At Fooducate, we are big fans of nuts and seeds as snacks. Eaten with a piece of fruit, they provide a great combination of protein, healthy fats, and carbs.
Let’s talk peanuts, shall we? Although technically a legume, not a nut, peanuts are usually lumped together with the almonds and sunflower seeds of the world, because they share similar attributes.
People trying to lose weight are intimidated by the high fat and calorie content of peanuts. This, of course, is a mistake. Peanuts are a very filling snack, and even a small portion will leave you satisfied for hours. Peanuts contain healthy fats that have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk for heart disease.
An ounce of unsalted, unroasted peanuts has 160 calories, 14 grams of healthy fats, and 7 grams of protein! Take 2.5 grams of fiber as an added bonus.
If you roast and salt peanuts, you’ll stay at the same calorie level, but add 120mg of sodium (about 5% of the daily value).
Planters, a Kraft subsidiary, is likely the most famous brand associated with peanuts. In its race to innovate and capture more shelf space and market share, the company has created…
“…four new powerfully delicious peanut flavors including indulgent Cocoa, decadent Salted Caramel, fiery Chipotle and rugged Smoked. With six to seven grams of protein and at least four essential nutrients per serving, the new line of peanut flavors makes a healthy snack even better.”
We took a deeper look at the Salted Caramel flavor. A serving size is one ounce, and contains the same 160 calories as plain nuts. However, there are only 12 grams of fat instead of 14. Whereas plain peanuts have virtually no sugars, this product has one and a half teaspoons. The sodium level is decent as well – just 110mg.
Here is the ingredient list:
Peanuts, sugar, brown sugar, honey, corn syrup, sea salt, peanut and/or cottonseed oil, gum arabic, dried molasses, natural flavors, cinnamon, xanthan gum.
This list is interesting because of the use of no less than 5 different types of sweeteners! (Can you identify all five?). The use of natural flavors is a bit disappointing, because roasted peanuts with caramel and salt should be good enough when you make this snack at home. The gum arabic and xanthan gum serve to keep the caramel bound to the fatty nuts for an extended period of time (shelf life of several months).
Overall, this product is a good choice for people who want to add a bit of jazz to a standard peanut snack.