Snack foods can contribute a high proportion of energy intake to the diet. Peanuts are a snack food rich in unsaturated fatty acids, protein and fibre which have demonstrated satiety effects and may reduce total energy intake, despite their high energy density. This study examined the effects of consuming Hi-oleic (oleic acid ~75% of total fatty acids) peanuts and regular peanuts (oleic acid ~50% and higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids) compared with a high carbohydrate snack (potato crisps) on satiety and subsequent energy intake. Using a triple crossover study design, 24 participants (61 ± 1 years) consumed iso-energetic amounts (56-84 g) of Hi-oleic or regular peanuts or (60-90 g) potato crisps after an overnight fast. Hunger and satiety were assessed at baseline, 30, 60, 120 and 180 minutes following snack consumption using visual analogue scales, after which a cold buffet meal was freely consumed and energy intake measured. The same snack was consumed on 3 subsequent days with energy intake assessed from dietary records. This protocol was repeated weekly with each snack food. Total energy intake was lower following consumption of Hi-oleic and regular peanuts compared with crisps, both acutely during the buffet meal (-21%; p<.001 and -17%; p< .01) and over the 4 days (-11%; p< .001 and -9%; p< .01). Despite these reductions in energy intake, no differences in perceived satiety were observed. The findings suggest peanuts may be a preferred snack food to include in the diet for maintaining a healthy weight.
Keywords: Energy intake; Nuts; Satiety; Snack food.
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