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 for weight loss 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 peanut 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 consumed from peanuts and peanut products.

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: May 2019

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