Peanut Butter for Weight Loss


Whether you prefer the creamy or chunky versions, peanut butter is probably not the first thing you reach for when you’re trying to lose weight. Though it’s high in protein, peanut butter is also high in fat content, packing nearly 100 calories into every tablespoon.

But research suggests that consuming peanut butter might not stop you from losing weight. In fact, eating it might even help you shed pounds.

A diet that includes high levels of monounsaturated fats, like the ones that are found in nuts, may help people lose weight and also prevent heart disease and other health conditions, according to a multi-year study of more than 100,000 men and women, funded in part by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation.

An older 2009 study Trusted Source that followed more than 50,000 women over eight years concluded that consuming nuts regularly slightly lowered their risk of weight gain and obesity.

While research is ongoing, it would appear there is strong evidence for peanut butter as an effective weight-loss tool, when eaten in moderation. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about consuming peanut butter for weight loss.

How does peanut butter help you lose weight?

Peanut butter works to help you lose weight in two ways: by helping control your appetite and by suppressing blood sugar.

Peanut butter keeps you fuller, for longer

Eating low-fat or sugar-free snacks is the first impulse for many of us who are trying to lose weight. Those kinds of snacks might help if you’re trying to cut back on sugar or calorie consumption, but the reality is they aren’t always filling.

Instead, eating tree nuts or peanut products prior to eating a meal or as a snack does contribute to a feeling of fullness, a 2008 review Trusted Source of the medical literature showed.

This feeling of fullness can probably be chalked up to the rich fats and protein in tree nuts and peanuts. Feeling full led to eating less, and resulted in more efficient weight loss overall, according to that same review.Trusted Source

Peanut butter helps your glycemic response

Certain foods, especially processed foods and starchy foods, cause a spike in your blood sugar. Blood sugar that is unstable has been linked to obesity and diabetes. But peanut butter, despite its natural sweetness and delicious texture, has a low glycemic index.

Eating peanut butter is a way of consuming fats as well as protein and fiber without sending your blood sugar levels into a tailspin.

One small 2018 study Trusted Source showed that even eating a serving (two tablespoons) of peanut butter with a meal stabilized the glycemic effect of a meal that was otherwise high on the glycemic index.

Best peanut butter for weight loss

When you’re purchasing peanut butter for weight loss, look at the label. Some peanut butter brands have tons of added sugar, salt, and preservatives.

Natural, organic peanut butter brands are the best to choose if you’re looking to lose weight. Read nutrition labels to find the lowest amounts of sodium and added sugar that you can find.

Be aware that some peanut butter brands advertise their product as a “peanut butter spread” instead of simply “peanut butter,” which gives them license to add all sorts of other ingredients and sugars.

Crunchy peanut butter contains more fiber and fol ate, both of which are essential to your health. While creamy peanut butter choices may offer a tad more protein content, choosing fiber over protein may have the same filling effect with the bonus of promoting good digestion.

Peanut butter for weight loss ideas

You can add peanut butter to your diet in lots of creative ways. There’s no need to stick with the standard PB&J. The key to consuming peanut butter for weight loss is moderation: aim for two or three servings of two tablespoons of peanut butter a few times per week.

If you consume more than that, you run the risk of countering the benefits of peanut butter with an extremely high calorie count.

Recipe ideas that feature a serving’s worth of peanuts include:

  1. adding a two spoonfuls of peanut butter to your morning smoothie, whether it’s a green smoothie or a berry blend
  2. tossing peanuts in with your salads
  3. spreading peanut butter and honey on whole-grain toast instead of butter
  4. eating Thai-style peanut butter soup with onions, garlic, and tomatoes
  5. making a DIY fro-yo bar with grocery-store frozen yogurt topped with peanuts or peanut butter
  6. stirring creamy peanut butter into your oatmeal or overnight oats

Benefits of peanut butter

Peanut butter doesn’t just contribute to weight loss. Consuming peanuts as a regular part of your diet has other benefits, too.

  1. Peanut butter helps you recover after a workout. It’s high in protein, which you need to boost recovery if you’re going hard at the gym.
  2. Peanut butter may reduce your risk of diabetes. Because of the low glycemic score of peanuts, consuming peanuts regularly can help keep blood sugar stable and lower your diabetes risk.
  3. Peanut butter is packed with vitamins and minerals. Copper, fol ate, B vitamins, and manganese are all right there.
  4. Peanut butter may reduce your risk of heart disease and other leading causes of death. As mentioned above, a large, multi-year study of dietary habits found that nut consumption was inversely related to heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease.

Most people are aware that peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and nutrition but will cross it off the list when it comes to a weight-loss diet plan. Considering that two tablespoons pack 188 calories, 144 of which come from fat, it is not what most of us would call “diet food.”

Think again. New research suggests that peanuts in all their forms—including peanut butter—may not only help you shed weight but keep it off over the long term.

What the Research Says

In 2010 review of available literature assessing the effects of nut consumption on obesity, researchers concluded that an increased intake of nuts was associated with a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome (a disorder characterized by excess abdominal girth and high cholesterol levels).1

What they found was that peanuts and tree nuts reduced the postprandial glycemic response (changes in blood sugar after eating) while providing the dietary fiber needed to make a person feel full.

A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that frequent nut or peanut butter consumption (twice weekly) was associated with less weight gain over an eight-year period. Of the types and preparations consumed, peanuts and peanut butter were the most common.2

Adding Peanut Butter to Your Diet

To get the full benefits of peanut butter in a weight-loss plan, you need to limit your daily intake to a single serving, or two tablespoons. Some people will consume peanut butter shortly before a meal to temper their hunger. Others will add peanut butter to a reduced-calorie meal to increase the dietary fiber and protein content.

Peanut butter for weight loss, here’s how it works to help you slim down

If you are trying to lose weight, most of the ‘good stuff’ is out of bound (read: chocolates, cakes, brownies). Diet guides will discourage you from eating the things that you love the most. But the weight loss journey doesn’t have to be this difficult.

Did you know that when you’re trying to lose weight, peanut butter could be your best friend. Yes, you read that right. Peanut butter is a perfect weight loss snack. Here’s why.

“Peanut butter is a rich source of mono saturated and poly saturated fatty acids. This helps you feel satiated for long. It also helps raise the good cholesterol in your body. Vitamins E and K are perfect to soothe premenstrual symptoms,” says nutritionist Janvi Chitalia.

Apart from this, peanut butter is also a good source of protein. “Peanut butter contains more proteins than nuts. Two tablespoon contains about 8gms and it also helps you with energy boost,” she adds.

What’s the best peanut butter to pick?

It is important to choose the healthiest peanut butter option available in the market in order to avoid added salts, sugars and hydrogenated oil. “Pick peanut butters that are have ‘only peanuts’ listed under ingredients. Also avoid brands that have labels which read ‘with salt’. This will help you keep your sodium intake in check,” says nutritionist Roshan Kore, senior dietician, Narayana Health – SPARC Children’s Hospital.

What’s the best way to consume peanut butter?

Make sure you consume peanut butter in moderation. “1 tbsp has about 100 calories. You can keep your single serving to about 2 tbsps, but make sure to consume it along with low-car options such as celery sticks, cucumber, carrot, whole wheat bread, apples or pears,” says Chitalia. She suggests it’s the perfect pr-workout snack thanks to the instant energy boost. You can add some peanut butter to your smoothie. ( Shuttlecock )

You can even swap it for butter on your toast. “Instead of butter, spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on whole-grain toast or stir a tablespoon of peanut butter into hot cereal instead of adding brown sugar. You can add a spoonful of peanut butter to a smoothie made with banana, milk and protein powder as a meal replacement. Instead of reaching for a cookie or a chocolate bar, enjoy a tablespoon of peanut butter,” adds Kore.

However, she warns that peanut butter on its own cannot help weight loss. One needs to put in sustainable efforts to reduce weight. “No food magically causes weight loss, it is not advisable to start adding tablespoons of peanut butter to your current meal plan, and expect to lose weight. Failure to change your other dietary habits by reducing your portion sizes and choosing lean proteins, whole grains and fresh vegetables, might even lead to weight gain,” she adds. So, whenever you have cravings for unhealthy desserts, opt for a spoon of peanut butter instead.

Can peanut butter affect weight gain?

Peanuts are a nutrient dense food that contains vegetable proteins and healthful fats.

Overeating peanut butter may increase the number of calories and fat in someone’s diet. If a person is eating more calories than they need, they may gain weight.

Peanut butter can be a nutritious food when people eat the right amount. In such instances, peanut butter may help a person with weight loss.

In this article, we discuss the effect of peanut butter on weight.

Can it help with weight gain?

If a person consumes more calories than they burn off, they may gain weight.

A 32 gram (g) portion (2 tbsp) of peanut butter contains 190 calories and 16 g of fat, which is 21% of a person’s recommended daily value of fat.

Although peanut butter contains high levels of calories and fat, it may not encourage long-term weight gain when eaten as part of a balanced diet.

Although peanut butter contains high levels of fat, it contains low levels of saturated fats and significant amounts of good fats that are healthful for the body.

Peanut butter may also help people fill fuller, so they may not need to eat so much.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed the relation between protein-rich foods and weight.

The researchers found that peanut butter was associated with mild weight loss when individuals consumed it in place of some carbohydrates.

Can it help with bodybuilding?

A small study looked at nutritional strategies employed by 51 competitive bodybuilders and found that they consumed more protein and carbohydrates and lower amounts of fat.

According to researchers, the recommended dietary protein intake for bodybuilders in the off-season is 1.6–2.2g per kilogram of body weight a day.

A study published in Obesity showed that a high protein diet was effective in helping male participants lose weight and body fat while preserving lean body mass.

The study lasted just 12 weeks, so researchers are unclear whether people who continue to follow the diet for more than the 3 months will maintain the muscle mass.

Since bodybuilders strive for high muscle mass and lean body mass, peanut butter, and other types of nut butter may be a beneficial food choice.

Can it help with weight loss?

A large study conducted over 5 years, with participants from 10 European countries, supports this finding. The researchers concluded that those who ate the most amount of nuts, including peanuts, gained less weight and had a lower risk of having obesity over 5 years.

A small, short-term study showed that resistance-trained athletes who lost weight by consuming a low calorie and high protein diet maintained lean body mass.

Researchers have also demonstrated that people who eat nuts regularly may have a higher resting energy expenditure. People with higher resting energy expenditure may burn more calories during a nonactive period. This study only had 15 participants, so these findings require more research to support them.

This calorie-dense and high-fat food can help people feel full. When people feel full, they are less likely to continue eating. Although peanut butter is high in calories, people may be less likely to overeat.

These findings suggest that nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter, can be a healthful food option for people who want to lose weight due to its high protein content.

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