Losing Weight with Peanuts
Quite often feelings of hunger can hinder the best-laid plans to stay with a weight-loss program.
But recent studies are now showing that adding peanuts to a healthy eating plan can actually help dieters achieve and maintain weight loss by suppressing appetite naturally
So if you're interested in losing weight and - at the same time - minimising the downsides of dieting, we hope these tips will help:
Peanuts contain high amounts of both mono- and polyunsaturated fats which have been generally shown to help lower total cholesterol and the incidence of heart disease.
The good news is that some nutritional researchers now believe that fat in the small intestine stimulates the release of a chemical transmitter that signals feelings of fullness to the brain, which in turn suppresses hunger pains.
Researchers have shown that the traditional "Mediterranean" diet that contains satisfactory amounts of unsaturated fat (ie the type found in peanuts) assists people maintain healthy diet practices over a prolonged period of time.
Why? Because they don't experience an overwhelming sense of hunger.
According to research at Harvard Medical School and Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston, almost three times as many people were able to follow a higher-fat diet that included peanuts and peanut butter during an 18-month weight loss study.
101 overweight men and women were assigned to either a low fat diet or a higher monounsaturated fat "Mediterranean Style" diet. The study found that participants on the latter diet lost more weight and were able to stay with the program.
These findings are consistent with a study at Purdue University, which showed that snacks of peanuts and peanut butter produced more eating satisfaction and feelings of fullness than other high-carbohydrate snacks such as rice cakes. Study participants who were fed peanut snacks didn't feel the need to add additional kilojules to their daily diets to attack hunger.
- Are a significant source of plant protein without the high-cholesterol saturated fat found in many animal sources of protein
- Contain high amounts of both mono- and polyunsaturated fat which have generally been shown to help lower total cholesterol and rates of coronary heart disease and to suppress appetite naturally
- Are amongst the most concentrated food sources of Vitamin E (also linked to preventing coronary heart disease)
- Are abundant in beta-sitosterol, known to inhibit cancer growth as well as protect against heart disease
- Contain isoflavones and saponins, which both have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties
- Contain additional vitamins such as B6 and folic acid, as well as minerals such as magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium
If you'd like to try losing weight by adding more peanuts to your diet, here are some ideas about things you might like to try!
- Mix nuts with sultanas or raisins for a high energy snack
- Serve peanuts in their shells when you have guests
- Spread peanut butter on bread and top with sliced banana or grated apple
- Add mixed, crushed nuts to your muesli or sprinkle on a banana smoothie
- Toss raw peanuts into a beef and vegetable stir fry.
- Include nuts in your next garden salad.
- Spread a little peanut butter and a scrape of honey on rice cakes or crispbread
- Add nuts to a low-fat biscuit or slice recipe
- Top a healthy banana cake with crushed nuts and low fat cream cheese
- Mix crushed nuts into sweet soy sauce and use as a dipping sauce for Vietnamese rolls
For more details about the studies cited in this article, please visit their respective web sites.