If you suffer from diabetes, then you might find it challenging to find a tasty snack that won’t upset your glucose levels. However, peanut butter is an ideal option that not only tastes yummy but might help improve your blood sugar levels. In this article, we will explore peanut butter and diabetes.
Peanut Butter and Diabetes: Maintaining a Low Carbohydrate Diet
As you know, researchers and physicians advise you to maintain a low carbohydrate diet if you suffer from diabetes. Many people struggle to try to find healthy food choices to replace their regular staples. Studies have shown that certain nuts are ideal additions to a diabetic’s diet plan. They not only help improve your blood sugar, but they regulate blood lipids or fats and help you lose unwanted pounds.
Peanut Butter is a Low Glycemic Index (GI) Food
Low glycemic index foods help lower your blood sugar levels. Luckily, peanuts and peanut butter are classified as being GI foods. When consumed the food will not raise your blood sugar levels excessively high or too rapidly. Also, peanuts are very high in magnesium and research shows that magnesium offers great protective benefits against developing type II diabetes.
Understanding the GI Scale and Blood Sugar
As mentioned, peanut butter is classified as a GI food. All low glycemic index foods are ranked on a 100-point scale. The scale reveals how your blood sugar and insulin levels react to various food types.
Low GI Foods: Some foods take a long time to digest; they slowly release their sugar into your bloodstream. Such foods are classified as having a lower GI score. Peanuts rate a score of 14 which makes them one of the lowest types of GI foods available.
High GI Foods: Foods that digest rapidly have a high GI score. If you eat a food that has a high GI score, then your blood sugar levels will rise quickly, and spike dramatically followed by a rapid fall which leaves you feeling not only tired but hungry. If you constantly eat foods with a high GI score, then your body will undergo many cycles of spiking and crashing as your blood sugar levels change like a roller coaster. The process can take a toll and end up leading to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Looking at the Evidence
A study looked at 16 adults who were fed either bread and juice or bread with peanut butter and juice. The study showed a lower blood glucose level when the participants consumed bread with peanut butter and juice than those who ate only bread and juice.
Magnesium in Peanut Butter
As mentioned, peanut butter is an excellent source of magnesium. Most who suffer from type 2 diabetes have a much lower magnesium level than those who do not. Fibrous foods (such as peanuts and peanut butter) appear to protect from type II diabetes.
Peanut butter and peanuts are beneficial:
- Helping to improve insulin sensitivity
- Preventing inflammation of the system
- Lowering oxidative stress
- Provide dietary magnesium
Nutritional Value of Peanut Butter
Yes, peanut butter is ideal for those who have diabetes or are trying to stop from developing the condition. It has excellent nutritional value. The creamy nut butter is rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins. PB is also brimming with B vitamins such as folate and niacin, vitamin K, and vitamin E
A single tablespoon of chunky peanut butter that contains salt has the following:
- 188 calories
- 2.4 g of saturated fat
- 7,7 g of protein
- 7.4 g unsaturated fat
- 4.5 g monosaturated fat
- 2.4 g saturated
- 6.9 g of carbohydrates which includes 2.6 g of sugar and 2.7 g of fiber
- 14 mg of calcium
- 51 mg of magnesium
- 0.6 mg of iron
- 0.9 mg of zinc
- 156 mg of sodium
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Without a doubt, obesity is a leading contributor to the development of type 2 diabetes. However, in one study it was found that obese women could keep their blood sugar in check by eating peanuts on a daily basis. In the research study, participants ate peanuts for breakfast and then consumed a high carbohydrate lunch.
Researchers found in the study that those who ate peanuts at breakfast:
- Displayed lower blood glucose levels
- Consumed less food throughout the day.
- Displayed reduced hunger
Also, participants had a higher GLP-1 hormone level. GLP-1 works by stimulating the body’s insulin production then lowering its insulin resistance which decreases the person’s appetite. Many prescription drugs mimic GLP-1 hormones.
Risks of Peanut Butter
Nothing in life is risk-free and neither is peanut butter. Below, you’ll find a list of things to watch for when eating peanut butter to prevent or control diabetes.
When shopping for peanut butter at the local grocery store please take the time to read the label. Many peanut butters contain added sugar. Avoid PB with high levels of added sugar. Instead, purchase only natural peanut butter made from organic peanuts. It is okay if the peanut butter has a bit of salt but always avoid sugar.
Peanut butter has a reputation for containing fats such as omega-6 and omega-3. Both are known to help reduce inflammation in the body, especially peanut butter that contains high levels of omega 6.
However, if you consume too much omega 6 then you may develop an imbalance in the body’s healthy fatty acid which increases your risk of developing diabetes. A healthy balance of omega 3 and 6 is beneficial by reducing the risk of developing diabetes. But, as with all good things, a happy medium must be reached, and it can be different for everyone.
Watching Your Calories
Peanut butter’s yummy taste might make you overindulge. Sadly, it is very high in calories and can quickly lead to obesity which is a leading cause of type II diabetes so remember to enjoy it in moderation.
Without a doubt, peanut butter is essential to a healthy diet. Only those who have peanut allergies should abstain. In addition, it can help diabetic sufferers better manage their blood sugar levels and it can also prevent type 2 diabetes from developing.
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