but information seem contradictory and I would like to see my friend alive and happy in the next years.

    Thanks

  44. Hi, Lauren! I really appreciate the “wake-up call” you’ve provided in this article by writing about the importance of exercising moderation with almond flour treats. Will definitely share the link on my blog’s Facebook page. 🙂

  45. Oh my Gosh! You have opened my eyes to wickedness of almond flour. I have been eating almond flour for years now!!! What was I thinking??? In spite of the fact that my health has never been better, in part due to the elimination of processed wheat from my diet, I now realize that my life has been in mortal jeopardy for some time now. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your deep knowledge of almonds with all of us. The “health” foods industry has clearly been influenced by the “almond agenda,” to the detriment of us all. It’s unimaginable to think that they have been poisoning us for years with this powder form killer. A legume Anthrax if you will. Again, I am so thankful for your words of wisdom. I refuse to wear this veil of ignorance any longer. Lead the way my queen. You unparalled brilliance is a light of hope in an otherwise dark and stormy sea of nutty lies.

    • I wouldn’t say that almond flour is a “powder form killer” …there are far worse things you could be eating! The most important thing to remember is moderation. If you are healthy, a little bit here and there won’t hurt. But I’m glad that this post had some useful information for you.

    • Wowza…this is just food we’re talking about. We all really just need to read these posts and glean from it what is helpful. Almond flour doesn’t work for us…so I get it. I also get that everyone seems to jump on the band wagon of just replacing grains with alternative flours. So ya’ll just take what ya need from it…if it offends go to a different web site. How long have we been following the USDA guidlines of consuming huge amounts of grains, that are now making us sick…yup with a healthy digestive system probly would be okay. However, this is a website about paleo, SCD, even perhaps GAPS. MOST people don’t make that drastic of a change in what they eat UNLESS they are haveing problem with the food they are currently eating. Who really cares what “cavemen” ate (not in line with my belief system) or what was created for us to eat (this is my belief). Fact remains, it doesn’t work for some of us. Just like you can’t tell someone allergic to peanuts.. “Hey! God created peanuts to be eaten”, we must accept that our bodies are flawed. I don’t believe they were created flawed..but those who do follow my belief in creation also know the story of the fall. So, there ya go. No matter what, we must accept these are all ways to avoid our current problems, and mabey heal a few of them :-).

  46. Hey it books like a good post and certainly one I wish to read further. I’m into keto diets, so I know a little here. Almonds are made up of some PUFA’s especially Omega 6, however they are also high in MUFA’s and Essential Vitamin E, something of which Coconut/flour isn’t. Due to their higher percentage of MUFA, they are more acceptable for cooking, though I wouldn’t use for frying as rancidity levels from the Omega 6’s may occur. Typically as long as you’re getting 40-50% Saturated fats, 40% MUFA and 10% PUFA with equal or almost equal ratios of 3:6 then is almond flour really that bad for you?

    • That’s what I thought until I read her article. I thought she would include the MUFAs too. Anyway, just a thought.

  47. Great post! As others have said above, it is really frustrating that Paleo advocates seem to gloss over (actually blatantly ignore) the pertinent points you brought forth about almond flour. I never understood making pancakes, muffins, breads etc out of it because of the unnatural amounts of almonds one would be consuming. I am amazed more people don’t point this out!

  48. Hemp seed flour is very high in protein and it is a plant-based complete protein. Lots of omega 3’s and fights inflammation. Also, it doesn’t have any phytic acid! However, I can’t vouch for baking with it. I believe baking should be a special occasion, mainly bc I don’t see baked goods growing in nature. Just my opinion.

  49. So glad to see someone address this! I personally hate cooking with almond flour because it is so dense and like you said, filling! I follow Perfect Health Diet so I used tapioca and rice flours for my splurges, but other than that, I just try to skip on needing to use flour at all. But occasionally, a coconut flour muffin or pancake is a nice treat as well!

  50. I’m sorry but I can’t agree with the sweeping degradation of PUFAs! PUFAs are absolutely essential for health of the cell membranes!! The cell membranes are made up of highly unstable, fluid and beautiful PUFAs and they are stabilized by cholesterol and saturated fat. Remember that omega-3s and omega-6 are both included in the term PUFA! In other words, they are essential! Without them in the diet we die.

    I believe perhaps you are meaning to degrade omega-6? However, this is an essential fatty acid. I agree that many people eating the SAD consume excessive amounts of poor quality oxidized omega-6 fatty acids and this leads to inflammation and probably is a major cause of CVD. But these poor quality fats need to be replaced with healthy omega-6 fatty acids (as well as other healthy fatty acids in a balanced manner). Without that we do not have healthy cell membranes. Almonds are a good source of omega-6 fatty acids but they are made up of mostly monounsaturated fatty acids. A tbsp. of almonds contains 9.5 g of MUFA and 2.4 g of omega-6. They are also rich in vitamin E, which protects against oxidation. And when heated at relatively low temps as a whole food I’m not sure the oxidation issue is as bad as you make it out to be.

    Omega-6 fatty acids, including DGLA, GLA, and arachidonic acid, actually have been shown to be anti-inflammatory when provided in the right form and in the right conditions in the body. Read this for the real deal, research-backed info on omega-6 and it’s role in cell membrane health: http://www.bodybio.com/BodyBio/docs/BodyBioBulletin-4to1Oil.pdf.

    Anything eaten to excess is not good. But remember that there are people out there who are struggling as it is on a grain-free or gluten-free diet. A few muffins or pancakes made out of almond flour may be the only treat they can have. And yes, they can use coconut flour but I don’t think that almond flour in moderation is as bad as you make it out to be.

    • Um, no. I DO mean to degrade PUFA in general. We need only a very, very little bit of PUFA in our diet. And there are much better sources of omega-3 than nuts and seeds… grassfed meats, for example. And Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

  51. All I know is that when I bake/cook with almond flour…all I want/desire/need is one piece of whatever I am making…when I bake/cook with a gluten free baking mix…bring on at least 4 servings. I crave more and my blood sugar spikes and crashes. With the almond flour, no such occurrence.

    We need to learn to be satiated by smaller more nutritious servings. With almond flour, you are nourished. With Gluten free mixes, not so much. I don’t agree with this blog. Sorry.

  52. I very much agree with this post. I’m not anti almond flour but I’ll only use it once in a while and usually add in coconut flour. When I do I eat it I am mindful that this is purely nut and don’t overdue it. I love coconut flour though!

  53. A few small problems here, those being some invented facts and numbers by the admitted anti-grain coconut flour advocate (seriously… #5 is not a reason to avoid almond flour, it’s a personal preference linked to your own health condition).

    For starters, the number of almonds in a cup of almond flour is more like 60, so your number is inflated by about 50%.

    Secondly, the amount of PUFA’s is closer to 20%, another stat exaggeration of nearly 50%.

    Finally, your oxalates point is applicable mostly to people with certain conditions. Do you know what other foods have lots of oxolates? Try pepper, chocolate, beans and berries. It’s a bit of cherry picking, really.

    Now, I’m very glad you personally have gotten well in this manner, but the exaggerations and such kinda make you come off like a coconut saleswoman. Just a friendly FYI.

    • Perhaps you are calculating the amount of almonds in almond meal? I calculated the amount of almonds in a cup of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour and it is indeed 90 almonds. And no, I don’t believe my percentage of PUFA in almonds is inflated.

      But I do appreciate you bringing it to my attention about the PUFA percentage. You are correct– it is 20% PUFA instead of 30%, which is what I had written. I have corrected that in the article.

      It is completely beside the point that other foods have a lot of oxalates. I’m not talking about other foods, I’m talking about almonds here. If someone needs to be low oxalate, then they will need to avoid/reduce those foods. I addressed all your points in my oxalate post.

      • I was actually wondering the same thing. I’m a researcher and when I heard how you determined how many almonds were in a cup of almond flour, I was more than a little skeptical and was hoping someone here who makes their own almond flour would chime in. I know there are many people who do and that blanching/soaking also adds another step to the process which makes each almond larger. I don’t disagree with your main points about over-doing almonds, but I would really like to know how many almonds are actually in a cup of almond flour from a different method. Because “in moderation” like you keep suggesting, is kind of blown out the window by all of your examples. Before, I would have considered a batch of almond flour cookies twice a month or almond flour pancakes once a week to be moderation, but if your totals are right, NOTHING is moderation if you are using almond flour.

  54. This is going to probably sound like a dumb question, but …
    does coconut flour taste like coconut?
    I used almond flour for the first time yesterday and LOVED it (low carb diet). Now I see this very interesting article and
    the coconut flour recommendations but I do NOT like coconut. So, I am assuming it does make everything taste
    like coconut. Correct? thanks 🙂

    • If you use both coconut flour and coconut oil, then there is indeed a slight coconut taste in baked goods. however, if you use coconut flour and another fat source (butter?) then there isn’t a coconut taste (at least I couldn’t detect it). However, I honestly think that if you only do baked goods once every 2-3 weeks, almond flour is probably fine. If you make baked goods on a more regular basis, though, then it’s probably a good idea to try other alternatives.

    • Hi Nita

      You can buy coconut oil with out any coconut taste in it, it’s a bit harder to find but it can be done.!
      And the same goes with almond flour, use fat reduced flour that only have 20% of the fat left and only half in calories then you will be just find.

  55. Agreed on all accounts. I did try almond flour years ago and it just didn’t feel right. Plus, in addtion to the various nutitive drawbacks one really doesn’t know how fresh it is. I don’t like coconut flour much…but the only things I’ve tried to make with it used alot of it. Seems like I’m seeming more and more recipes that only use a little.

  56. This makes SO much sense to me. Just last week I made delicious raw almond treats and basically ate the entire batch myself over the course of a few consecutive days and couldn’t understand why I had so little energy that I couldn’t even get out of bed until mid-morning. And when I did drag myself out of bed it was only to go lay down on the couch for the rest of the day. NOTHING got done for almost the entire week. I had absolutely NO energy and I didn’t think for a second that the almond treats were to blame. I just chalked it up to my hypothyroid and the likelihood that it was acting up. After about 4 days of just feeling worse and worse (and still eating the treats) I decided to look up some tips on increasing my energy with a hypothyroid. I came across something I hadn’t heard of and was confused on why my doctor wouldn’t have informed me of it when I was diagnosed 4 years ago. The word “goitrogens” appeared over and over on my search page. Wouldn’t you know it, almonds are on the list of goitrogens.. I stopped eating the treats and other raw almonds and noticed a difference in my energy level VERY quickly! It took all but 3 days of non-consumption of raw almonds and recipes containing them to start feeling myself again! I can still make my smoothies with almond milk without an issue, but I sure won’t be making those treats anymore.

    Thanks SO much for this post!

  57. I sort of agree, and in general any foods in excess turns into a poison, almond flour is no exception. Why make it a staple anyway ? It is not even addictive and if you are into paleo / primal eating, you won’t spend your time baking every day 😀

    I use almond flour (fat reduced by the way, it is too heavy otherwise) but maybe once in a blue moon. I much prefer making pancakes using bananas and eggs with maybe a little bit of buckwheat flour. Yes, primal / paleo does not mean starch free and buckwheat reminds me of crepes from French Brittany 🙂

    But really, no need of be scared. I would rather use almond flour once in a while rather than eat wheat EVERY SINGLE DAY like it is the case for billions of ppl. I was a wheat addict myself … good riddance!

  58. Thank you so much for this post, very eye-opening!! Will never use almond flour again, only for special occasions. 🙂

  59. It must have been serendipity that I found this webpage while doing a search “treats using almond flour”. I’m not following a paleo diet but I’m trying to avoid gluten. I’ve enjoyed using almond flour to make little treats now and then. I thought I was doing a good thing by not using wheat flour….sigh….

    Thanks for taking the time to explain all about almond flour and the potential consequences of eating too much of it. I will definitely check out the coconut flour.

  60. This is based on chit chat and no scientific proof whatsoever! Please stop deluding people and refer to scientific studies when spreading information like that.

  61. I watched this on Dr. 0z , I think it was a guest nutritionist called “Jorge cruise” on the show talking about ” Almond flour ” flax seed flour ” and coconut flour as subsitutes for regular flour. I tihnk the main point the nutritionist was trying to get across through was that these are ” better ” options than regular white flour. I think in saying that though its made to take in moderation like everything else. As well as that I remember on the show the amount of flour they used was much less than the amount you would use when baking with white flour.

    On another note, my opinion is that even after reading this I still don’t think almond flour is terrible, you shouldnt over consume but thats like everything else. I am not put off 🙂 every body enjoy your life and your fooood 🙂

  62. If you’re not eat carbs, the calories don’t matter as much. ADD and ADHA are brain chemistry, not behavior issues–don’t spread misinformation! You might try writing with some science background.

    • If you think ADD and ADHD are purley brain chemistry issues you should read information on the Feingold Diet..and spend a few hours with my son…and a bowel full of blueberries. Within minutes of consuming high salicylate foods (a group of phenols) he is like a ping pong ball bouncing around the room. Nope not talking junkie sugary foods I’m talking even a small amount of organic tomatoes, blueberries, apples, berries. We’ve tried them all. We’ve tried to deny it for years. Not true for ALL kids, but for my he looses control and I can tell he can’t get it back until the food moves through his system. When these foods are avoided, he may misbehave, but he can be corrected. I for years believed otherwise…actually believed ADHD kids mostly just were not disiplined. I now know see some things DO affect kids ability to concentrate, as well as many having biological issues. We can’t correct everything with food, but why not fix the food problem first then look at the other options.

  63. Coconut flour is NOT a healthy substitute because it only has saturated fat. Same with coconut oils. Almonds have the healthy monounsaturated and neutral polyunsaturated fats. If you’re preaching avoidance, it should be about coconut or saturated fats.

    • I think you completely missed the point here. The saturated fats in coconut is good. The polyunsaturated fats should be limited.

  64. Personally, I’d like to see your scientific data backing your claim. I’ve been drinking almond milk for two years, eating raw almonds, and baking with almond meal. Since switching to almonds, my arthritis is gone. And it was bad. I could hardly walk. I don’t believe you about the almonds.

  65. I love that you made me think about almond flour in another way! I have never used it, but I just finished making my first batch of almond flour and almond milk and I am really excited to use it. I am planning on waiting until next week to make a batch of “Paleo” muffins, and I totally agree that the whole point of going towards a paleo diet is to change the way we eat and not substitute certain ingredients out. The only comment I have is, at least with my homemade almond flour, there is nowhere near 90 almonds in a cup! I used the smallest container of almonds I could find (6oz) and if I had to guess, I would say there was a maximum of 60-75 nuts in the container, and that is a high guess. I wish I would have counted them! Anyway, I now have a large amount of almond milk and 8 oz of flour, so I don’t think the amount of almonds consumed when using flour is as much as you originally calculated….. It also depends on the recipe. If I make 9 muffins out of a cup of almond flour, even with your estimate of 90 almonds per cup, that is only 10 almonds per muffin (or closer to 7 by my estimate).
    By and large, I totally agree- everything in moderation is the key to health, but if people are attempting to live healthier, I think they are on the right track if they start to trade out regular flour for almond flour. Hopefully, that change leads to more and more healthier choices!
    I would just hate for somebody to come across something like this and decide not to make a healthy change because they can’t figure out what is healthy and what is not. There is too much conflicting information available nowadays.

  66. I can’t stand the texture of coconut flour. I used to eat it fine and then recently every time I put it in my mouth I have to choke it down. My two go-to flours for cooking are coconut and almond. Are there any other flours that you cook with besides coconut flour?

    • I think I’m going to do a whole post on almond milk and I hope that will answer some of the questions regarding it.

  67. Lol, at first I thought this was a serious article and figured you were some kind of lunatic. But then I saw the date of your post – April 1st. Almost had me there!

    Btw, eating 33 almonds at one time is perfectly ok unless you’re anorexic or something. I run marathons and raw almonds are my favorite training food. They’re high in fat, fiber and protein. I probably eat a couple hundred a day.

  68. I’ve been eating raw almonds, drinking homemade almond milk, & occasionally bake with almond meal as well.

    4 years going strong & i’ve never felt healthier! 😀

    Until there’s actual PROOF & scientific facts that all of this is “bad”, i’m not giving them up. PERIOD.

    *eats almond flour pancakes with homemade almond milk* Mmmmm! 😛

    • If you feel great while eating lots of almonds, then why should you give them up? Listen to your body and eat what makes you happy and healthy! But many people find they feel worlds better by reducing almonds, so this post is written with them in mind.

  69. Hello there can understand your information. Several question would require your imput now please. What are your creds? Whom do u work for? We’re you paid for this supplement
    Cheers pete

  70. What an informative post. I didn’t realize that there were so many things to consider with almonds. Personally, I am a big fan of eating a LARGE variety of whole foods vs. eliminating and replacing. There are a few treats I make with ground almonds…but I tend to hand grind them myself rather than using a flour or pre-ground. I prefer the texture and I know exactly what is going in my cake. I will certainly be sharing this post with those I know who walking heavily on the almond flour and milk path.

  71. Thanks for some very interesting info. I have been consuming quite large amounts of nuts since I started the process of healing myself from SIBO, hormonal imbalance, gluten sensitivity and a very easily irritated intestine. I find that if I eat too many almonds or other nuts my body is not happy, but I can certainly tolerate them otherwise. Interestingly, I don’t seem to always tolerate coconut products that well either, particularly in large quantities, and I can’t eat egg whites. What I have been doing which seems to work quite well is baking with a mixture of half almond flour, half potato starch, with either just egg yolks, or mashed banana or apple sauce for moisture. Baked goods turn out a lot lighter and easier to digest that way and that way I calculate I eat about 2 to 4 tablespoons of almonds per day which is not a lot. I also figured that even though there is more starch in there (though still grain free) the blood sugar spike will be mitigated by the almonds. Maybe this will work for others too!

  72. I thought it was significant that almonds were so low in PUFA’s – 20%, it seemed encouraging, as opposed to troubling, particularly if they were the only source of PUFA’s in a diet, which may be likely for someone with health issues serious enough that they have to turn to almond flour as an alternative. I would think that refrigerating the flour (as people do with nut flours) would solve the oxidation problem, or making the flour oneself. I wondered to what degree do almonds inhibit the absorption of minerals? It seems that many foods limit absorption of some nutrients but provide others, and that in the course of the day, unless one were eating almond flour for all meals and snacks, which is unlikely, it would be possible, still, to get all the minerals needed. Just for fun, I poured almonds into my little hand to see what a “handful” came out to, and it was about 30, so that the pancake recipe delivers a handful of almonds, perhaps, and not three handfuls. I just wonder if these issues are a little less troubling than it would appear here.
    I am appreciative, though, to find out there is such a thing as coconut flour, I did not know. I suppose it is always a good idea to not narrow a diet, so plenty of alternatives for folks limited in the kinds of grains or starches they can eat is happy news.

  73. How many more reasons are there to avoid Wheat Flour ? Also in when baking Paleo recipes , they use a sugar substitute , that is healthier .

  74. was looking at startng using almond flour and came across this and thought hmmmm, i know almonds are very healthy for you (i mean obviously too many contain a fair few calories so if you are watching your weight then i guess go careful!), but anyways i started reading and saw how almond flour was mentioned to cause an inflammatory response… whcih seemed very strange as almonds are well known to be an anti inflammatory, polyunsaturated fats (PUFAS) are generally considered healthy and amongst other health benefits decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Only just researching almond flour but i assumed it was literally just crushed up almonds with no other ingrediants, if that is correct then i would assume atleast that point to be wrong either way i think the only useful thing i gained form this was learning about cocnut flour. Btw i am starting the specific carbohydrate diet for my UC (an inflammatory based disease) in this diet it advises home made nut flour.

  75. Hi, could you please back this up with recent references that are accessible via the web? I’m not finding supporting information for all of the points you have made here. Also, do you have a formal degree in a health, nutrition, or even chemistry? Or did you personally conduct valid scientific tests to verify this information? I sure hope the information you have posted here is accurate since you’ve obviously affected a lot of people with your post. Please understand that I’m not saying what you have posted is inaccurate, I just don’t have a reason to believe this info is accurate. There are too many blogs these days that claim something is great or terrible for you with no supporting evidence. As you can see there are a lot of opinions being tossed around in the comments section for this post and you have defended your post in many of your comments, but I haven’t seen anything concrete from your end. If you can’t back up your claims please modify or remove your post.

    • Mabey we should all remember we are all taking “advise” from a website. No offense to the person writing the artical, but, why would one read a blog and think that there would be scientific data to back up what a person says. Unless I’m reading a medical or scientifc journal, I don’t accept what I’m reading to be written by a PhD Chemisty. EVEN when it is in a medical journal, you must accept that biased may be involed. That is why we read articles and use our the brains that the good Lord gave us. We’re not being advised to drink bleach. It is okay to view a post as what works for some, even though the writer does not have the scientific data.

  76. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website.
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  77. I am so DONE with all these neurotic “dietary/nutritional” experts. And that’s saying is gently! All you guys are just trying to market yourself, sell yourself, and become the bigger, better name of the industry. One guy says food A is bad, another says food B is bad, and by the end of it, the only choices the poor people are left with in dietary choices is food X, Y, Z … and guess what! Those foods are the most horrible, tasteless and husk-like. Fine, with the current food industry standards, several items have become questionable, like milk for example. But just like food isn’t the same as it was a century ago, our bodies are also not the same! We are changing with all this, whether it be good or bad change. And let’s talk about West’s addiction to this self-righteous cleanliness. LIKE O-M-G! I grew up and lived a good part of my life in a 3rd world country and have only recently moved to the “first world”. What is wrong with people’s immunities here? Allergic to milk? To FRUIT!!!!??? Nuts!!! My God! I’ve never heard these things before. We don’t wash our veggies with “mineral water” back home. We eat street food which is probably a big NO-NO by any western standard. And we’re still fine, and don’t have all these fancy allergies! Instead of editing food groups out of your nutrition plans, I think people should concentrate more on building their immune systems. All these damn, very suspicious, vaccination systems, should be questioned. Pharmas need to be held responsible. Go out and get dirty … eat some bad bacteria!

    • Almond flour is not in the context of that study. There are still the issues of overconsumption of almonds and rancid fatty acids with almond flour.

  78. I have never ever heard of all these bad facts about almonds, exception being moderation due to fats…completely the opposite and I have studied and been through and seen through many different foods, diets and ways of eating and fasting, (culturally as well as pioneering hippies & new age) through my lifetime.
    The “Paleo/Primal” is nothing “new” except a trend and when I look at some of the recipes that have Paleo/Primal prefixed I have to shake my head; so every meal without grains, beans etc are now Paleo/Primal, I think not.
    A story which relates back to what Farrah was talking about: in the late 60’s and 70’s we were pretty much vegans (before there was such a term), we gardened, made every dang thing from scratch, sourced our food locally and organically when we could and how fortunate we were living in beautiful British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, with it’s most generous people; there was an abundance of fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, milk & honey. Needless to say, most of my time was spent in the garden, in the kitchen and sourcing for my family. Regardless of the steps I took with my children, when out, they were always getting into something and eating what I perceived as unhealthy and then getting sick, I was kind of tormented by this, thinking that they should be healthy and not get sick, but as I reflected it dawned on me that of course their immune systems had no antibodies to fight off illness (light bulb), so in my own unscientific way I surmised that we must have a certain amount of “bad” foods once in a while to help build up our immunity to assaults from foreign influences.
    A similar incident happened to a friend who was vegetarian for 30 years but was repeatedly getting colds, flu and lacking of energy, after seeing a new Dr she was told to start introducing some meat to her diet. This upset her to the point of conflicted madness, but eventually she tried it and her health greatly improved.
    The Paleo/Primal path is interesting, I am not convinced on this direction, but I am taking into consideration what is said about grains, beans and some nuts. I still tend to think eat simple, eat organic, and eat local as much as you can.
    Being and staying “healthy” in North America has, without question, become very complicated and neurotic! I cannot “stress” that more!

  79. I prefer almond flour, coconut flour seems to make me sick to my stomach and i feel bloated.

  80. I have to say, this is probably the worst “fact-based” article I have read in a long time. You’re suggesting the “PUFA” is in unhealthy quantities in our diets? Anyone who is reading this is looking for information on how to improve their diet… do you suggest trans & sat to be their new friend? Poly and mono are good fats. I’d rather have an abundace of of poly and mono, than my arteries clogged with trans & sat fats. Need I also mention the methods it takes to make almond flour? You have to separate the liquid from the meat of the nut, then bake that at a low temp to produce almond flour. Where do you think a large chunk of that fat goes anyway? You guessed it: the milk. When you consume 90+ almonds at once then yes, I will agree it probably isn’t going to do you any justice. But there is not by any means the caloric or nutritional equivalent in 1 cup of almond flour of 90 nuts. It may take 90 nuts to get there (I cannot confirm, I didn’t count them), but it is definitely not an equal. And finally, coconut flour may be great and well and good… but what is it doing in the “bad almonds” post? This seems like a opinion-based, misguidance of an article based on good words and quasi-good reputation. If you want your readers to use coconut flour because you like it, then by all means say so. I like almonds, and coconuts, as well as many other fruits, veggies, and nuts, But this article has officially misguided several information seeking individuals, hoping to get healthy, whom have now all but eliminated this wonderful item from their menu.
    To the comment about it being difficult to obtain an almond due to shell, etc… Isn’t it even more difficult to get to the inside of a coconut? Perhaps we should eliminate that as well.

    • Uh oh… it sounds like somebody needs to get their fats straight! I would suggest that you read up on your fats on Raypeat.com and also check out the book Know Your Fats as well as the book Nourishing Traditions.

  81. I think you should follow this article up with one on the reasons NOT to avoid almond flour. I understand this article is probably intended for people trying to find 1:1 replacements for traditional flour (which I agree with others and yourself is a bad idea) but I feel this article will immediately tell the general browser that “almond flour is bad for you” which is not the case. True; portioning is always a huge problem and almonds were not available in “paleo times” in the quantities people eat them in today but I applaud people for even making the step to rid themselves of wheat flour.
    I was glad to see that in the end of the article you suggested just how much almond flour is appropriate in your eyes. I just hope everyone makes it to that section and doesn’t just read the title.

  82. Saturated fat and trans fat are terrible for you. They are what clogs your arteries. Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and your omegas are good for you, in moderation of course. I’m a nurse and my best friend is a nutritionist.

    • Oh dear, you really do need to get your fats straight (and so does your nutritionist friend!). There are tons of great resources for you, including books like Nourishing Traditions and Know Your Fats.

  83. I am curious to know if you have read the blog commenting on your blog: 5 Reasons That Blog on Avoiding Almond Flour Missed the Mark
    Seems to me she kind of has a point. I agree that anything in excess can be dangerous, just like red meat, fish (mercury levels) and even spinach! For some, I do believe that almond four can be used as a viable option and I haven’t yet seen any research out there to prove the contrary. Just like using sprouted flours can be an option too. I believe its more important to listen to your body and how it responds to foods. For some almonds, or almond flour may not be right for them, for others I think it can be much much better than using commercially produced, highly processed and highly refined fours. Just my thoughts.

  84. Thanks for this info – I wondered why I was getting a hot flush after a gluten free cake made with almond flour – but then I get even worse with coconut flour PLUS badly inflamed and painful joints. ANyone who is a blood type O should avoid coconut like the plague because it is not only toxic to this blood type but increases the toxicity of other foods.

  85. To be fair, the first point is only true to a small extent. Baking made with almond flour is *very* filling compared with wheat flour. The size of a “serving” in american baking recipes is sometimes laughably big (I’ve pointed out some of them over the years to my flatmates in NZ, it’s not just me).
    Personally if I make almond flour cookies, the equivalent of 1/6 cup of almond flour is plenty for a snack, could eat equiv. of maybe 1/4 cup if I tried. (That’s 14 almonds for the flour in my cupboard). And I’d happily chew through ~20 almonds as a mid-afternoon snack.

  86. Just drink water! You’ll be skinny and so healthy. You’ll get back that innocent glow.

    As far as your other claims you sound like a quack repeating he said, she said about fat metabolism, hormone synthesis, mitochondria organelles, and so on.

    There are people that must alter their diets, people you don’t know anything about. You don’t know their age, physical condition, or anything else about them.

    For some people, healthy eating is not a fad.

  87. It seems like everyone is always in such a panic about food, and what’s good and what’s bad changes every couple of years. You have to be really obsessive to keep up with the latest information on what you “should” be eating and avoiding. “All things in moderation” is still the only good advice.

  88. I never knew this, my new diet is “Clean eating” and they do suggest either Almond or coconut but I dislike coconut flavour, so it’s difficult for me because almost every recipe I come across uses Coconut oil and flour.
    Can you uggest the next best thing?
    Also is Avocado oil better than olive?

  89. Use agar agar instead of gelatin in desserts much healthier and better resource doesn’t inbvolve killing of any animal

    If really want to be healthy eat vegetables and fruit along with grains, beans and lentils incorporate a little bit yoga you will feel better

    Yoga is taught by cavemens only so is good

  90. I have to comment, as I really dont think you understand why many people HAVE, TO USE almond flour, myself included, due to being allergic to gluten, milk and many other foods, soy another, and the list goes on… its not by choice, but because when we eat these foods, we are really really sick,

    there is a book thats called ‘breaking the vicious cycle’ that goes into great detail, as to why some of us are stabilized by specific foods, and almond or any nut flour is part of that diet, I myself have seen vast improvement, as I work through all the foods, to find out what I can and cant tolerate, being sick for a year and a half, with no real help from the medical people that works, it was a blessing to me to find this book and a group of people who are suffering similar problems,

    we are not a fad, we are the real deal, there may be some truth in that statement, as I think many folk do not clean up the rest of the diet and expect just cutting out gluten will help, and it probably will somewhat, but if your really struggling with foods, it is not the only answer…

    when your liminted to only a few foods, you dont worry about calories, or even free radicals so much, you try to combat that with other good foods you can eat, and we can barely keep wieght up, so that definately is not an issue, if your a normal person on a regular diet..then yes maybe,

    most grains are taboo to us, even porridge which I have loved for years, is not my enemy, probably always has been, but just didnt connect the dots earlier…

    your information is good, but please remember us, we would be lost without our almond flour to make us good bread, and many other things…in respect…Angela..

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I follow the Specific Carb diet outlined in Breaking The Vicious Cycle. I have an extremely limited diet, since I omit eggs, nuts and seeds from this diet. I can tell you from experience that it is not necessary to eat almond flour when one is on a very limited diet, but I can understand that almond flour bread is a welcome treat on it! Even on a limited diet, keep almond flour in small amounts.

  91. Thank you so much for this information. My daughter has an anaphylaxis reaction to peanuts and also had GI allergies to all grains. First and formost thank you for your blog and pinterest posts. I am waiting to get her tested for an allergy to coconut… she seems to detest it and that is similar to what happend with the peanut issues at first. I am going to move slowly towards GAPS because she is so young and some of the changes are so drastic that I want to fully grasp the changes before I attempt to make them. I’m hoping to heal her gut and her entire body in the process… this information is really helpful and keeps me moving in the right direction… away from whole/ real food. Thank you so much!

  92. Ohemmgee all of you people must be MISERABLE!!! This is bad for me, “a treat is a treat is a treat” how much time are y’all trying to figure out what is healthy or not.? Its obsessive, and pretty much the most unhealthy thing you could do. Life is for us to enjoy, not to NITPICK every little tiny thing. If you aren’t trying to lose a significant amount of weight (at least 30 lbs overweight) or have some kind of illness that prevents you from eating some kind of food, then just get over it. .. if the “phytic acid” in the almonds doesnt getcha, the stress and worrying will. Smh. Enjoy your life, enjoy your children. Because you WILL die one day, and do you want the only thing you n think of is that you couldve enjoyed your time on earth more? Worried abit less. Lets not forget that some people who eat the S.A.D diet never gets sick, so just by eating nutriously, u have a leg up… you are broccoli cucumbers and kale for lunch EVERY darn day this week. Have that cupcake, yes with WHITE FLOUR and EGGS *gasp* ” WHITE FLOUR AND EGGS, the ANTI-CHRIST”. be mindful of where you put your energy and the pressure you are putting on your kids when she/he can’t eat that madison and molly can. Live. Enough is enough is enough.

    • You are putting your energy into a spiteful and sarcastic comment, which is very ironic given your message. Like many of my readers, I am trying to get to a place off wellness from a place of illness. And that does require making enlightened and educated choices about our food during this time of healing.

  93. You must be kidding. There are too many holes in your “science”. I teach that coconut flour recipes are basically a farce. Since coconut flour is so terribly dry, these recipes use almost no coconut flour and a huge amount of healthy eggs to prevent dryness and hold them together. Most coconut flour pastry recipes should be called egg recipes with a bit of coconut flour added for their title. Where is the paleo human going to find the baking powder, eggs, and honey if they can’t get the almonds. Or get stung to death trying for the honey. The polyunsaturated fats that have been pressed at high temperatures like hain and spectrum oils, are indeed damaged (although in the U.S. they can be labeled cold pressed) but the oils in almond flour are more stable as they are still in the food. Over cooked salmon for example, loaded with omega 3’s, somehow protects them from most of the heat damage. Where did paleo humans get the butternut squash or the gelatin for the squash recipe? I agree with you that foods like breads, muffins and cakes should be greatly reduced if not eliminated, but if they are consumed, I have seen great benefits with the almond flour versions so long as the super high fructose (even higher than high fructose corn syrup) agave nectar is NEVER used. Yacon syrup is a good but costly alternative. I stopped eating bread years ago but I have hundreds of familys whose health is now back to where it had fallen from, and for many the almond flour cookbook has been very helpful during the transition and for special occasions.

  94. Also, salycites are in almonds, so if you have a child on Feingold diet, and you note that child reacts to other foods, preservatives and colors, you’d need to avoid almonds. I love them, and used them for our also GF life-style, but had to quit. Sigh.

  95. I found this article randomly. You would be more convincing if you didn’t start comparing polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats. Obviously you only believe in specific research (if you even LOOK at real research instead of biased websites) to support your own biased viewpoint. It’s well known that saturated fats are bad for you since they clog arteries and increase your chances of heart disease; while polyunsaturated fats are considered “good fats” since they don’t do this. Most American diets are “overburdened” by saturated fats than polyunsaturated fats. Even though not all saturated fats are the same, you generalize information about saturated fats in order to “support” your skewed support for coconut flour.

      • There is so much wrong information on this Harvard Medical page that it is very disturbing, especially where they talk about omega-6 fatty acids. I post this for the benefit of others who may use this link and suffer for their ignorance about fats. If you want to know WHY the science behind mainstream institutions is not necessarily trustworthy, and how the whole dogma of saturated fat being bad for you is completely wrong, read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Then read Know Your Fats by Mary Enig. The original “science” behind the saturated fat scare came primarily from Ancel Keys, whose so-called research used TRANS FAT, not saturated fat. Heart disease has only increased over the past 40 years, since Americans were told to switch to polyunsaturated vegetable oils; unsaturated means they have molecular bonds that are not occupied (by hydrogen) and are therefore easily oxidized (an oxygen molecule fills the void) and are therefore rancid soon after processing. This leads to inflammation, which leads to atherosclerotic plaques. American diets ARE overburdened by omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and sugar. Heart disease used to be rare in the days when people consumed saturated fat like butter, tallow and lard. Saturated fat is protective and necessary for proper cell formation. One example is the surfactant that coats our lungs, which is made only from saturated fatty acids. (Perhaps the reason so many more cases of asthma, these days??) Saturated fats DO NOT ClOG your arteries, and yes are good for you and necessary. After thousands of hours of reading up on this, I have yet to find a single study proving that saturated fat clogs arteries. Do your homework, look at all the studies, find out more about the history behind modern oils, and diets, and you will find out how big business has a lot to lose when people find out how unhealthy canola, soy, corn, and cottonseed oils are. We all have access to so much information these days thanks to the internet, there is no excuse for ignorance. Yes, looking at REAL research is exactly right.

  96. wow there are some really strong and also some diverse opinions here and I think that’s really interesting. For me I am on a GF diet and allow myself almond or hazelnut flour in baking moderately. I try to keep sugary sweet treats to a minimum generally and try to have a well rounded savory diet of fruits, vegetables and lean meats and fish. I do eat rice, gf pasta now and then and love potatoes but don’t have ulcerative colitis so it works for me but probably not for you guys. I know our food has changed over the years and what our ancestors once ate and what we now eat are very different due to chemicals and other lab induced rubbish in products and everyone is paranoid about cancer, radicals, how to live longer and better, how to cure illnesses with food etc. and that’s ok too.. in moderation. But I also think psychology and mindset play a huge roll. My mum and nana used to say “a little bit of what you fancy does you good” I guess you can take this either literally or psychologically. If we are happy and positive, if we are balanced and have the things or knowledge/ability to calm the mind and settle the soul that will also do us good. Too much paranoia, stress and worry and constant reliance on internet sources for medical solutions will not do you good. A LOT of my intestinal issues are made worse ten fold by anxiety, stress and worry and also paranoia. If we take time to do yoga, to meditate and to think positively and remember to enjoy life not worry about every bite of food we take our bodies will also be ready to heal aided with a healthy diet. I don’t believe diet alone will heal any illness. The power is in the mind and learning how to deal with your thoughts, insecurities and anxiety will also influence and improve the general overall health of your body. If you prepare a really healthy meal but don’t think it will taste nice or it won’t work wonders to improve your health then it won’t. Negative energy can also upset how our bodies react to even healthy food. Our bodies are like Yin and Yan or the four humours, everything has to be in balance so it works as a whole. If the mind isn’t right the body won’t be either. So I think sometimes people put too much hope and have too many expectations on blogs, websites and the latest diets to change their lives around. If you want to seek help, do your own research like Lauren, find out what issues you have and how you can help yourself without relying on the internet too much to guide you. It is useful for information but there is only so much it can do and it won’t cure everyone. Lauren is sharing her experiences about what works for her and doesn’t claim to be a doctor or expert and others may agree and find her advice helps them. But it may not help others and that’s ok too. Take it in and think about it and if it doesn’t sound right then ignore it. Don’t waste your time and energy in trying to prove one another wrong or this and that theory doesn’t work and slating each other because that negative energy won’t help you at all. I think we need to remember that how we feel and how we think will also affect our health so spend a little more time doing something fun rather than worrying about all the bad things in the world. Be thankful you are alive and have limbs that work and voices that can be heard and ears that can listen. There are people far worse off. I find every now and then watching this video reminds me of how I should be living my life. I hope everyone finds their balance, their perfect diets and their health improves either with or without almond flour!
    http://thesecret.tv/

  97. Good post. I have had rheumatoid arthritis for 15 plus years and done much research on nutrition trying to find help. Documentaries, books, and the internet are all good sources for this. But recently (the last twelve months) I found what works for me and I am off all the medications and supplements and feel great. Tylenol helps with the aches and pains of damage already done and old age but no other medicine is needed. All thanks to a whole foods, plant based diet and exercise life style. The benefits and good side effects are miraculous. A good easy book to get anyone started on this is Rip Ellelstyns’ “The Engine 2 Diet. A quick study on nutrition and many Great recipes like those discussed here. More recipes and info at http//.drmcdougall.com . Good health.

  98. This paleo thing….grains are bad IF you eat really clean veggies and lower glycemic fruits.
    Exercise, eat plants, grains, veggies, breath, coconut oils in moderate amounts, and no meat..
    has worked for ever.

  99. Just because you sprinkle some good looking statistics surrounded by what is considered modern logical thinking when it comes to food does not make you right. It is this exact type of thinking that got us all sick and unhealthy to begin with.

    The entire concept of food is so warped by the money making food companies who is to know what is goo theses days. but i will say this. I have never been healthier since i stopped eating factory made wheat bred and started eating large quantity of Almond bread.

    I therefore will not and cannot believe your jumble of words to have any meaning or fact.

    I do however like coconut flower bread so WAAAAAA

  100. Personally I HATE coconut flour. Its flavor is overwhelming even in small quantities. I use almond flour when I bake. I like the flavor and the texture it lends to baked goods.
    I know many people who could sit down and eat a bowl of almonds in a sitting. It is far better then a bowl of M&M’s.

  101. Hi there,

    I bought in bulk almond flour before I came across this article! What should I do with the almond flour – are there any recipes that I can make using almond flour that won’t kill me? I don’t want to throw away the almond flour aswell- it was very expensive to buy…..
    Please advise,

    Thanks

  102. Hi Lauren, Just wanted to thank you for this article. I have Celiac and I’m primal, so I was using quite a bit of almond flour and coconut flour when baking. I had been getting some mild digestive issues and some breakouts along my jawline. I just thought it was part of perimenopause. But after reading this article, I decided to cut back on almond flour, and my symptoms cleared up. I still use a little almond flour, just very limited now, as I think I may be a bit sensitive to it. But, if if wasn’t for your article I would not have even discovered this. So, I use mostly coconut flour now, and small amounts of almond flour. This really helped me. Thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Stacey

  103. I have celiac disease and went gluten free for a year, my blood was awesome but I decided to find a way to eat more clean and skip the vitamins to see if my skin would improved. It was when I decided to test paleo recipes. I was having a cross reaction to sorghum and millet flours since I am also allergic to wheat. So I decided to try some recipes with coconut and almond flour. Well, after 3 months on Paleo without taking vitamins or iron my red cells dropped, the same with calcium levels, energy levels dropped, I got pimples on almond flour, I gained weight and fat got stored around my hips. 🙁 Then I decided to go against what is said in these Paleo pages and count the calories and check fat grams and for my surprise 1 slice of paleo almond flour bread has 18 g of fat and 215 calories!
    I agree with you about eating with moderation. And I would add to do not stick to any fad diet like Paleo radically, it won’t make you skinnier as some blogs say. It has too much fat, is low in carbs which can make you lack in energy levels specially if you an athlete. Coconut flour tastes good with chocolate muffins, but lots of pale recipes have too much coconut oil and too many calories.
    I don’t know if the excess of fibers from coconut flour make you absorb less ingredients or what…When I stayed only with almond flour, I gained weight.
    I had acne and pimples on my back with almond flour, and after I tried to have millet or sorghum flour again I had even more. On coconut flour I was fine. I am not allergic to almonds.
    From my experience what I would recommend is, if you are celiac and using coconut flour, don’t skip the vitamins! Be careful with almond flour, it has lots of calories. And Paleo recipes just because they sound healthier it doesn’t mean that is truth that you will look super skinny as the pictures people are using on memes on Facebook to promote weight loss through Paleo. Lots of these recipes have a lot of fat and for me didn’t improve my blood, it only got worst in 4 months trying to stay away from vitamin pills.
    Thanks for clarifying about almond flour, and for everybody comments. I got some reactions too as many have posted here. BTW, I am not allergic to almonds. I am going to continue to apply to my recipes what I learned from Paleo cooking, but from now on brown rice flour and brown rice are back to my diet. Coconut flour once and while, almond flour too. Coconut oil only smaller amounts different from recipes in books or posted in some loose weight eating Paleo blogs.

  104. Oh my goodness! ! ! Too bad we can’t just eat like we did in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. We were thin, active, and healthy….now people are obese, sedentary, and unhealthy. Those truly were the good old days. Ate what we wanted without worry! I miss them.

  105. You say “Imagine sitting down and mindfully eating 33 almonds at one meal.” I do it all the time when I grab a 1.5 oz bag of almonds for lunch. 22 almonds is a one ounce serving, so 33 is a serving and a half – not an outrageous amount at all.

  106. A friend recently gave me 4 (16 oz) bags of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour, that expires April 2014. After googling “shelf life of Almond Meal”, I found your website. I didn’t find out if she had stored it in the refrigerator, but after reading your posts, figure that by the time the bag hit the grocery shelf, it had already begun to oxidize? I was going to start adding a tablespoon to our fruit smoothies for protein. Is it better that I just put it in the compost – figuring that it is a plant, and the compost will take care of it, better than my family.. I will appreciate your advice!

  107. Thank you for this. It explains the problems I had with joint pains when I tried using a lot of almond flour on a low carb ketogenic diet. In the past cutting out sugar and grains always helped any joint pains, but this time my joints were getting worse and worse the longer I did the diet.
    I changed back to conventional eating and the pains went away. I gradually realised that almonds were the problem. I shall have another try at Paleo, and try including a little coconut flour – though I’ve had some doubts about whether coconut also causes some joint problems for me. Time will tell.

    • Interesting comment on the joint pain that reminded me about the problems my husband had with various diets…
      until we discovered that he has chronic gout! Gout is exacerbated by purines- chemicals contained in Mushrooms, which I used in cooking vegetarian for him……as well as meat, shellfish, chicken-basically all meat and salt water seafood. He has lost most of the bone inside his ankles and feet-the bone has been replaced by gouty tophi- kind of like cysts…..the bones look OK, but they are hollow…..if you get joint pain from changing your diet, you might want to check for chronic gout, which is not common.

  108. So if this also applies to almond milk as well and there are still no coconut milk beverages without carrageenan, what do you suggest we drink? I looked into hemp milk, but the carrageenan free option is sweetened. Any advice on the safest non-sweetened “milk” to use in coffee and smoothies?

  109. Thanks for this info! My fiance is gluten free (it’s only been a few months) and I’m experimenting with GF flours. So far I like the Trader Joe’s GF all-purpose flour but the info on almond flour is eye-opening!

  110. I use both almond and coconut flour in baking and my issue with only using coconut flour is the number of eggs the recipes require. For example, a coconut flour pancake recipe calls for 1/4 cup coconut flour and 4-6 eggs! Any tips for using fewer eggs and still getting the desired results?

  111. A 6th reason…
    It is very difficult to find organic almond flour commercially unless you’re willing to pay through the nose!! Almonds are one of the most pesticide-laden foods on the planet unless certified otherwise.
    I have similar ‘beef’ with primal/paleo folks using bacon as a staple – grassfed/pastured, organic bacon is incredibly expensive and can only be justified as an occasional treat unless you’re made of mulla. This means that there are countless primal/paleo devotees using factory farmed bacon as a staple!!! Can’t think of much worse!!!

  112. I’m curious as to what you think of Almond Milk? Does it fall in the same category as Almond Flour?
    This is very interesting.

  113. Lauren,

    I am not sure where you got your information to write this story, however it has a lot of bad information. First of all, Almonds have never, nor can they now create or change anyone’s perception about anything. Not possible, it is a seed. It has no reasoning skills and will bever, even if you believe in evolution. Secondly, for those who are diabetics, it is a great low carb-hi protein-high fiber food. It’s considered good food for the brain, and although high in fat, it is good fats for the heart. Almonds are NOT listed as a vascular inflammatory. (Previous information is based on my education by my Cardiologist and diabetic nutritionist) I could go on about the benefits of almonds. There is not one bad thing, I can come up with about almonds except the price. It is exponentially better than the hybridized flour we eat and have been eating for decades (want to know why so many people are diabetic? That’s a good place to start looking). Your attack on almonds is uninformed and unwarranted. I have an appointment, or is go on, I expect you get my point! -Dan.

    • Well, you obviously disagree with me but I still strongly support my points here and my research. The fatty acid profile of almonds, especially when consumed in high amounts in almond flour baked goods, has great inflammatory potential. I do not believe almond flour is a healthy choice for anyone, especially diabetics who should carefully balance their fatty acid intake.

    • Well said, Dan, and well supported by science. A randomized 12-week study in China found that almonds reduced inflamation in patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

    • Here’s a bad thing about almonds, HIGH in salicylates. Like mentioned in the article. I understand if you don’t know what that means or it is not a problem for you it may need seem like a bad thing. But I assure you IT IS BAD! Not bad for all… just for those that can’t tolerate high salicylates. One man’s food is another man’s poison.

  114. It doesn’t really make much sense to me why Julie Daniluk who wrote the book ‘Meals that Heal Inflammation’ would include almond flour in her recipes that are designed to heal inflammation if almond flour causes as much inflammation as this article would suggest that it does. I understand everything in moderation but it doesn’t add up that someone who wrote a book that so many people in the real food/ Paleo/ GAPS community knows and worships would design her recipes to do the opposite of the book’s focus.

  115. Good information. I’m new to Paleo. I haven’t used the almond flour much…I’m not thrilled with the texture. I haven’t found many recipes for coconut flour. I’m trying not to give into temptation to do too many desserts but I really need my brownies once in awhile! LOL…. I have one batch in the oven right now… no flour at all… we’ll see how it turns out! I like your blog.

  116. I have been using almond flour the last 5 years as part of my low carb diet, and I lost 75 lbs and kept it off, and my blood work and health are perfect! I think anything is bad for you if you eat too much of it. We dont bake often, but when I do, I mix almond flour with coconut flour. There may be a few slight downfalls, but it is MUCH better than using gluten and carb filled flours. Unfortunately, the coconut flour just doesnt have the right consistency to use JUST coconut flour, everything would turn out very dense. Almonds also aid in preventing heart disease…I think the benefits outweigh the bad on this one. 🙂

  117. Great post! What about when on the GAPS Diet? Dr NCB recommends baked goods to be made of almond flour and honey. What are your thoughts on this?

  118. This article has peaked me interested, but hasn’t given me, specifically the answer I am looking for. Some reason, make sense though. Whenever I eat almond flour, be it a whole cookie, a muffin or even half of either the next day I am stuffed and cant breath through my nose, its constantly then running, I feel tight in my chest and I feel crappy (almost like sick) but I am not. I have tested it with almond flour baked goods 5 times, each resulting in this the next morning. BUT I am fine with almonds, milk, butter. Any insight?? once after a whole muffin and a bit more it lasted 3-4 days. I was thinking it may be moldy?

  119. This article caught my eye. I am sad to read this in one way because I love making things with almond flour. However, I recently discovered that I need to follow at low oxalate diet because I’ve been developing kidney stones. Thanks so much for the link to the yahoo group. I have joined and hope to find some help and answers there. P.s. I found your site through the oil cleansing method post, have been doing that for a few weeks and love it. Thanks!

  120. I was wondering has anyone tried yellow pea flour. I heard it had a low glycemic index. Would it be a better alternative?

  121. Interesting article…..I use combinations of Almond, Coconut and Tapioca Flour…….not sure what to substitute for the almond flour in all my recipes I have collected this past year…..any suggestions?
    I Enjoy your Blog so much….Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  122. I am overwhelmed by this post.
    My favorite cake is the Orange and almond cake
    Last night I made big one with lots of love.
    What should I do? 🙁

    • Eat it and enjoy it with relish! It’s Christmas Eve today, the season for treats and celebration. But do keep this post in mind when you are making treats for the rest of the year. Save the almond flour stuff for the special occasions, because it should be consumed with moderation 🙂

  123. PUFAs decrease the production of inflammatory mediators (eicosanoids, cytokines, and reactive oxygen species) and the expression of adhesion molecules. They act both directly (eg, by replacing arachidonic acid as an eicosanoid substrate and inhibiting arachidonic acid metabolism) and indirectly (eg, by altering the expression of inflammatory genes through effects on transcription factor activation)

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/6/S1505.full

    • Thanks for telling me about this post. I think this blogger and I share the same passion: we want to tell people about the healing power and food and encourage them to choose foods optimal for their health. But, from my research and my experience working with individuals with inflammation and gut disorders, nuts and seeds are usually problematic and often drastically slow down healing (in part, because they are consumed in large amounts from baked goods). As you can see from her post, her opinion is that the amount of almond flour in baked goods is not excessive. I believe that it is excessive, because the anti-nutrient aspects of almonds outweigh the nutrient value when the fats are denatured by baking. I would point her to these posts on the omega 3 and 6 profiles: http://chriskresser.com/how-too-much-omega-6-and-not-enough-omega-3-is-making-us-sick, http://paleoleap.com/are-nuts-and-seeds-healthy/

  124. Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for this great read. I am going to go out and get some almond flour tomorrow! However, when I did make almond flour I made it from the almond meal I had left over after making almond milk. I would imagine this is quite nutritionally different than almond flour made from simply ground almonds as some of the fat and calories and even enzyme inhibitors of the almonds ends up in the milk and not the flour. I would appreciate your thoughts on this? 🙂

    Thanks for your great blog.

    • If the milk was made from almonds soaked overnight in salted water, this deactivates many of the enzyme inhibitors that will be present in the milk and pulp flour. It still leaves the other problems, however. I would still use it only occasionally 🙂

  125. Interesting read – I wanted to ask if the same applies to almond milk? I have almond milk most days but I’m not sure if it’s a good substitute to cows milk…

    Many thanks.

  126. Considering the air we breath, and the water we drink are both contaminated, alllll this fuss over eating this because it’s better than that is a bunch of nonsense. The basics: ANYTHING that comes in a box, bottle, bag or can is not food…..it’s convenience, period. Heck, the ground we grow our food in is contaminated for Pete’s sake. Food, any kind of food in “moderation” is okay. My Grandmother lived to be 100 and this was her motto. She ate something sweet everyday, and drank her coffee strong! Call me ignorant but putting SO much time and energy into what one eats is crazy! We are given one life and to spend each minute of it worrying about what we ingest is cutting it short. Everything in moderation……….

  127. If we listened to all the people saying don’t eat this, don’t eat that, we would not eat anything.

    I bake tarts and cakes and often use almonds in all their various forms. I make my own marzipan, my own macarons, etc etc etc and I just don’t care.
    Hell if the Marlboro Lights don’t get me, it’ll be a truck, or a meteor, or Putin.

    The well known Health Benefits of Almonds:

    They reduce heart attack risk.
    Those who consume nuts five times a week have about a 50 percent reduction in risk of heart attack.
    They lower ‘bad’ cholesterol.
    Almonds added to the diet have a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels.
    They protect artery walls from damage.
    The flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E, reducing the risk of heart disease.
    Almonds help build strong bones and teeth.
    The phosphorus in almonds helps make this possible.
    They provide healthy fats and can aid in weight loss.
    Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts.
    Those who eat nuts at least two times per week are 31 percent less likely to gain weight than those who never or seldom eat them in a study involving 8,865 adults.
    Almonds lower levels in blood sugar and insulin after meals.
    They help provide good brain function.
    Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
    They nourish the nervous system.
    They alkalize the body.
    Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming. When your body is not.

    So, thank you very much, BUT I will continue to eat almonds and I’ll die with a smile on my face.

  128. For perspective 90 almonds to 1 cup, pizza crust recipe calling for 1.5 cups making 12 servings… 90 x 1.5 = 135 /12 =11.25 almonds per slice (22.5 per 2) as long as you are not eating baked goods every day and are not eating the entire finished product I believe it is reasonable for a splurge (which baked goods are) … It is true that you must be mindful however, just because something is ”healthier” does not mean it is not in moderation. There are pros and cons to every food , you have to find a healthy balance that works for you.

  129. I can’t eat almonds so have been using coconut flour for a while now. I’ve always envied those who can eat it but now after your article, I feel better. Coconut flour is good but it doesn’t always taste wonderful in baked goods. I’ve slowly built up a collection of good coconut flour recipes but it’s taken time. Here in South Africa, coconut flour is cheaper than almond flour.

    Do seeds have the same affects as almonds on your digestion? I can’t afford nuts so eat seeds but I find after I eat them, I get the digestive problems I had before I went on paleo. Was just wondering if they had the same PUFA’s and enzyme inhibitors. I also have to watch what I eat because of hypo-thyroidism. Should I stop the seeds or maybe cut down on them significantly?

  130. I am a little confused what is so bad about the first point you made. Thirty-three almonds or not, that is only 231 calories for your entire meal. That’s not bad and you would have consumed a healthy one at that!

  131. Okay so, I am a bonafide almond flour fan but I am still very impressed by your article and glad I came across it!
    I love that you realize that there are two sides to every coin, and that you have recognised the pro’s, as well of the con’s of almond flour. Well done!

  132. I have spent the last two years fighting kidney stones. I am positive it is because I ate many baked goods every day (sandwich rolls, muffins, etc) made with almond flour. Almond flour is one food that is extremely high in oxalates. My kidney stones are calcium oxalate. Wish I had know this before having to have three surgeries for kidney stones in two years. Will never cook with Almond flour again. I still have seven stones left.

    • Thanks for your comment. I am new to Paleo and the use of Almond flour.
      I to have had Kidney stones but not a severe as you had.
      I found along the way (my own research) to drink Lemon with water first
      thing in the morning. If it is a large lemon, I use half of it and whole lemon
      if small. If I run out of lemons, I use Apple Cider vinegar. It’s good to rotate
      anyway. This flushes out you liver and keeps Kidney stones at bay.
      and of coarse, always remember to rinse with a mixture of water and baking soda after to
      break the acid in your mouth, thus saving your teeth. I keep a bottle of the mix on my
      bathroom sink.
      Thanks again for in lighting me about Almond flour.

  133. I hope this will help someone — I just found a really good deal on coconut flour! It’s a 25 pound bag for $30! It’s normally $72.50 but it’s on sale now for $40 and there is a $10 coupon I found on their facebook page, and shipping is free. The cheapest I found it anywhere else is like $4.50 per pound, but most of it is more than that.

    https://store.nutiva.com/coconut-flour/
    coupon code FB17FAN-85

    • wow, thanks for the heads up about the Nutiva coconut flour! what a steal! I won’t have to buy flour for a year now!! 🙂

  134. You state that almonds have polyunsaturated fats. I did my own quick research on that and found every other website that I came across said that almonds have predominately monounsaturated fats. So I’m not convinced your information about almonds is correct. I do, however, believe you shouldn’t have too much of anything, that includes almonds.

  135. There are so many GOOD reasons to eat almonds though!
    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20

    I think it would be pretty narrow-minded to cut them completely out of your diet for these 5 reasons you listed. It is still better than wheat flour and is good for those on low carb diets. People with diabetes could eat almond flour cookies instead of wheat flour cookies.

    • I am not recommending that individuals cut almonds completely out of their diet – did you read the article? This pertains to almond flour, specifically for the reasons listed. Almonds certainly can be part of a balanced diet, but my point is that frequent consumption of almond flour baked goods is not a balanced diet.

  136. Hi Lauren, I liked what your article points out about almond flour. However, after reading the precautions you listed, I am hesitant to want to use any nut/seed flour for all the same reasons. Do you feel that your 5 concerns pertain only to Almonds or would the “new” attention to sunflower seed flour also warrant the same concerns. Also, I’d like to add that I liked the comment about “Paleo _____” pretty much means its not Paleo. I see that people want to eat the same things as before but without the grains, but that is not true simple Paleo, even if you replace it with a non-grain substitute. Lastly, I read that some feel that no caveman would have ground up almonds and used it to make food. That makes sense, but similarly, no caveman would have ground up coconut flour or any other item. I guess I wonder where you draw the line. If ground up isn’t paleo, than it doesn’t matter if its almonds, dates, coconut or sunflower seeds, you have made all flour alternatives and anything ground up un-paleo. The nature of the diet in my opinion is to find your strengths in proteins and whole fruits/veggies. And it seems no matter what grain free alternative you use you will be creating some other problem instead of just avoiding the issues with gluten. Im left wondering if there is any safe alternative to bake with? I do enjoy this website and am happy to find so many points of views being shared.

    • I don’t think it is necessary to eat exactly as a caveman, so I don’t have a problem with creating almond flour or coconut flour 🙂 I think that a Paleo diet in general is healthy because it is anti-inflammatory and rich in nutrients. And yes, these points do apply to other nut/seed flours.

  137. Your hands must be pretty tiny for one BIG handful to only be 11 almonds. You are taking a perfectly healthy food and attempting to make it seem toxic. Get your facts straight. All individuals are not the same.

    Polyunsaturated fats are great for health because they help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Evidence also shows that they can help prevent and even help TREAT autoimmune diseases such as lupus. The body NEEDS omega-6 and omega-3, two essential fats that the body CANNOT produce on its own. Omega-6 and omega-3 also play important roles in brain function and development. Polyunsaturated fats are the BEST type of fats for health just so you know. And let me just include that The American heart Association (not Paleoleap) encourages that about 25% to 35% of the calories you take in per DAY should be fats (mostly monounsaturated or POLYunsaturated). Please don’t try to doctor the public if you’re not completely informed on what you’re discussing

    Sources:
    Myself
    http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Polyunsaturated-Fats_UCM_301461_Article.jsp -American Heart Association

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Truth-about-fats.shtml -Harvard Health

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fat/art-20045550 -Mayo Clinic

    • Hi!

      To my knowledge (working in a lab researching fatty acids in food), most of what you mention about Omega 3 & 6 is true. Some minor adjustments:

      – Your body needs both types of fatty acids, but needs no more than 4 times the amount of omega 6 than omega 3 to be able to use the good fatty acids in the omega 3 in the right way.
      – Our western diet is relatively rich on omega 6 (sunflower oil, for example), but not so rich on omega 3. Therefore, it’s the trick not to eat to much omega 6 to prevent problems with the balance with omega 3.

  138. Hi Lauren,

    Can you please point me to the studies that link almond flour to inactivating enzymes. I can’t seem to find the studies anywhere. Thanks.

    Rachel

  139. Rachel–if you read this, check out any research on phytic acid–that will give you the info you need about nuts and seeds you’re looking for.

    Lauren, from my research, it looks like blanching of the almonds and removing of their skins removes the phytic acid, so the almond flour is not blocking nutrient uptake. of course raw, soaked nuts and seeds have even more health properties…

    thanks for your site–i just signed up!
    warmly, katy

  140. You lead off your article stating that a cup of almond flour contains about 90 almonds. Assuming you are attempting to put almonds into a context – how many individual grains of wheat are in a cup of wheat flour ?

    Further, you discussed enzyme inhibitors inherent in almonds, however in proper context, this is also true of many seed/nut/grain bering plants. It is the case that many plants contain protease inhibitors in order to prevent / discourage animals, insects and humans, from eating them ?

    Save for berries and fruit – It seems we face a gauntlet of dangers in any plant food derived diet ?

  141. I have used both coconut flour and almond flour. My family seems to like the taste of the almond flour better. I mix the almond and coconut flours when I am baking. Sometimes I mix in the flaxseed meal. If I were to remove the almond flour for once in a while use, what can I mix with the coconut flour as a substitute for the almond flour to take away the coconutty taste and give a decent texture to baked goods?

  142. Too much of anything is just not good for the body! I made a gluten free banana bread using almond flour and after a slice, I felt like I ate a huge amount of nuts. It was really heavy and my body didn’t agree with it. I also thought it didn’t do well for my digestive system. Those dairy-free “cheesecake” with a whole lot of ground raw cashews is also baffling. Nuts overload!

  143. Hi Lauren – I realize this is about almond flour (I’m nut free), but what is your take on baking/cooking with flaxmeal (fresh)? I read or heard that we shouldn’t be heating flax but everyone is chowing on the minute muffin and using it in other bread type recipes. Perhaps you don’t use it if you are following GAPS or SCD but thought I’d ask your opinion anyway.

    Thanks for all the recipes!

  144. I noticed that you use coconut quite heavily in your recipes. I have a coconut allergy, and if almond flour is not a good option do you have any other thing that I can substitute?

    Thanks!

  145. Your first point bothers me, unless I am reading it wrong. Having 30 some almonds is not that uncommon. I make myself snack packs of almonds only containing one serving and according to packaging, that is approximately 28=30 almonds. So if you eat one serving of those almond flour pancakes, you are essentially eating only one serving of almonds–I do not see the problem there. Eating 4 servings of the pancakes is a bit much, but so is 4 servings of flour pancakes. I think your logic here is flawed and the warning not supported by it. If anything, your math only proves that one serving is maybe 5 almonds or 35 calories from a single serving of raw almonds.

I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

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