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Nuts vs. Legumes — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 21, 2023
Nuts are hard-shelled seeds of plants, while legumes are the seeds and pods of plants in the Fabaceae family.
Nuts vs. Legumes — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Nuts and Legumes

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Key Differences

Nuts and Legumes are both widely consumed for their nutritional benefits. Nuts, typically characterized by a hard outer shell, are the seeds of various plants. Almonds, walnuts, and chestnuts are some common examples. Often consumed for their high fat and protein content, Nuts are integrated into numerous cuisines and dishes. Legumes, on the contrary, represent both the seeds and the pods of plants from the Fabaceae family. Beans, lentils, and chickpeas fall under this category.
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Sep 21, 2023
Unlike nuts, Legumes are known for their rich carbohydrate and fiber content. One interesting aspect is the culinary classification versus botanical classification.
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Sep 21, 2023
In culinary terms, peanuts are deemed nuts; however, botanically, they're legumes. The decision between Nuts and Legumes in a diet often stems from the nutritional needs and culinary preferences of an individual.
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Sep 21, 2023

Comparison Chart

Botanical Definition

Seeds of various plants with a hard outer shell.
Seeds and pods of plants from the Fabaceae family.
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Nutritional Focus

High in fats and proteins.
Rich in carbohydrates and fiber.
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Sep 21, 2023
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Culinary Classification

Can include some legumes, e.g., peanuts.
Includes beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
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Sep 21, 2023

Growth Pattern

Grow on trees or shrubs.
Primarily grow on plants close to the ground.
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Examples

Almonds, walnuts, chestnuts.
Kidney beans, green beans, lentils.
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Compare with Definitions

Nuts

Hard-shelled seeds of specific plants.
Walnuts are one of the most nutritious Nuts available.
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Legumes

Seeds and pods from the Fabaceae family.
Lentils, a type of Legumes, are staple foods in many cultures.
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Nuts

Botanically distinct from legumes.
Almonds and cashews are true Nuts, unlike peanuts.
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Legumes

Rich in fiber and carbohydrates.
Consuming Legumes can aid in digestive health.
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Nuts

A source of healthy fats and proteins.
Incorporating Nuts into a diet can boost overall health.
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Legumes

Include beans, lentils, and peas.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, belong to the Legumes family.
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Nuts

Often used in confectionery and baking.
She sprinkled chopped Nuts on her brownies.
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Legumes

Often used in stews, soups, and salads.
She added black beans, a type of Legumes, to her salad.
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Nuts

Edible kernels inside a hard or woody cover.
Pecan pie showcases the rich flavor of Nuts.
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Legumes

Botanically distinct from nuts.
Peanuts, though considered nuts in culinary terms, are Legumes.
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Nuts

Crazy or foolish.
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Legumes

A plant of the pea family.
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Nuts

Extremely enthusiastic
I'm nuts about opera.
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Legumes

A pod of such a plant, which splits into two valves with the seeds attached to one edge of the valves.
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Nuts

Used to express contempt, disappointment, or refusal.
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Legumes

Such a pod or seed used as food. Peas, beans, and lentils are legumes.
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Nuts

Plural of nut
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Legumes

Plural of legume
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Nuts

(poker) An unbeatable hand; the best poker hand available.
If the board is 237QA, all of spades, the nuts is 45 of spades.
If the board is 4444J, the nuts is any hand with an ace.
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Nuts

(colloquial) Insane, mad.
After living on the island alone for five years, he eventually went nuts.
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Nuts

Crazy, mad; unusually pleased or, alternatively, angered.
I just go nuts over her fantastic desserts.
The referee made a bad call against the home team and the crowd went nuts.
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Nuts

(colloquial) Very fond of (on) someone.
He's been nuts on her since the day they met.
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Nuts

Indicates annoyance, anger, or disappointment.
Nuts! They didn't even listen to what I had to say.
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Nuts

Signifies rejection of a proposal or idea, as in no way, or nothing doing; often followed by to.}}
They want me to pay $5 for a banana? Nuts to that!
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Nuts

Crazy; loony; insane; batty; - used in a predicate position, ususually in phrases such as to go nuts, went nuts, are you nuts?
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Nuts

An expression of disapproval, defiance, or displeasure, as in: "Ah, nuts! My knife just broke."
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Nuts

Informal or slang terms for mentally irregular;
It used to drive my husband balmy
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Common Curiosities

What are the primary nutrients in Legumes?

Legumes are rich in carbohydrates, fiber, and proteins.
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Can both Nuts and Legumes be consumed raw?

While some Nuts can be eaten raw, many Legumes require cooking for safe consumption.
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Are peanuts considered Nuts or Legumes?

Botanically, peanuts are Legumes, but they are often treated as Nuts in culinary contexts.
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How are Legumes typically consumed?

Legumes are often boiled, stewed, or roasted and included in various dishes.
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What are Nuts in a botanical sense?

Nuts are hard-shelled seeds of certain plants.
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Which is generally higher in fats: Nuts or Legumes?

Nuts are typically higher in fats than Legumes.
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Which Nuts are popular in baking?

Almonds, walnuts, and pecans are popular Nuts used in baking.
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What are the health benefits of Legumes?

Legumes can aid in digestion, support heart health, and provide essential nutrients.
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What role do Nuts and Legumes play in a balanced diet?

Nuts provide healthy fats and proteins, while Legumes offer essential fibers, proteins, and carbs.
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Are Nuts gluten-free?

Yes, in their natural state, Nuts are gluten-free.
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How are Nuts different from seeds?

All Nuts are seeds, but not all seeds are considered Nuts.
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Can you name a few dishes that primarily feature Nuts?

Nut butter, pecan pie, and almond pastries prominently feature Nuts.
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Can I be allergic to Nuts and not Legumes or vice versa?

Yes, it's possible to be allergic to one and not the other, although cross-allergies can occur.
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What is the environmental impact of growing Legumes?

Legumes can enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen, making them environmentally beneficial.
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Are Legumes good sources of protein for vegetarians?

Yes, Legumes are a prominent protein source for vegetarians.
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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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