Call them peanuts, earthnuts, groundnuts, goobers, or even Arachis hypogaea; they are the same thing! This is a legume plant that is believed to have originated in South America thousands of years ago and belonging to the Fabaceae botanical family. Of all the oil seeds known to humankind, peanuts are perhaps the most popular owing to how delicious they are and the health benefits that accompany them. Are there any benefits of peanuts for weight loss?
These small seeds are packed with many health-benefiting nutrients that can guarantee optimum health and wellness. They provide several minerals such as Zinc, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. Although they are legumes, peanuts have almost all the qualities associated with other edible nuts, almonds, and pistachio. They are consumed raw or roasted and sometimes made into peanut butter. Other common peanut products include peanut flour, oil, and protein.
Are Peanuts Healthy?
The fact that you are on a weight loss journey implies that you have to watch your diet. With their nutritive value, peanuts are healthy for consumption, but one may wonder if they can do any good for weight loss. Apart from being healthy, these nuts can contribute a lot to weight loss.
So, to answer the questions, are peanuts good for you? Are boiled peanuts healthy? Is peanut butter good for weight loss? Then, the answer is yes (11).
Types Of Peanuts
Peanuts can be categorized into four major varieties. These are the Virginia peanuts, runner peanuts, Valencia peanuts, and Spanish peanuts. These can be found in various forms such as raw, in-shell, shelled, oil-roasted, and dry-roasted.
Similarly, peanut butter comes in several forms, such as unsalted or salted, creamy, or chunky. If you can access raw peanuts, go for them because they are the healthiest type (4).
Tips For Losing Weight Eating Peanuts
- Factor your peanut intake into your total caloric intake for the day. A half-ounce serving of peanuts has about 80 calories, not forgetting 7 grams of fat and 3 grams of carbs. Losing weights means you are burning more calories than your intake, which is why you have to factor in peanut calories (11).
- Peanuts are tasty and may tempt you into consuming more than you need. Measure yourself by weighing peanuts on a digital kitchen scale to help you stick to the half-ounce serving of 14 grams. This way, you will reduce caloric intake.
- Take a combination of peanuts with other high-protein foods for you to feel fuller. This will keep you satiated longer (8).
How To Consume Peanuts For Weight Loss?
The good thing with peanuts is that they can be eaten in various forms. In some parts of the world, they are eaten raw. But if this is not your cup of tea, you can try them when roasted or boiled. They can also be consumed as peanut butter or peanut oil. However, if your overall goal is to lose weight, then you should consume them in the following ways:
- Peanut butter. Peanuts may have health benefits associated with weight loss, but they have to be consumed in moderation. If it is peanut butter, it should be a two-tablespoon serving taken twice or thrice a week. Exceeding this will result in excess caloric intake, hindering your weight loss (7).
- Adding them to protein-rich foods. By adding peanuts to protein-rich foods like salads or grilled chicken, you increase the dish’s power to keep you fuller. This will help you control your appetite, which is a good thing, especially when you aim to lose weight. Furthermore, peanut dishes are irresistible due to their taste (10).
- Making them your favorite mid-day snack. This is a power snack that can be eaten when roasted, and if you do not have the time to roast them, they can still be eaten raw. It does not get any better than this if you are on a weight loss journey. Peanuts are a filling snack, and having a handful of them can make you last until dinner without any other meal (9).
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Benefits Of Peanuts For Weight Loss
Now that you know that this plant food can help with weight loss, you may ask, are peanuts fattening? Yes, they can be if eaten in excess, so the key here is moderation. Below are the benefits for weight loss:
They Help Keep You Feel Full For Longer
Unlike most of the other snack foods, which are filled with simple carbohydrates, peanuts, on the other hand, are enriched with proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. As a result, they take longer to digest. Those watching their weight can add either whole peanuts or peanut butter to their breakfast to achieve increased fullness and make their blood sugar levels more stable.
Most snacks contain simple carbohydrates, which can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a quick spike in blood sugar followed by a rapid drop. This results in people feeling hungry shortly after meals. The benefit of peanuts is that they are digested slowly and remain in the stomach longer, keeping you feeling satisfied longer (2).
It is also important to note that eating peanuts requires more chewing. So, you will be eating your food slower, hence allowing your body enough time to register when you are full. By doing so, it will prevent you from overeating.
They Promote Lower Caloric Intake
This is a tricky one because you must have heard that peanuts are high in calories. As long as you keep your portion sizes reasonable, the fiber, protein, and healthy fats in peanuts will help you feel full for longer after eating them. If you have peanuts as a snack, this means you may need to eat less at your next meal. If you incorporate peanuts into a meal, they may help you make it to the next mealtime without snacking in between. Either way, this can result in lower overall calorie intake (1).
They Are Packed With Healthy Fats
Peanuts/groundnuts are full of many healthy fats, called monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). A diet rich in the types of fat in peanuts has immense benefits such as reduced rates of obesity, inflammation, and chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
In addition to that, the consumption of nuts, such as peanuts, is said to lower the risk of long-term weight gain. It is theorized that this is because the high unsaturated fat content they contain can improve the body’s ability to utilize stored fat as energy (3).
They Help Improve Your Metabolism
Peanuts are an excellent source of energy for the body. This energy comes in handy by boosting the metabolic rate of the body. Good metabolism will, on the other hand, promote weight loss a great deal. Apart from helping convert food into energy, the niacin in peanuts also aids both the digestive and nervous systems (5).
However, even if peanuts have been established to be very healthy, it is important to supplement them with other nuts such as walnuts and almonds for maximum gains. This is because a mix of different nuts will balance the various different nutrients going into your body.
They Can Reduce Your Cravings For Food
Some people struggle with weight problems simply because they cannot stop thinking about food. Peanuts may present an answer to the said problem. The nuts can stabilize blood sugar levels due to their low glycemic index. This means that as they are being digested slowly, they release sugar gradually into the bloodstream. This gives the body energy that lasts longer and controls impulses for food cravings (12).
Side Effects Of Peanuts
Are there any side effects of peanuts? In their composition, peanuts have two proteins, namely arachin and conarachin. These two proteins are known to cause allergic reactions in some people. Excessive consumption of peanuts may have adverse effects even on people without any allergies. The side effects associated with these nuts include the following:
- Peanut allergy is a form of hypersensitivity response in some people to foods prepared using peanuts. As a result, the overreaction caused by the immune system may bring about severe physical symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting, swelling of the lips and throat, causing breathing difficulty, congestion of the chest, and, much worse, even death. Those with such allergies should therefore steer clear of foods prepared with or on the same equipment as peanuts.
- Also, note that peanuts are among the foods that are easily susceptible to fungal (mold) infection caused by Aspergillus flavus, which produces aflatoxin. This is a potent and dangerous carcinogen that can cause liver cirrhosis and cancer. The remedy for this is to roast the nuts because it reduces the levels of toxins (6).
- Peanuts can also inhibit the absorption of iron and other nutrients. They have antinutrients that impair the absorption of nutrients and diminish nutritional value. This is because they contain phytates which are the compounds that inhibit the absorption of iron. You may want to avoid eating peanuts together with iron-rich foods to make sure that you absorb as much iron as you can from those foods.
The Bottom Line
The many benefits of peanuts for weight loss can be attributed to their wealth of essential nutrients, including plant-based protein. Their other nutrients help support the immune system. Therefore, you do not have to worry about getting sick during your weight loss journey. They also come with various other health benefits, including promoting heart health, blood sugar control, and preventing gallstones.
Sticking to a healthy diet based on your health needs, allergies and preferences is a great idea, however, when combined with a workout plan that meets your goals, it might bring you significant benefits. Better mood, stronger muscles and endurance are just some.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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- Invasive Fungal Infections Acquired from Contaminated Food or Nutritional Supplements: A Review of the Literature (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Peanut Butter: Is It Good for You? (2020, webmd.com)
- Peanuts as functional food: a review (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
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- What are the most healthful nuts you can eat? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What are the nutritional benefits of peanuts? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What causes food cravings? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)