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Peanuts: Diet disaster or superfood?
Borrowers who practice responsible

Are you pining for peanut butter but afraid it could undo your diet? Fear no more.

Eaten in moderation, peanuts and peanut butter have a place in a healthy diet, say the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that people on a moderate-fat diet that includes peanuts, peanut butter and peanut oil can achieve the same weight-loss results as those on a low-fat diet. The best news: A slightly higher fat diet is easier to stick to in the long term, so you’re less likely to regain lost pounds. Yes, peanuts (which are a legume, not a nut) contain fat—nearly 14 grams per ounce. But they contain mostly monounsaturated fat, the heart-healthy type that lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. So substituting a small handful of peanuts for your muffin or cookie snack will boost your cardiovascular health.

Pass the peanuts

A one-ounce serving of peanuts—about 28 shelled peanuts—contains 160 calories, 7 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat and nearly 2.5 grams of fiber. But watch out! Peanuts are hard to put down once you get started. Instead of free-form snacking out of the jar, consider these ways to enjoy that peanut taste by adding small portions to other foods.

  • Swirl a tablespoonful of peanut butter into your oatmeal or add it to a smoothie.
  • Sprinkle chopped peanuts into a salad (fat increases the absorption of the salad’s cancer-fighting antioxidants) instead of using croutons or cheese.
  • Smear a tablespoon of peanut butter on a banana or apple slices for a light snack.
  • Measure small portions—along with dried fruit, if desired—into snack bags. Grab as you go!