If you’re looking to manage your appetite and your blood sugar levels you may need to look no further than a simple jar of peanut butter, according to one 2013 study from the British Journal of Nutrition.
The study, which compared the blood sugar levels of women who either did or did not eat relatively small amounts of peanut butter with breakfast, concluded that peanuts and peanut butter not only have a positive impact on your glycemic response, but can suppress your appetite as well(1).
High In Fiber And Healthy Oils: A Winning Combination
While both peanuts and peanut butter had a positive impact, the study showed that peanut butter had a slightly more beneficial effect than regular, unprocessed peanuts did. Researchers attribute this difference to the combination of protein, fiber and healthy oils that are contained in peanut butter.
Peanut butter and peanuts both promote the secretion of the appetite-suppressing hormone peptide YY – and helped participants maintain lower blood sugar levels even after consuming a lunch high in sugar and carbohydrates (white bread and strawberry jam).
“Combined with findings from other work, this new research provides additional reasons to start your day with peanut butter and include a snack of peanuts in the late afternoon if you want to control your appetite and blood sugar too,” said Dr. Pat Kearney, program director for the Peanut Institute, in a press release on the study(2).
Exploring The Connection Between Nuts And Diabetes
The idea that nut consumption can help with blood sugar and appetite management is not exactly new.
In 2002, a study published in JAMA found that there are “potential benefits of higher nut and peanut butter consumption in lowering risk of type 2 diabetes in women. To avoid increasing caloric intake, regular nut consumption can be recommended as a replacement for consumption of refined grain products or red or processed meats.”(3)
Another study in the Journal of Nutrition in 2009 stated that “Higher nut consumption has been associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events in several epidemiologic studies.”
Focusing on women with type 2 diabetes, the study concluded that “data suggest[s] that frequent nut and peanut butter consumption is associated with a significantly lower [cardiovascular disease] risk in women with type 2 diabetes.”(4)
Peanut butter is a cheap and accessible source of protein that’s relatively easy to incorporate into your daily diet, should you want to cash in on its many health benefits. It pairs well with apples and celery, and can be incorporated into cooking with dishes like peanut sauce for noodles or chicken.