Weight Loss and Maintenance
Weight Loss and Maintenance
Losing weight by following a healthy diet doesn’t mean giving up the foods you love! Consuming a small serving of peanuts or peanut butter daily has been proven to positively impact the success of weight loss diets
Results from a 2017 weight loss intervention showed that participants who consumed peanuts and other nuts weighed significantly less at the end of the intervention than those who did not consume nuts.
In looking at a population of almost 9,000 people in Spain, researchers found that those who ate peanuts were less likely to gain weight. Those who consumed peanuts at least two times per week were 30% less likely to gain than those who rarely ate them.
These benefits may also be seen in children. A childhood weight loss study carried out in schools with high-risk children replaced unhealthy snacks with peanuts every day. Two-year data published in the journal Obesity showed that two-thirds of children fed peanuts in the treatment group lost or kept weight off.
One of the reasons for these exciting results may be because of the energy absorption benefits that peanuts provide. It has long been known that up to 18% of the calories consumed from peanuts and peanut products pass through the body without being absorbed. Therefore, although you may be satisfied after eating peanuts, you may not absorb all the calories.
Peanuts have also been shown to help increase the amount of energy (or calories) individuals may burn while at rest, a number known as our resting energy expenditure (REE). One trial noted an 11% increase in subjects’ REE after 8 weeks of peanut consumption, and a 5% increase for overweight individuals who just supplemented their diets with peanut oil for 8 weeks.
Plus, eating peanuts as part of a healthy diet to lose or manage weight can benefit your body in other ways. When peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut oil were part of high monounsaturated fat weight loss diets, compared to low-fat diets, they had more favorable effects on cholesterol. Additionally, a study carried out at Penn State University found that the composition of the diet during weight loss and maintenance had an impact on what was happening inside the body. During weight maintenance, researchers found that, compared to a moderate-fat diet that included peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut oil, a low-fat diet caused triglyceride levels to increase—to levels higher than before the study began.
Adding peanuts to a low-fat diet helped promote weight loss, too. Researchers compared a low-fat diet to one that added peanuts as a healthy monounsaturated fat source. The low-fat group eating peanuts reduced their total and bad LDL cholesterol levels, but the low-fat group without peanuts did not.
Whatever your method for weight loss, the nutrients in peanuts can help you keep the weight off in the best way for your body and your long-term health.
Last reviewed: February 2019
Sterling SR, Bertrand B, Judd S, Carson TL, Chandler-Laney P, Baskin ML. Longitudinal Analysis of Nut-Inclusive Diets and Body Mass Index Among Overweight and Obese African American Women Living in Rural Alabama and Mississippi, 2011-2013. Prev Chronic Dis. 2017 Sep 21;14:E82. doi: 10.5888/pcd14.160595. PubMed PMID: 28934081; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5609494.
Tan SY, Dhillon J, Mattes RD. A review of the effects of nuts on appetite, food intake, metabolism, and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:412S-22S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071456. Epub 2014 Jun 11. Review. PubMed PMID: 24920033.
Johnston CA, Tyler C, Fullerton G, McFarlin BK, Poston WS, Haddock CK, Reeves RS, Foreyt JP. Effects of a school-based weight maintenance program for Mexican-American children: results at 2 years. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Mar;18(3):542-7. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.241. Epub 2009 Aug 6. Erratum in: Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Mar;18(3):647. Fullerton, Ginny [added]. PubMed PMID: 19661957.
Johnston CA, Tyler C, McFarlin BK, Poston WS, Haddock CK, Reeves R, Foreyt JP. Weight loss in overweight Mexican American children: a randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2007 Dec;120(6):e1450-7. PubMed PMID: 18055663.
Bes-Rastrollo M, Sabaté J, Gómez-Gracia E, Alonso A, Martínez JA, Martínez-González MA. Nut consumption and weight gain in a Mediterranean cohort: The SUN study. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jan;15(1):107-16. PubMed PMID: 17228038.
Coelho SB, de Sales RL, Iyer SS, Bressan J, Costa NM, Lokko P, Mattes R. Effects of peanut oil load on energy expenditure, body composition, lipid profile, and appetite in lean and overweight adults. Nutrition. 2006 Jun;22(6):585-92. PubMed PMID: 16704951.
Pelkman CL, Fishell VK, Maddox DH, Pearson TA, Mauger DT, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of moderate-fat (from monounsaturated fat) and low-fat weight-loss diets on the serum lipid profile in overweight and obese men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Feb;79(2):204-12. PubMed PMID: 14749224.
Kris-Etherton PM, Pearson TA, Wan Y, Hargrove RL, Moriarty K, Fishell V, Etherton TD. High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1009-15. PubMed PMID: 10584045.
O’Byrne DJ, Knauft DA, Shireman RB. Low fat-monounsaturated rich diets containing high-oleic peanuts improve serum lipoprotein profiles. Lipids. 1997 Jul;32(7):687-95. PubMed PMID: 9252956.
Levine AS, Silvis SE. Absorption of whole peanuts, peanut oil, and peanut butter. N Engl J Med. 1980 Oct 16;303(16):917-8. PubMed PMID: 6251367.