Peanuts!

The Plentiful Peanut: Fun Facts and Health Information

“Two peanuts were walking down a dark street at night…one was a salted.”

This cute joke inspired me to write an article featuring the wonderful peanut!

Did you know, peanuts are a legume and not a nut?  Peanuts belong to the plant family Leguminosae (along with beans and peas). Legumes are edible seeds enclosed in pods. Unlike tree nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, peanuts grow underground.

Peanuts have long received attention for their nutrient density and affordability. For those with diabetes, peanuts are a desirable food choice as they are low in carbohydrates.

Nutrient Information:

¼ cup raw peanuts:

Calories 207

Carb 6 g

Fiber 3 g

Protein 9 g

Fat 18 g (9 g monounsaturated fat)

Peanut Health Benefits:

  • Good source of dietary fiber
    • According to the 2015 American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, Individuals at high risk for type 2 diabetes should be encouraged to achieve the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommendation for dietary fiber (14 g per/1,000 kcal).”
  • Low glycemic index (peanuts have a glycemic index of 14)
    • According to the 2015 American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, Substituting low glycemic load foods for higher glycemic load foods may modestly improve glycemic control.”
  • Rich source of monounsaturated fat
    • According to the 2015 American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, A Mediterranean-style eating pattern, rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, may benefit glycemic control and CVD risk factors and can therefore be recommended as an effective alternative to a lower-fat, higher-carbohydrate eating pattern.”

Ways to Enjoy Peanuts:

  • Snack on in-shell peanuts at a baseball game.
  • Make your own hummus. Use peanuts in place of chick peas.
  • Use peanuts in place of pine nuts when making a pesto sauce.
  • Mix chopped peanuts into Greek yogurt.
  • Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top of celery with cream cheese.
  • Use crushed peanuts as an alternative to bread crumbs for chicken and fish dishes.
  • Make spicy roasted peanuts
    • Coat 16 oz. shelled peanuts in 2 tsp. peanut oil
    • Mix peanuts with 1-2 tsp. chili powder and a pinch cayenne pepper and kosher salt.
    • Roast peanuts on cooking sheet at 350 degrees until slightly brown.
  • Add some extra protein to your salad by topping it with chopped peanuts.
  • Make your own peanut butter
    • Roast 16 oz. of shelled peanuts on cooking sheet at 350 degrees until slightly brown
    • While warm transfer roasted peanuts into food processor
    • Pulse in food processor for approximately 4-5 minutes
    • For creamier peanut butter at 1-2 tsp of peanut oil
    • Mix in ½ tsp. kosher salt
    • Place in storage container

What if you have a peanut allergy?

Peanuts are one of the top 8 food allergens. If you are allergic to peanuts, you have likely been told to also avoid all tree nuts. Here are a few great alternatives:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dry roasted edamame
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Safflower seeds
  • Sunflower seed butter

How do you enjoy peanuts? Please share your ideas and creations with the type2diabetes.com community!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
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