General Nutrition Information

If 7-UP® is the "UnCola", then the chestnut is definitely the UnNut.  The typical nut is high in calories and high in fat content as shown by the chart at right.  The chestnut, on the other hand, is very low in calories, low in fat (see chart at right), and therefore just the thing for the nutrition-conscious person.


Calories per oz.

Cashews 170
Hazelnuts 180
Macadamias 210
Peanuts 166
Pistachios 179
Walnuts 188
Chestnuts 49

Handy Equivalents

+/-25 medium size uncooked nuts in the shell = 1 lb
+/- 25 medium cooked and peeled nuts = 5.5 oz

Nutritional Content

Dried Chestnuts
or Chestnut Flour
Calories/Oz. 49 106
Protein     2% 6.55%
Fat      <1% 3.67%
Carbohydrate     39% 78%

Because it's different the chestnut isn't treated like other nuts.  All the other nuts shown in the chart are displayed in baskets or bins at the grocery store without benefit of refrigeration.  The chestnut, on the other hand, has a high water content, about 50%, more like the vegetables that are displayed in refrigerated and misted display cases in the market, and so should be found in that same area when you look for them there.   Unfortunately, the majority of produce managers do not understand these special requirements and so it is common to find chestnuts displayed with other nuts.  They dry out and begin to show signs of mold within a few days.  One more reason why it's to the advantage of the consumer to deal direct with a grower who will assure that your nuts arrive fresh and in good condition.

I didn't eat chestnuts as a kid.  Where did they come from and why am I seeing them now?  There are a number of websites that will regale you in the tales surrounding the demise of the chestnut due to blight that swept the U.S. in the early part of the century.  Suffice it to say that with the help of universities and dedicated research scientists, the chestnut is back on the scene and the industry is being reestablished to provide consumers with this very special nut.  If you're really keen on learning about the history of the nut I would refer you to The Cambridge World History of Food.

Detailed Nutritional Information

Fresh Colossal Chestnuts

Colossal Chestnut Flour
Analysis Results per 100 gm Analysis Results per 100 gm
Calories 170 Calories 371
Calories from Total Fat 9 Calories from Total Fat 33
Total Fat 1.01 gm Total Fat 3.67 gm
   Saturated Fat 0.2 gm (18.8%)    Saturated Fat 0.7 gm (17.9%)
   Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 gm (52.3%)    Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 gm (44.0%)
   Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 gm (28.9%)    Monounsaturated Fat 1.4 gm (38.1%)
Cholesterol <1 mg Cholesterol < 1 mg
Sodium 19 mg Sodium 25 mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.2 gm Total Carbohydrate 78.0 gm
   Dietary Fiber   6.3 gm    Dietary Fiber 9.2 gm
   Sugars 4.6 gm    Sugars 20.8 gm
Protein 2.99 gm Protein 6.55 gm
Vitamin A 12 IU Vitamin A 57 IU
Vitamin A 1 RE Vitamin A 6 RE
Vitamin C 1.7 mg Vitamin C 36.8 mg
Calcium 15 mg Calcium 35 mg
Iron 1.26 mg Iron 2.97 mg
Ash 0.98%    
Moisture 57.84%    
gm = grams
mg = milligrams
IU = International Units
RE = Retinol Equivalents
< = Less than

Source:  Michigan State University, Dept. of FSHN, 2003

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