4 Not-So-Easy Ways to Make Nuts Unhealthy

Add a lot of chocolate to your spread and remove a lot of the protein and fiber.  Serve with refined graham cracker “dippers”:

Hershey’s Spreads Snacksters (Chocolate with Graham Dippers) provides: 250 calories, 13 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 22 grams sugar, 4 grams protein, and 2 grams fiber per container.

For comparison: Smucker’s® Natural Chunky Peanut Butter contains 180 calories, 16 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 1 gram sugar, 8 grams protein, and 3 grams fiber per two tablespoon portion.

Glaze your walnuts and add sweetened granola, nutritionally poor “yogurt” covered raisins, and other sweetened dried fruit to the mix:

One packet of Emerald® Breakfast on the Go! Berry Nut Blend contains 190 calories, 9 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 17 grams sugar, 3 grams fiber, and 4 grams protein.

For comparison: ¼ cup of shelled English walnuts contain 164 calories, 16 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams fiber, and 4 grams protein along with many more vitamins and minerals and less than one gram of sugar.

Create a “dessert-inspired mixture” of sugar, peanuts, pecans, palm kernel oil, corn syrup, and cocoa butter (those are only the first six ingredients on the lengthy label).

One SMALL serving (28 grams) of Planters Turtle Sundae Mix will load you down with 160 calories, 16 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 11 grams sugar, 1 gram fiber and 3 grams protein. 

For comparison: A 25 gram serving) of raw peanuts contains 140 calories, 12 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams fiber, and 7 grams of protein.

Make a chewy bar consisting of nothing more than:  roasted peanuts, soy protein isolate, almonds, chicory root extract, vegetable oil, sugar, whey protein isolate, corn syrup, tapioca syrup, fructose, vegetable glycerin, rice starch, rice maltodextrin, nonfat dry milk, reduced minerals whey, salt, soy lecithin, partially defatted peanut flour, baking soda, and natural flour.

One 40-gram Nature’s Valley® Protein Chewy Bar (Salted Caramel Nut flavor) contains 190 calories, 12 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 6 grams sugar, 5 grams fiber, and 10 grams protein.

For comparison: 40 grams of almonds contains 229 calories, 20 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 2 grams sugar, 5 grams fiber, and 8 grams protein.

Note: Isolated fibers such as inulin, maltodextrin, oat fiber, soy fiber, modified wheat starch, sugarcane fiber, and polydextrose are becoming increasingly common in processed food products. Food labels count these isolated fibers when communicating how much fiber is in a serving of any given food. However, buyers should beware, because most of these fibers have not demonstrated the same health benefits provided by the natural fiber found in foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, etc.