Peanuts vs. Almonds vs. Walnuts vs. Cashews!

July 22, 2010 at 9:45 pm 16 comments

I LOVE nuts!  They’re all good for you, but is one nutritionally better than another?  Let’s find out!

All nuts are cholesterol-free and contain only a trace of sodium, if eaten unsalted.  All four of these nuts are rich sources of the B vitamins and many minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc.  Each nut differs in their nutrition package!


1 oz. = 20-24 whole almonds

1 oz = 160 calories, 6g protein, 14g fat (1g sat fat, 9g mono, 3g poly)

Almonds are high in Vitamin E.  Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant working both inside your body and on your skin.

Almonds contain the fewest amount of calories and almost the same amount of protein as peanuts.  Almonds are also highest in monounsaturated fats.  Monounsaturated fats decrease LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.


1 oz. = 14 shelled walnut halves

1 oz =  190 calories, 4g of protein, 17g of fat (1g sat fat, 4.2g of mono and 10g of poly)

Walnuts supply almost 90% of your daily supply of omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and strokes.  They also decrease the risk of  breast, colon and prostate cancers.

Walnuts are especially rich in phytochemicals which contribute to its antioxidant capacity.  Walnuts are also an excellent source of Vitamin E.


1 oz. = 16-18 nuts

1 oz = 160 calories, 4g protein and 12 grams of fat (2g sat fat, 7g mono, 2g poly)

Cashews contain the least amount of fat between the 4 nuts.  Cashews are a rich source of selenium which is an important mineral involved in antioxidant processes.  Cashews are also rich in copper, which is an important part of enzyme activity in the body.  Zinc, another mineral found abundantly in cashews, is a co-factor in enzyme activities and is also important for digestion, nucleic acid synthesis, and bone development.  Zeaxanthin, a flavonoid antioxidant, is abundant in cashews.  It is important for eye health and may play a role in the prevention of macular degeneration.


Even though we consider peanuts to be a nut, they are actually a legume, like kidney beans, peas and lentils.

1 oz. = 28 peanuts

1 oz = 170 calories, 7g protein and 15g fat (2g sat fat, 7g mono, 4g poly)

Peanuts contain the highest amount of protein between the 4 nuts.  One serving provides 10% of the daily need for folate, a B vitamin important in reducing the risk of birth defects.  It also is important in heart health.  One serving of peanuts provides 20% of the daily value for niacin, another B vitamin.  Niacin contributes to brain health and blood flow to the brain.  Peanuts are rich in polyphenolic antioxidants, especially p-coumaric acid.  This polyphenol may reduce the risk of stomach cancer.  Another polyphenol found in peanuts is resveratrol.  Resveratrol has been found to protect against cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/fungal infections.  Peanuts are also a good source of Vitamin E.

To reap the many and varied benefits from nuts, variety is key.  While nuts are good and good for you, a little goes a long way.  Be mindful of the amount of nuts you consume and try to keep them to one ounce.  Also, choose unsalted nuts.

I keep all these nuts in containers in the freezer.  I buy raw nuts and have a handful (1 ounce) almost every day.  Eating one serving of nuts/day may help in weight loss as they are satisfying and filling.  But be sure and count their calories in your total count for the day!

Have fun munching!


Alice Henneman, MS, RD, “Nuts for Nutrition”


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16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Romina Nelson  |  July 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Loved this post! Thanks Marcia

  • 2. Brian Vrolyk  |  October 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Excellent post. Thank you very much for the info.

  • 3. Ahmed  |  November 1, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Excellent M8… thx for this,, have always wondered whats the difference,,PEACE

  • 4. Keith  |  December 8, 2011 at 3:02 am

    You say almonds are highest in mono-fats, but that it only has 2g, whereas peanuts have 7g. Is that a mistype?

    • 5. Marcia Nelson, RD  |  December 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you so much for pointing out my mistake, Keith. It’s all fixed. Almonds have 9g (8.6) monounsaturated fats vs peanuts with 7g!

  • 6. Becky  |  June 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I love unsalted peanuts that I find at Dollar General for about $3 per 16 oz. Discovered my love for them on my mail route because they don’t spoil in a hot car and are an easy carry for a quick snack when you are starving. The ingredients say peanuts, roasted and nothing else which is good. I live in Ga so they are more abundant here where as the other kinds of nuts are expensive. Trying to pinch pennies and eat well.

  • 7. nick  |  August 1, 2013 at 7:39 am

    hey i would like to know about pistachio nuts too… those are my favourite…

  • 8. Swapnil  |  June 4, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Thank you for Valuable Info

  • 9. Lauren  |  June 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks! For some reason I had heard peanuts were not as good as other nuts, and cashews had the most fat. I mostly buy bulk, so there are no nutrition labels to read. I should have known, variety is the best!

  • 10. Linda  |  October 22, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for the information. I’m 58 and trying to eat healthy snacks with a I know the nutritional value I won’t feel guilty.

    • 11. Marcia Nelson, MS, RD  |  October 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Linda, Congratulations on finding healthy snacks! Just remember a little goes a long way with nuts! They contain a lot of calories! Even though they are healthy calories, you don’t want to spend all your calories on one snack! Eat well!

  • 12. Rick  |  October 25, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Excellent post!

  • 13. Linh  |  January 10, 2015 at 6:43 am

    What about Pine nut?

    • 14. Marcia Nelson, MS, RD  |  January 10, 2015 at 11:26 am


      Thank you for your question about pine nuts. Pine nuts are a good source of poly and mono-unsaturated fats. They contain a good amount of Vitamins E and K, as well as many B-vitamins. Minerals found in pine nuts are manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.

      In a 1oz serving of nuts (about 167 kernels), you will find: Calories=190, Carbohydrates=4g, Fiber=1g, Fat=19g (no cholesterol), Protein=4g.

      • 15. Anil Goyal  |  January 16, 2015 at 9:01 am

        what is pine nuts, please reply. Thanks.

      • 16. Marcia Nelson, MS, RD  |  January 20, 2015 at 12:35 pm

        Pine nuts come from the fruit of a pine tree which are pine cones. Other names for the pine nut are pinon nuts, pignoli, cedar nuts and more. Two species of pine trees noted for their large pine nuts are the Pinus sibirica and the Pinus koraiensis. I hope this answers your question.

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