Is Peanut (or Groundnut) Good for Diabetes?

Updated on & Medically Reviewed by Dr Lalitha
Peanut for Diabetes

When it comes to managing diabetes, nutrition is a vital piece of the puzzle. Food choices can either spike blood sugar levels or help maintain them within a healthy range. Surprisingly, one common snack "peanuts" becomes a nutritional powerhouse for individuals grappling with diabetes. Peanuts are a great addition to a diabetic-friendly diet because of their numerous health benefits and well-known rich flavour and delicious crunch.

Diabetes, characterised by high blood sugar levels, demands careful dietary management. The glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar, plays a key role in this process. Nuts are a great option for diabetics since they are high in fibre, protein, healthy fats, and other elements that promote overall health and well-being.

In this blog, we'll explore the nutritional profile of peanuts, and delve into their specific benefits for diabetes management. Whether you're looking for ways to enhance glycemic control, boost heart health, or simply enjoy delicious and nutritious snacks, peanuts are a versatile and valuable addition to your dietary routine. Let's discover how this unassuming legume can support your journey towards better health.

Peanuts, despite being energy-dense, have a low glycemic index. Peanuts, with their low GI, promote stable blood sugar levels and help prevent sudden spikes and crashes. Including low-GI foods like peanuts in the diet can aid in better blood sugar control, reducing the risk of complications associated with diabetes.

Nutrient Profile of Peanuts

Beyond their favourable GI, peanuts pack a nutritional punch. They are rich in various essential nutrients, making them a valuable addition to a diabetic-friendly diet. Here's a breakdown of the key nutrients found in peanuts:

Here are the nutrition facts for 100 grams of raw peanuts:

Calories 567
Protein 25.8 grams
Carbs 16.1 grams
Sugar 4.7 grams
Fiber 8.5 grams
Fat 49.2 grams
Saturated 6.28 grams
Monounsaturated 24.43 grams
Polyunsaturated 15.56 grams
Omega-3 0 grams
Omega-6 15.56 grams
Trans 0 grams
Water 6.50%

* All the above values are approximate values for 100 grams of peanuts.


Peanuts are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Protein plays a crucial role in managing diabetes by promoting satiety, stabilising blood sugar levels, and supporting muscle health. (Reference)

Healthy Fats

The majority of fats in peanuts are heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats help improve insulin sensitivity, lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases—a common concern for individuals with diabetes.


Fiber is essential for digestive health and blood sugar management. Peanuts contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which aid in slowing down digestion, promoting fullness, and preventing blood sugar spikes after meals.


Peanuts are packed with micronutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E. These nutrients play diverse roles in the body, including regulating blood pressure, supporting nerve function, and protecting cells from oxidative damage.

Health Benefits of Peanuts for Diabetes Management

Including peanuts in a diabetic diet offers several health benefits, let’s see how it helps.

People with diabetes who included peanuts in their diet plans saw an increase in the amount of nutrients they were getting, according to research published in the Nutrition Journal. (Reference)

1. Improved Glycemic Control

The low GI of peanuts helps prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, promoting more stable glycemic control throughout the day.

2. Enhanced Satiety

The combination of protein, healthy fats, and fiber in peanuts promotes feelings of fullness and satisfaction, reducing the likelihood of overeating and aiding weight management—a key component of diabetes management.

3. Heart Health Support

The favourable fat profile of peanuts, coupled with their rich antioxidant content, contributes to cardiovascular health. Including peanuts in the diet may help lower LDL cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of heart disease—a common comorbidity in individuals with diabetes. (Reference)

4. Nutrient Density

Peanuts are nutrient-dense, meaning they provide a wide array of essential nutrients relative to their calorie content. Incorporating nutrient-dense foods like peanuts ensures that individuals with diabetes meet their nutritional needs while managing their weight and blood sugar levels.

Risks of Consuming Peanuts for Diabetes

While there are many benefits to peanuts for those with type 2 diabetes, it's still important to use caution when consuming peanuts and peanut butter.

1. High Content of Omega-6 Fatty Acids

  • Potential Source of Inflammation: Peanuts are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acids may be associated with inflammation, which can worsen the symptoms of diabetes and obesity, according to research. (Reference)
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids should be included in a balanced diet to help reduce this risk. Walnuts, flaxseeds, and seafood are good sources of omega-3s, which can help reduce inflammation caused by omega-6.

2. Added Sugar and Salt in Peanut Products

  • Processed Products: Many peanut-based products, like commercial peanut butter, often contain added sugar and salt. These additives can negatively impact blood sugar control and overall health.
  • Ingredient Awareness: When selecting peanut butter, opt for varieties with minimal additional ingredients. Ideally, choose products that contain only peanuts or have low levels of added sugar and salt.

3. High Caloric Content

Calorie Density: Peanuts and peanut butter are calorie-dense. Half a cup of peanuts contains about 400 calories, so consume in moderation to avoid excessive calorie intake.

4. Prefer Pure Forms of Peanuts

Minimal Additives: Opt for peanuts in their purest form without added sugar, salt, or oils to maximize nutritional benefits. If you dislike peanuts or are allergic, choose other diabetes-friendly nuts like almonds or walnuts.

How to Include Peanut in Diabetes Diet?

Adding peanuts to your diet doesn't have to be boring or monotonous. Here are some creative and delicious ways to incorporate peanuts into your meals and snacks:

1. Peanut Butter

Opt for natural peanut butter without added sugars or hydrogenated oils. Spread it on whole-grain toast, apple slices, or celery sticks for a nutritious and satisfying snack.

2. Trail Mix

Create your diabetes-friendly trail mix by combining peanuts with other nuts, seeds. Portion-controlled servings make for convenient on-the-go snacks.

3. Salad Toppings

Sprinkle roasted peanuts on top of salads to add crunch and flavor. Pair them with leafy greens, vegetables, and a lean protein source for a balanced meal that won't cause blood sugar spikes.

4. Stir-Fries and Curries

Add crushed peanuts to stir-fries, curries, or noodle dishes for an extra layer of texture and nutty flavour. Peanuts complement both savoury and spicy dishes, enhancing their taste and nutritional profile.

5. Snack Bars

Make your homemade snack bars using a mixture of oats, nuts, seeds, and a dollop of peanut butter. These portable snacks are perfect for satisfying cravings between meals without derailing your blood sugar control.

Peanuts are a versatile, nutrient-rich option for those managing diabetes. Their low glycemic index, high protein and fiber content, and essential nutrients support blood sugar management, satiety, heart health, and overall well-being. Incorporating peanuts into a balanced diet allows individuals with diabetes to enjoy flavorful meals and snacks while supporting their health goals, making peanuts a valuable addition to their dietary repertoire.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.

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