Are Peanuts Bad for You?

People all over the world consume peanuts in some form or another. From peanut butter, whole nuts, dry roasted or boiled, to peanut oil used for cooking, it's a great protein snack almost everyone can enjoy. What most people do not know is that peanuts are not a "nut" at all. They are classified as belonging to the legume family, which also includes beans and lentils. However, you should eat them in moderation.

Are Peanuts Bad for You?

No, in fact, peanuts are quite beneficial when consumed in modest. Whether you eat them as a snack, or consume them in a meal, peanuts are chock full of essential nutrients that our body needs on a daily basis. Studies have shown that a diet that includes peanuts can result in significant reduction of risk factors leading to heart disease.

However, please be noted that they are also full of calories, and depending on how they are purchased could also contain high amounts of sodium and saturated fats that can negatively affect your health.

Peanut Nutrition Facts

The nutritional value of peanuts could vary depending on the way a raw peanut is processed (roasted, boiled, salted, etc.) before it is consumed. Fortunately, what does not change is the many benefits peanuts have on your health. Following is a nutritional value table based on one ounce of shelled peanuts, or 28 g


Nutritional Value


166 calories


203 mg


17.1 mg


111 mg


49.3 mg


33.6 mcg


89.6 mg

Dietary Fiber

2.6 g


4.3 g


7.8 g

Total Fat

14.7 mg

Health Benefits of Peanuts

From the answer to the question "are peanuts bad for you?" you know that they are actually pretty good if consumed in moderate. But in what way can peanuts benefit your health?

1. Heart Healthy Fats

A full 50% of the fat in peanuts is heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and over 30% is polyunsaturated fats. Both these healthy fats help to lower blood cholesterol levels that can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

2. Proteins

Since the cells in our bodyare constantlybeing repaired and replaced, we need protein. Protein is essential for ensuring that regenerated cells are healthy and the damaged cells are repairedwell. Because the proteins in peanuts are plant based, it especially meets the protein needs of children, protein deficient individuals, and vegetarians when incorporated into their daily diets.

3. Antioxidants

Peanuts are a rich source of antioxidant polyphenols that are comprised primarily of p-coumaric and oleic acid compounds, and have been known to play a protective role against coronary heart disease. Antioxidant polyphenols also inhibits the growth of free radicals that keep infection at bay. The good news is that roasting the peanuts while leaving the skins on, increases the level of antioxidant polyphenols significantly.

4. Minerals

Eating peanuts is a great way to getmultiple minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, and zinc. These are just some of the many minerals contained in peanuts, and it doesn’t take more than a handful to get these minerals that we need on a daily basis in order to stay healthy.

5. Vitamins

Peanuts in all its various forms are filled with numerous vitamins that our body needs for growth, development, and immunity. The essential vitamins in peanuts also help by regulating metabolism, facilitating bone and tissue formation, and helps with converting fats and carbohydrates into energy. Furthermore, peanuts contain a good source of folate that reduces the incidence of anemia related conditions and birth defects.

How Many Peanuts Can I Eat a Day?

The standard serving size is about one ounce twice a day, and whenever possible, practice weighing the peanuts using a food scale. Once you have measured the one ounce portion, put them in the palm of your hand to visualize a standard portion. If you don't have a food scale at home, about two-thirds a handful in the palm of your hand is roughly a standard portion. One or two ounces of peanuts daily can keep your body healthy.

What Are the Side Effects If I Eat Too Many Peanuts?

Are peanuts bad for you? They can be if you consume too many. While eating one or two ounces of peanuts daily is beneficial for a healthy heart and body, eating too many can be detrimental to your health.

1. Watch Out For Weight Gain

The problem with peanuts is they taste great. If you don't pay attention to how much you are eating, you could offset the benefits. Peanuts have lots of calories, about 166 calories per 28 g of nuts, and to put that in perspective, 28 g equals only about 32 peanuts. Peanuts also contain more than 14 mg of fat, and although most of the fat is heart healthy, over-consumptioncould lead to weight gain that can contribute to heart disease.

2. Nutrient Deficiency

Peanuts contain phosphorus in the form of phytic acid, or phytate, and these phytates will bind with other minerals. When they do, it interferes with the body's ability to absorb minerals. Phytates slightly inhibit the absorption of manganese and calcium, but have a significant impact on iron and zinc.

Besides, eating more peanuts while consuming smaller amounts of other foods robs your body of other essential nutrients not found in peanuts, such as vitamin A and C. And because they also are low in complex carbohydrates, it could leave you without enough carbs to maintain your optimal energy.

3. High-Blood Pressure

Unsalted peanuts have only about 89 mg of sodium. However, the salted varieties can contain up to 189 mg of sodium per ounce. This represents about 13% of the total daily intake of sodium that the Institute of Medicine recommends. Are peanuts bad for you? Multiple servings of salted peanuts, along with sodium from other daily sources can easily put you over the recommended daily allowance, and consuming too much sodium will elevate your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.

4. Allergies

People who have a peanut allergy experience a reaction within minutes of handling or consuming a peanut product. The reaction usually begins with a tingling sensation in the mouth, followed by swelling of the face, mouth, and throat. A severe reaction causes the person to have difficulty breathing, an asthma attack, and anaphylactic shock that could lead to death. Other less severe reactions include a rash, hives, or upset stomach. If you experience any of these reactions, avoid all peanuts until you consult with your doctor.

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