Can Salted Peanuts Make My Blood Sugar Rise?

Although peanuts are often categorized as nuts, they belong to the legume family. Peanuts can be eaten roasted in their shells, in peanut butter or roasted in oil and seasoned. Try to stick with dry-roasted peanuts to avoid peanuts that contain extra fats and choose peanuts that are free of the harmful trans fat. If you watch your blood sugar levels, a small serving of salted peanuts shouldn't raise your blood sugar levels, but a large serving could.

A close-up of a large amount of salted peanuts. Credit: Hederikwow/iStock/Getty Images

Nutrition Facts

Peanuts have a nutritional value that resembles that of most nuts, which mainly contain protein and fats. For example, 1 oz. of salted peanuts, which is the equivalent of a small handful, provides about 168 calories, 4.9 g of protein, 14.6 g of fat, 7.2 g of carbs, 2.6 g of fiber and 1.3 g of sugar, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. If you have 1 cup of salted peanuts, you could consume about 814 calories, 23.7 g of protein, 70.5 g of fat, 34.7 g of carbohydrates, 12.3 g of fiber and 6.4 g of sugar.

Blood Sugar Levels

After your eat, your blood sugar levels will raise, especially if your meal contained carbohydrates. While protein and fat do not impact your blood sugar levels, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, or sugar, and may elevate your blood sugar levels quickly. If you do not have diabetes, your body will be able to respond properly and prevent your blood sugar levels from rising too high by secreting the right amount of insulin. However, if you have insulin resistance, prediabetes or diabetes, eating a considerable amount of carbohydrates at once could make your blood sugar levels peak above the recommended target, damaging your tissues and organs.

Peanuts and Blood Sugar Levels

Usually, peanuts and nuts do not have a big influence over your blood sugar levels because they contain relatively low amounts of carbohydrates. Just a small handful, or about 1 oz. of peanuts, only has 7 g of carbohydrates and is not likely to be enough to significantly rise your blood sugars, unless you eat them with something else that contains carbohydrates. If you have a can of cola with your peanuts, your soft drink will be responsible for making your blood sugar levels peak. However, if you only have peanuts and do not control your serving size and keep eating handfuls after handfuls of peanuts, you could end up eating a significant amount of carbohydrates. For example, 1 cup of peanuts contains close to 35 g of carbohydrates, which is enough to raise your blood sugar levels.

Make an Experiment

Everyone responds differently to food and your individual carbohydrate tolerance will influence to what degree your blood sugar levels raise after you eat certain foods. If you have diabetes, use your glucometer to track your blood sugar level's response after you eat peanuts or other foods that you eat on a regular basis. You can go to your drugstore and get a blood glucose meter and testing strips and do a bit of experimentation to see how your body responds to different foods. This experiment will help you better understand the relationship between your diet and your blood sugar levels. By learning how to keep your blood sugar levels in the healthy range, you can live healthier and longer.

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