Why do we use organic, dry-roasted peanuts in some of our new Primal Protein Bars &Primal Protein Powders? Because properly prepared natural peanuts and peanut butter deliver great flavor and promote optimal health. And since we only use the highest quality roasting and preparation methods, our peanut-based bars pack a delicious and nutritious protein punch!
Primal vs. Paleo
A strict Paleo diet focuses primarily on animal proteins, vegetables, and other sources of healthy fats (nuts, seeds), and eschews all dairy, legumes and grains.
In contrast, a Primal diet allows some dairy (preferable organic and raw), and other foods that are “non-Paleo” in the strictest sense.[i]
Which approach is right for you? It depends on your tastes, physiology and goals. Instead of trying to fit everyone into one dietary box, we acknowledge some people like to retain foods in a caveman-oriented lifestyle that others prefer to omit.
How long have peanuts been Primal?
The peanut plant is thought to have originated on the rainforest-covered continent of South America, probably in Peru or Brazil. As far back as 3,500 years ago, people in South America made pottery in the shape of peanuts and decorated these items with peanut images,[ii] showing that this food has been a primal dietary staple for thousands of years.
Later spread by European explorers, the peanut is now eaten as both a snack and cooking ingredient across the word, in Asian, African and North American cuisine.
Aren’t peanuts legumes?
Yes, peanuts are not true nuts. They belong to the legume family Fabaceae (also known as Leguminosae) and are related to beans and peas. Nuts grow in trees, whereas peanuts grow in underground pods, which is why much of the world refers to them as “ground nuts.”
While we don’t recommend many beans and other legumes on a Primal diet, we do recommend organic roasted peanuts. Why? Peanuts have a much lower glycemic impact than other legumes. Compare the GI of peanuts (a very low 7) to lentils (29), black beans (30) and kidney beans (29).
A comparison of glycemic load numbers—a measure that factors in both GI and net carbohydrates—also favors peanuts. The glycemic load of peanuts is zero… again compared to lentils (5), black beans (7) and kidney beans (7).[iii] Perhaps this is why peanut butter consumption has also been liked to a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women.[iv]
Peanuts also contain about 8 grams of protein per ounce—more than any other nut.[v] Compared to other legumes, peanuts are simply much more Primal-friendly.
We strongly recommend you only eat organic peanuts and peanut butter. Besides the nutrition and environmental benefits, we love organic because non-organic nuts are often roasted in soybean or canola oil, which is usually GMO (genetically modified).[vi] The use of GMOs is prohibited in foods with the USDA organic seal. So, stick with organic peanut products to help eliminate questionable GMOs from your diet!
Most commercial peanuts are roasted in oil, which really means they are fried. As always, we recommend you abstain from vitality-damaging friend foods on a Primal diet.
We only use peanuts that have been dry-roasted, which means they’ve been heated without any additional fat or oil. This process delivers maximum flavor and avoids the problems of commercially oil-roasted peanuts (rancid, GMO-laden fats that damage the heart).
Another benefit? The roasting process that makes the peanut butter used in our Primal Protein Bars helps remove aflatoxin, a potential carcinogen sometimes found on improperly stored peanuts.
So, are peanuts healthy?
There’s a reason peanuts are a staple food the world over! Although peanuts are not botanically true nuts, nutritionally they are very similar to tree nuts, and many studies have demonstrated their health benefits.[vii] Here are some highlights.
Peanuts may help you live longer: Peanuts provide you with bioactive niacin, which breaks into metabolites that can trigger increased longevity and fat-burning. Fortunately, vitamin B3 (in the form of niacin) is plentiful in peanuts, and only one cup of peanuts can provide 99% of the daily value of the nutrient![viii]
How does it work? NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a molecule (specifically, a coenzyme) found in all living things that is associated with longevity.[ix] A growing body of evidence supports the view that NAD+ metabolism regulates important biological effects, including an extended lifespan. Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) is essential to all living cells, and is biosynthetically converted to NAD+.[x] So, you want to make sure you get enough Vitamin B3 in your diet to take advantage of these potentially longevity-enhancing benefits.
Peanuts are high in nicotinamide (NAD): NAD is the active form of vitamin B3 (niacin).[xi] It helps relieve depression, insomnia, hyper-activity, improves memory and other mental functions, protects against stress, reduces blood-clotting, and improves the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells.[xii]
Peanuts enhance weight loss: Numerous studies have shown that people who eat peanuts are less obese than those who don’t.[xiii] Peanuts also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease without weight gain.[xiv] Another recent study showed that snacking on peanuts helped reduce obesity in children.[xv]
Peanuts are heart-healthy: A recent study published in the prestigious Journal of American Medical Association, Internal Medicine concluded—after studying health patterns in over 200,000 people worldwide—that “consumption of nuts, particularly peanuts given their general affordability, may be considered a cost-effective measure to improve cardiovascular health.”[xvi] These results support the same conclusions drawn in two massive, multi-year Harvard-led studies, the Nurses’ Health Study and Harvard Professionals Follow-Up Study.[xvii]
Peanuts are full of resveratol: You know how you are “supposed to” drink a glass of red wine for health? That’s because the skin of red grapes is full of a compound called resveratrol: a polyphenol found in plants though to be rich in antioxidants, with cardioprotective and anti-cancer properties.
Want the benefits of resveratrol without the calories and fat-boosting glycemic load of wine? Reach for peanuts, nature’s other rich source of this heart-helping compound. Peanuts are naturally high in inflammation-fighting, cancer-fighting resveratrol. Natural peanut butters also have significantly elevated levels of resveratrol,[xviii] and contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Peanuts have been associated with a decreased risk of death, even after consuming only 15 grams of peanuts (half a handful) per day.[xix] They are also high in fiber, rich in antioxidants (particularly when roasted[xx]), a good source of folate, colon-friendly,[xxi] boost satiety, and just taste great. Not bad for the humble ground nut!
That’s why we’re are proud to include dry-roasted, organic peanut protein in our new Primal Protein Bars &Primal Protein Powders! Get your daily peanut serving in this convenient and delicious meal replacement bar.
By: Heath Squier / CEO / Julian Bakery, Inc.
[xii] Group, David. W., 2015 (http://tinyurl.com/jh9dcat)