Is Peanut Butter Good For Diabetes? Glycemic Index of Peanut Butter

Reviewed By Dietitian Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian, 25 Years of Experience) January 31, 2024

Peanut butter, a common pantry staple, is made by grinding roasted peanuts into a smooth or chunky spread, often with a touch of salt or sweeteners for enhanced flavour. Rich in protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients, peanut butter is not only a delicious treat but also a versatile ingredient in various culinary creations. Its creamy texture and nutty taste make it a popular choice for snacking, baking, and cooking, appealing to a wide range of palates worldwide. With its array of benefits, peanut butter serves as a popular choice among people seeking to balance their blood sugar levels effectively.

Peanut Butter For Diabetes

Managing diabetes involves making the right choices about food, and peanut butter is considered a tasty yet healthy option for people seeking to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Its unique nutritional composition and moderate glycemic index make it a valuable addition to a diabetic-friendly diet. Understanding the nutritional value, glycemic index, benefits, potential side effects, and creative ways to incorporate peanut butter can help those with diabetes make an informed decision to achieve their health goals.

Nutritional Value of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is renowned for its rich nutritional profile. It is a significant source of plant-based protein, healthy fats, and dietary fiber, crucial for promoting satiety, regulating blood sugar, and supporting overall health.

According to the USDA, 100 grams of peanut butter provides the following nutrients:

Nutritional Value of Peanut Butter
Nutrients (in a 100g serving) Amount
Water 1.18 g
Energy 597 kcal
Protein 22.5 g
Fat 51.1 g
Carbs 22.3 g
Fiber 4.8 g
Total Sugars 10.5 g
Calcium 49 mg
Iron 1.73 mg
Magnesium 169 mg
Phosphorous 339 mg
Potassium 564 mg
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 25.4 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 12.3 g

Read More: 7 Day Indian Diet Plan for Diabetic Patients

Glycemic Index of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter tastes great but does not have any significant impact on your blood sugar levels. This is because of its low glycemic index of 14. The glycemic index measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels, and the GI of peanut butter falls in the low category.

Peanut Butter Benefits

Peanut Butter Benefits

Rich in Nutrients

Peanut butter is a nutrient-dense food, packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It contains significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and B-vitamins like niacin, which are important for overall health and well-being.

Helps Strengthen The Muscles

Peanut butter is an excellent source of plant-based protein, making it a great option for vegetarians and vegans to meet their protein needs. Just two tablespoons of peanut butter provide around 7-8 grams of protein, which helps in muscle repair and growth.

Supports Hearth Health

Despite its reputation as a high-fat food, peanut butter primarily contains unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These healthy fats support heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health, eating peanut butter regularly can be beneficial for heart health.

Weight Management

Including peanut butter in moderation as part of a balanced diet can aid in weight management. Its combination of protein, healthy fats, and fiber helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of overeating and promoting weight loss or maintenance. According to a study conducted by Perdue University, including peanut butter in your diet can improve heart health without the risk of weight gain or obesity.

Blood Sugar Control

Contrary to popular belief, peanut butter has a low glycemic index (GI), meaning it causes a gradual and steady increase in blood sugar levels. This makes it a suitable option for people with diabetes, as it helps prevent rapid spikes in blood glucose levels when consumed in moderation. Also, as per the findings of NLM, peanut butter can improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.

Antioxidant Properties

Peanut butter contains antioxidants such as vitamin E and resveratrol, which help fight oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body. These antioxidants play a role in preventing chronic diseases and promoting overall health. According to, Florida Researchers have found that the antioxidant concentration in peanuts can be high, up to 22%.

Bone Health

Peanut butter is a good source of magnesium, which is essential for bone health. Adequate magnesium intake helps strengthen bones and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Versatile and Convenient

Peanut butter is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be spread on toast, added to smoothies, used as a dip for fruits or vegetables, incorporated into sauces and dressings, or simply eaten by the spoonful straight from the jar. Its long shelf life and portability also make it a convenient option for on-the-go snacking.

Read More: Best Indian Diet Plan Chart for Weight Loss

Is Peanut Butter Good For People With Diabetes?

Yes, peanut butter can be beneficial for people with diabetes when consumed in moderation. It has a low glycemic index (GI), meaning it doesn’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels after consumption. This is crucial for managing diabetes as it helps prevent sudden fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Additionally, peanut butter is rich in protein and healthy fats, which can help improve satiety and regulate appetite, leading to better blood sugar control over time. Studies have shown that incorporating nuts, including peanuts, into the diet of individuals with diabetes can improve glycemic control, reduce insulin resistance, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Even the American Diabetes Association has enlisted peanut butter as a go-to option for fulfilling the protein intake in people with diabetes. However, it’s important to choose natural peanut butter without added sugars or hydrogenated oils and to consume it in moderation as part of a balanced diet tailored to individual nutritional needs and blood sugar management goals.

Read More: Are Sugar-Free Biscuits Safe for Diabetics?

Side Effects of Peanut Butter

Side Effects of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is mostly considered safe to consume for people with diabetes. However, peanut butter has some possible side effects if it is not consumed in moderation.

Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergy can occur as a side effect of consuming peanut butter due to the body’s immune system mistakenly identifying peanut proteins as harmful bacteria. The research conducted by Mayo Clinic also supports these findings. This triggers an allergic reaction, ranging from mild symptoms like itching or hives to severe reactions like difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.

Allergic Reactions

Besides anaphylaxis, peanut butter can cause milder allergic reactions such as skin rashes, itching, swelling, or gastrointestinal discomfort in people allergic to peanuts.

Unexpected Weight Gain

Peanut butter is calorie-dense, and excessive consumption can contribute to weight gain if not consumed in moderation, potentially leading to obesity-related health issues.

Potential for Contamination

Cross-contamination during processing or manufacturing can lead to the presence of allergens or contaminants in peanut butter, creating a risk to people with allergies or sensitivities.

Digestive Issues

Some people may experience digestive issues like bloating, gas, or diarrhea due to the high fat and fiber content of peanut butter, especially if consumed in large quantities.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.


Peanut butter is a versatile and nutritious addition to the diet, particularly for people managing diabetes. Its low glycemic index and rich nutritional profile make it a favourable choice for blood sugar control and overall health. However, moderation is key to avoiding potential side effects such as allergic reactions and weight gain. By incorporating peanut butter mindfully and exploring various culinary possibilities, individuals can enjoy its benefits while supporting their diabetic management journey. It is important to consult with a nutrition expert for personalised dietary recommendations, who can help you with the do’s and don’ts of peanut butter for diabetes.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can you eat peanut butter is you have diabetes?

Yes, individuals with diabetes can enjoy peanut butter in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Its low glycemic index and high protein content make it a suitable choice for managing blood sugar levels.

Is it OK to eat peanut butter every day?

Eating peanut butter daily can be part of a healthy diet for most people, including those with diabetes, as long as it’s consumed in moderation to avoid excessive calorie intake.

Does peanut butter have a lot of sugar?

Natural peanut butter typically contains little to no added sugar. Check the label for ingredients and choose brands without added sugars or opt for unsweetened varieties.

Which brand of peanut butter is best for diabetes? 

The best peanut butter for diabetes is natural, unsweetened, and free from added sugars and hydrogenated oils. Look for brands that contain only peanuts (and possibly salt) without additional ingredients.

What peanut butter is sugar-free?

Some brands offer sugar-free peanut butter options, often labeled as “no added sugar” or “unsweetened.” These varieties contain no added sugars but may still naturally contain small amounts of sugar from the peanuts.

Is a spoonful of peanut butter good for low blood sugar?

Consuming a spoonful of peanut butter can help raise blood sugar levels in cases of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) due to its combination of protein and healthy fats, providing a sustained source of energy.

Will peanut butter raise blood sugar?

Peanut butter typically has a low glycemic index, meaning it’s unlikely to cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels when consumed in moderation. However, portion control is key for individuals with diabetes to manage blood sugar effectively.

How many peanuts can a diabetic eat a day?

A diabetic can safely consume a moderate amount of peanuts, such as an ounce or two (approximately 28-56 grams) per day, as part of a balanced diet. However, individual tolerance and carbohydrate intake should be considered when incorporating peanuts into the diet.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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