Peanut butter has become one of the most popular foods. It is also one of the cheapest sources of vegetable protein that we can find.
Despite its nutritional benefits, peanut butter is high in fat and calories. Just two tablespoons provide no less than a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fat, some of it saturated. Also, as a processed form of peanut, it is one of the eight most common food allergens.
Still, the nutritional benefits often outweigh the consequences, especially for people who are nutritionally deficient or simply don’t get enough protein in their diets.
Peanut butter is a relatively unprocessed food. They are basically peanuts, sometimes roasted, ground until they become a paste. However, this is not so true for many commercial brands. These can contain various added ingredients, such as sugar, vegetable oils, and trans fats.
And eating too much added sugar and trans fat has been linked to several health conditions, including heart disease. Instead of buying processed foods with various additional ingredients, it is recommended to choose peanut butter with only this nut and maybe a little salt as ingredients.
In 2 tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter with added salt we find the following nutritional values:
- Energy: 190 calories
- Fat: 16 grams
- Carbohydrates: 8 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugars: 3 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
- Sodium: 140mg
The package usually lists a single serving of peanut butter as 2 tablespoons (32 grams), about the amount needed to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Like all other types of nut butter, this one is high in calories and fat.
However, it packs a lot of nutrition into such a small amount of food. And, because it can make you feel full faster, you don’t usually eat a lot of it.
Peanut butter is relatively low in carbohydrates. The carbohydrates in a serving of peanuts make up only 13% to 16% of their total weight, which translates to a glycemic index of just 14. What this means is that one serving is less likely to affect blood sugar. blood than foods with a higher glycemic index, such as the white bread used to make a peanut butter sandwich.
Most of the carbohydrates in peanuts are complex, the kind that the body gradually breaks down for metabolism. On the other hand, peanut butter is low in the simple carbohydrates that cause blood sugar spikes.
Although 16 grams of fat per serving may seem like a lot, most of it is “healthy” monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Only about 4% comes from “unhealthy” saturated fats, the kind that can clog your arteries.
Monounsaturated fats come mainly from oleic acid (which positively influences cholesterol levels), while polyunsaturated fats come mainly from linoleic acid (which helps build muscle). Peanut butter also contains significant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and associated with a lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Despite the high fat content, peanut butter itself is completely cholesterol-free.
About 35% of the total weight comes from protein, making it one of the best non-meat sources of protein. At 7 grams per serving, you can easily increase your daily intake if you’re a vegetarian or just don’t get enough protein in your diet.
Peanut butter is rich in nutrients and can help us reach the daily reference intake of vitamins and minerals. It is packed with important B-complex vitamins, as well as essential minerals and antioxidants.
In 32 grams we find the daily amount of the following micronutrients:
- Copper: 43%
- Folate: 20%
- Iron: 22%
- Magnesium: 14%
- Manganese: 28%
- Potassium: 18%
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin) : 17%
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) : 25%
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) : 11%
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) : 9%
- Vitamin E: 18%
- Zinc : 10%
There are numerous advantages to regularly including peanut butter in your diet.
Rich in protein
Although peanut butter is fairly high in protein, it is low in the essential amino acid methionine . Peanuts belong to the legume family, which also includes chickpeas, peas, and lentils. Legume protein is much lower in methionine and cysteine compared to animal protein.
Methionine deficiency is usually associated with general protein deficiency or certain disease states. It is extremely rare in people who are generally in good health.
On the other hand, low methionine intake has also been thought to have some health benefits. Studies have shown that it can extend the lifespan of rats and mice, but it’s not clear if it works the same way in humans.
Pure peanut butter contains only 20% carbohydrates, making it suitable for a low-carb diet. It also causes a very low rise in blood sugar, making it a good choice for people with type 2 diabetes.
A large review of studies found that eating peanut butter regularly was linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the long term. These benefits have been attributed in part to oleic acid, one of the main fats in peanuts.
Contains healthy fats
Since it is very high in fat, a 100-gram serving contains a hefty 597 calories. Despite its high caloric content, eating moderate amounts is fine on a weight-loss diet. And because peanut butter is rich in heart-healthy fats and a good source of protein, it may be a good choice for vegetarians or those following a plant-based diet to incorporate into their diet in moderation.
Half of the fat in butter is made up of oleic acid, a healthy type of monounsaturated fat that is also found in high amounts in olive oil. Oleic acid has been linked to various health benefits, such as improved insulin sensitivity.
Peanut butter also contains some linoleic acid, an essential Omega-6 fatty acid that is abundant in most vegetable oils. Some studies suggest that a high intake of Omega-6 fatty acids, relative to Omega-3, may increase inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases.
Improves weight loss
Peanut butter is believed to aid in weight loss by promoting satiety due to its protein and fat content. By curbing your appetite, you can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of obesity.
While it can help control your appetite, portion control is important. In the end, no food can be considered “light” if two servings represent 50% of daily fat and 20% of a 2,000-calorie diet.
Rich in antioxidants
Like most real foods, peanut butter contains more than just the basic vitamins and minerals. It also contains many other biologically active nutrients, which may have some health benefits.
It is quite rich in antioxidants like p-coumaric acid, which can reduce arthritis. It also contains some resveratrol, which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases in animals. Resveratrol has many other potential benefits, although the evidence in humans is still limited.
Although peanut butter is quite nutritious, raw cream can also contain substances that can be harmful, including aflatoxins . This is because peanuts grow underground, where they can be colonized by a widespread mold called Aspergillus. This mold is a source of aflatoxins, which are considered harmful to health.
According to the National Cancer Institute, no outbreaks of illness associated with aflatoxins have been reported in Spain. However, there are some concerns about the long-term effects of aflatoxins on health, particularly in developing countries. In fact, some human studies in developing countries have linked aflatoxin exposure to liver cancer, stunted growth in children, and delayed mental development.
Fortunately, the processing of peanut butter can significantly reduce the amount of aflatoxins present in the final product. We can also minimize the risks associated with aflatoxin exposure by choosing commercial brands of aflatoxins and throwing out any nuts that appear moldy, shriveled, or discolored.
Peanut butter can be introduced into the regular diet in numerous ways.
Mix with a sauce
It is a misnomer that something as sweet as peanut butter can be mixed with a salty sauce. But why not try it?
We will mix a spoonful of peanut butter with our favorite sauce and we will be surprised with the results. A sauce mixed with this cream is something that can easily accompany all the cooked things we eat with ketchup. In fact, there are more and more hamburgers that include this cream among their sauces.
with a salad
Although few know this gastronomic trick, it can also be used. A touch of sweetness is normally added to most salads in the form of sweet vinegar or oil.
But we can also give it a nutty flavor that mixes perfectly with all the fresh vegetables that we put in a salad. You don’t have to add too much to notice the flavor.
ice cream topping
Everyone enjoys a little ice cream from time to time, and we usually top it with some chocolate or strawberry syrup and sprinkle some nuts on top.
Now, we’re going to try taking that scoop of vanilla ice cream with a dollop of peanut butter on top; the nutty flavor fits perfectly with the aroma of vanilla and gives us a completely different dimension to the flavor.
mix with granola
A good breakfast is a perfect balance between nutrition and flavor, and granola, along with a little peanut butter, is something that can give us both.
You can never doubt the nutritional value of granola with dried fruit and nuts, along with a dollop of peanut butter along with it; It is a hearty meal to eat for breakfast.
stir with oatmeal
Oatmeal is a go-to cereal for people on a diet or trying to lose weight. However, eating oatmeal every day can get a bit cumbersome.
A spoonful of peanut butter can make that boring meal the highlight of the day. A little indulgence in butter can never do much harm to weight loss plans; instead, we will reduce our appetite and help us lose weight.
mix with fruit
Besides being eaten as a spread, this is another popular way to eat peanut butter. Bananas and apples are some of the most preferred fruits that nut butter is commonly eaten with.
We can also make a fruit salad with our favorite fruits and add a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter.
Beat it up with a milkshake
Smoothies are a popular drink among young people, and are frequently consumed by people on a diet. By themselves, smoothies are quite tasty and often have the nutritional value of the stuff they’re made from.
Blending a tablespoon of peanut butter can enhance the flavor of the shake and turn it into a drink that fills us with energy and freshness.
spread on bread
Toast always looks a bit plain and unhealthy breakfast, but what if we add some fruits and vegetables to the toast with a different topping and a dollop of peanut butter?
There can be several ways to use peanut butter with bread. We can use it to spread or spray as coverage; this will make a simple piece of toast delicious as well as super healthy.