Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
6/15/10 2:42 P
I consider peanut to be a nut, and put them in the same category of nuts and seeds: something healthy and good for you, but to be eaten in moderation.
While it has protein, it's not a "go-to" source for me, because the fat so much outweighs the protein - there are many better sources if I just need to boost protein.
While it's a plant-based food, I don't consider it to be a vegetable, I don't count it in "servings of vegetables".
I don't think it's starchy enough to be a starch.
And definitely it's not a fruit.
I wanted to clarify that I do know that peanuts are not technically a nut. Neither are cashews. And cocoa and coffee aren't really beans. And tomatoes are technically fruit but considered vegetables, and eggplant is considered a vegetable but is actually a berry.
How things are considered nutritionally is sometimes different than how it's considered visually or biologically.
It really depends on why you're counting servings anyway. If you're counting fruit and vegetable servings for your "five-a-day," the purpose of that is to make sure you're getting enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Peanuts don't contribute the same sort of nutrients, so they wouldn't count toward that kind of goal.
If you're counting diabetic food servings (or if you're counting for any other medical reason), then you need to ask the medical professional who told you to count. If you're supposed to be getting a certain number of servings from different groups, find out the nutritional reasoning behind the groups, and you can count those nutrients instead. It'll be much more accurate.
I don't count servings, but when I eat nuts it's for the fat and the small amount of protein. I don't eat them for the same reasons I eat vegetables or bread, so I wouldn't call them a veggie or a starch.
By the way, botanically speaking, peanuts aren't the same as tree nuts. Tree nuts are a seed/fruit, while peanuts are a legume. Nutritionally, though, they fill similar needs. That's why it's not always useful to classify plant foods into traditional groups-- what part of the plant you're eating doesn't matter as much as what nutrients it's giving you.
Even if you're a vegetarian, legumes generally count as a protein food type, not a vegetable food type. You should be getting 5+ fruit and veg a day, on top of any peanut servings that you get. If you really really want to count it as a vegetable, have 6+ servings today. :)
Peanuts are actually a legume, like a bean, which makes them a vegetable. They are high in protein, also like a bean, but also in fat - unlike a bean.
The nutritional breakdown for raw unsalted peanuts gives 567cals, 16g carbohydrate, 50g fat and 25g protein per 100g. Not sure what the other 9g is! I couldn't find the figures by the ounce but 100g is about 3.5oz.
So the peanuts work out at about 162cals, 4.5g carbs, 14g fat and 7g protein per ounce.
Hope this helps! Mind you even though they are technically a vegetable, I would hesitate to eat them in sufficent quantity to count as one of your 5 a day - unless you are a vegetarian using them as a protein source.
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