This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Food for losing weight doesn’t have to taste bad. There are tasty foods that are healthy too. Is peanut butter good for weight loss?
Peanut butter is made by crushing peanuts in smaller and smaller parts until they are one steady mixture.
Most store-bought peanut butters contain other ingredients like salt, sweeteners and oils.
The best peanut butter for weight loss
There are many different kinds of peanut butter. Not all of them are as good for losing weight.
When you’re trying to lose weight you really should stay away from all the ones with extra vegetable oils and sweeteners (sugar). These things add unnecessary calories and can possibly damage your health.
If you plan on consuming peanut butter try to pick the ones with only some salt or healthy things like cinnamon added to it.
You can possibly even make your own peanut butter by crushing peanuts in a mixer.
Every kind of peanut butter with additives has different nutrient profiles so for convenience this article discusses the healthy kind of peanut butter.
Micronutrients in peanut butter
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in peanut butter.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of smooth peanut butter with salt provides you with approximately (1):
- Manganese: 73% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Niacin: 67% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 45% of the DV
- Magnesium: 39% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 36% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 27% of the DV
- Copper: 24% of the DV
- Sodium: 19% of the DV
- Zinc: 19% of the DV
- Folate: 18% of the DV
And the list goes on. There are a lot of vitamins and minerals present in big amounts. If you combine peanut butter with a healthy diet it will be hard to even come near certain micronutrient deficiencies.
Fiber in peanut butter for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Peanut butter contains around 6 grams of fiber per 100 grams. This is an enormous amount compared to most other foods. And this is a good thing.
Fiber has multiple benefits. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in peanut butter you can reduce the time you spend craving for food.
Protein in peanut butter for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Peanut butter contains about 25.1 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, this is almost the same as the 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (2). This makes peanut butter and peanuts in general a great source of plant-based protein.
Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Since muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day this is a big plus for protein and peanut butter for weight loss.
Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Can you eat peanut butter while trying to lose weight?
To know whether or not you can eat peanut butter while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in peanut butter.
588 calories per 100 gram. 79.3 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (20 g per 100 grams of which 6 g fiber).
It’s possible to fit in a bit of peanut butter on a low carb diet.
The amount of calories in peanut butter is extremely big but the thing is that the calories in nuts might not get absorbed as well as calories from other foods (3). Most likely even better with whole peanuts than peanut butter (4).
One the one hand you have these awesome amounts of micronutrients, fiber and plant based protein but on the other hand you have this large amount of calories.
The message is that it might be hard to fit in these calories in your daily diet plan but it might be worth it. You also don’t have to go for the full 100 grams every day. 30 grams could be enough to provide you with some great nutrients without skyrocketing the amount of calories you consume every day.
Peanut butter can be a healthy weight loss food choice but if you overdo it, it can make you gain weight due to the high amount of calories in it.
Is it OK to eat peanut butter every day?
It is ok to eat peanut butter everyday if you don’t overdo it. The high amount of calories can make you go into a calorie surplus but if you’re smart about it you can add some valuable nutrients to your diet without gaining weight.