Fiber

Fiber

When you think of fiber, you may think of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. But you may not know that one serving of peanuts is also a good source of fiber, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database. Fiber is a healthy carbohydrate; eating it provides various benefits to our health. Fiber has the following functions:

  • It adds bulk to our diets to improve digestion
  • It helps us to feel full
  • It can slow the absorption of certain foods so that blood sugar is better controlled.
  • It can contribute to lower levels of total and “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • High-fiber diets are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Over a third of the carbohydrates in peanuts is fiber. This may contribute to the fact that peanuts have a low glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL). On a 100-point scale, the GI of peanuts is 14 and the GL of peanuts is 1. This means that when we eat peanuts, our blood sugar and insulin levels stay balanced. In contrast, when we eat certain refined grains or sugary beverages, our blood sugar and insulin levels rise and fall quickly; this “spike” is associated with pre-diabetes and diabetes.

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, fiber is one of the main nutrients lacking in the typical American diet. The Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming nuts like peanuts to meet daily fiber needs.

Last reviewed: February 2019

Sources

US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. [(accessed on 13 February 2019)]; Version Current: September 2015, Slightly Revised May 2016. Available online: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/

Foster-Powell K, Holt SH, Brand-Miller JC. International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;76(1):5-56. PubMed PMID: 12081815.