Obesity and the role of peanuts

According to the Canadian Obesity Network, one in four Canadian adults and one in 10 Canadian children are clinically obese. This means that six million Canadians are currently living with obesity. As a leading cause of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and cancer, obesity can have a significant impact on daily life with family, work colleagues and health care practitioners.

The good news is that there are natural foods that can help manage obesity. Peanuts are a primary example. In fact, evidence shows that frequent nut consumption as part of a healthy diet can help keep hunger at bay. Contrary to some misconceptions, peanuts are a source of healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). Of the fat in peanuts, 85 per cent is of the good variety. It’s all about having the right portions of peanuts, peanut butter and peanut oils to be successful in weight loss. Here’s a quick snap-shot of the nutritional benefits of peanuts and how they can help manage weight:

  • • Contain protein, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1, vitamin B3, magnesium, folate and vitamin E
  • • Cholesterol, sodium and gluten and trans fat-free
  • • Contain oleic acid

Furthermore, research continues to show that peanuts and peanut butter can help to satisfy hunger, manage weight, and reduce the effect of obesity-related chronic diseases. This evidence also supports the effect of peanuts on childhood obesity. Research shows that children can benefit from eating peanuts and peanut butter as daily snacks. Including peanuts and peanut butter in snacks and meals is easy and offers a host of health benefits.

Following a Mediterranean diet that includes nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, oils rich in monounsaturated fat including peanut and olive oil, fish and poultry, has also been highlighted as a healthy choice when trying to maintain or lose weight. The good fats far outweigh the bad, making this diet (coupled with exercise) a lifestyle change that can pay off in spades.

Source: Peanut Bureau of Canada, Canadian Obesity Network, American Peanut Council, Peanut Institute