Which nuts have the most protein, which are the tastiest and the healthiest? Which are easy to produce and cheaper to buy? Those are the questions on the cards as we look at protein in nuts, as well as pecans vs walnuts, peanuts vs almonds, cashews vs almonds and more comparisons.
Cashews vs Almonds
We’re obviously not going to look at taste in this Versus guide. That’s entirely subjective. Also, we hate the taste of almonds and we know that we’re in the minority. So if we included our tastes here then you’d all hate us and we wouldn’t get to the end of this guide without you emailing complaints.
Cashews are generally thought to be a tastier, creamier nut, but again, as much as we would like to, we’ve not discussing taste.
Almonds have more protein per calorie and per gram. They also have more fiber, Vitamin E (which is good for your skin) and calcium. Cashews don’t lag behind completely though as there is more zinc and Vitamin K in them.
Both of these nuts have healthy fats in them and there is a good amount of them, but almonds lead the way here as well, with more of the healthy fats. Nutritionally speaking, almonds are the better nut. Price wise, you will pay roughly the same for both of them if you buy them raw.
Pecan vs Walnut
In terms of nutrients, a walnut contains a fraction of the monounsaturated fat that you can find in a pecan. Walnuts contain more than twice the polyunsaturated fats though and they also have more omega-3 fatty acids, which are the powerful, super-healthy acids that are traditionally found in fish oils and flax seed oils.
In terms of protein, there is more per gram in walnuts, but both of these nuts lag behind others in the protein stakes. We have discussed this in more detail under the Protein in Nuts section below.
Walnuts are the better nut if we focus on nutrition, and at around 40% cheaper, they are also better for your bank balance.
Peanuts vs Almonds
As we will discuss a little further below, peanuts are a fantastic source of protein and they actually beat almonds in this regard. They are also the cheapest of all nuts. Almonds are generally not very expensive, but peanuts are still priced around 30% cheaper on average.
Nutritionally speaking, there aren’t a lot of minerals and vitamins in peanuts. You will get a decent dose of Vitamin E, Niacin and Folate (the last two are B Vitamins), but you will find more Vitamin E in almonds and there is also a big dose of manganese, riboflavin and magnesium, which means they come out on top in that regard.
Overall, this one would have to be a draw, but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy both of them.
Health Benefits: What are Almonds Good For?
One of the most interesting tests done on almonds has looked at the calorie content and the way they are digested. In one study, a group were asked to eat a calorie controlled diet and to make sure that 300 of those calories came from almonds. This amounted to just handful a day, but over the course of several weeks, they lost weight.
These nuts do not have weight-loss properties as such. The reason these results were so positive is because not all of the calories in almonds, and indeed in other nuts, are digested. We don’t chew them entirely, often leaving little chunks that pass through. This is not to say that they have triggered weight loss in themselves, but that just we eat less than we realize when we consume them.
The healthy fats in nuts, as well as the protein, also helps to build towards a healthy, balanced diet. As for almonds in particular, the many vitamins and nutrients found within these little nuts are said to help with everything from the regulation of blood sugar levels, to reducing cholesterol and more. There may also be some additional weight loss benefits there, but many of the sites that reference this as a fact are referring to the studies mentioned above.
Protein in Nuts
All nuts are a good source of protein, as well as healthy fats. But which nuts have the most protein? Well, if we base the protein level on a per 100 gram basis, then peanuts come out on top, with around 24.5 grams of protein per 100 grams of dry roasted nuts. This is followed by almonds and pistachios, which have 21 grams of protein per 100 grams of nuts.
Some of the nuts that offer a very limited supply of protein per 100 grams include chestnuts, which are just 4 to 5 grams of protein per 100 grams and macadamia nuts, which provide around 7.5 to 8 grams of protein.
If we base the protein in nuts on the calories, with the nuts that pack the biggest protein punch per calories coming out on top then we would still have peanuts at the top, with around 24 calories for every 1 gram of protein. Pistachios, almonds and then cashews follow, with macadamia nuts scoring very poorly again.
Macadamia nuts are also dangerous for dogs so they do not have a great rep overall.
As mentioned above, peanuts and almonds are probably the healthiest nuts, packed with protein, quality fats and decent nutrient profiles. Still, there is nothing wrong with walnuts and cashews either. Generally speaking, most nuts are healthy and you’ll find unique nutrient profiles in all of them, which is why mixed nuts are always the best.
Unless, that is, those bags of mixed nuts contain some of the unhealthiest nuts, as mentioned below.
Before we point out the offenders it’s worth noting that these are still somewhat beneficial, but they are nowhere near as healthy as the ones discussed above. Perhaps the unhealthiest nut, as we have already alluded to, is the macadamia nut. It’s fatty, it doesn’t have a lot of protein and there is only a small amount of iron and other vitamins. They are also expensive.
Pecans are also included on this list. They share some similarities to walnuts, which shows that they are still somewhat beneficial, but when it comes down to it, they lag behind and are just not as beneficial. It’s worth noting that these are two of the best tasting nuts you can buy though and they are also the most expensive.