Peanut butter curbs weight gain as it increases energy expenditure, has more unsaturated fat than saturated fat, contains fiber and protein, is a good source of protein, vitamin E, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper. It also reduces heart disease, diabetes and obesity risk. It can also cut the risk of developing gallstones.
Does Peanut Butter Help you Lose Weight?
Because of their high calorie and fat content, nuts in general and peanuts in particular are perceived to be “fattening” and to be avoided if one is looking to lose weight (or prevent gain). However, despite being high in calories, peanuts do not appear to contribute to weight gain. Studies have shown that peanut and peanut butter, when consumed in moderation, may help maintain a healthy weight status and reduce the risk of obesity in both adults as well as children [1,2]. Peanut butter is also a good source of protein, vitamin E, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper, making it a healthy addition to your diet.
Factors That Make Peanut Butter A Weight-Loss Friendly Food
Makes You Feel Full
Peanut butter provides 180 to 210 calories per serving, which may seem high to be considered as a diet food. However, the combination of fiber (2 g per serving) and protein (8 g per serving) of peanut butter may reduce food intake by promoting satiety to a greater extent, so you eat less overall.
Increases Energy Expenditure
The high content of protein and high ratio of unsaturated (especially monounsaturated fats) to saturated fat in peanuts may increase resting energy expenditure, resulting in less fat deposition .
Fiber Works Against Weight And Fat
Peanut butter is a source of insoluble dietary fiber, which is inversely associated with body weight and body fat. Many mechanisms have been suggested for how dietary fiber aids in weight management, including promoting satiation, decreasing absorption of macronutrients and altering secretion of gut hormones .
Other Health Benefits of Peanut Butter
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat them .
May Help Prevent Heart Disease
Observational studies indicate that consuming peanuts or peanut butter may protect against heart diseases. This may be due to the presence of heart-healthy nutrients including magnesium, niacin, copper, oleic acid and various antioxidants, such as resveratrol, in peanuts .
May Cut the Risk of Gallstones
Studies suggest that frequent peanut consumption may cut the risk of gallstones in both men and women .
Commercial peanut butters may contain high amount of sugar and hydrogenated fats, hence the benefits listed above above may not apply. Always opt for a natural nut butter instead; natural nut butters usually have peanuts as their main ingredient. Or better still, just make your own peanut butter at home and reap all the benefits!
- Moreno, Jennette Palcic, et al. “Peanut consumption in adolescents is associated with improved weight status.” Nutrition Research 33.7 (2013): 552-556.
- Mattes, Richard D., Penny M. Kris-Etherton, and Gary D. Foster. “Impact of peanuts and tree nuts on body weight and healthy weight loss in adults.” The Journal of nutrition 138.9 (2008): 1741S-1745S
- Sabaté, Joan. “Nut consumption and body weight.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 78.3 (2003): 647S-650S.
- Slavin, Joanne L. “Dietary fiber and body weight.” Nutrition 21.3 (2005): 411-418.
- “Is peanut butter healthy?”, Harvard Health Publication.
- Nath, R. “Copper deficiency and heart disease: molecular basis, recent advances and current concepts.” The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 29.11 (1997): 1245-1254.
- Tsai, Chung-Jyi, et al. “A prospective cohort study of nut consumption and the risk of gallstone disease in men.” American Journal of epidemiology 160.10 (2004): 961-968.