What Are the Most Expensive Nuts?

What Are the Most Expensive Nuts

When it comes to healthy snack options, nuts are many people’s go-to choice to munch on.

However, not all kinds of nuts are good for you, nor are they budget-friendly as they can actually be quite expensive.

How expensive are the most costly nuts?

The most expensive nuts are macadamia nuts at on average $25/pound and pine nuts at an average of $23/pound, but they’re in demand as they’re great sources of protein, fiber, and good fats.

Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are the most nutritious, while macadamias are the least healthy due to the high-calorie content. 

The rest of this article will cover why some nuts are so expensive and the most nutritious nuts in the market, including the top five healthiest options you can eat.

Read on to find out the worst nuts to eat and whether or not nuts and raisins are good for you.

What Are The Average Prices of Nuts?

What Are The Average Prices of Nuts

You might be surprised that not all nuts come cheap, so if you’re thinking of eating more nuts because of their health benefits, you might want to consider which types are the most inexpensive and which ones are out of your price range.

Here’s a comparative table of the cost of the top ten most expensive nuts in the world.

Types of Nuts Average Pricing (USD/pound)
Macadamia Nuts $25/pound
Pine Nuts $23/pound
Almonds $13.99/pound
Chestnuts $10.99/pound
Cashew Nuts $8.95/pound
Walnuts $8.50/pound
Brazil Nuts $7.30/pound
Pecan $6.99+/pound
Pistachios $2.00-$2.50/pound
Hazelnuts $0.61-$0.91/pound

Now let’s briefly go through the top three on this list and explore what makes them so expensive.

Macadamia Nuts

Why are macadamia nuts so expensive at $25/pound?

Business Insider explains that it’s primarily because the growing process is so slow.

There are 10 varieties of macadamia trees available, but only two can produce nuts.

However, for them to even start producing nuts, the wait is between seven and 10 years.

Flowering also takes around four to six months, so the maturity time varies.

Another reason why the price is high is the hard labor that’s required in the harvesting process that occurs only five to six times per year, as they’re usually done by hand.

The macadamia nuts’ thick shells are also removed before they’re sold, making it difficult to tell the ripe and unripe nuts apart, adding to the already intensive work that’s needed.

Plus, they are literally the toughest nut to crack (pun intended).

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts, or pignoli, are typically used to make pesto sauce.

These little ivory-colored, teardrop-shaped nuts are the second most expensive at $23/pound due to the time that’s needed to grow them and the work that’s put into the harvesting of the seeds.

About 20 species of pine trees can produce seeds large enough to be harvested.

It takes 15 to 25 years for the trees to start producing mature nuts.

The seeds are then harvested by hand—both the hard cone and hard protective shell are cracked by hand—which, like the macadamia nuts, are labor-intensive and contribute to the high cost.

Almonds

Almonds are much cheaper than the two at $13.99/pound, and with their many health benefits, the cost seems reasonable enough.

Almond trees flourish in places that have fertile soil and a Mediterranean kind of climate, which is why 80% of almonds in the market are produced in California.

The rest is harvested in Morocco, Spain, and Iran.

However, they aren’t the easiest to harvest.

According to the Almond Board of California, there are eight steps in the almond lifecycle, including “downtime, bloom, pollination, growing up, cracking open, harvest, shelling & sizing, and storage.”

It’s an extensive process, and in addition to the droughts that typically occur in the Golden State, they drive up the price of an almond.

What Are the Most Nutritious Nuts?

What Are the Most Nutritious NutsWe mentioned at the beginning of this article that not all nuts are good for you.

The truth is, unhealthy nuts don’t technically exist.

They differ in nutritional value, though, so you should know which types can be the most beneficial to you, depending on your preference and dietary needs.

Some of the most nutritious nuts that you should consider adding to your diet are also among the most expensive, including cashews, walnuts, and almonds.

But before we delve in deeper, let’s look into some of the health benefits of nuts in general.

Health Benefits of Eating Nuts

All nuts are generally good sources of protein, fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fats.

They provide vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, magnesium, omega-6, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart.

These help lower bad cholesterol and instead increase the good cholesterol to stave off heart attack risks.

If you’re a regular nut-eater, you might be disappointed to know that it mostly doesn’t help you lose weight, but it’s still a win that you don’t gain weight either.

(But nuts in moderation might help you lose weight as the fats help stave off cravings for junk food.)

Despite not having any significant effect on your weight, research shows that nuts could help you live a long and healthy life if you eat a handful daily.

Another reason to include nuts in your regular diet is they’re good for your brain, as concluded in this study.

Additionally, it may help improve your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of certain cancers.

What Are the Top 5 Healthiest Nuts?

Now that you know some of what eating nuts have to offer, let’s go into the benefits that come with specific types of nuts.

Here are the top five healthiest nuts you can add to your diet.

Almonds

Almonds get so much hype for many excellent reasons.

Not only are they among the most expensive in the world, but they are also the healthiest option.

One study shows that your cholesterol levels may improve if you regularly consume almonds.

Other benefits include reducing the inflammation in the body and in maintaining a healthy body weight.

According to another study, a low-calorie diet with almonds can also lower your blood pressure if you’re overweight or obese.

Below are some key nutritional facts (based on one serving = 28g or 1oz):

Calories 161
Fat 14 g (0.49 oz)
Protein 6 g (0.21 oz)
Carbohydrates 6 g (0.21 oz)
Fiber 3.5 g (0.12 oz)
Vitamin E 37% of the Reference

Daily Intake (RDI)

Magnesium 19% of the RDI

Pistachios

These nuts are consumed because of their high fiber content.

If you eat 2-3 ounces (56.7-85.05 grams) daily, pistachios may help improve your good HDL cholesterol.

They also have high antioxidant content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin, so they’re good for eye health.

Below are some key nutritional facts (based on one serving = 28g or 1oz):

Calories 156
Fat 12.5 g (0.44 oz)
Protein 6 g (0.21 oz)
Carbohydrates 8 g (0.28 oz)
Fiber 3 g (0.11 oz)
Vitamin E 3% of the RDI
Magnesium 8% of the RDI

Walnuts

Walnuts are a super source of omega-3 fatty acids and can help reduce your risk of having heart disease.

In terms of calories and fat content, they’re in the higher spectrum than other nuts, but your body needs the healthy fat they contain so you don’t get hungry for a while longer.

Below are some key nutritional facts (based on one serving = 28g or 1oz):

Calories 182
Fat 18 g (0.63 oz)
Protein 4 g (0.14 oz)
Carbohydrates 4 g (0.14 oz)
Fiber 2 g (0.07 oz)
Vitamin E 1% of the RDI
Magnesium 11% of the RDI

Cashews

Unlike walnuts, cashews are low in calories and fat.

But they have more iron content than any other type of nut, so not only are they a good snack, they are a great source for iron, especially since it’s the nutrient that most people lack.

Additionally, cashews make for a great dairy replacement because of their creamy texture.

Below are some key nutritional facts (based on one serving = 28g or 1oz):

Calories 155
Fat 12 g (0.42 oz)
Protein 5 g (0.18 oz)
Carbohydrates 9 g (0.32 oz)
Fiber 1 g (0.04 oz)
Vitamin E 1% of the RDI
Magnesium 20% of the RDI

Pecans

Pecans are not only good for your favorite desserts, but they’re also nutritious.

Similar to other types of nuts, they are good antioxidants as reported in this research.

They also contain healthy monounsaturated fats, which aids in weight loss.

Below are some key nutritional facts (based on one serving = 28g or 1oz):

Calories 193
Fat 20 g (0.44 oz)
Protein 3 g (0.21 oz)
Carbohydrates 4 g (0.28 oz)
Fiber 2.5 g (0.11 oz)
Vitamin E 2% of the RDI
Magnesium 8% of the RDI

What Are the Worst Nuts To Eat?

What Are the Worst Nuts To Eat

We’ve established by now that although nuts are generally healthy, they can’t always be good for your personal dietary needs.

The worst nuts to eat are macadamias.

Yes, they’re very delicious and luxurious (and expensive), but they’re not as healthy as your other options.

A one-cup serving (134 g or 4.73 oz) has a calorie content of almost 1,000.

(But you wouldn’t be able to eat a full cup, as only a few nuts can be filling, based on the fat content.)

Additionally, the same serving has 102 grams (3.6 ounces) of fat, which isn’t healthy and is more than anyone should consume in an entire day.

Other nuts that you should avoid are peanuts and pine nuts, though they both contain some nutritional value.

Peanuts can potentially cause liver cancer due to the aflatoxins that they’re exposed to and can trigger severe allergic reactions.

But if you really want peanuts, choose the raw kind.

As for pine nuts, some people can get afflicted with the pine nut syndrome, which leaves a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth.

There’s no known cause, but it can take a few days to two weeks before it goes away.

Are Nuts and Raisins Good for You?

Are Nuts and Raisins Good for You

Eating nuts and dried fruits, such as raisins, prunes, dates, etc., regularly are good for you and your overall health.

Almonds and walnuts are good for your brain, cashews can fight off a migraine, apricots are for improved eye health, and raisins help your digestion.

Remember though: dried fruits are very high in carbohydrates, and can spike your blood glucose very quickly.

These are only some of the benefits that you can expect, but let’s quickly go through the others:

  • They help fight diseases and boost your immunity. Dried fruits are rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and folate, increasing your nutrient consumption. Both nuts and dried fruits have antioxidants that boost your immune system.
  • They can help you lose weight. If you have nuts and dried fruits in your regular diet (but in moderation), they can help you stay fit and healthy, because if you snack on dried fruits, you’re said to absorb more essential nutrients and fewer fats and sugar, thus promoting better metabolism. But dried fruits can stall weight loss if you eat more than one or two pieces at a time.
  • They can keep your heart healthy. Raisins lower your systolic blood pressure and keep your cholesterol in check while reducing the inflammatory markers in your body. Almonds contain healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E that also prevents your cholesterol level from increasing. Having both in your diet lowers the risk of any heart diseases, heart attacks, and stroke.

If you still have any doubts, here’s a study that shows that pairing nuts and dried fruits are healthy and good for you.

Final Thoughts

Some nuts like macadamia and pine are so expensive because they’re labor-intensive, and their harvesting process is extensive.

But because people are now more health-conscious than ever, spending more than $10 for a pound of nuts can be worth it as long as they reap the long-term health benefits.

Chris Watson

I'm the founder of EatForLonger.Com. I'm an enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuff and lifestyle based insights. Simple food based concepts for optimising your Healthspan, nutrition and all-round well-being. I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes and add some life to your years. Read more About Me here

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