Walnuts vs Peanuts: (Nutrition Comparison)


Walnuts have been gaining more popularity as people look to improve their omega fat ratio.

We’re going to look at how walnuts stack up against arguably the most popular “nut” – peanuts, in this short comparison post.

Note that all nutrition data on this page is per 100 gram serving of each food.

Nutritional Value Comparison of Walnuts and Peanuts

Let’s start with the macros of each nut before moving on to the omega fat profiles.

  Walnuts Peanuts
Energy (kcal) 654.7 567.1
Protein (g) 15.2 25.8
Total Lipid (g) 65.2 49.2
Carbohydrate (g) 13.7 16.1
Fiber (g) 6.7 8.5
Sugars (g) 2.6 4.7

There are some big differences between these:

  • Peanuts have fewer calories and a lot more protein (about 70% more)
  • Walnuts are higher in total fat
  • Peanuts have more carbohydrates, but also more fiber, so net carbohydrates are similar

Omega 3 and 6 Fat Ratios of Walnuts and Peanuts

high fat nuts

Walnuts have the best omega fat ratio of any common nut, while peanuts have the worst ratio.

  Walnuts Peanuts
Omega 3 Fats 8.49 0.01
Omega 6 Fats 35.7 17.2
Omega 6:3 Ratio 4.20 1720.00

Research currently indicates that an omega 6 to 3 fat ratio greater than 4 can lead to inflammation.

That applies to your whole diet, so it’s fine to have some foods like peanuts in moderation. 

However, because walnuts have such a good ratio of omega fats, they don’t need to be limited for that specific reason at least.

Vitamins and Minerals of Walnuts and Peanuts

Most nuts contain a solid profile of vitamins and minerals, which is why they are considered a healthy food in general.

But there are still some differences between specific nuts. Here’s a table comparing nutrients in walnuts and peanuts, sorted by percent of RDA.

  RDA Walnuts Peanuts
Manganese (mg) 2.3 3.4 1.9
Niacin (mg) 16 1.1 12.1
Folate (µg) 400 97.4 239.7
Vitamin E (mg) 15 0.7 8.3
Phosphorus (mg) 700 345.3 375.3
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.3 0.6
Magnesium (mg) 400 157.3 168.5
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.5 0.3
Potassium (mg) 2000 441.0 705.5
Zinc (mg) 11 3.1 3.3
Iron (mg) 18 2.9 4.6
Selenium (µg) 55 5.0 7.3
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 0.2 0.1
Choline (mg) 550 39.1 52.5
Calcium (mg) 1200 97.4 91.8

This is one of the few cases where it’s clear that one nut has the better profile of nutrients than the other.

Peanuts have the same or more of almost every nutrient than walnuts. The exception is manganese, but both nuts have almost the full RDA in a single 100 gram serving, so that isn’t particularly relevant.

Walnuts vs Peanuts: Which is Healthier?

Peanuts have fewer calories, more protein, and more vitamins and minerals than walnuts. However, peanut allergies are common, and peanuts also have a terrible omega fat ratio (while walnuts have a great one).

In small doses you can argue that peanuts are healthier, but it also depends on what the rest of someone’s diet looks like.

Are Walnuts or Peanuts Better for Weight Loss?

Peanuts are better for weight loss because they contain about 10% fewer calories than walnuts per equal sized serving. Additionally, peanuts contain about 70% more protein, which can minimize muscle loss while losing weight.

Are Walnuts or Peanuts Better for Bodybuilding?

Peanuts are better for bodybuilding because they contain much more protein than walnuts, which will support muscle growth. In a 100 gram serving, walnuts have about 15 grams of protein, while peanuts have just under 26 grams.

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.