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Beyond keeping you healthy, when eaten in small amounts daily, peanuts and peanut butter are unique because they can help you last until your next meal by controlling hunger, reducing the desire to eat, and keeping you feeling fuller longer.
Foods high in protein and fiber, such as peanuts and peanut butter, have been shown to help reduce appetite and promote satisfaction after eating them. Peanuts contain about 8g of protein per ounce, which is more than any other nut, and comparable to a serving of beans. They also contain about 2.5g of fiber per ounce. Fiber absorbs water in the body to expand and make us feel fuller and more satisfied after eating.
Peanuts and peanut butter make a great snack to keep you satisfied longer. Researchers at Purdue University showed that people had improved feelings of fullness and better satisfaction from eating peanuts and peanut butter than other high carbohydrate snacks, such as rice cakes (Kirkmeyer, 2000).
In addition, research shows that those who eat peanuts naturally compensate for up to 3/4 of the calories consumed from the peanuts because they do not add additional calories to their daily diets (Alpher and Mattes, 2002).
One study found that peanut butter and peanuts can help decrease appetite throughout most of the day. In the study, including peanut butter or peanuts with breakfast increased secretion of a hormone, Peptide YY, which promotes fullness and satiety. In addition, participants reported a lower desire to eat for 8 to 12 hours later (Mattes, 2013).
The fact that peanuts help with hunger management is one of the reasons why they were chosen as a healthy snack replacement for a major weight loss program that is being conducted in high-risk children in Houston schools. The Family Lifestyle and Overweight Prevention program is feeding peanuts to children each day and 2009 marked the start of its sixth successful year. Weight loss data published at six months in Pediatrics and at two years in Obesity show that kids in the treatment group who are eating peanuts daily have lost weight and are keeping it off compared to the control group (Johnston, 2007; 2009).
Whether you are young or old, thin or heavy, eating peanuts or peanut butter each day can help fend off hunger and satisfy your appetite.