Peanut Nutrition Facts

Calories in Peanuts and Their Health Benefits

Fresh roasted peanuts are good for your health.
Matthew O'Shea/Photodisc/Getty Images

Peanuts can be part of a healthy diet because they're good for your heart and they're perfect for losing or gaining weight. A handful of peanuts is a good source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. 

Although they have 'nut' in their name, peanuts don't grow on trees so they're not related to almonds, walnuts, and other true nuts. Peanuts belong to the legume family so they're related to peas, dry beans and soy.

Peanut Nutrition Facts

Peanuts Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 oz (28 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 166 
Calories from Fat 126 
Total Fat 14.1g22%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.4g 
Monounsaturated Fat 7g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 230mg10%
Potassium 186.21mg5%
Carbohydrates 6.1g2%
Dietary Fiber 2.3g9%
Sugars 1.2g 
Protein 6.7g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% · Iron 4%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

A serving of peanuts is equal to one ounce, or about 28 peanuts. That's also about the number of peanuts that'll fit in your hand.

A handful of peanuts has about 166 calories, most of which come from fat, plus just under 7 grams of protein. 

Health Benefits of Peanuts

Peanuts are heart healthy because they're an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids that may help lower your total cholesterol. The United States Food and Drug Administration allows the following claim to be placed on the packaging of foods that contain whole or chopped peanuts:

Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts such as peanuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. See nutrition information for fat content.

Peanuts are also high in antioxidants such as resveratrol that may have health benefits.

Peanuts and Weight Management

Peanuts are not low in calories because they're energy-dense. But as long as you watch your portions, eating them may help you lose weight. Studies indicate that people who eat nuts, including peanuts, tend to have lower body mass indexes.

So how can food that's high in calories help you lose weight? Part of the reason may be that since peanuts are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber, just a small serving can satisfy your hunger and keep you feeling fuller longer. The key to eating peanuts and losing weight is to watch your serving sizes carefully.

Next time you get hungry between meals, eat one ounce of peanuts. While it adds about 166 calories to your daily intake, it will help tide you over until your next meal, and this may help stop you from overeating when that meal is served. 

It may seem a little odd that the same food can be good for losing and gaining weight. But while it's true, a few peanuts may help curb your appetite, they provide extra calories and encourage weight gain when eaten in larger amounts.

 

Choosing and Storing Peanuts

Peanuts still in the shells can be roasted (with or without salt) or raw.  They can be stored at room temperature for a month or two, but since they're high in fats, they can go rancid. It's best to store these peanuts in the refrigerator where they'll last up to a year, or in the freezer where they'll keep well for up to two years.

If you don't want to deal with shell, you can also buy peanuts that have been shelled. They're often dry-roasted or roasted in oil, salted, and may be combined with other nuts. Roasted shelled nuts are shelf stable as long as they're kept in a sealed container. Once the container is open, it's best to keep peanuts in the refrigerator to maintain their flavor and freshness.

Healthy Ways to Serve Peanuts

Peanuts can be eaten out of hand as a snack. A handful of peanuts goes nicely with an apple or another piece of fresh low-calorie fruit such a pear, a peach or a few strawberries. Peanuts are sometimes used in cooking and you may find them in stir-fries, as an ingredient in peanut sauce, or added to salads and side dishes. And, of course, peanuts are commonly served on sandwiches in the form of peanut butter.

Peanut Recipes

The National Peanut Board offers some delicious and healthy recipes featuring peanuts:

Sources:

King JC, Blumberg J, Ingwersen L, Jenab M, Tucker KL. "Tree nuts and peanuts as components of a healthy diet." J Nutr. 2008 Sep;138(9):1736S-1740S. 

Mattes RD, Kris-Etherton PM, Foster GD. "Impact of peanuts and tree nuts on body weight and healthy weight loss in adults." J Nutr. 2008 Sep;138(9):1741S-1745S. 

United States Food and Drug Administration. "FDA Qualified Health Claims." Updated August 11, 2016.

Continue Reading