Introduction

Nuts and seeds are good dietary sources of unsaturated fatty acids. Linoleic acid (18:2n-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) are two essential fatty acids in humans and are precursors of C20 and C22 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Other uncommon fatty acids, such as stearidonic acid (18:4n-3), conjugated linolenic acids (CLNAs), and ximenynic acid (a triple bond fatty acid), are also presented in certain seeds and nuts. The substantial epidemiological evidence shows that fatty acids from seeds and nuts are associated with different health effects (Li et al., 2002). The aim of this chapter is to summarize the composition and content of lipids and fatty acids in commonly available nuts and seeds worldwide.

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