A Handful of Peanuts Takes Off the Pounds

Here’s a simple weight-loss tip for your patients — eat some peanuts every day.

Adults with moderate-to-high risk of diabetes were able to lose weight, lower their blood pressure, and improve their blood sugar numbers after adding peanuts to their diet, according to a new study in the journal Nutrients.

The trial — which was two-arm, parallel, randomized, and controlled — ran from January 2021 through December 2021 and was led by professors from the University of South Australia and Texas Tech’s Department of Nutritional Sciences.

“Our study found that peanuts, which are high in healthy unsaturated fats, can actually aid weight loss,” says Petersen. “Peanuts are often avoided when people are trying to lose weight because they believe peanuts contain too many calories. However, peanuts actually have a high satiety value, meaning they keep you feeling fuller longer and that can be really helpful for those on a weight loss diet.”

Study Details

Researchers worked with two groups of Australian adults, all of whom received weight-loss education in addition to study-related dietary instructions. Participants in the control group were asked to avoid eating nuts of any kind, including nut butter. Subjects in the peanut group were instructed to consume 35 grams (roughly 1/4 cup) of lightly salted, dry-roasted peanuts twice a day, 30 minutes before meals.

The results after six months included:

  • Weight loss: While both groups lost a similar amount of weight, the peanut-enriched group consumed an extra 400 calories a day from the addition of 70 grams (2.5 ounces) of peanuts to their diet. The peanut-enriched group lost 6.72 kg or 14.78 lbs. while the control group lost 6.60 kg or 14.52 lbs.
  • Better blood pressure – The peanut group experienced greater systolic blood pressure reductions than those in the control group. The peanut group also lowered their systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg, associated with a 10% reduction in risk for major cardiovascular events.
  • Blood sugar balance – Both groups saw improved fasting glucose and insulin control, as well as improved HbA1c, which is a measure of long-term blood sugar control.

Conclusion

“In conclusion, intake of 35 g of lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts prior to two main meals per day, in the context of a weight loss diet, resulted in similar weight loss to a traditional low-fat weight loss diet in adults at high risk for type 2 diabetes after 6 months. No differences in HbA1c, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, or 2-h glucose were observed between the two weight loss diets. Greater reductions in systolic blood pressure were observed with the peanut-containing weight loss diet, which may lower CVD risk.”

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