Peanuts and Diabetes
Looking for ways to manage or prevent diabetes? The solution may be in your kitchen.
New research shows the power of plant proteins and their potential to lash diabetes risk. Substituting plant-based proteins like peanuts and peanut butter for animal proteins, refined grains or potatoes resulted in 7-21% lower diabetes risk (Mailk, 2016). Consider upping plant-based proteins in your diet to prevent diabetes.
Peanuts are nature’s mighty little nut (well, technically a legume) that pack a powerful plant-based protein punch and can help control blood sugar. Peanuts are considered a low glycemic index food because they are slowly digested and cause sugar to gradually be released into the bloodstream. We can thank peanut’s heart-healthy fats, fiber and protein for those positive effects on blood sugar control.
Good news, you can still eat your carbs if you pair it with peanut butter (or peanuts) because peanuts have been shown to reduce the spike in blood sugar when paired with higher carbohydrate foods (Johnston, 2005). In fact, a serving of peanuts per day has potential benefits of lowering type 2 diabetes risk in women by more than 20% (Jiang, 2002). This relationship between peanut or peanut butter consumption and type 2 diabetes was linear – higher consumption resulted in a greater protective effect. If you’re a snacker, reach for a handful of peanuts as they have been shown to improve blood sugar control between meals.
Turns out, unsaturated dietary fat is good for weight loss after all. In fact, one study found those that followed a healthy moderate fat diet (vs. the traditional low-fat diet) were able to keep the weight off for more than 18 months, had better nutritional intakes and were more satisfied because they could eat some of their favorite foods each day like peanut butter, nuts, peanuts and unsaturated oils (Kirkmeyer, 2000).
Peanuts are also a good source of magnesium, a mineral that plays a role in reducing the risk of diabetes because of its positive benefits on insulin. Diets low in magnesium have been linked to a greater risk of diabetes (Lopez-Ridaura, 2003 and Larsson, 2007).
For more information and recipes, download the Peanuts and Diabetes printable booklet.