is peanut butter good for diabetes
Nutrition

Is Peanut Butter Good For Diabetes?

Can you even imagine how tough it would be if you suddenly had to stop eating some of your favorite foods and dishes because that could potentially cause a lot of harm to your body? Well, that’s what a person diagnosed with diabetes feels every single day. It might get tougher for a person who is diagnosed slightly later in age as they already have the taste of all things good. At one point in your life, if you were able to eat ice cream, chocolates, pastries, brownies, fries, etc without thinking twice, it is hard to stop it suddenly.

However, a word of caution here would be that some doctors or so-called experts have much different advice to offer to people dealing with diabetes. Some people believe that one can eat as much sugar as they want if they count carbs correctly to counter the spikes. Others think that a person with diabetes should exercise complete control over their diet to be able to live a long and healthy life. While there are a few others who believe in myths like one can eat sugary foods or food with high carbs as long as they eat something bitter later (like – karela) to counter the effects of the calories and carbs.

You might have a few questions running on your mind like - is peanut butter good for people with diabetes, these questions are natural as you would want to know the restrictions or control you may have to exercise. While there are a few food groups that are often a strict no for anyone with diabetes, a few of these can be consumed in moderation – or when dealing with symptoms of low sugar!

Is Peanut Butter Good for people with Diabetes

Many people might have the notion that since peanut butter is sweet, it may not be something that would be appropriate for a person with diabetes to consume. It is a popular snack not only in the West but also in India. Children and adults have found creative ways to eat peanut butter with bread, plain, some people also eat peanut butter with apples! In general, peanuts are known to be low in carbohydrates. Any low-carb foods are known to be good for a person with diabetes. They do not affect weight and might also work to reduce weight in certain people. Additionally, low-carb foods are known to improve overall blood sugar levels. Therefore, “can people with diabetes eat peanut butter?” The answer is yes, in moderation.

If you are asking is peanut butter good for people with diabetes and why the answer would be because peanuts and peanut butter have a low glycemic index. In other words, this means that upon consumption, the sugar levels in any person, even with diabetes, would not spike immediately or go too high. Additionally, peanuts are highly rich in magnesium and this also offers protection to a person with diabetes.

Peanut Butter: Nutritional profile

If you ever meet a person living with diabetes in a shopping mall, you will always see them check the nutrition contents present on the boxes of food before buying them. Even for something as mundane as biscuits or popcorn, they would look at the carb and sugar content. Naturally, they would do the same for peanut butter. Here are the nutrition values present in two tablespoons (32 grams) of peanut butter with salt:

Calories 188
Protein 7.7 grams
Carbs 6.9 grams (of which sugar – 2.6 grams; fiber – 2.7 grams)
Saturated fat 2.4 grams
Unsaturated fat 7.4 grams
Monounsaturated fat 4.5 grams
Calcium 14 mg
Iron 0.6mg
magnesium 51 mg
Phosphorous 102 mg
Potassium 238 mg
Sodium 156 mg
zinc 0.8 mg

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Research

Any claim that is made needs to be supported with the help of research projects. A study in 2012 concluded that women with obesity who were at a greater risk for developing T2D managed their blood sugar levels with the help of peanut butter or peanuts. Especially after a carb-filled lunch, the consumption of peanut butter-

  • Reduced the blood sugar levels.
  • Reduced hunger therefore, decreasing the amount of food intake.
  • Increased production of a hormone – GLP-1 which lowers insulin resistance and stimulates insulin production.

So, not only can people with diabetes eat peanut butter, but also people at high risk for development can consume it for better insulin production.

Benefits of peanut butter for diabetes

Peanut butter for diabetics can be a good thing owing to the high nutrition level it has. Since the goal for people with diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels in check, it is vital to ensure to consume foods that will help you do so. Peanut butter is low in glycemic index and therefore, might be a good option for individuals trying to follow a diabetic diet. Peanuts and peanut butter, both, have low GI and GL. They also contain healthy oils, protein, and fiber – this helps have a positive effect on the maintenance of blood sugar.

Weight control

One of the biggest risk factors for people with diabetes is weight gain. Snacking on peanuts and peanut butter can help people create a great level of control over their hunger and appetite. Since this food helps to self-adjust calorie intake and does not add an unhealthy amount of calories to the diet, it can help promote a healthier weight. This can also be a good pre-workout snack

Magnesium

Peanuts and peanut butter are good sources of magnesium. Magnesium is known to play a role in reducing the risk of the development of diabetes. It has a positive effect on the release and absorption of insulin in the body. Peanuts contain about 12% of the daily value of magnesium making them a ‘good source’ of the nutrient. Magnesium also reduces the risk of the onset of type 2 diabetes. It plays a role in metabolic syndrome, prevents inflammation, and better insulin resistance.

Reduce triglycerides and maintain good cholesterol

For people with diabetes, a low-fat diet is recommended to prevent any further complications like heart disease. Replacing carbohydrates with poly or monounsaturated fats can help in the reduction of triglycerides and promotion of good cholesterol. Peanut butter and peanut oil can help with the same.

Low glycemic index and high nutrition

Peanuts have a low glycemic index of 14. This means that they are digested slowly and release sugar slowly into the bloodstream. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter can be highly nutritious – proteins, calcium, magnesium, etc can boost the immune system and create a healthy body functioning overall.\

Other Health Benefits of Peanut Butter

Yes, peanut butter can be helpful for a person with diabetes, however, the advantages are not limited to that. You will find yourself surrounded by multiple other benefits if you add peanuts or peanut butter to your diet.

  • Since it is filled with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids, it can be good for heart health
  • Peanuts are also known to reduce the risk of development of benign breast cancer in females
  • It can also protect against other neurological diseases owing to the abundant nutrients present in them.
  • The antioxidants like manganese and vitamins E and B can prevent cell growth and repair cell damage thus reducing the risk for chronic illnesses like cancer.

Best ways to Consume Peanut Butter

Now that we know the answer to the question “can diabetics eat peanut butter?” let us understand how we can include peanut butter in the diet

  •  In salads – A hint of sweetness in your salad can be added with this nutty and buttery flavor of peanut butter. You can add the fresh veggies and a small spoon of peanut butter to the mix to add taste
  •  Ice cream – If you are enjoying your scoop of sugar-free ice cream and are looking for toppings, peanut butter can be a good choice. On top of vanilla or chocolate ice cream, a tablespoon of peanut butter can be added
  •  Granola – For a perfectly balanced breakfast with high nutrition and taste, along with granola, put some peanut butter. This can also be consumed before working out
  •  Oats – Another breakfast or evening snack option can be to add a spoonful of peanut butter to oats. This can be a good diet for weight loss as well.
  • With bread – One of the most famous ways of using peanut butter in the diet would be as a spread on bread. Add some fruits if you wish on the side for a wholesome snack

 Other options to consume peanut butter would be – peanut butter cookies, milkshakes, etc

Peanuts v/s Candy

There is no doubt about the fact that the consumption of candy can be more harmful to people in general. There is weight and fat gain that is associated with high consumption of candy, even just for 14 days. This was not seen in people who ate peanut butter. Another advantage of peanut butter was that it helped in increasing the basal metabolic rate among people.

Even though these results are not generalized to people all over the world, the data does give an idea of the comparison between the two.

Risks and Considerations

No food if consumed in excess can be good for people. Similarly, when it comes to peanut butter, you need to look at some of the risk factors associated with this food.

Added sugar

Some packaged bottles of peanut butter do have added sugars. Choose the ones that only have peanuts and salt.

Fatty acids

While they might be low in carbs, they are high in fats and omega-6. These may increase weight, insulin resistance, and also cholesterol levels.

Calories

If you check the nutritional value, you may realize that this food is loaded with calories. Be mindful of the number of calories you are consuming as it can worsen the condition of diabetes.

Allergy

In the case of a peanut allergy, it should be checked and the consumption of peanuts should be avoided.

Weight

Since peanut butter is high in calories, overconsumption can lead to obesity which may cause more harm in people with diabetes.

How much peanut butter a diabetic can consume in a day?

Since peanut butter has a low glycemic index, you can have 1-2 tablespoons per day. Choosing a sugar-free option of peanut butter would be even more beneficial for people living with diabetes. The best time to consume this would be in the morning owing to its high fiber and the ability to help you feel full for a long time. The carb content in the same is not very high and if you pair it with other foods like almonds, fruits, etc, you will lower the glycemic load even more making it even more nutritious.

Peanut Allergies

One of the most common allergens in today’s day and age is peanuts. While we may have the answer to the question is peanut butter good for people with diabetes, we may also have to consider the fact that it can aggravate allergies in some people which may turn out to be fatal if not recognized or treated on time.

In case you are prone to allergies or are trying peanut butter for the first time, it would be important to do so after consulting with the doctor as a precaution.

Other Nuts for Diabetes

Peanuts are good for diabetes, however, what are some other nuts that are safe and healthy to consume when you are trying to develop a diabetic diet? One can easily find a place for nuts as a part of the evening snack or even with breakfast. The nutrition level in certain nuts can balance the holistic requirements needed by the body.

Almonds

These have a large range of benefits for people with diabetes. Incorporating almonds in the daily diet was shown to have a positive effect on blood sugars and also reduced the risk of heart disease. Additionally, it also reduces the bad cholesterol that contributes to the blockage of arteries.

Walnuts

Walnuts are high in calories however, they do not have a major impact on weight gain. People on a walnut-enriched diet were able to improve their ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol without hurting their body composition. It was also seen to have a positive effect on the reduction of diabetes risk.

Cashews

These nuts are famous to help prevent the risk of heart disease. Cashews do not have an impact on blood glucose levels or weight.

Pistachios

These nuts are renowned for their salty taste and are energy-dense. They also contain a healthy level of fats and fibers. These nuts were also associated with the enhancement of good cholesterol in the body as they helped lower the triglyceride levels that lead to better heart health

Bottomline

Is peanut butter good for people with diabetes? Yes. As it contains the essential nutrient and can be an active part of a healthy diet. Consumption of peanut butter in moderation would give maximum benefits and the person would have to make sure that this packaged product contains no added sugars and is low in fat.

FAQs

Is Peanut Butter Good For Diabetes?

Yes, peanut butter is good for people with diabetes. It has a low glycemic index and glycemic load. Additionally, it also has several nutrients that can make it a good source of a balanced diet if added to the daily chart. It would be vital to consume it in moderation owing to the high levels of calories in peanuts.

What is the glycemic index of peanut butter?

The glycemic index of peanut butter is 14. This is considered to be low and highly beneficial for people with diabetes. Adding peanut butter to the diet can be a great secret weapon as it provides you with a great taste along with nutrition.

Can we eat peanuts in diabetes?

Yes, peanuts can be healthy for people with diabetes. Peanuts in different forms are also known to help with the raising of the good cholesterol in the body and the lowering of bad cholesterol. This can help with diabetes and with heart health.

Does Peanut Butter Raise Blood Sugar?

No, peanut butter will not spike blood sugar levels as it has a low glycemic index. Natural peanut butter and peanuts will both not have an impact on the body’s glucose levels. However, overconsumption should be avoided as it is a high-calorie food that might lead to weight gain.

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