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Is Eating The Skin on Nuts Harmful?

Frederic Answers Reader’s Questions

Hi, I’m new to the raw food diet and have been doing some research about it and hope to transition soon. I have a question about nuts and tannic acid. When I buy raw nuts in their shells and shell them myself, is ingesting the brown skin on the surface of nuts like almonds and brazil nuts harmful due to its tannic acid content? I have heard this can compromise iron absorption. I have also read that removing the skins by soaking is possible but as this is inconvenient, I would like to know your thoughts on skipping this step especially if I’m only having 60gr of nuts a day.


Thank you for all the work you have done to help others gain control of their health. Your book ‘The Raw Secrets’ is by far the simplest, most straight-forward book on the Raw diet I have come across and it is definitely the one that makes the most sense!

MY ANSWER: It’s not necessary to remove the peel from almonds and other nuts. The old books that recommended you do this, were written at a time when most of the almonds were imported from Spain and were of a much bitter variety.

“Modern” almonds do not contain that much tannic acid, so it is safe to eat them. You might want to soak and peel them if you want to achieve a certain consistency and taste for a recipe. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s not necessary to avoid them.

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.