Many people have speculated over the years about the relationship between peanut butter and weight loss. In fact, there is a lot of substance behind this speculation and there are numerous diets designed with peanut butter induced weight loss in mind. But what are the reasons behind this?
Peanut butter is made from two main ingredients; peanuts and butter (of course). Many people look at these ingredients and recoil in fear thinking that peanut butter and weight loss can’t possibly go together because it seems so fattening; two tablespoons of peanut butter has been estimated to contain 16 grams of fat and provide you with 200 calories, and if you think about how much you may spread on your toast, you will soon realise that the calories add up!
However, we must not fall into the trap of believing that if you eat peanut butter, weight loss is unattainable. This, however, is simply not the case. Peanuts are one of the foods that help to dramatically reduce your hunger. Those who snacked on peanuts were found to have their hunger reduced for 2 hours compared with what we may consider ‘healthier’ snacks such as rice cakes. The main issue is not so much the fat content of foods because some fat is essential in our diets, but the amount of food that we are eating.
Peanut butter aids weight loss because once you have eaten some you no longer feel the need to eat more food. This means that you eat less and are, therefore, taking fewer calories into your body. If you revert to snacking on less-filling snacks, whilst they may be healthier you will eat more of them – your food intake will therefore increase and you will be more inclined to eat. Weight loss, therefore, becomes more difficult.
One final benefit that links peanut butter and weight loss is the amount of cholesterol and the type of cholesterol that you intake from peanut butter. Peanuts help to raise the level of good cholesterol in your body without raising the total level of cholesterol in your blood. This puts less strain on your heart and means that your heart is able to pump blood (and subsequently oxygen) to all your muscles much quicker. When muscles and organs are enriched with oxygen they work more effectively and you are more likely to lose weight.
Next time when you hear about peanut butter weight loss, don’t be surprised. As presented above, weight loss and peanut butter are inextricably linked.