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Peanuts Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk, Hunger

If you live in New York City or have visited recently, you might have seen posters advertising peanuts as a health food. For those of us who have grown up thinking of peanuts as a salty stadium snack or had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread in our lunch boxes, the humble groundnut doesn’t come to mind when we think of eating “healthy.”

And yet the legume might not be so humble after all. We’ve heard about how peanuts can replenish soil nutrients, so why should it be surprising that the common peanut is considered by some a superfood?

Having peanuts or peanut butter for breakfast can curb hunger and control blood sugar levels for the rest of the day, something that could be important for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The British Journal of Nutrition recently published a study that involved 15 obese women who were at risk for type 2 diabetes. In one phase of the study, the women ate peanut butter, cream of wheat, and orange juice for breakfast. In another phase, they ate the same, but substituted peanuts for the peanut butter. In the last “control” phase, they had only the cereal and juice.

The women reported feeling fewer urges to eat for twelve hours after breakfast when peanuts were part of their first meal. When their blood samples were tested on peanut-eating days, results showed an increased production level of the hormone peptide YY, which is responsible for appetite suppression. Breakfasts that included peanuts in some form did not cause as large an increase in blood sugar levels as happened after breakfast on non-peanut days. And even though the subjects did not have peanuts at noon, on days that they had peanuts for breakfast, their blood sugar levels did not rise as much as usual after lunch.

Read the entire article here: Peanuts cut Type 2 diabetes risk, hunger