Peanuts Satisfy Hunger and May Not Promote Weight Gain

Apr 19, 1999

Snacking on peanuts leads to more eating satisfaction and subjects automatically adjust their diets to compensate for most of the additional calories. Furthermore, peanuts add heart-healthy monounsaturated fat to the diet. These interim results were presented at the Experimental Biology annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Researchers at Purdue University found that when 500 calories of peanuts were added to subjects’ regular diets, substituted in the diet for other fat, or eaten freely, the results were the same — the men and women automatically compensated for most of the additional calories and they spontaneously commented on the high satiety of the peanuts. Those who either added peanuts to their regular diet or substituted peanuts for other fats had the added benefit of significantly lowering their triglyceride levels (TG), a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

These results are consistent with earlier studies at Purdue that show that peanuts and peanut butter satisfy hunger better than some high-carbohydrate snacks such as rice cakes. Furthermore, epidemiological evidence shows that frequent consumption of peanuts and nuts is associated with lower body mass index (BMI) and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. In the Nurses’ Health Study, Harvard researchers found that women who consumed one ounce of peanuts, nuts and peanut butter five or more times a week reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 35 percent, compared to those who rarely or never ate nuts.

Dr. Richard Mattes and collaborator Corinna Lermer, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University note that, “Regular consumption of small amounts of peanuts does not necessarily lead to weight gain and may contribute to a healthy, more satisfying diet.”

The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization that supports nutrition research and develops educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles.