Published On By Dimitar Marinov [MD, PhD]

Peanuts for Weight Loss

Peanuts could be used as part of a weight-loss plan in moderation. They have vitamin E, calcium, and fiber, which might help you shed some pounds and support overall health.

Studies show that consuming peanuts could help restrict cholesterol absorption by the body, contributing to a healthy cholesterol profile. Peanuts might also help improve digestion and metabolism, which could support weight loss efforts.

In this article, we will discuss how you could eat peanuts for weight loss, along with some of the unique health benefits they may offer. We will also highlight the nutritional profile of peanuts, how to consume them, and the risks or side effects associated with peanuts.

Nutrition Value Of Peanuts

Peanuts are nutritionally diverse as they contain protein, healthy fats, and fiber, providing essential nutrients like magnesium, folate, and vitamin E.

According to USDA, one ounce (28.35 g) serving of raw peanuts contains 161 calories, 7.31 grams of protein, and 13.9 grams of fat (mostly good fats). It also comprises 4.56 grams of carbohydrates, 2.41 grams of fiber, and 1.34 grams of sugar. They are also a good source of copper and arginine.

The magnesium in peanuts supports various physiological functions, such as energy production and muscle function. Folate promotes DNA synthesis and repair, aiding in cell division and growth.

Vitamin E (a potent antioxidant) helps protect bodily cells from damage. Copper encourages the formation of red blood cells, and arginine (an amino acid) is important for protein synthesis.

How Peanuts Are Helpful With Weight Loss?

  1. Includes Healthy Fats

    Peanuts contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, which support various bodily functions. These healthy fats provide sustained energy and improve satiety, helping reduce hunger cravings and overeating. Such effects may support weight loss efforts.

    Research suggests that peanuts may support weight loss by improving the body’s ability to convert stored fats into energy. Regular consumption of peanuts is also associated with a decreased risk of weight gain.

  2. Keeps Your Stomach Full

    Peanuts have a high content of healthy fats, fiber, and proteins, which help prolong feelings of fullness and satisfaction after consumption. Peanuts digest slowly in the stomach, preventing quick spikes in blood sugar levels that might trigger overeating.

    Their slow digestion process allows peanuts to remain in the stomach longer, promoting extended satiety between meals. Chewing peanuts requires more effort and time, which promotes slower eating and gives the body a chance to signal fullness.

    Research indicates that adding whole peanuts or peanut butter to meals may improve feelings of fullness and help stabilize blood sugar levels. The slow-release energy source from peanuts may prevent hunger cravings and support weight loss efforts.

  3. Reduces Calorie Intake

    Peanuts are nutrient-dense nuts that digest slowly, promoting satiety and preventing rapid blood sugar spikes. Not all calories from peanuts (especially raw peanuts) are fully absorbed during digestion, which may potentially help reduce your total calorie intake.

    A study compared the stool samples of people who consumed peanut butter, whole peanuts, peanut flour, and peanut oils. It found that people who ate whole peanuts had higher amounts of fats in their stool, possibly indicating a lower absorption of calories.

    However, it is essential to consume mindful portions to prevent excessive consumption of calorie-dense foods like peanuts.

    The following table illustrates the calorie content of peanuts:

    Peanut Product Calories per 1 oz
    Raw Peanuts 160
    Dry-Roasted Peanuts 166
    Boiled Peanuts 134

Benefits Of Peanuts

  1. Support Heart Health

    The fiber in peanuts helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which may promote heart health. Peanuts contain antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties that may potentially reduce the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease.

    Studies show that including peanuts in your diet may result in decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Such a mechanism may protect and support healthy heart function.

    Peanuts also contain niacin (vitamin B3), which is vital for maintaining a healthy heart function.

  2. Packed with Antioxidants

    Peanuts contain beneficial antioxidants like phenolic acids and flavonoids that help support overall health. Peanut skins are particularly rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may positively impact multiple bodily processes.

    Studies suggest that the antioxidant properties of peanuts might contribute to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, more research is needed to establish such claims conclusively.

    Resveratrol in peanuts is a potent antioxidant that might help decrease the likelihood of developing certain cancers and heart disease.

  3. Regulate Blood Sugar

    Peanuts have a low glycemic index, implying they trigger a slower increase in blood sugar levels than other high-glycemic foods. Such effects could help balance blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

    Research shows that peanuts could help manage blood sugar levels effectively. Including peanuts in meals or snacks might assist in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels.

    Peanuts contain healthy fats and protein, both of which assist in stabilizing blood sugar levels. Healthy fats and proteins may delay the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, leading to more stable blood sugar levels.

  4. Lower Inflammation

    Consuming foods rich in antioxidants and with anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce inflammation. Peanuts contain antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic acids with anti-inflammatory properties that help lower inflammation levels.

    Peanuts may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in the body. Such effects may help combat inflammation, which might lead to health issues like diabetes, obesity, or heart disease.

    You should note that peanuts might help reduce inflammation. However, you should consume peanuts in moderation due to their high-calorie content. Consult a doctor/nutritionist to determine the appropriate amount of peanuts to include in your diet.

  5. Decrease Cancer Risk

    Peanuts contain antioxidants like resveratrol and vitamin E, which may help lower oxidative stress and reduce the damage to cells that might lead to cancer.

    The high fiber content in peanuts may improve digestion and promote gut health, potentially lowering the risk of colorectal cancer. Studies indicate that flavonoids in peanuts, such as catechins and resveratrol, possess anti-cancer properties.

    Peanuts also contain phytosterols that are associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, such as prostate cancer. However, more research is required to establish such claims conclusively.

    However, you should maintain a balanced diet with multiple food groups to support overall health. You may consult a doctor for personalized advice on cancer prevention strategies.

How To Choose?

Opt for unflavored peanuts with minimal processing and no added ingredients to avoid unnecessary calories. To acquire extra fiber and antioxidants, choose peanuts with the skins on. Unshelled peanuts may promote portion control, preventing mindless eating.

Boiled peanuts have fewer calories than roasted or raw peanuts, making them a lower-calorie option. However, boiled peanuts contain less fat and may not provide the same level of satiety.

You may reap the benefits of peanuts by staying mindful of your choices and portion sizes. Remember to choose the peanut type that best suits your preferences and dietary needs.

Side Effects Of Peanuts

  1. Allergic Reactions

    Peanut allergies may be a common food allergy globally. The severity of allergic reactions from peanuts might vary from person to person.

    These reactions could manifest as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, throat tightness, or stomach cramps. Peanut allergies may also lead to wheezing, shortness of breath, itching in the mouth or throat, a runny nose, or skin rashes.

    People with peanut allergies should carefully read food labels and inform restaurants about their allergies. In cases of accidental exposure to peanuts, they should be prepared with emergency medication like epinephrine to tackle the situation.

  2. Low in Omega-3

    Peanuts have a high omega-6 fatty acid content but lack omega-3 fatty acids, which may have implications for health. Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation, support heart health, and promote brain function.

    A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids might cause health concerns, including cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and arthritis.

    Therefore, you should include omega-3 sources like fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, or walnuts in your diet with peanuts to tackle such deficiency.

  3. Cause Weight Gain

    Excessive consumption of peanuts might cause weight gain due to their high-calorie content. One ounce of raw peanuts contains around 160 calories, which may add up quickly if not consumed mindfully.

    Practicing portion control and being mindful of your overall calorie intake might help prevent weight gain from peanuts. Opting for natural peanut butter without additives or choosing whole peanuts over processed options may also help control calorie intake.

    Consuming peanuts in moderation and balancing your overall caloric intake with adequate physical activity is essential to support weight loss goals.

Risks Associated With Peanuts

Peanuts may cause foodborne illnesses due to the presence of aflatoxins, harmful substances produced by mold. Proper harvesting, handling, and drying techniques may help prevent mold growth and contamination of peanuts.

Failure to follow adequate food safety protocols may result in aflatoxin exposure. It may potentially raise the risk of developing chronic toxicity, liver cirrhosis, or other health complications.

Peanuts contain oxalates, which might contribute to the formation of kidney stones, especially in people with kidney problems. Some people could experience digestive problems from eating peanuts, such as bloating, gas, or excessive flatulence.

The phytic acid in peanuts may bind to minerals like zinc and iron in the body, potentially reducing their absorption and leading to deficiencies. Conventionally grown peanuts may have pesticide residues, which might pose health risks if consumed excessively.

Considering these risks, you should carefully assess their tolerance and susceptibility to peanut allergies. Prioritize food safety practices and practice moderation in peanut consumption to reap the potential benefits they offer.


How to Use Peanuts?

You could use peanuts in various culinary preparations to enhance both the nutritional profile and flavor of your meals. Here are some recommended ways to include peanuts in your diet:

  • Raw or Roasted: Enjoy peanuts in their natural state for a crunchy snack, or add them to salads for added texture.
  • Peanut Butter: Opt for natural peanut butter without additives to spread on whole-grain toast or mix into smoothies for a protein boost.
  • Cooking: Use peanuts in stir-fries, noodle dishes, or peanut sauce to add a nutty flavor and extra protein to your meals.
  • Snack Mix: Create your trail mix by combining peanuts with seeds, dried fruits, and a pint of dark chocolate for a satisfying and nutritious on-the-go snack.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Peanuts Worsen Peanut Allergies?
    Peanuts may worsen peanut allergies, especially in susceptible people. Those with peanut allergies should completely avoid peanuts and products containing them to prevent severe reactions. In case of accidental exposure to peanuts, they should seek medical advice promptly.
  2. How Do Peanuts Affect Digestive Health?
    Peanuts are rich in fiber, which may promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation. However, for some people, peanuts may cause digestive issues like bloating and excess gas, especially if consumed in large amounts.
  3. How Do Aflatoxins in Peanuts Affect Health?
    Aflatoxins are toxic substances produced by molds, which may be present in peanuts. They might increase the risk of liver damage and increase susceptibility to liver cancer. Vigilance in food safety practices may help prevent aflatoxin exposure, reducing such risks.
  4. What Is the Shelf Life of Peanuts?
    The shelf life of peanuts varies based on storage conditions. Shelled peanuts might last up to four months at room temperature, while in-shell peanuts may last for up to nine months. Refrigerating or freezing peanuts could extend their shelf life further.
  5. Can Peanuts Interfere with Medication?
    Peanuts might interact with certain medications. For example, their high content of vitamin K may affect blood-thinning medications like warfarin. You should consult a doctor regarding the safety and efficacy of consuming peanuts when on medication.


Peanuts may be a convenient and affordable snack option if you are seeking to manage your weight. Choosing natural and unsalted varieties could help you enjoy the benefits of peanuts without consuming excessive calories.

Consuming peanuts regularly could help improve satiety, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, reduce calorie intake, and support weight loss.

You could make peanuts more filling by combining them with high-protein foods like eggs, chicken, pulses, seafood, or dairy products.

However, remember to consume peanuts in moderation due to their high-calorie content. You may include peanuts into meals creatively, such as in salads, smoothies, or stir-fries, to reap their nutritional benefits.

  • This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before following health tips or instructions.

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