Cashew Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits

Cashew annotated
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

The cashew nut is grown in Vietnam, Nigeria, India, and the Ivory Coast, but it is native to Brazil. The nut is a product of the evergreen cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) that produces both a fruit (also called an apple) and a nut (also called a seed) that hangs beneath the fruit.

Cashews are consumed as a snack on their own, are commonly used in nut mixes, and can also be processed into cashew butter, cashew milk, and other products. Cashews can be a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation. 

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 ounce (28g) of raw, unsalted cashews.

  • Calories: 157
  • Fat: 12g
  • Sodium: 3.4mg
  • Carbohydrates: 8.6g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Sugars: 1.7g
  • Protein: 5.2g

Carbs in Cashews

A single serving of cashew nuts is 1 ounce—or about 18 nuts. That serving size contains 157 calories and just under 9 grams of carbohydrate. Most of the carbohydrate in cashews is starch. A small amount is fiber (just under 1 gram) and the rest—1.7 grams—is sugar. 

The estimated glycemic load of cashews is 3 if you consume a 1-ounce serving.

Fats in Cashews

Most of the calories in cashews come from fat. There are 12 grams of fat in a serving if you consume the full ounce. Most of the fat is monounsaturated fat, considered to be a healthy form of fat.

Protein in Cashews

Cashew nuts provide just over 5 grams of protein per serving.

Micronutrients in Cashews

Cashew nuts are a very good source of vitamin K, providing about 8 percent of your daily needs. You'll also benefit from thiamin and vitamin B6 when you consume cashews.

Minerals in cashews include magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, zinc, iron, and selenium.

Health Benefits of Cashews

Cashews do provide certain health benefits, especially if you are trying to eat well and maintain a healthy weight. The nuts are a high-fat food, but they provide monounsaturated fat (a healthy form of fat that helps boost heart health and reduce cholesterol levels when consumed in moderation). Cashews also provide diet-friendly fiber.

In addition, cashews contain enough protein to help promote satiety or a feeling of fullness after eating. Studies also show that plant-based diets that include healthy fats and protein from nuts and seeds (rather than meat products) can boost heart health.

This type of diet may reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower the risk of dying from heart disease.

Common Questions About Cashews

What's the best way to avoid overeating cashews?
Even though nuts provide health benefits, they are one of the most common foods that we overeat. A single serving of cashews is about 18 nuts, but you don't have to eat that many. If you cut your portion size in half, you'll only consume about 75 calories. 

How often do you actually count nuts before you eat them?

Nuts are often kept in a resealable container in the pantry or in a bowl on a desk or table. When you eat nuts mindlessly from a large open container, you are likely to overeat them. To avoid overdoing it, use your hand to control portions. A small handful of nuts is a single serving.

Are flavored nuts or nut mixes just as healthy as regular nuts? 
Cashews are often found in canned nut mixes that you find in the snack food aisles of the grocery store. When you buy nut blends or nut mixes, the nuts may be roasted in oil or seasoned with high sodium products. The result is that you may consume far more fat or sodium than you expect.

Can nuts be part of a weight-loss diet?
Nuts can make a smart snack if you are trying to lose weight. The protein and fiber in nuts may help you to feel full and satisfied so you don't eat again soon after your meal. However, it is important to consume nuts in moderation.

Will eating nuts make me bloated?
Some people notice that they are bloated the day after eating nuts in a bar or at a party. You probably won't get bloated from the nuts, but if the snack was heavily salted, you may experience a temporary increase in weight from the increased sodium intake.

What's the best way to store cashews?

The best way to store nuts is to keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay fresh for about three months. If you keep them in the refrigerator they should stay fresh for up to six months, and if you freeze them you can use them for about one year.

Is cashew butter better for my body than peanut butter?

Cashews provide less protein than peanuts, so if you are looking to boost your protein intake, peanut butter is a better bet. On the other hand, some people prefer the milder taste of cashew butter.

Ultimately, the nutrition in your nut butter depends on the ingredients added during processing. Look for nut butters that contain just nuts. Some may also include oil. Try to avoid nut butters with added sugars or excess sodium.

Is cashew milk healthy?

Nut-based milk products are healthy for some people—especially those that need to avoid lactose. However, keep in mind that many nut milks such as cashew milk often contain added ingredients like added sugar—also, they may not provide as many micronutrients (like calcium) as dairy milk.

Be sure to check the nutrition facts label and the ingredients list on the nut milk you're thinking of trying before you make your decision.

Cashew Recipes and Preparation Tips

Cashews can be eaten raw or roasted. Many people describe them as having a creamy, sweet texture that pairs well with savory and salty foods. 

Try any of these recipes to experiment with creative uses for cashews.

Sprinkle roasted or raw nuts on a salad for a boost of protein, or add them to the top of a small serving of ice cream.

Cashew Allergies and Interventions

If you have a tree nut allergy, you should avoid cashews. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, however, just because you are allergic to one tree nut doesn't necessarily mean that you are allergic to another. Though, some nut allergies are closely related, such as cashew and pistachio.

The organization advises that symptoms of a tree nut reaction may be severe. They advise that those with a known tree nut allergy carry epinephrine at all times.

If you suspect an allergy to cashews or other tree nuts, speak with your healthcare provider to get personalized advice. 

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Article Sources
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Additional Reading