Pistachios vs Peanuts: (Nutrition, Protein) Comparison

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Pistachios and peanuts have a similar shape and size, but there are some significant nutritional differences between the two.

I’ve created a simple side-by-side comparison here to look at how these 2 snack nuts differ.

All data on this page is per 100 grams of each nut (yes, I know peanuts aren’t “nuts”).

Nutritional Value Comparison of Pistachios and Peanuts

The macro profiles for peanuts and pistachios are more similar than I thought they would be, but there are still a few important differences.

  Pistachio nuts Peanuts
Energy (kcal) 559.3 567.1
Protein (g) 20.2 25.8
Total Lipid (g) 45.3 49.2
Carbohydrate (g) 27.2 16.1
Fiber (g) 10.6 8.5
Sugars (g) 7.7 4.7

While they have a similar amount of calories and fat, there are 2 noticeable differences:

  • Peanuts have about 30% more protein (peanuts actually have the most protein of any nut). 
  • Pistachio nuts are higher in carbohydrates by over 50% (both fiber and sugars as well)

On a diet like the ketogenic diet, this difference in carbohydrates is rather important.

SUMMARY

Peanuts and pistachios have similar macronutrient profiles, but peanuts are significantly higher in protein. Peanuts also have a bit more fat, and a lot fewer carbohydrates.

Omega 3 and 6 Fat Ratios of Pistachios and Peanuts

Peanuts have the worst omega 3 to 6 fat ratio of any nut.

Why is this important? Because if your overall diet has a poor omega fat ratio, it can lead to inflammation, which will have other side effects. Current research suggests aiming for an omega 6 to 3 fat ratio of 4:1 or below.

Take a look at the omega fats in peanuts and pistachios:

  Pistachios Peanuts
Omega 3 Fats 0.289 0.01
Omega 6 Fats 14.1 17.2
Omega 6:3 Ratio 48.79 1720.00

Both have pretty terrible ratios, but peanuts are a magnitude worse.

In practical terms, it’s not recommended to eat too much of either nut on a regular basis. You’ll need to balance out the low amount of omega 3 fats in these nuts with other foods.

Vitamins and Minerals of Pistachios and Peanuts

Most nuts have a wide variety of nutrients in significant quantities, and these 2 are no different. They are both “healthy” foods in this respect.

The table below contains only those nutrients found in good amounts, and are roughly sorted by the general RDA for adults. I’ve bolded the biggest notable differences.

  RDA Pistachio nuts Peanuts
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 1.7 0.3
Manganese (mg) 2.3 1.2 1.9
Niacin (mg) 16 1.3 12.1
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.9 0.6
Phosphorus (mg) 700 489.4 375.3
Folate (µg) 400 50.4 239.7
Vitamin E (mg) 15 2.9 8.3
Potassium (mg) 2000 1024.4 705.5
Magnesium (mg) 400 120.3 168.5
Zinc (mg) 11 2.2 3.3
Iron (mg) 18 3.9 4.6
Selenium (µg) 55 7.0 7.3
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 0.2 0.1
Choline (mg) 550 0.0 52.5
Calcium (mg) 1200 105.7 91.8
Vitamin C (mg) 90 5.5 0.0

We can see that:

  • Peanuts are higher in manganese, niacin, folate, vitamin E, and choline
  • Pistachios are higher in vitamin B-6 and vitamin C

While it’s not a huge difference, peanuts do appear to have the stronger vitamin and mineral profile.

SUMMARY

Both peanuts and pistachios have a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in significant amounts and can be part of a healthy diet. However, for someone specifically looking for a nutrient like folate or vitamin E, peanuts are the superior choice.

Pistachios vs Peanuts: Which is Healthier?

Peanuts have more protein and fewer net carbohydrates, while also having a slightly stronger vitamin and mineral profile than pistachios. While it depends on the context, peanuts are arguably healthier for anyone without an allergy.

However, both have poor omega fat ratio, and the omega fat ratio of peanuts is much worse than pistachios. If this is a main concern for someone, pistachios may be considered the healthier option.

Are Pistachios or Peanuts Better for Bodybuilding?

Peanuts are slightly better for bodybuilding. In a 100 gram serving, peanuts have about 26 grams of protein compared to 20 grams in pistachios. Note that most people aren’t eating multiple servings of this size, so it’s not a huge difference.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.