Americans eat more than 4 million pounds of peanuts per day, according to Purdue University. If you eat a lot of a particular food, you should choose the healthiest version to make it easier to stay within your diet and nutrition goals. When it comes to peanuts, this means opting for unsalted dry-roasted peanuts over oil-roasted peanuts.
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Calories and Macronutrients
An ounce of dry-roasted peanuts contains 164 calories, 6.6 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates, including 2.2 grams of fiber, and 13.9 grams of fat, including 1.9 grams of saturated fat. Per ounce, oil-roasted peanuts have more calories, with 168; more fat, with 14.7 grams; more saturated fat, with 2.4 grams; and more protein, with 7.8 grams. Although oil-roasted peanuts have fewer carbohydrates, with 4.3 grams, they have more fiber than dry-roasted peanuts, with 2.6 grams. The higher calorie, fat and saturated fat content of oil-roasted peanuts, which could lead to an increased risk for obesity, high cholesterol and heart disease, makes dry-roasted peanuts a better choice, even though they have slightly less protein and fiber.
If you opt for salted nuts, dry-roasted nuts tend to contain more sodium, with 190 milligrams, than oil-roasted nuts, with 90 milligrams. Since dry-roasted nuts contain less flavor-adding fat, manufacturers may feel a need to use more salt to add flavor to the nuts and make them more appealing to consumers. Consuming too much sodium increases your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, however. You can easily remedy this problem by choosing unsalted nuts, eliminating the sodium discrepancy between the two types of nuts.
Both types of peanuts provide 19 percent of the daily value for niacin, but dry-roasted peanuts provide slightly more folate and vitamin E than oil-roasted peanuts, with 10 percent of the DV for folate compared to 8 percent, and 11 percent of the DV for vitamin E compared to 9 percent. You need folate for forming DNA, and vitamin E acts as an antioxidant to rid your body of harmful free radicals that could otherwise damage your cells.
As with vitamins, the mineral content of the two types of peanuts is very similar. Dry-roasted peanuts provide slightly more manganese, with 29 percent of the DV compared to 26 percent, but oil-roasted peanuts are slightly higher in phosphorus, with 11 percent of the DV compared to 10 percent. Both types of peanuts provide 12 percent of the DV for magnesium. Manganese is necessary for bone development and wound healing, phosphorus is essential for forming DNA and magnesium is important for controlling blood sugar and blood pressure levels.