With the amount of sugar and chemical additives in store-bought foods, it only makes sense for us to be wary of peanut butter. It’s among the world’s most popular spreads, and more often than not, the tastiest foods aren’t as healthy as we’d like them to be.
Which is quite odd, really, since many articles have been talking of the magnificent health benefits you can from eating peanut butter.
A quick look at the ingredients list of store-bought peanut butter and you’ll find a list of hard-to-pronounce chemicals, sugar, and trans fats.
So how in the world can peanut butter be good for you when, in fact, eating trans fats can actually lead you down the path to heart disease? Actually, peanut butter can be good for the body as long as you get the right type.
What is the right type of peanut butter?
Any kind of peanut butter, either store-bought or homemade, that’s made from ground peanuts and maybe a pinch or two of salt. You can find this type of peanut butter at organic markets and online. Real peanut butter without any additives should provide you with identical health benefits of peanuts which, as we all know, is extremely healthy.
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Health benefits of peanuts
Peanuts are a part of the legume family alongside beans and lentils so you know it’s packed with nutrients. A single 100-gram scoop of peanuts contains 6 grams of fiber, 25 grams of protein, and 50 grams of fat. It contains vitamin E, B vitamins, folate, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
However, despite being chock-full of protein (it’s one of the most protein-packed plant-based foods available), peanuts are low in methionine, a type of amino acid that’s crucial in metabolism and is only found in meats, fish, and dairy. So, if you’re relying on peanuts as your go-to source of protein, then you’re at a higher risk of methionine deficiency.
20% carbohydrate content
Every 100-gram portion of peanuts (raw or in peanut butter) contains roughly 20% carbs which is rather low compared to the amount of essential nutrients you’re getting. Consuming too many simple carbs can indeed give you a boost of energy but at the cost of spiking your blood sugar which is not good for those at risk of or suffering from type 2 diabetes.
50 grams of fat
Let’s address this issue real quick. Since 100 grams of peanuts is basically 50% fat, it only stands to reason that peanuts aren’t as diet-friendly as one would hope. However, in the case of peanuts and peanut butter, the opposite is true. Despite being quite high in calories (588 calories per 100-gram portion), it can be quite beneficial for those on a weight-loss program.
About half of the fat content in peanuts is oleic acid, a monosaturated fat (the good type) also present in olive oil which has been found to improve insulin sensitivity. It lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, and can strengthen our immune systems and brainpower.
So unless you’re severely allergic to peanuts, there is nothing wrong with eating real, organic peanut butter. In fact, a moderate serving of the spread can be an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and a wide range of nutrients. Keep in mind that although peanuts and peanut butter can be healthy, the poison is in the dosage, so don’t go overboard and justify eating an entire jar in one sitting.