A common question amongst the Paleo Community is “Are Walnuts Paleo?” or “Are Nuts Paleo”. There is some disagreement, and some nuts are deemed better than others.
Peanuts, for example, are considered legumes which are sometimes frowned upon by Paleo followers. It’s also worth mentioning peanuts have a higher Omega 6 content which is usually already too abundant in Western Diets.
In general, most modern Paleo followers will eat nuts, but they often limit themselves to a handful or less a day, and usually as a snack. There also seems to be a bias towards Walnuts (high on omega 3) and Almonds (high in phytochemicals) due to their low carb content & nutrient dense makeup.
If you are looking for a clear winner, a report this week was published at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society showed evidence that Walnuts are the best of all nuts. The results show Walnuts “containing a combination of more healthful antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut”.
They also agree that Walnuts appear not to cause weight gain or artery clogging as the fat content is largely the healthy polyunsaturated and mono-saturated fats. Other reported benefits are a decreased risk of heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, gallstones, Type 2 diabetes, and other health problems
It’s best to eat Walnuts raw as the roasting process can reduce the antioxidant levels. And according to the report , only 7 walnuts per day are actually needed to get the benefits. It’s also worth checking the packet to ensure no nasties have been added. Many manufactures smuggle all sorts of chemicals, sugars and oils in nuts when it’s completely not needed.
Being a good source of protein, walnuts are good news for Paleo vegetarians. Walnuts go well with salads and most vegetable dishes.