Can peanuts help you lose weight? New study says yes

Many won’t eat nuts because of the amount of fat and calories they contain, but a new study found that eating peanuts before a meal can lead to lower blood pressure and weight loss.

 Illustrative image of peanuts. (photo credit: ALEXA/PIXABAY)
Illustrative image of peanuts.
(photo credit: ALEXA/PIXABAY)

Eating some peanuts before meals could help with weight loss, a new study published in the international peer-reviewed journal Nutrients found. 

A research team has found that eating salted peanuts twice a day before meals can lead to weight loss, lower blood pressure and healthier fasting glucose levels, meaning that blood sugar will remain stable between meals.

How can you study eating peanuts and its effects on weight loss?

Researchers from Texas Tech University and the University of South Australia examined data between January and December 2021 on two groups of Australian adults who were at either moderate or high risk of type 2 diabetes. 

50 adults in the control group avoided eating nuts or nut butter. The experimental group consisted of 57 adults who ate 35 grams of roasted peanuts twice a day 30 minutes before meals.

 Illustrative image of peanut butter. (credit: PXHERE) Illustrative image of peanut butter. (credit: PXHERE)

What did the researchers find about peanuts and weight loss?

At the end of six months, the researchers found that both groups achieved significant weight loss and improved blood sugar levels, but the group who ate peanuts was shown to have a lower blood pressure than the control group.

"Our study found that peanuts, which are high in healthy unsaturated fats, can actually aid in weight loss," said study author Kristina Petersen, assistant professor in Texas Tech's Department of Nutritional Sciences. 

"Our study found that peanuts, which are high in healthy unsaturated fats, can actually aid in weight loss."

Study author Kristina Petersen

"People often avoid peanuts when trying to lose weight because they believe they contain too many calories. Yet peanuts actually have a high satiety value, meaning they make you feel fuller for longer which can be very beneficial for those on a weight-loss diet," she added. 

Why are peanuts so special?

One serving of peanuts contains seven grams of protein, almost three grams of fiber and 19 vitamins and minerals. Because of this, the peanut-enriched group received an extra 15 grams of protein per day.

Peanuts are indeed nutritious, but what about the salt that coats them? Researchers found that the group which ate lightly salted peanuts actually saw an improvement in systolic blood pressure compared to those in the control group.

The researchers gave three explanations for this result:

  1. Lightly salted peanuts are a low-sodium food that contains between 90 and 100 milligrams per serving;
  2. Peanuts have high levels of arginine, an amino acid that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure;
  3. Peanuts contain magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure.