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I'm not sure where to post this, but I just finished my first Whole 30 and I was feeling pretty good, except that I was having a few annoying GI/skin issues.  I ignored the problems, as overall I was feeling energetic.  Then I gave my 1 year old some cashew butter (he had had it before) and he had a full blown allergic reaction with face swelling and hives.  We had him tested and he is, in fact, allergic to cashews.  This led me to do some reading about cashews and allergies and what I found out was pretty surprising.  For instance, cashews are right behind peanuts in allergy potential and contain several irritant compounds, that if not processed out completely can cause some serious reactions even in those without a true "allergy".  Cashews are members of the same family as poison ivy, oak and sumac.  After reading further I realized that my lingering GI issues and a rather embarrassing dematitis (rash) are consistent with a sensitivity to cashews.  

 

So my question for you the creators and forum is, if we are trying to eliminate all causes of inflammation, even potential causes, why is the cashew allowed and even encouraged in the Whole30?  I ended up not eliminating inflammation from my body, but as a person who was pretty healthy with no GI issues (just needed to eliminate that nasty sugar habit), I actually ended up inducing a good amount of inflammation into my body.  Directly counter to the intended goal of the program.  To say I am disappointed after 30 days of eating clean would be an understatement.

 

Here's the information I found:

http://www.phadia.com/en/Products/Allergy-testing-products/ImmunoCAP-Allergen-Information/Food-of-Plant-Origin/Seeds--Nuts/Cashew-nut-/

 

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I'm sorry you've had this experience on your Whole30.

 

Whole30 eliminates the items the creators found to be the most common causes of inflammation and the things most people are most likely to be sensitive to, but doesn't eliminate every single thing that could possibly cause issues for every single person, because it couldn't. Everything could possible cause problems for someone somewhere. Eggs, for example, are something that cause problems for a fair number of people, but many others eat them with no problems. If you find something that you are sensitive to, you should clearly leave that out, even if it is allowed on a Whole30.

 

Nuts of any kind, including cashews, are not necessarily "encouraged." They are allowed, but nuts and seeds are recommended to be limited, because they are often problematic for people, for multiple reasons, including that they often cause digestive distress, not to mention that their omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is not ideal, and many people find them to be "food without brakes," meaning they have trouble limiting their portions. If you read through the forums, you'll find many posts where people are encouraged to cut back on or even eliminate nuts, because if people come here and post their foods and say they're having GI and skin issues, and we notice they have been consuming nuts often, that's the first thing we'll usually say to eliminate.

 

On a more positive note, you have now found that you have a sensitivity to cashews, and you know to limit or completely eliminate them. Part of the point of a Whole30 is to discover which foods work best for you, to keep you feeling your very best. I do understand that you're disappointed that you didn't get the results you were hoping for from your 30 days, but I would encourage you, if you do another Whole30 or continue on now, to please keep track of your foods (either here on the forum or with a pen and paper, or on Instagram, whatever you're comfortable with) and if you notice you're not feeling great, please post a few days' worth of your food and water intake, exercise, and sleep, and let us help you figure out what tweaks you could make to hopefully make your experience better.

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Like Shannon has already pointed out, it is literally impossible to remove every single potential allergen. Eggs are one of the top 8 most allergenic foods, but they're also a nutrient-dense real food and there are a lot of compelling reasons to include them in your diet. Nightshades can also be inflammatory in certain individuals and this is why they're eliminated in more restrictive protocols like the Autoimmune Protocol which eliminates all nuts, seeds, seed-based spices, eggs, and nightshades. Some people are allergic to poultry, some can't digest red meat, people are allergic to foods like onion, garlic, carrots, and the list goes on.

 

The goal of Whole30 is to build a diet around foods which promote health. Outside of individuals with nut allergies, nuts are an acceptable food to include, but that doesn't mean that you can eat them with abandon. The same goes for other foods like coconut. Coconut oil is a fantastic fat to include in your diet, but too much can cause GI upset and some individuals are wholly intolerant to coconut products. Same goes for fibrous veggies. Vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are good for you, but increasing your consumption too quickly can lead to gas and/or constipation and, again, some folks don't tolerate these foods in any way. This is where it becomes important to know your own reactions to food and to make a decision on whether or not to incorporate a food into your post-Whole30 life and, if so, how often.

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I am on day 25 and about day 15 I started craving cashews like crazy.  I have eaten so many of them and now I feel absolutely terrible!  I thought since I was craving them that I might need something in them, but now I am worried.

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I am on day 25 and about day 15 I started craving cashews like crazy.  I have eaten so many of them and now I feel absolutely terrible!  I thought since I was craving them that I might need something in them, but now I am worried.

 

When you have a craving like this, you might be better served to think about what that food might have in it that you might be craving, rather than just giving in to the craving indiscriminately.

 

Cravings for nuts could mean you need magnesium, or it could be that you're not getting enough fat, or it might be that you're not eating enough in general and your body is just wanting a quick way to get calories and nutrients.

 

I see you've asked this same question in another topic, for the sake of clarity, maybe go back to that topic, and list what you've been eating for a few days, including approximate serving sizes, as well as exercise, sleep, and water intake, and maybe we can help you figure out what might be going on.

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