Peanut Butter for Weight Loss

Peanut butter

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Peanut butter may be a staple in your pantry, but are you fully aware of its health benefits? Aside from being a source of protein, the sticky spread can also play an effective role in a weight-management plan.

Two tablespoons of peanut butter contain around 190 calories and 16 grams of fat, so it may not strike you as the most obvious food choice when monitoring nutrition. However, ongoing data has found a link between nut consumption and weight change, suggesting that adding half a serving of nuts (including peanuts), in place of less nutritiously dense foods, can help prevent weight gain in the long term.

Peanut Butter Health Benefits

Peanut butter, in its natural form and without added sugars or additives, has many health benefits. Nutritionally, it contains 3 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per serving.

More studies are also finding that an increase of one serving of nuts per week can reduce the likelihood of becoming overweight or obese by 5%. Additionally, that nuts have the ability to lower BMI, weight, and waist circumference.

Other research on the mortality rate of those eating nut and peanut butter discovered that the consumption of nuts was associated with a decreased risk of cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, liver, and infectious diseases.

And let's not forget, peanut butter is vegan, low in carbs, which is ideal for those following a low-carb or keto diet. It's also a great gluten-free option but be sure to double-check the label if you have an allergy as it may be produced in a factory exposed to gluten products.

Peanut Butter for Weight Loss

The types of fats found in peanuts are mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, i.e the "healthy" fats. The problem is, many shy away from foods higher in fat due to a common misconception that eating fat causes fast weight gain. Whilst this might be true for trans and heavily saturated fatty foods, in truth, fat is an essential dietary component for energy, the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, blood clotting, and as a modulator for inflammation.

Investigative studies have found the benefits of peanuts in particular on weight management and hunger maintenance. This is partly due to its energy density which provides high satiety, and consuming peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut regularly in your diet provides longer-term management of weight. In short, the blend of protein and fats in peanuts results in a little going a long way, allowing you to maintain portion control and even reducing other food cravings.

Increasing your intake of protein can lead to higher meal satisfaction and feeling fuller for longer, given it takes more energy to digest.

Introducing peanut butter in place of higher carb or less healthful foods can help you maintain your caloric intake for the day. To get the full benefits of peanut butter in a weight-management plan, you may want to plan your daily intake to be around two tablespoons.

Keep in mind, If you have high blood pressure, opt for a low-salt brand or a natural peanut butter with no added ingredients—just simply peanuts. On the other hand, if you prefer peanuts over peanut butter, snack on one-third of a cup per day, choosing dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts.

Given its versatility, there are many ways to spruce up your diet for a boost of dietary fiber and protein with the nut butter. Besides the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, there are many other ways to incorporate it into your diet:

  • Add peanut butter to your protein shake or smoothie
  • Lather some apple slices or celery stalks with peanut butter
  • Sprinkle peanuts onto your salad
  • Spread peanut butter onto rice or corn cakes
  • Stir peanut butter or chopped peanuts into a bowl of oatmeal
  • Swirl a tablespoon of peanut butter into high-protein Greek yogurt

More Tips and Suggestions

To eliminate unwanted added ingredients, you can churn fresh peanuts yourself. Try it at home by simply blending peanuts in a high-speed food processor, stopping to scrape down the sides every so often, until it reaches a smooth buttery texture.

Compared to store-bought peanut butter that often contains added ingredients, natural peanut butter is smoother. The fat can often settle on the top but is easily reincorporated by stirring.

Given its health benefits, satiety effects, and ability to quell your appetite, peanut butter might be the missing ingredient in keeping your diet and caloric intake on track.

6 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Fooddata Central. Peanut butter. USDA.

  3. Li H, Li X, Yuan S, Jin Y, Lu J. Nut consumption and risk of metabolic syndrome and overweight/obesity: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized trialsNutr Metab (Lond). 2018;15:46. doi:10.1186/s12986-018-0282-y

  4. Amba V, Murphy G, Etemadi A, Wang S, Abnet CC, Hashemian M. Nut and peanut butter consumption and mortality in the national institutes of health-aarp diet and health studyNutrients. 2019;11(7):1508. doi:10.3390/nu11071508

  5. Harvard Health Publishing, The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between.

  6. Arya SS, Salve AR, Chauhan S. Peanuts as functional food: a reviewJ Food Sci Technol. 2016;53(1):31-41. doi:10.1007/s13197-015-2007-9

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