Is Peanut Butter Good for PCOS or is it Just a Guilty Pleasure?

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

Is Peanut Butter Good for PCOS
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Living with a condition like PCOS can make you diet-conscious. Figuring out what to eat and what to avoid can be a task. So is peanut butter good for PCOS? Is it too fatty and unhealthy to be included in your PCOS diet? Let’s find out if peanut butter is a friend or a foe in your PCOS journey.

Contents:
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    Nutritional Value of Peanut Butter
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Is Peanut Butter Good for PCOS?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Peanut Butter Benefits for PCOS
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Ways to Consume Peanut Butter for PCOS
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    How Much Peanut Butter Per Day for PCOS?
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    Is There a Best Time to Eat Peanut Butter in PCOS?
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    What are the Risks of the Overconsumption of Peanut Butter?
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    What are the Other Health Benefits of Peanut Butter?
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    Don’t Have Time To Read?
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    FAQs
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Nutritional Value of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a nutrient-dense food, full of healthy fats, protein, fibre, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

The nutritional value of 100g of peanut butter according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is as follows:

Nutrient name

Amount

Energy

597 kcal.

Protein

22.5 g

Total Lipids (Fat)

51.1 g

Carbohydrate

22.3 g

Fibre

4.8 g

Sugar

10.5 g

Calcium

49 mg 

Iron

1.73 mg

Sodium

429 mg

Potassium

564 mg

Magnesium

169 mg

Phosphorus

339 mg

Zinc

2.54 mg

Selenium

4.1 µg

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

9.11 mg

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

13.3 mg

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

0.444 mg

Vitamin B9 (folate)

86 µg

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Is Peanut Butter Good for PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. The ovaries produce more than the normal amount of male hormones called androgens, which are usually present in a lesser amount in females. This can lead to issues in fertility, reduced sensitivity to insulin, increase in weight, acne, hair loss etc.

The food we eat has a direct influence on our weight and hormonal balance. Having a balanced diet with regular exercise can help maintain a healthy body mass index.

Peanut butter is not off-limits for individuals with PCOS, but having it in moderation is the best way to enjoy it. Although peanuts are high in fat and calories, they’re not associated with weight gain as most people think. Studies suggest that having peanut butter may not stop you from losing weight, instead, it may help you shed some extra kilos. Weight gain, not only in PCOS but due to any reason, can be detrimental to your health. Some studies suggest that in PCOS, losing 10% of your weight can help bring your periods back to normal and relieve other symptoms of PCOS.

Peanut Butter Benefits for PCOS

Eating peanut butter in moderation can help you manage your weight and in turn help manage PCOS in the following ways.

It is Satiating

Peanut butter is high in fibre and protein, both of which delay digestion and keep you feeling full for longer. The protein and fibre also increase your level of satiety by reducing the hunger hormone ghrelin. This stops you from overeating and prevents excess calorie intake. Thus, it helps in weight loss.

Stabilises Blood Sugar Levels

Peanut butter has a glycaemic index of 14, which means it does not cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels. This makes peanut butter a valuable addition to your PCOS diet. It is a way of having healthy fat, fibre, protein and sugar in a balanced manner.

If you have PCOS, there is a high chance of developing insulin resistance, which means the cells in your body lose the ability to respond to insulin and take up glucose from your blood. This increases blood glucose levels and triggers your pancreas to produce more insulin. Now, the excess insulin produces more androgen, which may exaggerate the symptoms of PCOS.

In this condition, having peanut butter can provide all the necessary nutrients without raising your blood sugar level, which can help you better manage the symptoms of PCOS.

Delightful Ways to Consume Peanut Butter for PCOS

Making the right choice of peanut butter while purchasing it is one way to ensure your PCOS diet remains healthy and balanced. Buy natural, organic healthy peanut butter with no added salt or sugar.

You can incorporate peanut butter into your diet in many ways and make your food taste yummy:

  1. You can add it to a slice of bread or make an appetising sandwich.
  2. Try using it as a dip to eat apples, which can make it a healthy and filling snack.
  3. Mix it into your oatmeal to make it more satiating and add a creamy texture.
  4. Blend it with a smoothie to enhance the taste and nutrients of a healthy drink.

How Much Peanut Butter Per Day for PCOS?

You can have up to two tablespoons (32 g) of peanut butter in a day, a few times a week. Having more than this quantity can lead to weight gain.

Is There a Best Time to Eat Peanut Butter in PCOS?

Yes, the best time to have peanut butter is early in the day during breakfast. This prevents mid-day hunger pangs and reduces unnecessary snacking and intake of calories. 

Studies suggest that having a spoonful of peanut butter before going to bed could improve sleep quality and prevent hunger pangs, thus cutting down on midnight snacking.

What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is rich in calories and contains heart-healthy fats, two tablespoons (32 grams) provide 191 calories and 16 grams of fat. Thus overconsumption of peanut butter may lead to weight gain.

What are the Other Health Benefits of Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is healthy and when eaten in moderation has several health benefits like:

  1. Studies suggest omega-6 fatty acid content in peanut butter reduces insulin resistance, it also has a low glycaemic index (GI) score, which prevents a spike in blood sugar and helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels. This can help lower your risk for diabetes
  2. Peanut butter contains omega-6 fatty acids, which lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol and increases protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol levels, which reduces your risk of heart disease.
  3. Peanut butter is rich in antioxidants which prevent free radical damage in your body and keeps your cells healthy.
  4. Peanut butter contains a healthy balance of carbs, protein, fibre and healthy fats, which can help boost your energy levels.
  5. Eating peanut butter before sleep can help improve the quality of your sleep.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Peanut butter is rich in healthy fats, carbs, protein and fibre, which can help to you lose weight, and keep your blood sugar and insulin levels stable. This can help manage PCOS symptoms.
  • Peanut butter can be enjoyed in moderation of about 32 g or 2 tablespoons per day, consuming above which can lead to weight gain. You can use them as a dip for apples, spread on toast, blend with smoothies or mix with oatmeal.
  • Peanut butter has many health benefits, it can improve your heart health, stabilise blood sugar levels, helps boost energy levels, prevent damage to the cells in your body and improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Start your PCOS management journey with Phable. Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading gynaecologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and dieticians; order medicines; book lab tests; and get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a PCOS Management program that provides ‎360º care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, peanuts are good for PCOS. Peanuts have a glycaemic index of 13, which means they do not spike blood sugar levels. This helps to prevent excess production of insulin in the body to stabilise the blood sugar, which in the case of PCOS due to loss of insulin sensitivity of the cells builds up in the bloodstream. This excess insulin leads to the production of excess androgen which exaggerates the symptoms of PCOS. Thus, by preventing the increase in blood sugar levels, peanuts can help in the management of PCOS.

Yes, almond butter is good for PCOS. It is high in nutrients and contains omega-3 fatty acid which helps reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. Almond butter also has a very low glycaemic index which prevents blood sugar levels and insulin spikes. It can also help improve your mood, eye and brain health.

People who are allergic to peanuts should avoid peanut butter, this may cause allergy-like symptoms such as rashes, nausea, fatigue, or itching and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, etc. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after eating peanut butter, consult a doctor immediately.

Yes, peanut butter is good for PCOS. Having 2 tablespoons (32g ) of peanut butter per day can provide you with the necessary nutrients and help manage your weight. It has a low glycaemic index, which does not spike your blood sugar levels. This prevents excess insulin production, which can help manage PCOS symptoms.

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

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