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Acorns vs Chestnuts: What’s The Difference?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between acorns and chestnuts, foods from the nuts and seeds group. Read on to learn more about the acorns vs chestnuts comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on December 30, 2022.

Acorns and chestnuts belong to the nuts and seeds food group, an important group for a healthy diet, as they provide a wide range of essential nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals.

In this article, we’ll put a spotlight on acorns and chestnuts and compare their similarities and differences.

They both provide a variety of nutrients and are relatively high in calories, like other nuts and seeds.


Acorns (Quercus spp.) are the seeds of oak trees and have been used as a food source by humans for centuries. Acorns have a slightly bitter and nutty flavor and are often ground into flour or meal for use in baking or as a thickening agent in soups and stews.

Acorns are a good source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. They are also a sustainable and renewable food source, as oak trees are widely distributed, and acorns are abundant in many areas.

In some cultures, acorns have been used as a coffee substitute and can also be roasted and eaten as a snack. Acorns can be prepared in various ways, including boiling, roasting, or grinding into flour.

However, it is important to note that acorns contain tannins, which can give them a bitter flavor and can also cause digestive issues if consumed in large quantities. Therefore, it is important to properly prepare and leach acorns before consuming them in large amounts.

Overall, acorns are a unique and nutritious food that can be valuable to a plant-based diet. If you’re looking to try something new, consider incorporating acorns into your cooking!

Acorns are an excellent source of Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).


Chestnuts (Castanea spp.) are a nut native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

These nuts have a sweet and slightly starchy flavor and are often used in sweet and savory dishes.

Chestnuts are a good source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

They are lower in fat and calories compared to many other nuts and are a good source of complex carbohydrates, making them a good choice for those watching their carbohydrate intake.

There are many ways to incorporate chestnuts into your diet. They can be eaten raw or roasted and are often peeled and cooked before use.

Chestnuts are often used in sweet dishes, such as chestnut puree or chestnut flour, and used to make chestnut bread or pastries.

They can also be used in savory dishes, such as chestnut stuffing or soup.

Chestnuts are available fresh or canned and are often sold peeled or unpeeled. It is important to store chestnuts in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them fresh, as they can become rancid quickly.

If you’re looking for a tasty and nutritious nut to add to your diet, consider giving chestnuts a try.

They are versatile, flavorful, and can be easily incorporated into various dishes.

Chestnuts are an excellent source of Vitamin C.

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin A, and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

Acorns vs Chestnuts Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing acorns vs chestnuts.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of acorns and chestnuts and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral contents.

Energy387 kcal224 kcal
Carbs40.8 g49.1 g
Protein6.15 g4.2 g
Fat23.9 g1.11 g
Saturated Fat3.1 g0.164 g

Acorns vs Chestnuts Calories

Nuts and seeds are generally high in calories; the same goes for acorns and chestnuts, so you should consume them in moderation.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a proper serving is one ounce, which is roughly equal to 1/4 cup or 28 grams.

To keep the portions under control, the amounts correspond to one serving size: 14 walnut halves, 16 cashews, 24 almonds, 28 peanuts, or 45 pistachios.

Comparing chestnuts vs acorns for weight loss, chestnuts are slightly lower in calories, with 63 calories per serving, compared to 108 calories per serving of acorns.

However, both acorns and chestnuts can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight. It’s just important to eat them in moderation.

Acorns vs Chestnuts Protein

Nuts and seeds, including acorns and chestnuts, are an important source of plant-based protein.

Acorns offer around 29% more protein than chestnuts.

Acorns have 6.2 grams of protein per 100 grams (or 1.7g per serving), while chestnuts have 4.2 grams of protein per 100 grams (or 1.2g per serving).

Acorns vs Chestnuts Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in acorns and chestnuts.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 17% higher in chestnuts than in acorns. They have 49.1 grams per 100 grams, compared to 40.8 grams in acorns.


One handful of acorns and chestnuts (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, the same amount.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in acorns and chestnuts.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

Acorns and chestnuts contain the same amount of fiber, 0 grams per portion.

Acorns vs Chestnuts Fats

Like the other nuts and seeds, fats in acorns and chestnuts are a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, naturally cholesterol free, and free of trans fats.

Total fat in acorns and chestnuts:

  • Acorns: 23.9 grams per 100 grams
  • Chestnuts: 1.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, chestnuts are 94% lower in saturated fats.

Chestnuts and acorns contain 0.2 grams and 3.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Acorns vs Chestnuts Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of acorns and chestnuts.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Acorns have a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).

However, chestnuts have a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Acorns and chestnuts contain the same amount of vitamin D, vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins acorns and chestnuts contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Vitamin A39 IU202 IU
Vitamin C036 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.112 mg0.16 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.118 mg0.18 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.83 mg0.8 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.715 mg0.555 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.528 mg0.41 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)87 µg68 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E00
Vitamin K00

Acorns vs Chestnuts Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the acorns and chestnuts comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Acorns are a better source of iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc than chestnuts.

On the other hand, chestnuts have a higher amount of calcium, copper, and potassium.

Acorns and chestnuts contain the same amount of fluoride, and selenium.

Check out the table below to learn how acorns and chestnuts compare when it comes to mineral contents.

Calcium41 mg18 mg
Copper0.621 mg0.363 mg
Iron0.79 mg1.41 mg
Magnesium62 mg84 mg
Manganese1.34 mg1.6 mg
Phosphorus79 mg96 mg
Potassium539 mg447 mg
Sodium03 mg
Zinc0.51 mg0.87 mg

The Final Word

Acorns and chestnuts are highly nutritious and excellent sources of plant-based protein and healthy fats.

Although they are relatively high in calories, they are essential to a healthy, plant-based diet and are linked to many health benefits.

Both acorns and chestnuts are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Nuts and seeds are versatile foods, and can be part of any meal or salad, just be sure to eat them moderately, as they are loaded with calories.

Nuts and seeds are versatile foods and can be part of any meal or salad, just be sure to eat them moderately, as they are loaded with calories.


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