Albany, GA — Consumption of lightly salted peanuts twice a day before meals led to weight loss, lowered blood pressure and improved fasting glucose levels, according to a recent study from the University of South Australia.
The findings were recently published online in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients and shared by The Peanut Institute. The randomized controlled trial was conducted from January to December 2021 and was led by two professors from the University of South Australia, Dr. Jennifer Keogh, associate professor of dietetics and nutrition, and Dr. Peter Clifton, professor of nutrition. Dr. Kristina Petersen, assistant research professor in the department of nutritional sciences at Texas Tech University, was a collaborator.
“Our study found that peanuts, which are high in healthy unsaturated fats, can actually aid weight loss,” says Petersen. “Peanuts are often avoided when people are trying to lose weight because they believe peanuts contain too many calories. However, peanuts actually have a high satiety value so that means they keep you feeling fuller longer and that can be really helpful for those on a weight loss diet.”
The study included two groups of Australian adults who were at moderate or high risk for type 2 diabetes. Both groups received weight loss education. The control group of 50 adults was instructed to avoid eating any nuts or nut butter. The peanut-enriched group of 57 adults consumed 35 grams of lightly salted, dry-roasted peanuts twice a day 30 minutes before meals.
After six months, researchers found statistically significant weight loss, lower blood pressure and improved blood sugar levels.
“Peanuts are nutrient dense and illustrate the concept of food as medicine,” says Dr. Samara Sterling, research director for The Peanut Institute. “When you eat peanuts and peanut butter, you’re ingesting three macronutrients — protein, fiber and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — and 19 micronutrients. Regularly choosing foods that contribute to your overall health is a positive action that can deliver life-long benefits.”