Natural Peanut Butter – Good or Bad For Your Health?
Does peanut butter instantly pop into your mind when you want something delicious to spread on your bread? It has become one of the world’s favourite spreads. Its peanut aroma, delicious taste, and smooth (or crunchy) texture are delightful. Peanut butter lovers even enjoy the way it sticks to the roof of their mouth.
This love of peanut butter is not true for everyone. A small percentage of people are allergic to peanuts and a tiny taste of peanut butter could be lethal.
What is Peanut Butter?
Natural peanut butter is very simple and requires very little processing, usually just stored in Flux Pumps or similar until it is ready to be shipped out. It is simply peanuts which are roasted and then ground into a paste.
This isn’t true for many famous name brands of peanut butter. They add ingredients like sugar, oils, and trans fat to make the peanut butter sweeter or smoother.
Instead of buying peanut butter packed with sugars and added fats, but real peanut butter. The only ingredients on the label should be peanuts and maybe a touch of salt.
When you stick to real peanut butter, you get the same health benefits as eating peanuts, since natural peanut butter is simply ground peanuts.
So, what are the benefits of natural peanut butter?
A Source of Protein
Peanut butter is a great source of energy since supplying a balance of 3 energy sources. A 100g serving of peanut butter provides you with:
• Carbohydrates: 20g – Represents 13% of the calories, with 6 grams of fiber.
• Protein: 25g – 15% of the total calories. Peanut butter is protein-dense plant food.
• Fat: 50g – 72% of the energy (calories) in peanut butter comes from fat.
It is high in protein, but it does lack one essential amino acid, methionine.
The low amount of methionine is not surprising since peanuts are a member of the legume family. Legumes, like peanuts, lentils, and beans are always lower in methionine and cysteine than animal-based proteins.
Low in Carbs
Natural peanut butter is great for low-carb diets. It is packed with protein and fats while keeping your carbs under 20%. (Note: commercial peanut butters are much higher in carbs.)
Pure peanut butter is even good for people with type 2 diabetes. One study discovered that women who ate peanut butter a minimum of 5 times every week reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 21%. (Reminder: This is natural peanut butter without added sugars.)
High in Healthy Fats
Peanut butter provides high amounts of energy from its high levels of fat. A 100-gram serving of peanut butter provides 588 calories.
Even though peanut butter is high in calories, eating small amounts of peanut, or pure peanut butter, is a great choice even when you are trying to lose weight. 50% of the fat in peanut butter comes from oleic acid; the same healthy monounsaturated fat olive oil is famous for. Peanut butter provides essential omega-6 fatty acid found in most types of vegetable oils.
NOTE: A few studies indicate excessive intake of omega-6 fatty acids, as compared to omega-3, can cause inflammation and increased risks of chronic illness.
Peanut Butter – A Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals
Peanut butter is a nutritious food. Your 100-gram portion provides you with the following RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) of vitamins and minerals:
• Niacin (Vitamin B3): 67%
• Vitamin B6: 27%
• Vitamin E: 45%
• Folate: 18%
• Copper: 24%
• Magnesium: 39%
• Manganese: 73%
Natural peanut butter also gives you high levels of biotin and good amounts of vitamin B5, selenium, zinc, iron, and potassium.
The Peanut Butter Conclusion
There are a lot of great things about peanut butter, but there are a few drawbacks, too.
Pure peanut butter is rich in nutrients and is a good source of plant protein. It is high in fibre, minerals, and vitamins, but at the same time is very high in calories.
Peanut butter is a possible source of aflatoxins, which are known to be harmful over time. Peanut butter should not become your primary source of nutrition. It is great when eaten in small amounts occasionally. The big challenge is staying away from peanut butter. It is so delicious.
Eating small amounts of peanut butter should not cause any significant negative effects, especially if you stick to natural peanut butter, avoiding added sugars and oils. It can be a good alternative to junk foods like soda, candy bars, and chips.