A new study shows that adding peanut butter or peanuts to your breakfast can help control your blood sugar after breakfast as well as throughout most of the day, even if you later go on to have a high-carb lunch.
Along with this so-called ‘Second Meal Effect,’ peanuts and peanut butter also lowered desire to eat for up to 12 hours later along with increasing secretion of a hormone known as PYY that is known to promote satiety, or that satisfying feeling of fullness after a meal.
During three phases of this study, participants consumed an ounce and a half of peanuts, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter or no peanuts or peanut butter with a breakfast of orange juice and cream of wheat - followed by a lunch of white bread and strawberry jam.
Blood samples and appetite ratings were taken over 3 hours following breakfast and again after lunch to assess glucose control and satiety; participants were also asked to keep a food diary.
Study participants who had peanut butter or peanuts with breakfast maintained lower blood sugar following a high carb lunch compared to participants who did not do so.
The former group also reported a lowered desire to eat for up to 8-12 hours later, likely because of higher secretion of the appetite-suppressing hormone peptide YY (PYY).
Peanut butter had a slightly stronger effect than peanuts, possibly because the cell walls of the peanut are ruptured during processing. This may help to slow the rate that carbohydrates are absorbed from the gut, resulting in a lower glycemic response.
Study researchers believe that it is the unique combination of high protein, high fiber and healthy oils in peanuts that help to maintain blood sugar control, as well as contribute to feelings of fullness.
Peanuts contain more protein than any other nut, with about 8g of protein per 1-ounce serving. They are also a good source of fiber with about 2.5g of fiber per 1-ounce serving.
This study shows that peanut butter and peanuts are an easy, cheap and healthy way to add more nutrition to your breakfast or snacks every day.
So why not try pairing a whole grain bagel with peanut butter (instead of butter or cream cheese) - or add a handful of peanuts to your morning oatmeal for a great high fiber, high protein meal option that will keep you feeling fuller longer?