What to Know About Peanuts and Weight Gain

Introductory reminder about peanuts

Peanuts are the fruit of the peanut plant, a plant native to South America. They grow underground, protected by their fruits; hence these numerous nicknames: ground peas, ground pistachios, ground cocoa…

Taste characteristics

Peanuts’ strong flavor and crunchy texture have been appreciated for thousands of years. “This ingredient is also the basis of many savory and sweet preparations : pasta, cakes, cookies or even peanut butter” indicates Alexandra Murcier, nutritionist nutritionist.

Also discover our articles on some food and its effect on weight as salt, cheese, yogurts, eggs or dark chocolate.

Composition: main nutritional characteristics of peanuts and their health benefits

Peanuts are one of the most nutritionally complete daily foods. In this way, they actively participate in the daily intake (RDA) of certain nutrients essential to the health of the body. They are, among other things, rich in:

  • Vitamins : the vitamins (E and folic acid) they contain are necessary for the nervous system and during pregnancy they help prevent congenital malformations in the fetus.
  • Minerals : the potassium, magnesium, zinc, but also the selenium they contain are essential for maintaining the body’s good health (regulating blood pressure, supporting nerve and muscle functions or ensuring the proper functioning of the immune system… )
  • Fibers : its fiber content is known for its ability to prevent or alleviate digestive disorders.
  • Proteins : “Through its peanut content, peanuts can help maintain muscle mass and are an excellent snack due to their satiating effect,” adds Alexandra Murcier. Count 26.1 g of protein per 100 peanuts, almost as much as per 100 g of cooked meat, for example, which contains 27.2 g (source 1).
  • Peanuts are low in carbohydrates (14.8 g/100 g), as opposed to high in fiber, protein and healthy fat. Which makes it an ally for those who want to stay in line.

A dried fruit “rich” in calories. How many kcal per 100 g?

Despite its interesting nutritional content, peanuts continue to be a food rich in calories (632 kcal/100 g) or 189.6 kcal for a 30 g handful of peanuts (source 2). Which therefore makes it a rich food to consume occasionally and in moderation.

One of the problems with peanuts is that they are often found in a salted version, which is therefore much less healthy than if they were raw. Alexandra Murcier, nutritionist.

The benefits of peanuts as part of the diet

  • Peanuts require more chewing, which helps you eat more slowly and not overeat, thus stimulating the body to send signals of a full stomach to the satiety centers of the brain.
  • Research has shown that the consumption of nuts and peanuts is associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular pathologies and diabetes, particularly due to the protective effect of the polyphenols present in these foods (source 2).

Is it good to eat peanuts when you have diabetes?

“Thanks to its content of unsaturated fats, antioxidants and polyphenols, peanuts can in fact, help limit cardiovascular complications which mainly affect type II diabetics”, explains the nutritionist.

Is consuming peanuts when you have cholesterol a wrong or good idea?

Peanuts can be easily integrated into a diet, even when you suffer from a high level of bad cholesterol. “ On condition, however, that you do not fall into the very fatty and very salty versions (snack, pasta, etc.)bad in many ways for the body”, warns the nutritionist.

How to eat peanuts without gaining weight?

  • Avoid its derivative products often very rich in fat (spreads, snacks, flavored chocolate bars, etc.)
  • Choosing Peanuts in raw state, without salt.
  • Together, practice regular physical activity.
  • Enter your consumption into a varied and balanced diet.

Is peanut butter good for your health?

Some commercial peanut butter may contain added sugar and hydrogenated oils, which may harm the nutritional quality of this ingredient and its benefits for the body. If this product is, however, consumed in moderation, chosen as organic and natural, it can then become an interesting alternative to butter, due to its good fat content (such as monounsaturated acids needed to combat cholesterol) and their low glycemic index (increased blood sugar level).

How much peanuts to eat per day?

“It is advisable to limit yourself to a handful per day, or approximately 30g. This portion could, for example, be consumed alone as a snack when hungry or integrated into a savory or sweet preparation”, explains the nutritionist.

Is it good to eat peanuts every day?

If the amount is moderate, eating peanuts every day should not be dangerous for the body. However, the key to a balanced diet is food variety (fruitsvegetables, meat, fish, dairy products…), it would be better to avoid eating it daily. At the risk of not covering all the nutritional needs essential to the proper functioning of the body.

In short: it will be preferable to alternate its consumption with other dried fruits such as almonds, nut raisins, pistachioIt is…

Is it good to eat peanuts at night?

“Peanuts are rich in proteins, in fiber and vitamins; It may be good to eat peanuts (unsalted) at night, to avoid certain nighttime cravings and as long as you include them in a diverse and balanced diet” says Alexandra Murcier.

What are the side effects of eating peanuts regularly?

  • Weight gain : as mentioned above, excessive and regular consumption of peanuts can promote weight gain and the problems that arise from it: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes
  • Contamination risk : According to the European Food Safety Authority (source 3), one of the most worrying toxins linked to peanuts is a mold that produces aflatoxin, which is a carcinogen that increases the risk of liver cancer.
  • Lack of omega-3 fatty acids : Although peanuts are an excellent source of omega-6 fatty acids, they lack fatty acids Omega 3 (important for maintaining good health). “Our bodies need a combination of omega-3 and omega-6. A deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids can cause inflammation, heart disease and other health problems”, warns the nutritionist.
  • The risk of allergy : Peanut allergy, which includes peanuts, is one of the most common food allergies, especially among children. It is therefore recommended not to give too much to young children and not to consume it in case of proven allergies, regardless of age.

How do I know if I’m allergic to peanuts?

Symptoms of a peanut allergy can range from hives (itching, pimples, etc.), through redness of the skin, paleness, cramps, anxiety, etc., to Quincke’s edema (source 4).

You must have understood that if peanuts are not contraindicated in the diet, it would still be better to moderate their consumption to avoid gaining extra pounds.

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