HomeDiabetesIs Peanut Butter Good for People Living with Diabetes?

Is Peanut Butter Good for People Living with Diabetes?

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On the floor, peanut butter seems like the proper diabetes-friendly meals: it’s reasonably low in carbohydrates, stuffed with wholesome fat, and is loaded with protein. 

It’s additionally vegan, comparatively cheap, and may pair nicely with many different meals. However is it truly good for individuals dwelling with diabetes? 

This text will clarify the well being advantages and well being prices of peanut butter, and how one can incorporate it into your food regimen. 

Jar of peanut butter on tableJar of peanut butter on table

Diet in peanut butter

Peanut butter is nutritionally dense. A serving (2 tablespoons or 32 grams) of peanut butter with none added elements comprises: 

Energy 191
Fats 16.4 g
Protein 7.2 g
Carbs 6.1 g
Fiber 1.5 g
Sugar 3.4 g

Supply: Meals Information Central

It additionally comprises B nutritional vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin Ok, and magnesium.

Magnesium is very essential for individuals with prediabetes or sort 2 diabetes who usually have low magnesium ranges. 

Research have proven that supplementing magnesium could supply safety from sort 2 diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity and decreasing irritation.

How peanut butter impacts blood sugar

Peanut butter with none added sugar has a low glycemic index (GI) of 13 and solely 6 grams of carbs per serving, so it solely has a small impact on blood sugars (except you eat numerous peanut butter).

Nonetheless, peanut butter is never eaten alone. It’s usually paired with carbohydrates like oatmeal, apples, or toast. 

When portray peanut butter with a sweeter snack, like an apple, the blood sugar spike is delayed as a result of the fats and protein within the peanut butter decelerate the digestion of the carbohydrates from the apple. 

So combining carbohydrates with peanut butter truly makes your blood sugar spike lower than in the event you ate solely the carbohydrates.

Graph of how peanut butter changes the absorption of carbohydrates.Graph of how peanut butter changes the absorption of carbohydrates.

If you happen to handle your diabetes with oral drugs (like Metformin) or food regimen and train, the flatter blood sugar curve is nice information, because it makes it simpler to maintain your blood sugar steady all through the day.

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If you happen to handle your diabetes with insulin, including peanut butter to your food regimen may also be useful, however you want to alter your insulin dosing to match the flatter blood sugar curve.   

How one can handle insulin dosing whereas consuming peanut butter 

Since peanut butter slows the digestion of carbohydrates, it’s not as essential to pre-bolus insulin as aggressively as you’d in the event you had been consuming a better carbohydrate snack, like pretzels, for instance. 

Nonetheless, you could wish to experiment with various kinds of boluses, particularly in the event you’re on an insulin pump. 

Completely different dosing varieties like a sq. bolus, twin wave bolus, or prolonged bolus can provide you slightly little bit of insulin up entrance for the carbohydrates you’re consuming, whereas additionally providing you with an additional bolus a number of hours later. 

This may help to mitigate any excessive blood sugars from the delayed digestion because of the fats and protein content material of the peanut butter. 

At all times test along with your physician or diabetes educator first earlier than making any modifications to your insulin routine. 

How one can make peanut butter a more healthy snack when you’ve got diabetes 

Peanut butter is a superb, filling snack, however its fats and protein load could make it laborious to bolus insulin. Methods to make that simpler embody: 

Go for consuming peanut butter with decrease carbohydrate meals, like unsweetened Greek yogurt, in protein shakes, or with celery sticks and carrots. When paired with heart-healthy meals, consuming peanut butter has been proven to cut back the danger of heart problems in girls with sort 2 diabetes!

Eat peanut butter earlier within the day, so that you don’t expertise delayed excessive blood sugar whilst you’re asleep.

One examine discovered that consuming peanut butter at breakfast helped to not solely curb urge for food for the remainder of the day, however it stored blood sugars steady all through the course of a day, as nicely! That is partially because of the heart-healthy magnesium present in peanut butter. 

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Experiment with totally different bolusing schemes in the event you’re on an insulin pump, or break your dose into two, in the event you’re solely a number of day by day injections (MDI) 

Select all-natural peanut butter varieties, the place the one elements are peanuts. Keep away from “honey-roasted” varieties, which have sugar and sweeteners added 

If you happen to’re seeking to reduce weight, restrict portion sizes, as peanut butter just isn’t a low-calorie snack! 

The downsides of consuming peanut butter 

Whereas peanut butter is a scrumptious, filling snack that’s moveable, vegan, and comparatively low-cost, there are some downsides to be cognizant of as nicely. 

Added salt, sugar, and course of oils  

At all times select a peanut butter that’s solely elements are peanuts! Many varieties of peanut butters have added fat, processed oils, and sugars, which might make consuming it when you’ve got diabetes (in addition to dosing insulin!) tougher.

It’s normally not eaten solo 

Peanut butter is nice, however it’s most definitely to be paired with one thing that’s greater in carbohydrates, like toast, cereals, sweetened yogurts, or fruit. 

This could make taking insulin for it tougher, and it additionally makes it a extra calorie-dense snack. Smarter pairings for peanut butter embody strawberries, celery, candy potato, unsweetened yogurt, or 100% darkish chocolate.

It’s a high-calorie snack

To be clear: peanut butter just isn’t a low-calorie meals, and consuming an excessive amount of of it will probably trigger weight achieve. 

Two tablespoons of peanut butter include about 200 energy, and since it’s a meals that’s not usually eaten alone, that may make a fairly substantial snack. 

Be cautious of consuming peanut butter straight out of the jar (all the time use a measuring spoon!), and watch portion sizes in the event you’re watching your weight or attempting to reduce weight. 

Peanut allergic reactions 

Peanut allergic reactions will be deadly, as a result of anaphylaxis, and so they’re pretty widespread. About 1 in 50 kids in the US alone have a peanut allergy, nevertheless, about 1 in 5 will outgrow the allergy by the point they attain maturity. 

Sadly, there is no such thing as a remedy for peanut allergic reactions, however exposing your kids early and sometimes to peanuts may help stop an allergy from creating. 

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One examine discovered that 17% of infants who didn’t eat peanuts went on to develop a peanut allergy by age 5, whereas solely 3% of those that had been uncovered to them younger developed an allergy by age 5. 

At all times first work along with your youngster’s pediatrician about when it’s best to introduce peanut butter into their food regimen to assist stop the event of an allergic response. The timing could rely on many elements, together with the well being historical past of each mom and youngster. 


Peanut butter is a heart-healthy snack that’s loved all around the world, and particularly in the US, by kids and adults alike. 

It’s vegan, doesn’t must be temperature managed, reasonably priced, low on the glycemic index and low in carbohydrates, and excessive in each dietary fats and well being, plant-based proteins. 

It could make a superb, filling snack for individuals with diabetes on the go. It could stabilize each starvation and blood sugar ranges, and enhance the guts well being of individuals, particularly these dwelling with sort 2 diabetes.

Nonetheless, it’s best eaten when paired with low-carbohydrate fruits, akin to berries, or greens, like celery. 

This calorie-dense deal with packs a punch, so make sure that to all the time measure your parts in the event you’re seeking to reduce weight. 

Moreover, it may also be tough to bolus insulin for if paired with greater carbohydrate meals, akin to oatmeal or apple slices. It might trigger blood sugar spikes hours after it’s eaten, which will be troublesome if loved as a bedtime snack. 

Most significantly, many kids are allergic to peanuts (the principle ingredient in peanut butter), which will be deadly. Consider the potential of peanut allergic reactions if introducing your kids to peanut butter after the age of 1. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends dad and mom introduce peanuts to their infants beginning between 4 and 6 months of age, in infants and not using a historical past of any allergic reactions, akin to eczema or meals allergic reactions.

At all times focus on what’s finest on your youngster along with your youngster’s pediatrician earlier than introducing potential allergens within the food regimen

If you happen to stay with diabetes and take insulin, work along with your physician and/or diabetes educator to be taught extra about different bolusing constructions, like twin wave, prolonged, or sq. bolusing, to keep away from delayed hyperglycemic occasions that may end result from the delayed digestion of carbohydrates. 

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