Nuts and seeds seem to be a rather controversial snack. First we’re warned against them for their high fat content, next we’re told they’re full of vitamins; it all gets more than a little confusing. I’ve decided to do a bit of my own research to try and fathom out the good from the bad.
First of all, from a FODMAP perspective, there are certain nuts that are best avoided, or at least limited.
- Almonds (< 20 nuts)
- Hazlenuts (< 20 nuts)
Nuts tend to have a high Oligos rating. Cashews and pistachios are best avoided if you don’t tolerate this Fodmap category, whilst almonds and hazlenuts are fodmap friendly in a serving of 10 nuts.
The good news however, is that there are still so many belly friendly options. In general, nuts/seeds are a great source of protein which is important if you’re vegan or vegetarian and don’t tolerate dairy or beans/pulses. The regular consumption of nuts has been inversely associated with the risk of type 2 dibetes and whilst high in calories, due to the polyunsaturted and monosaturated beneficial fats, they’ve also been shown to decrease the likelihood of obesity. Rich in fiber and magnesium, coupled with a low GI index and improved insulin sensitivity, nuts make a smart snacking choice, unless you’re shovelling them in by the fistful. Even better, you can add your own flavours by marinating, then roasting them.
- Walnuts–antioxidant,vitamin E, manganese, copper, phosphurus, magnesium, alpha-linoleic acid
- Sunflower seeds–vitamin E, B1,B5,B6, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, copper, iron, folic acid
- Sesame seeds-vitamins B1 and 2, copper, magnesium, zinc, calcium, phytic acid
- Pumpkin seeds–zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, phytosterols
- Pine nuts– vitamins B1, B3, manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc
- Pecans– lower cholesterol, vitamin B1, B3, B6, B5, vitamin E, manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, calcium
- Peanuts–biotin, tocopherols, folic acid, vitamin B1, B3, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese
- Chia seeds–calcium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc
Super simple to add into your diet, sprinkle them into cereals, porridge, granola, salad, yoghurt, blend them into smoothies or add them to your baking. Why not try making some low FODMAP seedy butter, crackers, chia pudding or granola? Particuarly during the restriction phase of the low FODMAP diet, it’s important to be aware of your vitamin and mineral intake, which is where smart snacks can be really useful. At times the low FODMAP diet can feel restrictive but actually there’s still when plenty of variety to be enjoyed!