Peanuts and Diabetes
It is no secret that if you are somebody who suffers from diabetes, you need to pay more attention to your daily diet than most people around you.
To control blood sugar and generally try to live an overall healthier life, a diabetes diet is necessary for everything from trying to maintain a healthy weight to attempting to lose weight to fight off things like heart disease and the risk of stroke.
When you have diabetes, it means that your body cannot efficiently turn the glucose from your food intake into energy for your various organs. This essentially means that because your body isn't able to produce enough insulin to achieve this task, the glucose remains in your bloodstream and becomes known as high blood sugar.
High blood sugars can be incredibly dangerous when left untreated, leading to things like cardiovascular disease, stroke, LDL cholesterol, and more.
For people with type 2 diabetes, in particular, sticking to a healthy fat-focused diabetic diet means that you might be able to reverse some of the symptoms and issues that your chronic condition has produced over time.
Type 2 diabetes often develops due to poor lifestyle choices resulting in weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure, and the inevitable blood sugar spikes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, people who commit to following healthier dietary guidelines can not only prevent themselves from developing diabetes in the first place but also can start to reduce their blood glucose levels by focusing on eating foods that contain healthy fats and hardly any saturated fat.
It might take more than a single article to cover all the food habits and eating alternatives that people with diabetes should be thinking about, so today, the sole focus will be on a hugely popular afternoon or evening snack food.
That snack food is peanuts! Are peanuts and peanut butter a good choice for somebody who wants to follow a positive diabetic diet? Keep reading on to find out.
- Protein 23.68 g
- Carbohydrate 21.51 g
- Fat 49.66 g
- Fiber 0 g
- Sugar 4.18 g
- Cholesterol 0 g
Peanuts And Peanut Butter
Let's start with some basic information about peanuts. Peanuts are full of good stuff, which gives them a fantastic nutritional value compared to other snack foods. When eaten in moderation and also in the form of things like natural peanut butter, this ingredient can have plenty of different health benefits for people who want to follow diabetic dietary guidelines.
Some of the key benefits of peanuts and peanut butter include:
Being a healthy low-fat snack that can help to promote weight loss over some time.
The ability to lower a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The ability to help control blood sugar.
Eating peanuts as a snack over things like chips and candy might be able to prevent a person from developing diabetes in the first place.
Though all of these benefits sound perfect for diabetes patients aiming to control their blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, it should always be noted that there are certain risks and caveats that should be considered at the same time.
It is important to check the ingredients of any product containing peanuts that you buy to check for ingredients and additives that can cause blood sugar spikes.
Avoid eating peanut butter that is not all-natural - many cheaper versions have oil (including controversial palm oil), salt, and added sugar.
The Nutritional Value of Peanuts
One-quarter cup (31.3g) of raw peanuts contains the following:
Vitamins (highest content listed first)
Folate (vitamin B9)
Niacin (vitamin B3)
Minerals (highest content listed first)
Benefits Of Eating Peanuts And Peanut Butter For People With Diabetes
To take an even closer look into the relationship between peanuts and peanut butter, here are some of the main benefits diabetes patients can experience when they include them in their diet.
Helps To Control Blood Sugar
As a person with diabetes, something that you need to consider with every meal is the glycemic index of each food item and how much it contributes to the overall glycemic load of a meal. Foods with a low glycemic index take longer for their carbohydrates to turn into glucose, which a diabetes patients can benefit from due to their insulin resistance issues. The higher the glycemic index value, the more likely the food is to raise blood sugar.
This glycemic load index is measured on a scale of 0 - 100, with 0 being the best. For example, something like water does not affect blood sugars, and blood glucose ranks at 0. Peanuts have a glycemic index value of 13 out of 100, which makes them a low GI food.
The American Medical Association has long promoted the opinion that consuming peanuts in the form of healthy peanut butter for your breakfast in the morning can be an effective way of helping to control your blood glucose levels over the course of a day. If you love peanut butter on toast, then you are in luck.
The only thing left to do is ensure that your choice of bread is also suitable. Avoid white bread and choose whole grain or seeded bread for your peanut butter on toast or any sandwich to avoid upending your glycemic load.
Can Help To Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Eating peanut butter can actively help lower the risk of heart disease and improve heart health.
This is mainly because including peanut and peanut butter in your everyday balanced diet in moderation can be a positive factor in lowering blood pressure and taking some strain off of blood vessels.
A Good Snack To Help You Lose Weight
If you have a body mass index that indicates you are either overweight or obese, then peanut butter and peanut consumption can be seen as something that can help you lose weight and reduce things like high blood pressure along with the blood sugar control that we have already discussed.
Any high glycemic index meal will pack on the calories and cause your blood sugar to spike, so choose to eat peanuts as a snack. With little saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat, peanuts are a great way to avoid weight gain.
The healthier your food choices are, the better your blood sugar levels will be, and peanut butter consumption in moderation is something that can help with this.
Ultimately, peanuts can be seen as a kind of vegetable protein that also contain important B vitamins, and what this can also mean is that snacking on a handful of nuts or a slice of peanut butter toast can lead to fewer hunger cravings.
Unsaturated Fat Can Reduce Overall Risk Of Diabetes
Eating peanuts and peanut butter has been proven to lower a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This is down to the fact that peanuts are very high in unsaturated fat (with low fat in other areas) and several other nutrients that have been identified as being able to help your body regulate insulin. Of course, blood sugar control is heavily reliant on how well your body can regulate its insulin, so in this sense, you can see adding peanut butter to your diet as a low-fat, healthy form of disease control.
What Are The Risks Of Nut Consumption For People With Diabetes?
Peanuts have plenty of health benefits and there are few risks and concerns for people with diabetes who eat peanuts. It begs the question, are peanuts and peanut butter good for you in all situations? Here are some peanut-eating concerns every person with diabetes should know.
Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Peanuts tend to contain more omega-6 fatty acids than tree nuts. You need to be careful about this because omega-6 fatty acids are linked to increased inflammation which in turn is linked to obesity.
Sugar And Salt
Be careful about various peanut butter products you choose to eat because a lot of them have added sugar and added salt, which can be detrimental to a healthy weight and diet. You can avoid these by choosing natural nut butter or making your own homemade peanut butter with a recipe you can control.
Too Many Calories
Though they are considered a healthy snack in moderation, things like peanuts and peanut butter can be rather calorific in large amounts. For example, half a cup of raw peanuts contains more than 400 calories.
Peanut Allergies and Diabetes
One of the most important factors that might make peanuts and diabetes a bad mix is a peanut allergy.
Federal statistical sources say more than 3 million Americans suffer from a peanut or tree nuts allergy.
Most people assume that a peanut allergy is simply a peanut problem, but it isn't. Most people also don't know how big an issue it is. It may sound like a bit of a joke to say that someone died because they ate peanuts, but an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts is one of the leading causes of fatal and near-fatal food-induced allergic reactions.
If you have never eaten peanuts before and don't know whether you have an allergy or not, then it might be a good idea to consult with a doctor for an allergic reaction test. A serious allergic reaction is the last thing that you want to have to deal with on top of diabetes.
If you have diabetes and are also allergic to peanuts, all it will do to you is make you even more conscious about what you put in your mouth.
In short, choose low-fat peanuts or as a replacement for other fattier, unhealthier snacks. You'll help control blood sugar levels and glycemic load if you choose a handful of peanuts, some celery sticks, peanut butter, and fresh apple juice rather than a glass of milk and a cookie. or even worse, french fries and soda. There's no need to give up on your favorite peanut butter or honey-roasted peanuts. Peanuts and diabetes work perfectly well together - as with everything - in moderation.