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November 10, 2023
April 16, 2024
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Peanuts, a beloved legume, and popular snack, have garnered significant attention for their potential impact on blood sugar levels. Despite their relatively high-fat content, peanuts are often celebrated for their nutrient density and potential health benefits. Recent studies suggest that peanuts possess a moderate glycemic index, making them a favorable option for individuals managing blood sugar levels. 

Moreover, their rich reservoir of essential nutrients such as biotin, copper, and niacin make them an integral component of a well-rounded diet. A 100-gram serving of peanuts contains approximately 8 grams of carbohydrates, rendering them a suitable dietary inclusion for those seeking to stabilize their glycemic response.¹

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Glycemic Index Table

Calculations for a 100-gram serving of peanuts:

1. Glycemic Index (GI):

The glycemic index of peanuts is approximately 14.² This low GI signifies that peanuts have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels when consumed, making them a favorable option for individuals with diabetes or those striving to regulate their blood glucose levels. This information is crucial in guiding individuals toward making informed dietary choices that support their health goals.

2. Carbohydrates per Serving (g):

In a 100-gram serving of peanuts, there are approximately 16.13 grams of carbohydrates.¹ While peanuts contain a moderate amount of carbohydrates, their low glycemic index suggests that the impact of these carbohydrates on blood sugar levels is relatively limited. This data is important for individuals seeking to manage their carbohydrate intake while incorporating nutrient-dense foods into their diet.

3. Glycemic Load (GL) per Serving:

The glycemic load of peanuts per 100-gram serving is calculated as 14 (GI) multiplied by the total carbohydrate content (16.13 grams), which results in a glycemic load of 2.26. This low glycemic load further emphasizes the minimal effect of peanuts on blood sugar levels. 

It is important to note that the glycemic index of peanuts can vary slightly based on the method of preparation and processing. While raw peanuts have a low glycemic index, certain processed forms, such as peanut butter with added sugars or other additives, may have a higher glycemic index. Understanding the impact of various preparations on the glycemic index can help individuals make informed decisions about the types and forms of peanuts they consume.

Glycemic Index

14

Serving Size

100g

Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

16.13 g

GL per Serving

2.26

Nutritional Facts

Peanuts are a rich source of various essential nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. They are notably high in monounsaturated fats and contain significant amounts of biotin, copper, and niacin, which play vital roles in supporting overall health and well-being. A 100-gram serving of peanuts provides approximately 25.8 grams of protein, 49.24 grams of fat, and 8.5 grams of fiber, making them a nutrient-dense addition to a balanced diet.¹

The nutritional information below is for 100 g of peanuts.¹

Calories

567 kcal

Carbs

16.13 g

Protein

25.8 g

Fiber

8.5 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Vitamins

B6 (0.33 mg).

Sodium

18 mg

Total Fat

49.24 g

Are Peanuts Good for Weight Loss?

While peanuts are energy-dense, their inclusion in a well-balanced diet can aid in weight loss due to their satiating properties and nutrient density. Their high protein and fiber content can promote a feeling of fullness and help curb appetite, potentially leading to a reduction in overall calorie intake. However, it's crucial to consume peanuts in moderation, as they are calorie-dense and excessive consumption can counteract weight loss efforts. Incorporating peanuts as part of a calorie-controlled diet that emphasizes portion control and balanced nutrition can be an effective strategy for individuals seeking to manage their weight.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the regular consumption of nuts, including peanuts, has been associated with a lower risk of obesity and improved weight management. This highlights the potential role of peanuts in a weight loss regimen, particularly when incorporated sensibly into a well-structured meal plan that emphasizes overall calorie control and dietary balance. Understanding the significance of portion control and the integration of peanuts as part of a nutrient-rich diet can support individuals in achieving their weight loss goals effectively.

Is Peanuts Safe for People Living with Diabetes?

Peanuts can be a beneficial addition to the diet of individuals with diabetes due to their low glycemic index and nutrient-dense profile. Studies suggest that the consumption of peanuts may contribute to improved glycemic control and reduced risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease in individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, it is important to emphasize portion control and mindful consumption, as peanuts are calorie-dense and excessive intake can potentially lead to weight gain, which can exacerbate diabetes management. Educating individuals with diabetes about appropriate portion sizes and the significance of incorporating peanuts as part of a balanced diet is crucial in promoting their overall well-being.

According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, regular consumption of nuts, including peanuts, has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. This suggests that the inclusion of peanuts in a diabetes-friendly diet can offer potential health benefits, but should be done in moderation and as part of a well-balanced meal plan.

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Allergies

Allergies to peanuts can trigger severe and potentially life-threatening reactions, especially in individuals with a hypersensitive immune system. These allergic responses can manifest in various ways, ranging from mild symptoms like hives and itching to more severe outcomes such as anaphylaxis, a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Understanding the prevalence of peanut allergies and recognizing the potential severity of allergic reactions is crucial in promoting public awareness and fostering a safe environment for individuals with such allergies.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies, affecting approximately 1% of the population. It is essential for individuals, caregivers, and medical professionals to recognize the signs and symptoms of peanut allergies and be prepared to administer appropriate treatment, including the use of epinephrine, in case of an anaphylactic reaction.

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FAQs

What is Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels compared to a reference food, usually glucose. It ranks foods on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a faster rise in blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) scale is typically categorized as follows: Low GI [55 or less], Medium GI [56-69], High GI [70 or higher]. Foods with a high glycemic index digest rapidly and can cause dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose or glucose spikes.

What is Glycemic Load?

Glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity (carbohydrate content) of carbohydrates in a specific serving of food. It is a measure of how much a particular food will raise blood sugar levels. GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by its carbohydrate content and dividing it by 100. It provides a more accurate representation of the overall impact of a food on blood sugar compared to the glycemic index alone.

Does Peanuts Spike Insulin?

Yes, peanuts can spike insulin levels. Peanuts are a source of carbohydrates, and carbohydrates can cause an increase in insulin levels. However, the extent to which peanuts spike insulin levels may vary depending on the individual and the amount consumed. It is important to note that peanuts also contain protein and healthy fats, which can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and mitigate the insulin response. Overall, moderation and balance are key when it comes to incorporating peanuts into a healthy diet.

Is Peanuts Low Glycemic?

Yes, peanuts have a low glycemic index due to their high fiber and protein content, which slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and prevents spikes in blood sugar levels.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Peanuts?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat peanuts in moderation as they are a good source of protein and healthy fats. However, they should be mindful of their portion sizes and avoid consuming peanuts that are coated in sugar or salt. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dietary recommendations for managing diabetes.

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References

  1. USDA FoodData Central. (2023, April 20). Food Details - Peanuts, raw. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2515376/nutrients 
  2. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI Newshttps://glycemicindex.com/

About the author

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

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About the author

Brittany Barry is a national board-certified health coach and NASM-certified personal trainer based in South Carolina.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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