Having a snack attack? You’re not alone. More than 90 percent of Americans say snacking is a daily part of their lives, according to a survey by Mintel. We’re grabbing a snack more often, too. In fact, one in four millennials (ages 23 to 40) say they snack at least four times per day.1
Whether you’re looking for nutritious or delicious, peanuts and peanut butter make great snack choices. Here are four compelling reasons why:
- Peanuts help you feel fuller for longer. They’re a good source of fiber3, which helps keep hunger pangs at bay2. When eaten in small amounts in place of less nutritious snacks, peanuts and peanut butter may be beneficial for weight control in both children and adults.3, 4, 12
One study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) involved a group of overweight students who were taking part in a weight-loss program focused on nutrition education and physical activity. Every afternoon, they were offered peanut or peanut butter snacks. After six months, kids who ate the peanutty snacks at least twice a week had lost more body fat than those who ate the snacks less often.4
- Peanuts are little bundles of nutrition.3 Sometimes, it’s good to be dense. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends choosing more nutrient-dense foods, which provide:
- Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other health-promoting substances
- Little or no unhealthy fats, added sugars, refined starches, and sodium6
Peanuts fit that definition to a tee.6 Among other nutrients, they contain folate, niacin, thiamin, vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus 3, 5. Plus, they provide protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fat3—the same kind of heart-healthy fat found in olive oil and avocados.11 That’s a lot of goodness packed into every bite.
- Peanuts are great for grab-and-go eating. Whether you’re looking for a snack to enjoy at your desk, in the park, or on a travel break, peanuts are a no muss, no fuss solution. Spreading peanut butter on apple slices, celery sticks, or crackers takes only an extra minute or two.7
The fiber and protein in peanuts also give you a sustained energy boost8, so they’re a favorite ingredient in trail mix. Combined with other nutritious ingredients—such as dried cranberries, raisins, and whole-grain cereal—they’re a classic snack for on-the-go adventures.9, 10
- Peanuts make your taste buds happy. Americans are becoming more interested in healthy, nutritious snacking. Still, the number one reason many of us snack is to treat ourselves, according to the Mintel survey.1 Peanuts and peanut butter taste like an indulgence, but act like a healthy bite. That’s a marriage of flavor and function that can’t be beat.
Looking for creative snack ideas? Check out our recipes for sweet and spicy peanuts, peanut butter and banana smoothies, and more.
- “Top Reason US Consumers Say They Snack Is to Treat Themselves.” Mintel. mintel.com/press-centre/food-and-drink/top-reason-us-consumers-snack-is-to-treat-themselves.
- “Fiber: How to Increase the Amount in Your Diet.” American Academy of Family Physicians. familydoctor.org/fiber-how-to-increase-the-amount-in-your-diet.
- “Peanuts as Functional Food: A Review.” S.S. Arya et al. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2016, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 31-41.
- “Benefits of a Snacking Intervention as Part of a School-Based Obesity Intervention for Mexican American Children.” J.P. Moreno et al. Journal of Applied Research on Children. 2015, vol 6, issue 2, article no. 15, pp. 1-12.
- “Basic Report 16390, Peanuts, All Types, Dry-Roasted, Without Salt.” National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb.
- “2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf.
- “Homemade & Heart-Healthy Snacks for On-the-Go.” American Heart Association. goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/homemade-heart-healthy-snacks-for-on-the-go.
- “Eating to Boost Energy.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/eating-to-boost-energy.
- “Snacks and Dashboard Dining.” American Cancer Society. cancer.org/healthy/eat-healthy-get-active/take-control-your-weight/snacks-and-dashboard-dining.html.
- “Peanut Snack Mix.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/food-distribution-fdd/peanut-snack-mix.
- “Monounsaturated Fat.” American Heart Association. https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/articles/monounsaturated-fats.
- “Changes in Intake of Protein Foods, Carbohydrate Amount and Quality and Long-Term Weight Change: Results from 3 Prospective Cohorts.” J.D. Smith et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015, vol. 101, pp. 1216-24.