Peanut Butter for Weight Loss

Eating peanut butter may help curb hunger and improve weight loss

peanut butter and weight loss
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Are you a peanut butter eater? If you're trying to lose weight, you might be in luck. Some experts and researchers recommend peanut butter for weight loss. But if you want your peanut butter diet to be successful, you need to follow a few smart rules.

Peanut Butter and Weight Loss

Americans spend almost 800 million dollars a year on peanut butter. The average child eats 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by high school graduation.

 That's a lot of peanut butter!

Many dieters avoid eating the popular spread because of the calories and fat in peanut butter. In addition, many diet experts say that some people shouldn't eat peanut butter for weight loss.  But there are some other facts to consider.

Research has shown that snacking on peanut butter can be an effective way to control hunger without weight gain. Why does it work? Because peanut butter provides a feeling of satiety  or fullness. 

A Peanut Butter Diet

When you're trying to lose weight, watching your fat intake is important. But treating yourself to peanut butter in your diet can actually curb our appetite and prevent over-eating. And what happens when you stop overeating? You lose weight! 

A Purdue University study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed subjects who snacked on peanuts and peanut butter were able to adjust their diets so that they didn't gain weight when they consumed the  higher calorie foods.

 The study, which was funded by the nut industry, gave hope to dieters who love nuts and don't want to banish them from their diets to lose weight.

Researchers found that peanuts and peanut butter produced more eating satisfaction and feelings of fullness for several hours after eating. By comparison, when the participants ate other snacks like rice cakes, hunger returned within a half hour.

Rick Mattes, Ph.D., RD, who conducted the study, said, "These findings are important because they challenge the belief that eating high-fat foods like peanuts and peanut butter necessarily will lead to weight gain."

The research also supports previous long and short-term studies that indicate that regular consumption of peanuts does not promote weight gain and can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Healthy Fats For a Healthier Heart

The Purdue research also suggested that you may be able to benefit from a positive change your fat consumption if you choose to eat nuts or peanut butter in moderation.  Study participants who ate peanut butter decreased their saturated fat intake and increased their intake of healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Healthy fats help to decrease your risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated fats raise the "good" cholesterol levels without raising total blood cholesterol.

How to Eat Peanuts and Peanut Butter in Your Diet

So how do you increase peanut butter in your diet and still maintain the calorie deficit needed for weight loss?

The key is to eat peanut butter in moderation. A single serving of peanut butter is just two tablespoons. You can eat the peanut butter on a single serving of whole grain bread or with fruit or vegetables. The Peanut Institute even suggests that you can sprinkle toasted peanuts on your salad instead of croutons. 

Here are some other diet-friendly peanut ideas:

  • Dip apple slices in peanut butter
  • Spread peanut butter onto a banana cut in half lengthwise
  • Have a serving of dry roasted, reduced-salt nuts as a snack
  • Spread peanut butter onto celery stalks
  • Make your own trail mix with dried fruit and roasted nuts
  • Have a peanut butter on whole grain bread for lunch
  • Try peanut butter on toast or an English muffin at breakfast
  • Spread peanut butter on reduced-salt saltine crackers or whole wheat crackers
  • Try peanut butter spread on tortilla or tortilla chips
  • Spread peanut butter onto rice or popcorn cakes
  • Mix nuts in with air-popped or low-fat microwave popcorn

There are countless ways to eat peanut butter for weight loss. Just remember to control portion sizes so that you can enjoy peanuts and keep your diet on track.

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