Peanuts are one of the world’s most popular legumes a plant-based protein. They’re usually used as a healthy snack or dessert topping.
They come in several varieties, such as raw, roasted, boiled, salted, flavoured, or plain. While peanuts are better known for their high protein and fat content, you may wonder whether they can help you lose weight as well.
How do peanuts affect weight loss?
Peanuts may help you lose weight in several ways. In fact, many studies have shown that eating peanuts is linked to a healthy weight. Plus, they have been associated with lower rates of obesity.
Keep you full
Unlike other snacks that are high in simple carbs, peanuts are rich in healthy fats, proteins, and fibre, which take more time to digest.
One study of 15 participants found that adding either whole peanuts or peanut butter to breakfast caused an increased fullness and more stabilised blood sugar levels.
Simple carbs are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and can cause a quick spike in blood sugar followed by a sudden drop. This may make you to feel hungry shortly after eating.
In contrast, peanuts are slowly digested and remain in your stomach for longer which helps you feel full and satisfied, allowing you to take longer breaks between meals.
Also, peanuts need more chewing, which makes you eat your food more slowly. As a result, this gives the body signals that may prevent you from overeating.
Packed with healthy fats
Peanuts are rich in healthy fats known as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
A diet high in these fats has been associated with reduced rates of inflammation, obesity, and chronic illness, such as heart disease and diabetes.
What’s more, nut consumption is also linked to a lower risk of long-term weight gain. Some researchers theorize that the high unsaturated fat content in nuts may enhance the body’s ability to use stored fat as energy.
Lower calorie intake
Though peanuts are very high in calories, you may not be able to absorb all the calories they provide.
When you consume peanuts, your teeth cannot break them down into a small enough size for full digestion, which means you’re likely to absorb fewer calories while the rest is excreted through waste.
However, this doesn’t mean you should overconsume peanuts. Overeating calorie-dense foods, such as peanuts, can still lead to calorie add ons which ultimately affect your weight loss efforts.
Therefore, it’s very essential to be mindful of portion sizes to prevent calories from adding up. It’s best to stick to 1–2 handfuls per serving since peanuts are very easy to overeat.
Which ones to choose?
It’s best to select unflavored peanuts that have gone through minimal processing and also don't contain any added salt or other ingredients.
For extra fibre and antioxidants, enjoy peanuts with their skins on. The extra fibre can also help increase fullness.
Boiled peanuts contain much fewer calories than raw or roasted peanuts, with approx 116 calories per 1/4 cup (146 grams), compared to 207 and 214 calories for raw and roasted peanuts, respectively.
Opt for unshelled peanuts, as they take longer to open, which may further prevent mindless eating and, ultimately, help you manage your portion sizes and calorie intake better.
Though peanut butter is a very healthy option, sticking to natural peanut butter that contains no added salt, processed oils, or other ingredients is a better option.
Peanut butter provides a good amount of protein, along with various essential vitamins and minerals, like magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Most notably, 2 tbsp serving of smooth peanut butter provides the following nutrients, minerals, and vitamins:
Protein. Peanut butter contains 7.02 grams of protein. This counts toward the recommended dietary allowances for women of 46 g and 56 g for men, which varies with age and activity level.
Magnesium. With 57 milligrams of magnesium, each serving helps towards the RDA of 400–420 mg in men and 310–320 in women.
Phosphorous. Each serving contains 107 mg of phosphorus, which is about 15.3 per cent of the RDA of 700 mg for adults.
Zinc. A serving of peanut butter provides 0.85 mg of zinc which is 7.7 per cent of the recommended daily intake of 11 mg for men, and 10.6 per cent of the recommended daily intake of 8 mg for women.
Niacin. Peanut butter consists of 4.21 mg of niacin per serving, which makes it a useful contribution to a daily recommended intake of 14 to 16 mg.
Vitamin B-6. With 0.17 g of vitamin B-6 per serving, peanut butter provides almost 14 per cent of an adult’s RDA of 1.3 mg.
Peanuts are full of nutrition so it is a healthy snack.
They’re full of fibre, protein, and healthy fats, which can help in weight management by keeping you full longer.
For better results, select raw, roasted, or boiled peanuts without any added salt and flavouring, and be cautious of your serving size.
Peanuts are one the excellent alternatives to other high calorie and processed snacks to help you attain your weight loss goals.