How many calories do 100 g nuts contain?

How many calories do 100 g nuts contain?

In the last few years attention towards nutrition, understood as main prevention tool for a long and healthy life, has considerably increased. Many speak of healthy diet, people worry more about choosing what they eat and carefully select what to consume.

Nuts are a fundamental part of the list of food currently experiencing an increase in interest from various categories, among which are experts, health specialists and consumers. This is thanks to their clear beneficial properties. In fact, the consumption of nuts appears to have positive effects on the normalization of cholesterol levels in the blood, on the protection of cells from the action of free radicals and from oxidative stress, on the state of inflammation and it even seems that people usually consuming nuts could benefit from a reduction of the risk of mortality from all causes. Walnuts are also among the few food types to be awarded a health claim recognized by EFSA and normed at European level: “Walnuts contribute to the improvement of the elasticity of blood vessels”.

The benefits arising from the consumption of nuts have been scientifically proved. Despite this, what must be borne in mind is that also healthy food could cause problem if over-consumed.

For what concerns almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc. the main problem lies in the fact that this food has a high calorie density: just consider that 100 g of nuts provide on average 650 kcal. This is mainly due to the nutritional composition of nuts: the predominant part of nuts in shell is constituted by fat. For this reason, they are also called lipid nuts. In order to understand the reason behind such a high calorie content just consider that 1 g of lipid deliver 9 kcal, while 1 g carbohydrates deliver approx. 4 kcal, meaning thus that fats provide more than double calories than carbohydrates! Obviously, a kind of food mainly constituted by fat is also caloric. Does this mean that we should avoid consuming nuts? Of course not.

Nuts are a fundamental source of micro and macronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phitocompounds with antioxidant action, unsaturated fat, proteins, fatty acids, omega-3, phytosterols and fibres: these are all nutrients that are useful for the maintaining of the state of health. Nuts also have a low glycaemic index and a strong satiating power, making them the perfect snack also during the main meals, as they help decreasing the overall glycaemic index and getting through more easily until the following meal without feeling hungry, thus avoiding binge eating and encouraging the reduction in the daily calorie intake.

When opting for inserting nuts within a daily nutritional plan, the only precautionary measure to be taken, except for personal allergies, is that of avoiding calorie excesses. Nuts should be inserted within a balanced diet and accompanied by an active lifestyle. Attentions should be drawn on portions: LARN (Italian acronym for Levels of Reference Nutrient Intake) suggest that a portion of nuts should amount to 28-30 g delivering on average 199 kcal.

Nuts kJ/kcal
Cashews 2476 kJ / 597 kcal
Shelled almonds 2547 kJ / 616 kcal
Peeled almonds 2763 kJ / 669 kcal
Walnuts 2831 kJ / 686 kcal
Shelled hazelnuts 2640 kJ / 639 kcal
Peeled roasted hazelnuts 2764 kJ / 670 kcal
Brazil nuts 2799 kJ / 679 kcal
Macadamia nuts 3077 kJ / 747 kcal
Pecans 3067 kJ / 744 kcal
Pistachios 2504 kJ / 605 kcal
Pine nuts 2404 kJ / 579 kcal
Pumpkin seeds 2418 kJ / 584 kcal
Sunflower seeds 2774 kJ / 673 kcal


Ying Bao, M.D., Sc.D., Jiali Han, Ph.D., Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D., Edward L. Giovannucci, M.D., Sc.D., Meir J. Stampfer, M.D., Dr.P.H., Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Charles S. Fuchs, M.D., M.P.H; Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality; N Engl J Med 2013; Nov (21) 369:2001-2011.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012

G. Liguri; Nutrizione e dietologia – aspetti clinici dell’alimentazione; Zanichelli

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