It seems like spring is coming. We’ve set the clocks ahead (how I hate losing that hour of sleep!), the weather is a little warmer, and I can see the beginnings of crocuses popping up in my garden.
Last week, I mentioned that March is National Nutrition Month. It also got me thinking a little about what else March might be “famous” for, nutrition- or food-wise, and I discovered that March holds the honor of also being National Peanut Month. And, to top that off, March 1 is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day (not National Peanut Day — that’s September 13). So this week is about peanuts!
Reasons to Eat Peanuts
Peanuts sure are popular in the United States. According to the American Peanut Council, we eat more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut products every year. Yet, despite the name, peanuts aren’t really nuts. They’re actually a legume, making them close cousins of beans, peas, and lentils. Peanuts start off as a flower that eventually ends up growing underground, where they mature into pods of two or three kernels or “nuts.” These tasty legumes have much to offer in terms of nutrition:
Peanuts are a nutrition powerhouse, but unless you’re actually trying to gain weight, go a little easy with how much you eat. One peanut contains six calories. Do a little bit of math and you’ll see how quickly the calories add up.
Ten peanuts (one fat serving) contains: 60 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of fat, 2.4 grams of protein, 1 milligram of sodium, and 0 milligrams of cholesterol.
By the way, peanuts are also rich in vitamin E, niacin, folate, potassium, magnesium, and copper.
While it’s hard to pinpoint an exact number, about 3 million people in the US are allergic to peanuts and/or tree nuts. Obviously, those people allergic to peanuts must be extra careful to avoid peanuts, peanut butter, and any other food that comes in contact with peanuts. Peanuts also contain oxalates, which are natural substances that occur in food. Some people who are prone to a certain type of kidney stone may need to limit their oxalate intake.
Peanuts make a great snack, especially because they are fairly low in carbohydrate (which means less of an impact on blood glucose). But these little legumes can do more than just sit in a bowl. Sprinkle some on your morning cereal. Chop some up and stir them into yogurt. Throw a handful of peanuts into your stir-fry dish. Don’t overlook peanut butter, either, which is great not only with jelly but also spread on celery or apple slices for a filling treat. So our hats go off to peanuts during this National Peanut Month!
Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/march-is-national-peanut-month/
Amy Campbell: Amy Campbell is the author of Staying Healthy with Diabetes: Nutrition and Meal Planning and a frequent contributor to Diabetes Self-Management and Diabetes & You. She has co-authored several books, including the The Joslin Guide to Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association’s 16 Myths of a “Diabetic Diet,” for which she received a Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication and a National Health Information Award in 2000. Amy also developed menus for Fit Not Fat at Forty Plus and co-authored Eat Carbs, Lose Weight with fitness expert Denise Austin. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Simmons College and a master’s degree in nutrition education from Boston University. In addition to being a Registered Dietitian, she is a Certified Diabetes Educator and a member of the American Dietetic Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Amy was formerly a Diabetes and Nutrition Educator at Joslin Diabetes Center, where she was responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of disease management programs, including clinical guideline and educational material development, and the development, testing, and implementation of disease management applications. She is currently the Director of Clinical Education Content Development and Training at Good Measures. Amy has developed and conducted training sessions for various disease and case management programs and is a frequent presenter at disease management events.
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