Why Sustainable Eating Includes Peanuts

A new year is a new chance to start making positive changes, whether it’s supporting your health, saving for your future, or even helping to create a more sustainable world. But if it sounds intimidating, don’t worry; you can start taking steps toward all of those goals with one simple daily serving of your (and our) favorite snack: peanuts.

Sound too good to be true? Just check out a few of the ways they can can help support even the biggest 2021 goals.

Supporting your health.

A big part of staying healthy is promoting overall wellness, which means supporting both body and mind. Peanuts can help on both fronts, by providing hunger-satisfying protein and sustained energy throughout the day—whether you’re hitting the trails, the weights, or just enjoying a long walk—in addition to other important nutrients that give our brains a boost. In fact, some evidence shows that peanuts may help with short-term memory and better cognition.

And if you are thinking about getting into a fitness routine this year, don’t forget about peanut powder, which has shown to improve select markers of muscle growth and quality.

  • Improve blood sugar. With a low glycemic index (GI), peanuts release sugar more gradually into the bloodstream. This helps prevent spikes that can lead to “sugar crashes.” Studies have also shown peanuts to be equally effective as almonds for lowering blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.1
  • Promote a healthy heart. There’s a reason the American Heart Association names nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet—studies have shown time and again that they can help lower artery-clogging LDL cholesterol, raise healthy cholesterol levels, and reduce your risk of heart disease by 24%.2,3
  • Improve your chances of living a longer life. In just one daily serving, peanuts can help lower your risk of dying prematurely by 21%. That’s in addition to lowering risk of death from respiratory disease by 16%, infections by 32%, and kidney disease by 48%.4
  • Help to protect yourself from certain cancers. Specifically, colorectal, gastric, pancreatic and lung cancers.5
  • Healthy weight management. Losing weight and keeping it off can be a tricky feat, but plenty of research says peanuts can help you do just that by keeping you satisfied without snacking.6 Plus, they can even help increase your metabolism!7

Supporting your savings.

Peanuts aren’t just great for trimming your waistline—they’re also great for loosening up your budget! Dollar for dollar, peanuts and peanut butter are less expensive than almost all nut and meat proteins. Combine that with their long shelf life, and it’s no wonder why peanuts and peanut butter are the most popular nut in the U.S., accounting for 67% of all nut consumption.

Supporting the environment.

Protein is a key nutrient that helps our bodies do things like build strong muscles and bones, and just like meat, peanuts are packed with it. A big difference between animal and plant protein, however, is the environmental impact of their production.


  • Peanuts produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to other protein sources, peanut butter produces much lower levels of CO2 emissions at just 2.9 units. That’s slightly less than half of what’s produced for eggs (4.8 units) and less than a quarter of what’s produced for cheese (13.5 units).8
  • Peanuts improve the soil. Like other legumes, peanuts naturally replenish the soil with nitrogen, an essential nutrient for plant growth. In fact, peanuts can supply up to 90% of their own nitrogen.9  
  • Peanuts require less water. Because peanuts are botanically legumes, they don’t need as much water to grow as other nuts. For comparison, every ton of peanuts harvested requires 2,782 cubic meters of water, while almonds require over 8,000 cubic meters.10
  • No part of the peanut is wasted. According to the U.S. Sustainability Alliance, every part of every American peanut finds a use — from husks being used in animal feed, to biodiesel produced from peanut oil.

Take Life One Snack at a Time.

While we could go on about all the other amazing benefits of peanuts, like their ability to aid in healthy development or keep your mind sharp with age, what’s important to know is that a daily serving of peanuts doesn’t just help you — it can actually help make the world a better place to live.

And by supporting your health with a single daily serving, you’ll be making great strides toward ensuring you can enjoy it for years to come.

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  1. Hou YY, Ojo O, Wang LL, Wang Q, Jiang Q, Shao XY, Wang XH. A Randomized Controlled Trial to Compare the Effect of Peanuts and Almonds on the Cardio-Metabolic and Inflammatory Parameters in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Nutrients. 2018 Oct 23;10(11):1565. doi: 10.3390/nu10111565. PMID: 30360498; PMCID: PMC6267433.
  2. Kris-Etherton PM, Pearson TA, Wan Y, et al. High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70(6):1009–1015.
  3. Lokko P, Lartey A, Armar-Klemesu M, Mattes RD. Regular peanut consumption improves plasma lipid levels in healthy Ghanaians. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007;58(3):190–200. doi:10.1080/09637480701198067.
  4. Luu HN, Blot WJ, Xiang YB, et al. Prospective evaluation of the association of nut/peanut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality [published correction appears in JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Aug 1;176(8):1236]. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(5):755-766. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8347.
  5. Kirkmeyer S., Mattes R., Effects of food attributes on hunger and food intake. Int J Obesity. 2000;24:1167-75.
  6. Sabate J. Nut Consumption and Body Weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(suppl):647S-650S.
  7. USDA Peanuts Stocks & Processing Report.
  8. “Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Production and Consumption of Peanut Butter in the U.S.” J.A. McCarty et al. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2014, vol. 57, no. 6., pp. 1741-1750.
  9. “The Role of Peanuts in Global Food Security.” H. Valentine. Peanuts: Genetics, Processing, and Utilization. H.T. Stalker and R.F. Wilson, eds. London: Academic Press and AOCS Press, 2016, pp. 447-61.
  10. “The Green, Blue and Grey Water Footprint of Crops and Derived Crop Products.” M.M. Mekonnen and A.Y. Hoekstra. UNESCO Institute for Water Education, December 2010. http://wfn.project-platforms.com/Reports/Report47-WaterFootprintCrops-Vol1.pdf.