Before we comment on whether pumpkin seeds are fattening or not, let’s first look at the nutritional data to determine the actual fat content:
- One cup of pumpkin seeds: 64g
- Amount of fat present: 12.4 g
- Amount of saturated fat: 2.3 g
- Amount of unsaturated fat: 9.6 g
What the above data suggests is that close to 20% of the nutrient component in pumpkin seeds comes from fat. But the point to consider here is that 90% of the fat is unsaturated and hence is easily assimilated without becoming a fattening agent. So even though pumpkin seeds are rich in fats, they are unsaturated in nature and hence are good for you. It’s highly unlikely that you will put on weight eating pumpkin seeds.
So we can safely say that pumpkin seeds are NOT fattening.
What is the calorie count of pumpkin seeds?
One cup of pumpkin is likely to provide you with 285 calories most of it coming from carbohydrates and fat. So it’s a rich source of energy and take heed that it’s not fattening.
In fact pumpkin seeds are a rich source of iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium. You can almost think of these seeds as nature’s own multi-supplement pill. Magnesium and Zinc are vital for good nerve functioning. If you are prone to depression and nervous dysfunctions, you should eat at least a cup of pumpkin seeds on daily basis as you are likely suffering from a magnesium deficiency. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
How to eat pumpkin seeds in a healthy manner?
Around regions of Mexico and in several European countries, pumpkin seeds are a favorite snack food. The most common way of eating these seeds is by roasting them.
A healthier recipe would be to bake these seeds at a low temperature to retain most of its oils. Heating at high temperatures can easily derange the proteins and fats present in these seeds.
Once you have removed the seeds from the pumpkin, wash it well with water to remove the pulp. Soak the seeds in salt water overnight and dry them using a paper towel. Spread them on a cookie sheet and bake them in oven at a low temperature till the skin becomes light brown in color.
You can eat these seeds with the shells on or you can remove the shell by biting on them. These seeds can be eaten alone or can be sprinkled on a vegetable salad to add an element of crunchiness. You can also mix pumpkin seeds into a cookie batter or have it with your cereals.
Pumpkin seeds are not fattening and they fight cholesterol!
Talk about double advantage. Not only are you not getting fat but you can also combat cholesterol levels in your blood by eating these delicious seeds. Pumpkins seeds are known to contain phytosterols which reduces levels of bad cholesterol, enhance the immune system and also reduce the risk of cancer.
In fact phytosterols are extracted from pumpkin seeds, corn, soy beans etc, and added to processed foods like butter in order to cite them as “cholesterol lowering” foods. But aren’t you better off getting your phytosterols directly from a natural source like pumpkin seeds?
So are pumpkin seeds fattening? – Not at all, but they definitely make a great option for a healthy evening snack.