Are Yogurt-coated Peanuts Healthy?

Peanuts are healthier without the yogurt coating.

Peanuts are healthier without the yogurt coating.

Yogurt-coated peanuts supply a small dose of nutrients, but they are also high in saturated fat and sugar. Though a handful once in a while isn't likely to harm your health, regularly snacking on the sweet peanuts might. Don't be too quick to ditch peanuts entirely though, because the nuts on their own are quite nutritious.

Calories and Fat

A 1-ounce serving of peanuts contains 161 calories and about 14 grams of fat. Most of the fat in peanuts is the unsaturated kind that protects the health of your heart and aids in lowering your cholesterol levels. An ounce of yogurt coating contains 174 calories and almost 9 grams of fat, of which about 8 grams are saturated. That's nearly half of the 20 grams of saturated fat you should limit yourself to each day, according to MayoClinic.com. Too much saturated fat increases your cholesterol level and contributes to a higher risk of heart disease.

Fiber, Protein and Sugar

Yogurt coating contains no fiber and only minimal amounts of protein, as well as close to 20 grams of added sugar per ounce. That makes the coating largely empty calories. The peanuts, however, supply 2.4 grams of fiber per ounce, which is about 10 percent of the 25 grams women need each day and 6 percent of the 38 grams men require. The peanuts are also a good source of energy-supplying protein with 7.3 grams per ounce. Peanuts are also naturally low in sugar.

Nutrients

The yogurt coating lacks nutrition for the most part, but it does supply about 60 milligrams of calcium and a small amount of vitamin E. The peanuts are a much higher source of key vitamins and minerals. One ounce of peanuts supplies 3.4 milligrams of niacin, which is about one-quarter of the 14 milligrams women need each day and one-fifth of the 16 milligrams men require. The nuts also deliver 2.3 milligrams of the 15 milligrams of vitamin E you need each day, which is about 15 percent of your daily requirement. Peanuts also supply iron for a strong immune system and potassium for proper muscle function.

Tips

You don't have to give up yogurt-coated peanuts entirely, but reserve them for an occasional indulgence because they aren't as healthy as peanuts on their own. A handful of plain peanuts is a healthy way to add unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals to your daily diet. Add chopped peanuts to low-fat Greek yogurt or scatter them into a spinach salad. Chopped nuts pair well with grilled trout and tilapia. Limit yourself to an ounce or so at a time, however, because they're still high in calories.

 

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

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