In Part 1 we introduced Nuts and Seeds as Paleo Snack Ideas. If you haven’t read it, here’s the link again.
This time we cover a few more popular nuts and some seeds as well.
Although they are high in PUFA (34.1 grams per 100 grams, again mostly in omega-6 fat) pine nuts are also a good source of manganese, copper and magnesium as well as energy boosting nutrients – monounsaturated fat, protein and iron. So, like walnuts you may want to eat these in moderation.
Because chestnuts have the lowest total PUFA, (0.9 grams per 100 grams,) the omega-6 / omega-3 ratio isn’t significant. At the same time they are also low in antinutrients like phytic acid.
Unlike other nuts, roasting at high temperatures won’t cause problems. Chestnuts are also the only nut that offers a good source of vitamin C, along with vitamins B1, B2, B6 folic acid, copper, manganese and vitamin B6. Meanwhile, unlike other nuts, chestnuts have low-fat and do not give the benefits of monounsaturated fat.
Despite their reputation as a healthy snack, pumpkin seeds are actually quite high in PUFA, (20.9 grams per 100 grams, mostly omega-6 fat). They do, however, offer a good source of magnesium, as well as copper, zinc, manganese, iron and phosphorus.
Again, another snack considered “healthy,” sunflower seeds are actually high in PUFA, (23.1 grams per 100 grams, mostly omega-6 fat). They do offer a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium and cancer-fighting selenium.
Not usually used as a snack by itself, sesame seeds are high in PUFA, (21.8 grams per 100 grams, mostly omega-6). But they contain significant amounts of protein and vitamins like B6, folate, thiamin, as well as minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorous and manganese.
Over the past few years flax seeds have gained popularity as a health food. While it’s true that they are a good source of fiber, flax seeds are high in PUFA, (28.7 grams per 100 grams). Although this is mostly omega-3 fat, they are not a good source to fatty fish and grass-fed beef. Flax seeds do offer a good source of thiamin and manganese.
Key Lessons Learned
Low in polyunsaturated fat, beneficial as a source of healthy carbohydrate, chestnuts turn out to be one of the healthiest choices for paleo snacks.
But because they’re more widely available, macadamia nuts offer another healthy option with its high monounsaturated fat.
Meanwhile, you can snack on some popular nuts like almonds and cashews, or seeds like sunflower and pumpkin seeds, but eat these in moderation due to their high PUFA counts.