Dried Fruit & Nuts…A Good Snack?
Can you clear something up? I have been Paleo for going on four weeks…or so I thought. My co-worker, also relatively new to Paleo, but for a longer period than I, has been giving me a hard time about my snack of choice- dried fruit with nuts. I’ve been doing great and eating a balanced Paleo breakfast, even adding in veggies, and making extra dinner each night to bring to work for lunch the next day. And, to tide me over between meals, I’ve been snacking on dried fruit and nuts. I checked the label, and there is no junk like added sugar or hydrogenated oils, so what’s the problem with that? Aren’t dried fruit and nuts on the ‘ok’ list for Paleo? They’re so easy to grab and go; I don’t know what I’d eat for snacks if I didn’t have those. I thought they were a great option compared to what I used to snack on, which used to come from a vending machine!
I am so glad when I receive questions like Mike’s because they serve as a reminder of a question I’ve been asked many a time before, thus making it a great blog topic.
To clear the air:
Yes, nuts are ok on the Paleo diet BUT only in moderation. Why? Because ALL nuts have an unfavorable Omega 3:6 ratio. The 3s are healthy and anti inflammatory and one of the best sources is fish oil. The 6s are inflammatory and all nuts are very high in them. This doesn’t mean you cannot eat them, it just means they should be consumed in moderation, balanced out with some good 3s at some point during the day, and not relied upon as the main source of fat in one’s diet.
Yes, natural dried fruit is ok, but also only in moderation. While the sugar we find in dried fruit is natural, it’s still a lot of it, and the high glycemic nature of it makes it far less than conducive as something to chow down on regularly. Think of using it in terms of a small sprinkling of dried cranberries atop a salad as opposed to a main part of one’s meal.
Finally, if you think of a snack and a meal as one in the same, your options grow incrementally. What’s wrong with a ‘snack’ of steamed broccoli, olive oil and some free range turkey? Nothing! It’s a perfect snack as well as perfect meal.
If you’re already prepping food for dinner, you’re leaps and bounds ahead of the game; just make a little extra yet and you’ll have your choice of whichever veg to pair with whichever protein and whichever fat you’ll have on hand in your very own kitchen!
(Nothing harm with a little plug, here: ) Pick up a copy of Paleoista for more on this very topic!