Addicted to nuts?

Ask Bitten Jonsson

Do you have a hard time controlling cravings for food – in particular sweet or processed foods? Do you experience lack of control over your eating?

Our addiction expert Bitten Jonsson, RN, know a lot about how to get back into control. Here are three member questions answered by her. For example, can you become addicted to eating nuts?

Common Side Effects During Detoxing

Good morning from Julie in New Zealand¨

I have always been a ‘junkfood junkie’ and have realised over the last 6-8 months that my sugar levels caused me to smell like ammonia. I have watched all your videos on sugar addiction and recognised myself as an addict. I have been having no sugar at all in the last ten days unless by accident (silly things like eating beetroot thinking of it as a veggie rather than sugar!).

I have always been afflicted by CFS and for the last ten years fibromyalgia as well which I manage pretty well but am hoping that my ‘addiction’ has been adding to the problem. My problem is that I am having hot flushes without the redness, it feels more like I have the flu and extreme fatigue in my muscles.

I have lost 2.6 kg in the first five days (during which I was accidentally still getting a bit of sugar) and since then absolutely nothing except these awful symptoms. I am not going to go back to my old ways but is this a common side effect of detoxing from sugar? As I am 55 years old and premenopausal it is probable I think that there is some serious detoxing to be done.

It is just nice to know that this is normal:) If I go to the doctor he is likely to say weeellll you are 55 and these are just hot flushes but in my googling it always says you get a flush of red all over and that is simply not what is happening here. I always feel goosepimply after the heat wave.

Boy what a long waffly question….sorry Bitten. I look forward to your thoughts.

Kind regards,

PS. I perhaps should mention that I am 85 kilos and aiming to lose 13 kilos still.


I really can relate to what you say. I had that. And I am so impressed with what you have done, great job ☺

The heat waves can of course be hot flushes from menopause and the sugar was masking them before, but it is a very common problem when detoxing. If it does not diminish in 3 months after being detoxed you need to check it out further. But if you try hormones do try bio-identical hormones. There may also be nutritional imbalances and a volatile blood sugar.

Keep a log of when they appear, how strong, how long they last and see if you can figure out some pattern. After coffee? If you are stressed etc. There can be things you can do to reduce them. Usually they will go away once your body is balanced. Go for it ☺


12 Step Groups Not Working

Hi Bitten,
Are there any support groups that are not 12 step that you know of and can recommend? 12 step has not worked well for me and I wonder about the science after reading this article:

I wonder if the drugs they mention could also help with sugar addiction. Also, do you think alcohol also effects the sugar addict in an abnormal way?

Thanks in advance for your answer. And, thanks for your wonderful and helpful videos.



I know there is a lot of people that do not take to 12-step programs, but I have 30 years of experience with thousands of people attending 12-step meetings all over the world and they are in recovery from their addictions. All I can say is that it works if you work it. To think, read, talk yourself into recovery is a very tricky way if you do that with your own addicted brain.

I suggest that you read Craig Nakkens book, Addictive Personality in order to understand how an addictive brain works. You have to take away the drug (here it is all the foods that you loose control over) and of course alcohol, in any way, shape or form, which absolutely do not belong in a meal plan for someone who’s sugar addicted. Around 75% of sugar addicts are alcoholics and the rest is at 25% risk to be when they cut down on sugar/flour and keep drinking.

I suggest that you start your own support group if you do not like 12 step. Quit alcohol and read the book I suggested. As for drugs you can try if it will work for you. Any drug will have side effects and remember they are only temporary ”crutches” while we learn to live sugarfree. I am very cautious with prescription pills to addicts. I do not have any good experience from them, sorry to say.

Wish you the best,


Addicted to Nuts?

Hi Bitten
I’m wondering if it is possible to be addicted to nuts?

I eat very little sugar (2 squares 80% dark chocolate after lunch) and don’t have any problem limiting sugar. I get most of my carbs from veggies except from 1 slice of wholemeal bread at lunchtime but I can’t stay away from nuts!

Before dinner, when I am quite hungry I admit, I can’t wait to sit down and snack on nuts while I wait for dinner and once I start I can’t stop! If our nut supply is getting low, I always plan a shopping trip. Is this just a bad habit or an actual addiction?

I always go for plain or merely roasted and salted nuts (not in vegetable oil). I stick to almonds, pecans, macadamias for the most part but a few cashews too. Macadamias are particularly difficult!

I’m maintaining a 40 kg weight loss through 16:8 fasting + low/moderate carbs (<100g/day) and I don't need to lose weight, but just wondering whether my nut consumption is an issue?


I don’t think that you are only addicted to nuts. What did you overeat earlier if you were 40 kg heavier? Could it be that you are a sugar/flour addict from the beginning and now you try to control your addiction with nuts instead? If so this is a very slippery slope.

In that case you are not addressing the addiction itself, just substituting. If you cannot change the behavior you are prone to relapsing and you have done a great job losing 40 kg so I would not risk anything.

Also, nuts are not just good for you, they contain a lot of vegetable omega 6-fatty acids and can raise inflammation in your body if you eat too much of them. And it is also the ”munching” behavior which is part of addictive behavior. I suggest that you use breathing techniques and /or other tools I have mentioned earlier here in order to stop doing that.

Good luck,


More About Food Addiction

What Is Sugar Addiction? – Bitten Jonsson
One Day in A Sugar Addict's Life – Bitten Jonsson
It's Not About Willpower – Bitten Jonsson
Are You Sugar Addicted – Bitten Jonsson
The 3 Stages of Sugar Addiction – Bitten Jonsson
How to Quit Sugar – Bitten Jonsson
How to Stay Quit – Bitten Jonsson
How to Avoid Relapse – Bitten Jonsson
Don't Act on False Emotions – Bitten Jonsson
If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail – Bitten Jonsson
How to Reach Long-Term Recovery – Bitten Jonsson
The First Steps to Treatment – Bitten Jonsson
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