Snacking is associated with intakes of non–core foods which may predispose to obesity. Peanuts have potential satiety benefits and may assist with weight management; we hypothesized that peanut consumption would reduce intake of non–core snack foods due to compensation. We investigated the effects of adding peanuts to a habitual diet on snacking habits and energy intake. Sixty-one healthy participants (65 ± 7 years, body mass index 31 ± 4 kg/m2) consumed their habitual diet with or without peanuts (56 g/d for 32 women, 84 g/d for 29 men) for 12 weeks each in a randomized crossover design. Food diaries were analyzed at baseline and after each 12-week period for meal and snack content and timing. Total energy intake was higher (17% for men [P < .001], 9% for women [P < .001]) during the peanut phase. Body weight was 0.5 ± 0.2 kg (P = .010) greater during the peanut phase. Snacking occasions increased during the peanut phase (53% for men [P = .001], 14% for women [P = .01]). Servings of other snack foods did not change during the peanut phase (P = .6) compared with control. However, sex-specific analysis revealed that men and women consumed less savory (P < .001) and sweet (P = .01) non–core snacks, respectively, during the peanut phase. Despite increased energy intake and snacking frequency, peanuts may improve the diet through sex-specific reductions of non–core foods; for optimal energy balance, peanuts should be substituted rather than added to the diet.
- Diet quality