Peanuts v potato chips for energy and satiety: Study

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Peanuts reduced energy intake by 17-21% versus potato chips at 11%
Peanuts reduced energy intake by 17-21% versus potato chips at 11%

Related tags Energy intake Mass

Hi-oleic and regular peanuts suppress energy intake better than potato chips and are therefore a preferred snack for weight management, researchers say.

Published in Appetite, ​Australian researchers compared peanuts and chips in terms of satiety and subsequent energy intake among overweight or obese older consumers.

The four-day triple crossover study involved 24 participants (aged 50-75) consuming 60-90 g of potato chips or peanuts each day after an overnight fast. Hunger and satiety were assessed in intervals – baseline, 30, 60, 120 and 180 minutes after consumption. After this, a cold buffet was freely consumed and energy intake measured.

Energy intake lowered

Findings showed total energy intake was “substantially less”​ following consumption of Hi-oleic and regular peanuts compared with chips, both acutely and over a four day period.  

Hi-oleic peanuts led to an acute energy intake reduction of 21%, regular peanuts 17% and potato chips 11%.

While findings showed a greater magnitude of change in energy for Hi-oleic peanuts, researchers said clear conclusions could not be drawn because peanuts had not been directly compared throughout the study.

“These findings suggest peanuts may be a preferred snack food to include in the diet for maintaining a health weight,”​ the researchers wrote.

Inclusion of around 60-80 g of peanuts or chips per day would result in a potential difference of up to 1 kg body weight over one month – with chip consumers weighing more.

The energy intake findings likely related to the satiety value of protein and fiber in peanuts - providing an additional 11 g and 19 g of protein for women and men respectively and an additional 3-4 g of fiber each day.

Satiety perception?

Despite clear differences in energy intake, satiety perception remained the same for both snacks.

“Interestingly, in the present study the reduction in energy intake with peanut consumption compared with potato chips occurred despite a lack of difference in subjective satiety ratings, whilst other studies measuring satiety have reported variable outcomes,”​ the researchers wrote.

It was possible, they said, that snack timings could have influence perceived satiety because participants were able to snack on potato chips and peanuts at any time of the day. In addition, there were other factors that impacted satiety, such as sensory properties and physiological and cognitive responses which satiety ratings could be too sensitive to detect.

“It is also possible that energy differences observed in the present study (around 600kJ at the buffet and around 900kJ per day over four days) were insufficient to be detected by perceived satiety measures."

Study details

Visual analogue scales (VAS) were used to measure perceived satiety and researchers evaluating the scores were blinded.

The test meal buffet was eaten freely for 30 minutes, three hours post-snacking and included a variety of foods from bread, cheese and cured meats to salad items, yogurt, fruit and drinks.

Total food consumed at the buffet was measured by weighing food items remaining to the nearest gram. Energy intake and macronutrient profiles were calculated using nutritional analysis software on the foods.


Source: Appetite

Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.07.015. November 2014, Volume 82, Pages 124-130

'Lower energy intake following consumption of Hi-oleic and regular peanuts compared with iso-energetic consumption of potato crisps'

Authors: JA. Barbour, PRC. Howe, JD. Buckley, GC. Wright, J. Bryan and AM. Coates

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