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Is Peanut Butter Good for Diabetes? 4 Benefits
Diabetes

Is Peanut Butter Good for Diabetes? 4 Benefits

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 12
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7 min

Peanut butter is a tasty snack in itself or when eaten with bread or other food, like bananas or oatmeal. However, can it be a healthy option for people with diabetes?

Is peanut butter good for diabetes

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Peanut butter is a tasty snack on its own or when eaten with bread or other food, like bananas or oatmeal. However, can it be a healthy option for people with diabetes?

This sticky, salty spread is a popular food made from peanuts. It’s generally high in fat and calories, but it is also a good source of protein and vitamins.

Peanut butter is tasty and versatile, making it a common ingredient in recipes. Regular peanut butter can be a tad sweet, though, which creates a misconception that eating peanut butter is not good for people with high blood sugar levels.

In this article, we will answer if PB is a good snack for those with diabetes.

Is Peanut Butter Good for Diabetes?

Yes, peanut butter can be good for diabetes. Some studies have also shown that it can help with weight loss and control blood sugars.

Peanut butter does so by helping regulate the release of insulin after a meal. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it effectively. This causes high blood sugar levels.

Regulating insulin levels is important because spikes in blood glucose can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication of diabetes.

In a study on women with obesity and high type 2 diabetes risk, researchers found that consuming 1.5oz of peanut butter at breakfast lowered participants’ blood sugar spikes early in the day.

The positive effects were also seen in their second meal; the participants’ blood sugar levels were still regulated even after a high carbohydrate lunch without peanut butter.

Another study confirmed peanut butter’s potential to reduce blood glucose spikes, especially when consumed for breakfast. As such, it can be a good option for people with diabetes to eat peanut butter earlier in the day.

Peanut Butter Nutritional Value

Eating peanut butter that has a serving of about 2 tablespoons (32g) contains: 

Calories191
Fat16.4g
Protein7.2g
Carbohydrates6.1g
Fiber1.5g
Sugar3.4g

It’s a good source of B vitamins, which are important for metabolism. There’s also vitamin E to help protect your cells and keep them healthy. 

Peanut butter is an excellent source of magnesium, which controls blood sugar levels by helping the body use insulin. This mineral helps keep blood vessels relaxed, which can help lower blood pressure.

People with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes have low levels of magnesium. As such, consuming peanut butter regularly can help improve insulin resistance and glucose control.

Peanut butter glycemic index

Peanut butter has a GI of about 14 to 23, depending on the type of peanut butter and how it’s prepared. This makes it a low-GI food.

The glycemic index (GI) ranks how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels. The GI is a 100-point scale, with pure glucose given a score of 100.

So, pure and minimally processed peanut butter shouldn’t cause high spikes in blood glucose levels.

Does Peanut Butter Raise Blood Sugar?

Peanut butter has a low glycemic index, which means it won’t cause your sugar levels to spike. In addition to having a low glycemic index, peanuts are also a good source of fiber and protein.

It’s important for people with diabetes to consume low glycemic index foods because they release sugar gradually into the body, keeping blood sugar levels more stable throughout the day.

Fiber helps regulate blood glucose levels by slowing down glucose absorption into the bloodstream. Protein, on the other hand, helps stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which glucose is released from the liver.

For some people, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are still reversible. You just need to make a few lifestyle changes, including eating healthier and exercising regularly.

How to control your blood sugar?

If you’re looking for a lifestyle overhaul to prevent or regulate your diabetes, you can use the Klinio app to find a plan that fits your needs. It simplifies the process of eating healthy by giving you personalized recipes and even grocery lists.

You’ll also get access to no-equipment beginner workouts to incorporate a bit of movement each day. This helps boost metabolism and, ultimately, reduce insulin resistance.

Klinio has a detailed progress tracker, which can help you monitor your progress. You can log your blood glucose levels and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which determines your average sugar level for the past two to three months. 

Lastly, the app’s nutritionist and diabetes specialist team created a diabetes management book that offers practical tips, recipes, and content on managing your condition daily.

What Kind of Peanut Butter Is Good for Diabetes?

Two types of peanut butter are good for diabetes: natural peanut butter and organic peanut butter. They can both be made without any added sugar, salt, or oil. It’s just peanuts and nothing else. 

You can make all-natural peanut butter by grinding up some peanuts in a food processor until they form a smooth, spreadable paste. If you want to add a little flavor, you can also add a pinch of salt. 

Organic peanut butter is made with organic peanuts that are grown without the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. It also doesn’t contain any added sugar, salt, or oil. It’s best to look for organic peanut butter that’s ethically sourced.

The choice between natural and organic peanut butter is all up to you. The most important thing is to choose a pure spread or, at the very least, minimally processed to ensure it won’t bring your blood sugar levels up with added sugars.

4 Benefits of Peanut Butter for Diabetes

Peanut butter is nutrition-dense and can help you manage diabetes. Here is how:

#1 Lowers cholesterol levels

Peanut butter has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. It does this by helping remove bad cholesterol from the body and also by increasing levels of good cholesterol. 

Some commercial butters can have partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, though, so read the packaging as these can increase your risk of heart disease.

#2 Good for heart health

In connection with reducing bad cholesterol, peanut butter also promotes heart health with its ample supply of monounsaturated fats. This type of fat helps decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by reducing inflammation throughout the body.

Saturated fat, on the other hand, can raise your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease. So, if you have diabetes, it’s important to choose foods with unsaturated fat rather than saturated fat most of the time. These include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados.

Peanut butter also contains magnesium and potassium, which are essential for maintaining a healthy heart rhythm and preventing hypertension.

#3 Might help to lose weight

The protein content in peanut butter can help you lose weight. This is because protein helps keep you feeling full after eating, so you are less likely to overeat or snack on unhealthy foods.

Peanut butter may also reduce appetite by providing a feeling of fullness that can last for hours. As such, it may be useful as part of a weight loss program.

Peanuts and, by association, peanut butter, are great sources of plant-based protein. This makes them a good option for those on a keto diet.

Managing weight is crucial for people with high blood sugar levels since carrying excess weight can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Moreover, being overweight can also make it harder to control blood sugar levels.

#4 Gives relief from constipation

This high-fiber food can alleviate constipation by softening stools. Peanut butter has both soluble and insoluble fibers that work together to make sure the digestive system is functioning properly. 

This can be extremely beneficial for people with diabetes who struggle with constipation due to high blood sugar levels.

FAQs

Does peanut butter have sugar?

Yes, peanuts are a source of natural sugar. One tablespoon of peanut butter contains 3.4g of sugar. Natural sugar, however, is not the same as added sugar. This means you can still eat peanut butter while on a keto diet as long as you stay within the threshold. Peanuts also contain protein and healthy fats that slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. When people with diabetes eat peanut butter as part of a meal or snack, it’s unlikely to cause blood sugar spikes.

Does peanut butter lower blood sugar?

Yes, some studies have shown that peanut butter may have a positive effect on reducing blood sugar levels. Peanut butter is a low glycemic index food. It also contains magnesium, which has been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Can people with diabetes eat PB&J?

Yes! People with diabetes can eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Just make sure the spreads don’t have added sugars, which can exacerbate diabetes. Strawberry and raspberry are classic choices for PB&J sandwiches. Fortunately, you can find plenty of sugar-free options in the market today. Just check the nutrition label to be sure.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

All-natural or organic peanut butter can become a healthy snack option for people with diabetes. The main concern with peanut butter and diabetes is its sugar content.

Although pure peanut butter does contain some sugar, it is complex glucose that the body slowly breaks down and metabolizes. This makes it a much better option for people with diabetes than other sugary snacks.

In addition to being a complex carbohydrate, it’s also a good source of protein and healthy fats.

Peanut butter can help people with diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels and provide them with lasting energy. It is important to choose pure peanut butter without any added sugar, salt, or oils.

You can consume peanut butter by itself to stave off hunger or add it to other foods, like pumpernickel bread, or by spreading it on whole-grain toast.

You can also add peanut butter to oatmeal, yogurt, or protein shakes as a way to increase the protein content.

Those who have peanut allergies, though, can opt for alternatives, such as sunflower seed butter. If you have peanut allergies, be sure to check labels carefully before eating any food product.

The best way to consume peanut butter is in moderation. Finishing an entire peanut butter jar can lead to weight gain, which can be detrimental for people with diabetes. It is important to pair peanut butter with other healthy foods as part of a well-rounded diet.

Conclusion

To answer the question, “is peanut butter good for people with diabetes?” Yes, it is. It’s nutrition-dense, which can help with blood sugar control, and it has a low glycemic index. Peanut butter also contains healthy fats, protein, and fiber, which can all help regulate diabetes.

While diabetes is a serious medical condition, there are many things people with diabetes can do to manage it and live healthy lives. A nutritious diet is vital to managing diabetes, and Klinio can help you create a personalized meal plan that fits your unique needs.

The app is specially designed to help those with diabetes track their food intake, blood sugar levels, and medications. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Klinio can help you better manage your condition and improve your quality of life.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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