Posted October 05, 2018 07:16:52 Peanut Butter and Nut Butter-based Snacks: What They Are and Are Not sources ABC News (AU) title A new look at the health effects of peanut butter and nut butter-related snacks article Peanut-based foods may be bad for your health, but there is a growing body of research suggesting that these snacks might actually be beneficial.
The latest scientific evidence suggests that eating peanut-based treats is linked to lower rates of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and depression.
“There is strong evidence that peanut-containing foods may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Dr Sarah Foulds, who is based at the University of Adelaide.
“It’s a lot of good news.”
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) says the evidence is more than just good news.
“We need to look at peanut-related foods as being a more moderate form of healthy food that you can enjoy with your usual diet, so that is not a bad thing,” says Professor Richard McNeilly from the AIHW.
“But we also need to recognise that peanut products are generally high in saturated fat, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.”
There is some evidence to suggest that consuming peanut-free snacks may reduce your risk for heart disease.
“When we think about heart disease and the risk factors, peanut consumption is one of the more likely risk factors,” says McNeill.
But the main evidence on the health benefits of peanut-foods comes from a small trial involving just 200 Australians, which ran for a year.
“The Australian Dietetic Association (ADA) does not recommend eating any foods containing peanuts,” says Associate Professor Ian MacGregor from the University, “but they did suggest eating a diet that contains low-saturated fats and healthy protein.”
MacGregors research found that a single serving of peanut chips (containing about 20 grams of peanut oil) had no impact on blood pressure or blood cholesterol.
It also did not affect levels of triglycerides in the blood.
It did, however, have a small impact on the levels of markers of inflammation in the bloodstream.
“However, the effects were not seen with a whole food-based version of the snack, which was the same as the one we would normally have eaten,” he says.
“Our research suggests that peanut butter snacks may help reduce the risks of cardiovascular risk factors.”
And, although the benefits are not clear, some studies have suggested that they may reduce a person’s risk of Type 2 diabetes.
“Peanut butter has a very low glycemic index, so it reduces the blood sugar and insulin response to a meal,” says MacGregore.
“And when people eat peanut butter, they are also absorbing a large amount of nutrients, which helps them maintain their health.”
This is because peanuts contain a variety of healthy fats and proteins.
“If we look at people who have a lower risk of developing type 2, we are looking at the effect of peanut butters,” says McGowan.
“So a person with a high risk of diabetes who is on a low glycemia diet, which is what we are recommending for people who are trying to lose weight, may be able to reduce their diabetes risk.”
“So if you are eating peanut butter for breakfast, then that is probably going to be an effective strategy,” says Fould.
There is also research to suggest a low-glycemic index is associated with better blood sugar control.
The University of Queensland study found that people with a low carbohydrate intake were more likely to maintain good blood sugar levels than those with a higher carbohydrate intake.
“One of the things that is going to improve our health is reducing the risk factor of high blood sugar,” says MacDonald.
“This could be by eating a lower-glycemia meal, but also by eating less carbohydrate and eating a whole-food approach to diet.”
But there is more to this story than just eating peanut butter.
“Some studies have shown that peanut butts are lower in calories than other foods, and it also seems to have an anti-inflammatory effect,” says McDonald.
“All these things are linked together.”
A low-carbohydrate diet and low-fat intake may also be linked to fewer cardiovascular events.
“I would not recommend trying to do any of these things until you have a lot more research,” says McMillan.
It is important to remember that eating foods with peanut butter may be more beneficial than eating foods that contain peanuts. “
These are all good things to do.”
It is important to remember that eating foods with peanut butter may be more beneficial than eating foods that contain peanuts.
“While it’s good to think about the health implications, it’s important to also be mindful of the risks associated with these foods,”