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Are Peanuts Good for Weight Loss? ~ Here’s What a Nutritionist Has to Say!
If you trying to lose weight and want to know if peanuts are good for weight loss then keep scrolling to find out!
Are Peanuts Good for Weight Loss?
Peanuts are rich in nutritional values, including fibre, protein, heart-healthy fats, etc. Apart from these, Peanuts help boost one’s metabolic rate by acting as a good source of energy.
But are peanuts good for weight loss? Explore the best ways to consume peanuts, how they affect weight loss, etc., in this article.
How Peanuts Affect Weight Loss
Despite a high content of fats and calories, you will be surprised to know that peanuts are good for weight loss. This trait of peanuts can be attributed to the high nutritional value present in them with rich fiber and protein content. It is advised that the controlled consumption of peanuts is a good way to stay full for longer periods without gaining weight.
Here is how peanuts affect weight loss:
1. They Keep your Stomach Full for a Longer Period
Peanuts are widely added to the diet as snacks, and unlike other snacks which are filled with unhealthy fats and carbohydrates, peanuts are full of healthy protein. Peanuts also digest slowly and remain in the stomach for longer hours, keeping it full. On the other hand, carbohydrate snacks are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, followed by a quick increase in blood sugar and sudden drop, making humans hungry soon after their last meals.
2. Helps in Lower Calorie Intake
After concluding that peanuts are high in calories, the above line can be surprising to many. However, with a controlled consumption in reasonable portions, peanuts help you feel full for longer intervals. So, If you had peanuts as a snack, it may reduce your next meal intake, and if it is embedded in your meal, you may not feel the need for a snack. Either way, peanuts help reduce your calorie intake.
3. Reduces your Food Cravings
A lot of people fail to maintain a balanced diet because of their constant food cravings. This affects the results of weight loss, but if you are suffering from food cravings, then peanuts can be the answer. Because of their low Glycemic Index, peanuts stabilise blood sugar levels by slowly releasing sugar into the bloodstream gradually. This helps humans stay energetic for longer without constantly craving food, helping in positive weight loss results.
4. Full of Healthy Fats
Peanuts are mainly rich in two healthy fats, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The consumption of these peanuts also results in a low risk of weight gain. According to a study published on the NCBI, peanuts also improve the ability of the human body to convert stored fats as energy, helping in weight loss acutely.
Types of Peanuts
Peanuts can be broadly categorised into four types. They are:
- Virginia Peanuts: The shelled Virginia peanuts are mostly salted and flavoured, so they are sold in their natural form. They are then roasted and consumed.
- Runner Peanuts: Largely grown in the US, this type is mainly used to make peanut butter.
- Valencia Peanuts: These are very sweet in taste and are most loved in the boiled form. Valencia peanuts can also be used to make natural peanut butter.
- Spanish Peanuts: These have a higher oil content than any other type of peanuts. These are used to make salted nuts, peanut butter, candy bars, etc.
10 things about ground nuts you didn’t know.
Today we are going to focus on a food that is commonly eaten but often the subject of much discussion.
Some people say they are healthy, others say they make you fat. Groundnuts are healthy foods with lots of beneficial nutrients for our health. They should be a part of our diet.
However, here are 10 things about groundnuts you need to know.
I hope this information will help you to understand them better.
1. The type of groundnuts we commonly eat are also known as peanuts. So, peanuts are actually a form of groundnuts. Whenever you see the term peanut, it basically refers to groundnuts
2. Groundnuts are technically legumes and not nuts. Legumes are edible seeds of plants that grow in pods. These pods are usually split open in half to release the seeds. Legumes include foods like beans, peas and even peanuts. Groundnuts are therefore legumes and not nuts. They grow underground, unlike other tree nuts that grow above ground like almonds and cashew nuts.
3. Groundnuts do not have cholesterol. Many people believe that groundnuts are high in cholesterol. While they are high in fat, they do not contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is only found in animal foods because it is only made by animals. So, let know one scare you off groundnuts because of cholesterol.
4. Groundnuts do not make you fat and do not make you gain weight. Many people believe that fat in food makes people fat. This is because of the word fat. But this is not true. Fat in food actually helps people to stay satisfied longer. People who eat groundnuts and other nuts have actually been shown in studies to have less weight gain than those who don’t. Groundnuts have fiber as well and fat that help with weight loss when eaten in moderate amounts.
5. We should not eat too much groundnuts. When we eat more nuts than we need to, the unnecessary extra fat you get will not be useful to you. Any food that is eaten in excess, however healthy can lead to either weight gain or even at times can lead to other unwanted effects. Legume and groundnut consumption should only make up 10 to 25% of our diet. Not more. And not all this should come from groundnuts. We should have other legumes as well. Also, note that we should eat other nuts in our diet especially when snacking. Instead of groundnuts, occasionally look for other nuts like cashews, walnuts, pistachios, almonds etc. 6. The oil produced from groundnuts tends to have some unhealthy properties. Peanut oil can have some healthy ingredients such as vitamin E and good mono-unsaturated fats. But it is often very high in omega 6 fatty acids. These omega 6 fats are inflammatory and increase the risk for inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, obesity, digestive inflammation and even cancer. And because of this, the harmful effects of this oil outweigh any health benefits it may have.
7. The paste or butter from peanuts can be a good food to eat provided it is made without refining and processing the peanuts or groundnuts. Groundnut paste or peanut butter when homemade is a good substance to use as a spread on your healthy bread or for cooking.
However, many of the commercial peanut butter products are high in trans fats (a very dangerous fat) that has been banned in some countries. When buying peanut butter always check the ingredient label and if you see any of the following terms, ‘transfat’, ‘hydrogenated fat’ or ‘partially hydrogenated fat’, please do not buy it.
8. When you eat roasted groundnuts, avoid eating them if they get burnt or charred. Charring is the black substance that appears on food after roasting, grilling or high heat cooking. The charred material contains chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are known to cause cancer. Avoid charred foods as much as you can. Rather, eat lightly roasted nuts and sometimes eat raw nuts.
9. Peanuts and groundnuts can cause allergies in some people especially children. This allergy can be lethal. It is, therefore, best to avoid introducing peanuts or groundnuts into children’s diets until they are older. But groundnuts can also cause food sensitivities.
Sensitivity is not an allergy but can cause symptoms such as gas, bloating and heartburn. If you experience any of these after eating groundnuts it may be a sign that you are sensitive to them and need to avoid them. Don’t ignore this, it could save you from ulcers, and more serious gut problems in the future.
10. Groundnuts can be affected by a fungus called Aflatoxin that can cause serious liver problems. Groundnuts that are stored in hot, wet and stuffy environments with a little aeration easily get infected with this fungus. Fungi love hot, humid and low oxygen areas. If you ever go to buy groundnuts and they are wet, wrinkled, or seem to have mould, do not buy them.
Benefits Of Peanuts For Weight Loss
Now that you know that this plant food can help with weight loss, you may ask, are peanuts fattening? Yes, they can be if eaten in excess, so the key here is moderation. Below are the benefits for weight loss:
- They Help Keep You Feel Full For Longer
Unlike most of the other snack foods, which are filled with simple carbohydrates, peanuts, on the other hand, are enriched with proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. As a result, they take longer to digest. Those watching their weight can add either whole peanuts or peanut butter to their breakfast to achieve increased fullness and make their blood sugar levels more stable.
Most snacks contain simple carbohydrates, which can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a quick spike in blood sugar followed by a rapid drop. This results in people feeling hungry shortly after meals. The benefit of peanuts is that they are digested slowly and remain in the stomach longer, keeping you feeling satisfied longer .
It is also important to note that eating peanuts requires more chewing. So, you will be eating your food slower, hence allowing your body enough time to register when you are full. By doing so, it will prevent you from overeating.
- They Promote Lower Caloric Intake
This is a tricky one because you must have heard that peanuts are high in calories. As long as you keep your portion sizes reasonable, the fiber, protein, and healthy fats in peanuts will help you feel full for longer after eating them. If you have peanuts as a snack, this means you may need to eat less at your next meal. If you incorporate peanuts into a meal, they may help you make it to the next mealtime without snacking in between. Either way, this can result in lower overall calorie intake
- They Are Packed With Healthy Fats
Peanuts/groundnuts are full of many healthy fats, called monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). A diet rich in the types of fat in peanuts has immense benefits such as reduced rates of obesity, inflammation, and chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
In addition to that, the consumption of nuts, such as peanuts, is said to lower the risk of long-term weight gain. It is theorized that this is because the high unsaturated fat content they contain can improve the body’s ability to utilize stored fat as energy
- They Help Improve Your Metabolism
Peanuts are an excellent source of energy for the body. This energy comes in handy by boosting the metabolic rate of the body. Good metabolism will, on the other hand, promote weight loss a great deal. Apart from helping convert food into energy, the niacin in peanuts also aids both the digestive and nervous systems .
However, even if peanuts have been established to be very healthy, it is important to supplement them with other nuts such as walnuts and almonds for maximum gains. This is because a mix of different nuts will balance the various different nutrients going into your body.
- They Can Reduce Your Cravings For Food
Some people struggle with weight problems simply because they cannot stop thinking about food. Peanuts may present an answer to the said problem. The nuts can stabilize blood sugar levels due to their low glycemic index. This means that as they are being digested slowly, they release sugar gradually into the bloodstream. This gives the body energy that lasts longer and controls impulses for food cravings .
Side Effects Of Peanuts
Are there any side effects of peanuts? In their composition, peanuts have two proteins, namely arachin and conarachin. These two proteins are known to cause allergic reactions in some people. Excessive consumption of peanuts may have adverse effects even on people without any allergies. The side effects associated with these nuts include the following:
- Peanut allergy is a form of hypersensitivity response in some people to foods prepared using peanuts. As a result, the overreaction caused by the immune system may bring about severe physical symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting, swelling of the lips and throat, causing breathing difficulty, congestion of the chest, and, much worse, even death. Those with such allergies should therefore steer clear of foods prepared with or on the same equipment as peanuts.
- Also, note that peanuts are among the foods that are easily susceptible to fungal (mold) infection caused by Aspergillus flavus, which produces aflatoxin. This is a potent and dangerous carcinogen that can cause liver cirrhosis and cancer. The remedy for this is to roast the nuts because it reduces the levels of toxins .
- Peanuts can also inhibit the absorption of iron and other nutrients. They have antinutrients that impair the absorption of nutrients and diminish nutritional value. This is because they contain phytates which are the compounds that inhibit the absorption of iron. You may want to avoid eating peanuts together with iron-rich foods to make sure that you absorb as much iron as you can from those foods.
The Bottom Line
The many benefits of peanuts for weight loss can be attributed to their wealth of essential nutrients, including plant-based protein. Their other nutrients help support the immune system. Therefore, you do not have to worry about getting sick during your weight loss journey. They also come with various other health benefits, including promoting heart health, blood sugar control, and preventing gallstones.
Sticking to a healthy diet based on your health needs, allergies and preferences is a great idea, however, when combined with a workout plan that meets your goals, it might bring you significant benefits. Better mood, stronger muscles and endurance are just some.