Almonds vs Pistachios: Nutrition and Protein


This is a short data-based comparison of 2 popular nuts: almonds and pistachios.

Note that all data on this page is per 100 grams of each nut.

We’ll look at macronutrients, omega fat content, and vitamin and mineral content for each food.

Nutritional Value Comparison of Almonds and Pistachios

These nuts have a fairly similar nutritional profile:

  Almonds Pistachio nuts
Energy (kcal) 579.6 559.3
Protein (g) 21.1 20.2
Total Lipid (g) 49.9 45.3
Carbohydrate (g) 21.6 27.2
Fiber (g) 12.6 10.6
Sugars (g) 4.4 7.7

There are only a few small differences of note:

  • Almonds have slightly more fat than pistachio nuts
  • Pistachio nuts have more carbohydrates and sugar

If you’re on a keto diet, that makes almonds a better choice, but for everyone else these are relatively small differences.

Omega 3 and 6 Fat Ratios of Almonds and Pistachios

high fat nuts

Nuts are notorious for having a high amount of omega 6 fats. Some are good, but too much in a diet can lead to inflammation.

Ideally you want an omega 6 to 3 fat ratio of 4 or below. You can see a summary of the research on this page of the omega 6 to 3 fat ratio of nuts.

  Almonds Pistachios
Omega 3 Fats 0.052 0.289
Omega 6 Fats 14.5 14.1
Omega 6:3 Ratio 278.85 48.79

Compared to other common nuts, pistachios have an omega fat ratio somewhere in the middle. It’s not horrible, but it’s still not good.

So while pistachios have a better omega 3 to 6 fat ratio than almonds, it’s probably not a great idea to eat a large amount of either on a regular basis.

Vitamins and Minerals of Almonds and Pistachios

Now let’s take a look at the other nutrients in these nuts.

The RDA column specifies the recommended amount for a general adult and is just for reference and sorting purposes. Your actual RDA likely differs a bit.

I’ve highlighted the biggest differences.

  RDA Almonds Pistachio nuts
Vitamin E (mg) 15 25.6 2.9
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.1 1.7
Manganese (mg) 2.3 2.2 1.2
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 1.1 0.2
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.2 0.9
Phosphorus (mg) 700 481.5 489.4
Magnesium (mg) 400 270.4 120.3
Potassium (mg) 2000 733.3 1024.4
Zinc (mg) 11 3.1 2.2
Niacin (mg) 16 3.6 1.3
Calcium (mg) 1200 268.5 105.7
Iron (mg) 18 3.7 3.9
Selenium (µg) 55 4.1 7.0
Folate (µg) 400 44.4 50.4
Vitamin C (mg) 90 0.0 5.5

Both nuts have more of certain vitamins or nutrients:

  • Almonds have more vitamin E, manganese, riboflavin, magnesium, and calcium
  • Pistachio nuts have more vitamin B-6, thiamin, selenium, and vitamin C

While I wouldn’t say that one profile is clearly better than the other, minerals like magnesium and calcium are typically more important for people to prioritize in their diet.

Almonds vs Pistachios: Which is Healthier?

Neither almonds or pistachios are clearly healthier than the other. Pistachios do have more sugar, but also a better omega 3 to 6 fat ratio.

Both have diverse vitamin and mineral profiles that make them both healthy protein sources to eat in limited quantities.

Are Almonds or Pistachios Better for Weight Loss?

Both almonds and pistachios have a similar amount of calories per 100 grams (580 vs 560). They also have a similar amount of fat making them about equally filling. It’s unlikely that either almonds or pistachios are better than each other for losing weight.

Are Almonds or Pistachios Better for Bodybuilding?

Almonds do have slightly more protein per 100 gram serving (21.1 grams vs 20.2 grams), but that’s unlikely to make a significant difference for muscle growth unless you eat a lot of nuts. With a similar amount of calories as well, almonds and pistachios will have roughly the same benefit for bodybuilders.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.