Peanut butter is a tasty choice for lunches and snacks—but can it actually help fight obesity and diabetes?
Multiple studies are now suggesting that eating peanut butter may be effective for preventing obesity, losing weight, and even lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The results may sound surprising, as peanut butter contains 190 calories and 16 grams of fat per serving. Often, people trying to lose weight have been advised against eating peanut butter, due to its dense calorie and high fat content.
However, with multiple studies confirming the obesity-preventative effects of peanut butter, researchers are now concluding that peanut butter is a healthy choice for those looking to lose weight.
One study looked at the effect different snacks would have on over 250 Latino students at risk of obesity. For a period of six months, half of the children ate peanut-based snacks (including peanut butter) three to four times a week, while the other half of the children received the snack only once a week.
The researchers found that the children who ate more of the peanut-based snacks had significantly larger decreases in their body mass indexes (BMIs). This means that the children eating peanut butter were able to lose more weight.
Another study which looked at over 200,000 individuals found that eating plant-based protein, like peanut butter, lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nine percent. The results indicated that peanut butter was a healthy alternative protein source to meat, helping lower diabetes risk.
There is even a book on the subject now, called “The Peanut Butter Diet.” The author, Holly McCord, claims that eating peanut butter can lower the risk of heart disease and help people shed off the pounds.
Peanut butter is believed to be effective for weight loss partially because of its delicious taste, which helps people stick to diets that include it. As well, high-fat diets are no longer believed to be bad for weight loss, and peanut butter contains protein, fiber, and healthy forms of fat that are good for us.
Baulkman, Jaleesa, “Peanut Butter May Prevent Childhood Obesity; Snacks With Peanuts Positively Affect BMI,” Medical Daily, March 5, 2016; http://www.medicaldaily.com/peanut-butter-childhood-obesity-body-mass-index-376688.