Walnut vs. Peanut — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Walnuts are higher in calories and fats, whereas peanuts are richer in fiber and provide a larger percentage of daily values of several vitamins, such as vitamins B1, B3, B9, and vitamin E.
Walnuts are richer in copper. On the other hand, peanuts contain a higher level of iron and potassium.
Table of contents
In this article, we will discuss the differences between peanuts and walnuts. Both of these are well-known, important crops grown worldwide. These nuts are some of the most loved snacks, and today, we will dig a little deeper and find out which one is healthier than the other and what are their nutritional and health differences.
The nutritional values below are presented for raw peanuts of all types and English walnuts.
Macronutrients and Calories
Walnuts and peanuts are both highly dense in nutrients.
One hundred grams of walnuts contain 654 calories, while peanuts have fewer calories, containing 567 in a 100g serving. So both of these nut types are very high in calories.
Protein and Fats
Peanuts have richer protein content, whereas walnuts are higher in fats.
Both walnuts and peanuts have high levels of all essential amino acids. Peanuts are richer in tryptophan, histidine, and threonine. Walnuts have less amount of lysine compared with peanuts.
Walnuts are richer in healthy fats, containing large amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The replacement of saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids has been associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk (1).
On the other hand, peanuts contain larger amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids. Both of them have the same low amount of saturated fatty acids.
Both walnuts and peanuts do not contain cholesterol since they are plant-based.
Walnuts and peanuts contain nearly the same amount of carbohydrates. Yet, peanuts are richer in dietary fiber.
The main component of the carbohydrates found in walnuts, other than fiber, is sucrose. Walnuts contain a very small amount of fructose and glucose.
Although walnuts are more diverse in vitamins, peanuts provide a larger percentage of daily values of several vitamins, including vitamins B1 thiamine, B3 niacin, B9 folate, and vitamin E. Peanuts contain vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
Walnuts, on the other hand, are richer in vitamin B2, riboflavin, and vitamin B6.
Both of these nuts are equal in vitamin B2.
They have nearly similar mineral profiles. Both nuts are equal in calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Peanuts contain a higher level of iron and potassium, while walnuts are richer in copper.
Peanut has a low glycemic index and glycemic load. On a 100-point scale, the glycemic index of peanuts is 14, and the glycemic load of peanuts is one (2).
Having said that, both walnut's glycemic index and glycemic load are zero (2).
The pH value of walnuts is more acidic, equivalent to 5.42, whereas the acidity of peanuts, depending on their type, is close to neutral. Raw peanuts' pH value is 6.87, and roasted peanuts' pH equals 6.31 (3).
The acidic effect of foods can also be quantified by calculating the potential renal acid load (PRAL) of the diet, which is based on dietary intakes of protein and mineral ions (4).
In this case, the PRAL value of walnuts is 5.6, which is considered to be acid-forming. The PRAL value of peanuts is 6.2, making them slightly more acid-forming than walnuts.
Weight Loss and Diets
Although walnuts and peanuts are highly nutritious however, them being high in calories should be taken into consideration in weight loss. Because when it comes to weight loss high volume and low calorie foods are important to consider.
Walnuts are more suitable for a low-carb and a low glycemic index diet.
In the research related to weight loss, diets incorporated with peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut oil have been shown to provide improved long-term weight maintenance (2).
Since the protein in peanuts and walnuts is plant-based, it carries with it additional unique bioactive components that have positive health benefits.
Research has identified numerous compounds in peanuts and their skins that may have added health benefits beyond basic nutrition (2).
Peanuts have been touted as a functional food with numerous functional components like Coenzyme Q10, which protects the heart during a period of lack of oxygen, for example, high altitudes and clogged arteries, in short hypoxia (2).
Peanut products, such as raw butter and oil, are more beneficial to heart health when compared to low-fat diets (2).
The high monounsaturated fat peanut diet has been studied to lower total body cholesterol by 11% and "bad" low-density lipoprotein by 14%. In contrast, "good" high-density lipoprotein was maintained with a reduction in triglycerides (2).
There is strong evidence supporting an association between monounsaturated fat, as well as overall nut intake, and a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease (2).
Walnuts have been shown to decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure, two major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (6).
The effect of walnuts on multiple cardiovascular disease targets over relatively short periods of time supports recommendations for their inclusion in a heart-healthy diet (6).
Peanuts are important to be added to our diets, in moderation, for lower risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Walnuts are also as important and have numerous positive health impacts on the cardiovascular system. Consumption of walnuts is also linked with decreased risks of cardiovascular diseases (5).
Walnuts contain several components that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (11).
Animal and human studies suggest that supplementation with walnuts in the diet may improve cognition and reduce the risk and progression of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease (7).
The American Diabetes Association ranks peanuts and other nuts as diabetes superfoods. Peanuts make this list because they contain magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy oils and do not overly affect your blood glucose (2).
Walnut consumers showed a lower risk for diabetes compared with non-nut consumers based on self-report, as well as fasting blood glucose levels (8).
Unsaturated fats, certain vitamins and minerals, and bioactive components have been shown to have cancer-preventive effects, which are all packaged into a peanut kernel (2).
In particular, the phytosterols in peanuts that have been studied in regard to cancer have been reported to reduce prostate tumor growth by over 40% and cut the occurrences of cancer spreading to other parts of the body by almost 50% (2).
Researchers have identified biochemicals found in walnuts that have cancer-prevention properties. Walnuts are an example of foods that contain many components that have individually been found to be beneficial against cancer. Walnuts are an exceptional plant-based source of 18-carbon α-linolenic acid (10).
Downsides & Risks
Tree nut allergy is common and often severe (9).
The exact cause of the allergy is unknown.
The cotyledons, which are parts of the embryo of the seeds, are probably the primary source of allergen for most individuals, as the skins and hearts are often removed during processing.
Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, urticaria, angioedema (swelling of the lips, face, throat, and skin), as well as asthma, and anaphylactic shock (2).
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea), or "groundnut," as it is known in some parts of the world, is the edible seed of a legume plant. Botanically speaking, peanuts are not considered to be true nuts but are used as such in the kitchen due to their similar nutritional properties. Although a legume, it is generally included amongst the oilseeds due to its high oil content.
The walnut, also known as Juglans regia, is an appreciated nut that belongs to the Juglandaceae family. The fruit includes four main parts: the kernel, the skin, the shell, and the green husk. It is widely cultivated due to its edible kernel.
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||1µg||0µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.
- Walnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170187/nutrients
- Peanut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172430/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.