Nutrition

Is Peanut Butter Good For People With Diabetes? - Sugar.Fit

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Is Peanut Butter Good for People with 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.

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.

Nutrition

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 – 7.7gms

Carbs – 6.9gms (of which sugar – 2.6gms and fiber – 2.7gms)

Saturated fat – 2.4gms

Unsaturated fat – 7.4gms

Monosaturated fat – 4.5gms

Calcium – 14mg

Iron – 0.6mg

Magnesium – 51mg

Phosphorous – 102mg

Potassium – 238mg

Sodium – 156mg

Zinc – 0.9mg

To see can people with diabetes eat peanut butter, you can also look at the fact that peanut butter also contains Vit B, E, and K.

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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.

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.

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

The food charts for people with diabetes are already limited. They have to be on a more or less restricted diet for a better part of their life to ensure no or limited complications. Certain nuts that can be beneficial for a person with diabetes could be almonds and almond butter. Even almond flour and products made out of this are considered healthy and also tasty. Sunflower seeds and sunflower oil or butter could also be a good source for people with diabetes. These can be a good alternative to peanut butter. Sunflower and almond seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats respectively. Each of these helps in the prevention and control of diabetes.

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.

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