Can diabetics eat peanut butter?

Q: Can diabetics eat peanut butter?

A. Definitely, but you should choose your peanut butter wisely. Peanut butter can be a fantastic source of both protein and healthy fats. For those reasons, it can help prolong your satiety, in other words, keep you feeling fuller longer. Peanut butter can be a great part of breakfast on whole grain toast, as lunch in a sandwich, and as a snack on whole grain crackers, cut up apples or pears, or carrot or celery sticks.

However, due to the fat content, which--remember, is a healthy type of fat--peanut butter also tends to be somewhat high in calories.

That's no reason not to include it in your eating plan, you just must ensure you're using proper portion control. Depending on your size and calorie goals, a decent serving size would be 1 to 2 tablespoons.

Be sure to check the calories listed on your peanut butter selection to determine how much can fit into your eating plan. In addition, many peanut butters have added sugars which bump up the carbohydrate content. To avoid this look for all-natural peanut butters. However, don't blindly trust the front of the product label. Make sure you read the entire ingredient list. The peanut butter should not contain any additional sugars (e.g. corn syrup, fructose, honey).

In fact, it should only list peanuts, and maybe a small amount of salt. If you have a food processor or mini chopper you can also try your hand at do-it-yourself peanut butter. Simply add nuts and process until it forms a paste.

NOTE: Depending on the person, blood glucose levels may vary after consuming peanut butter. Depending how your blood sugar levels respond to peanut butter, you may need to make dietary or portion adjustments. If you have concerns or questions about how peanut butter may impact your diet or blood glucose, discuss those questions with a health professional, such as your physician.

If you are prescribed new medications, be sure to discuss potential food-drug interactions with your pharmacist or physician. If the possibility for interactions exist, you may be asked to avoid eating certain foods while taking that medication.


About Heidi McIndoo

Heidi McIndoo, MS is a registered dietitian who has been counseling women, men, and children about healthy eating for twenty years. She firmly believes food should be enjoyed and all foods can fit into a healthy diet -- it's just a matter of how much and how often.

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9 June 2013 at 4:53 am

Hi Heidi, Thanks for the interesting information. I found a website that talked about different nut butters that are ok for diabetics to eat. They look amazing, and I want to try them. Cashew butter, walnut butter and others. They look so good. http://asweetlife.org/feature/feeding-nut-butter-to-a-child-with-diabetes-justins-vs-artisana/

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