What Are Tree Nuts?

Tree nuts are nuts that grow on trees. They include almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and walnutsPeanuts are not tree nuts because they grow underground.

What is a Tree Nut Allergy?

A tree nut allergy is when your immune system mistakes tree nuts as a harmful substance. Tree nuts are one of the most common types of allergens. If you eat tree nuts and have a tree nut allergy, it can cause your body to have a mild to severe allergic response. If you have a tree nut allergy, eat foods that are made in a tree nut-free facility to avoid contaminated foods. If you have a tree nut allergy, that does not mean you have a peanut allergy; thus, uncontaminated peanuts can be included in your diet. Click here for tree nut allergy information from Health Canada.

If you think you have a tree nut allergy, please contact your family doctor or health care provider.

  • Read food labels when shopping as ingredients may change.

How Can I Follow the Portfolio Diet Without Nuts?

  • Focus on eating seeds to enjoy the same benefits as nuts.
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Chia (Salba) seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Hemp seeds
    • Sesame seeds
    • Ground flax seeds
  • Aim for 45g (about 5 tablespoons) of seeds each day.

How Can I Add Seeds to My Diet?

  • Seeds can be eaten raw, toasted, or dry roasted (roasted without oil) on their own.
  • Try adding seeds to oatmeal, cereals, smoothies, salads, sauces, and dips.
  • Seeds can be used in baking (e.g. muffins) to add texture and nutrients.
  • Try seed butters such as sesame seed butter (tahini) or sunflower seed butter with toast, crackers, fruits, or vegetables.

Other Tree Nut Allergy Tips

  • Try using seeds that are unsalted to help reach your daily points. Some pre-packaged flavoured seeds contain high amounts of salt, fat, and calories. Eat them in moderation.
  • Try to select the “all natural” versions of seed butters.
  • For added flavour, enjoy seeds with spices such as cinnamon, cumin, or chilli powder.
  • Store seeds in an airtight container in a dark cool space or in the freezer to keep them fresher for longer.