Honey Roasted Peanuts Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Peanuts with honey
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Honey roasted peanuts are a sweet, savory snack made by coating raw peanuts with a sugary honey mixture then roasting them at high heat. The main ingredient, peanuts (Arachis hypogaea) is a legume that provides important nutrients such as protein and niacin. But the sugary mixture that is used to coat the peanuts adds substantial sugar and sodium.

Honey Roasted Peanuts Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 ounce (28.4g) of honey roasted peanuts.

  • Calories: 162
  • Fat: 12.8g
  • Sodium: 99mg
  • Carbohydrates: 8.5g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 4.6g
  • Protein: 5.9g

Carbs

A single serving of honey roasted peanuts is just over 28 grams or one ounce. According to companies that sell the treat, an ounce is equivalent to about 39 pieces. This serving size provides 162 calories and 8.5 grams of carbohydrate (although the numbers can vary slightly depending on brand). The carb count includes about 4.6 grams of sugar most of which is added sugar. Raw peanuts contain about 1.3 grams of naturally-occurring sugar. There are also about 2 grams of fiber in honey roasted peanuts.

There is no recorded glycemic index for honey roasted peanuts, but the glycemic index for plain peanuts is estimated to be 7, making them a low glycemic food. However, the added sugar in honey roasted peanuts would increase the glycemic effect, so you can't assume that honey roasted peanuts are also a low glycemic food.

Fats

Most of the calories in honey roasted peanuts come from fat with about 12.8 grams per serving. There are about 2 grams of saturated fat in the snack, about 6.7 grams of monounsaturated fat, and about 2.7 grams of polyunsaturated fats.

Much of the fat in honey roasted peanuts comes from the nuts themselves. But the fat used to roast the nuts can make a slight difference. Commercial brands, for example, may use cottonseed oil or peanut oil (which tend to be higher in polyunsaturated fat) to roast the nuts. Whereas a home cook may use just a small amount of butter which contains more saturated fat.

Protein

A one-ounce serving of honey roasted peanuts provides just under 6 grams of plant-based protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Peanuts are an excellent source of niacin, providing about 25% of your reference daily intake or RDI. The nuts also smaller amounts of provide manganese, vitamin E, copper, magnesium, vitamin B6, and iron.

Health Benefits

Honey roasted nuts provide many of the same health benefits that peanuts and some other legumes provide. But these benefits should be balanced by the added sodium and added sugar that they contain.

Provides Plant-Based Protein

Those following a plant-based diet (such as a vegan or vegetarian diet) can fill some of their protein needs by consuming legumes including peanuts or honey roasted peanuts. In fact, one study on the benefits of plant-based diets included peanuts in their list of notable food sources based on the protein and other nutrients that they provide.

Authors of the study note that a plant-based diet has been associated with lower heart disease mortality, sustainable weight management, reduced medication needs, lower risk for most chronic diseases, and a decreased incidence and severity of high-risk conditions, including obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia. They note that getting nutrients from a wide range of plant-based sources is best.

May Promote Heart Health

The fiber and mono- and polyunsaturated fats in peanuts may help support heart health. Authors of a study published in a 2016 issue of the Journal of Food Science and Technology reported that the consumption of peanuts or peanut oil has been associated with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and may improve serum lipid profiles and decrease LDL oxidation according to their research review. And another 2016 review of studies noted that the antioxidant resveratrol in peanuts helps reduce cardiovascular inflammation and relax blood vessels, thereby increasing circulation and lowering blood pressure.

It should be noted however, that added sugars and excess sodium have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. So the potential benefits of consuming this snack should be weighed with the potential drawbacks if you are considering honey roasted peanuts for heart health.

May Reduce Cognitive Decline

The niacin and vitamin E in peanuts may have benefits when it comes to cognitive decline in older adults. According to some reports, as much as 90% of men and women are not getting adequate vitamin E. A single serving of honey roasted peanuts provides about 1.3 mg of the nutrient which can help you reach the recommended daily intake of 15 mg. Researchers note that it is the combination of vitamin E and niacin along with the presence of resveratrol that may make peanuts helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.

May Prevent Gallstones

Gallstones are lumps of solid matter (often cholesterol or bilirubin) that can develop inside the gallbladder. Gallstones can be very small (like a grain of sand) or very large (the size of a golf ball). They are known to be painful and difficult to pass. Some studies have shown that consuming peanuts or peanut butter five times per week may be able to reduce the risk of gallbladder disease by as much as 25%. 

May Aid in Weight Management

There have been a few highly publicized studies that have associated the consumption of peanut butter, tree nuts, or peanuts with healthy weight loss or maintenance. Peanuts are not a tree nut, like almonds or Macadamia nuts. Instead, they are a legume. They grow in pods like other legumes such as peas or soybeans. But peanuts are often included in studies about nut consumption.

For example, in one study researchers suggested that the regular consumption (one handful per day) of nuts over the long term can be incorporated as a component of a healthy diet for the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes. But it is important to note that the study authors saw this benefit when the nuts were a replacement for less healthy foods. The study did not specifically look at flavored varieties of peanuts like honey roasted peanuts.

Honey roasted peanuts, like plain peanuts, provide fiber and protein. These nutrients help to improve satiety—or the feeling of satisfaction and fullness that you get after eating. Improved satiety is associated with healthy eating practices. But it is important to remember that honey roasted peanuts also provide added sugar and salt, two nutrients that are not helpful in a weight loss diet. For this reason, plain peanuts may be a better choice if you are trying to reach or maintain a healthy weight.

Allergies

Peanut allergy is a common allergy that is often identified in children. But it is also estimated that 2.9% of adults in the United States have a self-reported peanut allergy and that 14.3% of those adults with physician-diagnosed peanut allergy reported symptoms beginning in adulthood. Symptoms of a peanut allergy reaction can be mild to severe. Mild symptoms include itching, hives, swelling, diarrhea, or wheezing. But peanut allergy can also cause anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. If you have a peanut allergy, you should not consume honey roasted peanuts.

Also, those following a gluten-free diet may want to cautious when consuming certain brands of honey roasted peanuts. Honey, nuts, and oil do not inherently contain gluten, but certain brands like Planters do not specifically label their nuts as gluten-free.

Adverse Effects

When consumed in small amounts, honey roasted peanuts are likely to be safe for people without a peanut allergy. However, it is known that resveratrol can interfere with certain medications when consumed in large amounts (such as a supplement) If you consume large amounts of honey roasted peanuts and especially if you also take a resveratrol supplement, you should speak to your healthcare provider. Also, when you consume salty foods in excess you may retain water and feel bloated as a result.

Varieties

There are many different brands of honey roasted peanuts. Commercial brands are often made with different sweeteners including sugar, honey, fructose, and corn syrup. Cottonseed oil or peanut oil are used for roasting. Other ingredients may include salt, xanthan gum (a thickener), or cornstarch. You can also make a healthier variety of honey roasted peanuts at home, using fewer sweeteners and additives.

When It's Best

Honey roasted peanuts are available year-round in most supermarkets.

Storage and Food Safety

Commercial brands of nuts are usually sold in air-tight containers and can stay fresh for months when stored in a cool pantry. Each container will also have a "best by" date that can be used as a reference.

Once nuts are opened, they will last one to two weeks. Manufacturers suggest that you store opened packages of nuts in a covered jar or tin. Place the container in a cool, dark place.

Nuts can be refrigerated or frozen. Refrigeration extends the shelf life to about four weeks. Freezing them may keep them fresh for several months.

How to Prepare

To make your own honey roasted nuts at home, start with raw peanuts. Then combine honey, with butter and salt in a mixing bowl. Add other flavors such as vanilla or cinnamon if you prefer. Warm the mixture in the microwave until is liquid. Then mix thoroughly. Add the peanuts and toss until all of the nuts are coated. Finally, place the nuts on a roasting pan and place it in the oven at 325 for about 20 minutes. Toss them every 5 minutes or so to keep them from clumping and sprinkle a little bit of sugar or salt for added flavor.

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