Are Pepitas Paleo?


Pepitas are pumpkin seeds, and since living a Paleo lifestyle includes eating a few nuts and seeds now and then, that means you can eat pepitas without worrying.

Like most seeds, pepitas are fairly high in carbohydrates, but they are also pretty high in fiber, fat, and protein. This is a good thing because consuming carbs with fiber, fat, and/or protein prevents a spike in blood sugar.

Paleo and Blood Sugar

A blood sugar spike leads to a crash, which leaves you feeling tired, cranky, and craving more carbs to get your blood sugar back up. High blood sugar also means a rush of insulin, which promotes fat storage and inflammation. Insulin is a necessary hormone that does a lot of good things for us, but chronically high blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance, resulting in metabolic deficiencies and just about every chronic disease from atherosclerosis to diabetes.

The Nutrient Content of Pepitas

Pepitas are an excellent source of the trace metals magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and iron. They contain a healthy dose of B vitamins, too, so feel free to grab a handful for a healthy snack.

Paleo and PUFAs

Just be sure to keep it limited to a handful. These babies may be packed with nutrients and protein, but the fat that they contain is mostly polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). Polyunsaturated fats are inflammatory and unstable, which means they are liable to oxidize when exposed to heat and light. Oxidized fat in our food tends to lead to an increase in oxidized lipids in our blood, which in turn is a precursor to heart disease.

Mark Sisson has a whole post on edible seeds.