Peanut butter. We all love it. But is peanut butter healthy?
In college I discovered the true delight in a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter, straight from the spoon–and yes, I’m a double dipper. It was my cheap, quick, I-really-need-to-study-instead-of-cook dinner option. I ate so much that I was buying multiple large containers of peanut butter every week.
I started with the Jif brand, and made by way over to Peter Pan because I liked the sweetness. When I switched from creamy to crunchy, I felt like a true PB connoisseur. I figured that with the amount I was consuming, I should probably start doing a little research to make sure my PB eating habits were healthy.
There are many benefits to eating peanut butter, but it must be the right kind of peanut butter. I was definitely eating too much of it, but the more concerning issue was that I was eating sugar-loaded peanut butter. All peanut butter is not created equally. Before I go into which one to buy let’s first take a look at the benefits of eating PB.
1. It’s packed with nutrition.
Peanut butter is loaded with antioxidants, B6, magnesium and potassium. There was a study done about how consuming 2Tbs. 5 days a week can decrease your risk for diabetes by about 30%. That’s huge!
2. It can help you lose weight.
Peanut butter has fiber and protein which work to keep your body feeling full, and eating less overall. This is only relevant, however, if you are eating in moderation. The recommended serving is 2Tbs. per day.
3. It’s got the right kind of fat.
Monounsaturated fat is the good, heart-healthy fat that peanut butter is filled with. This is what makes peanut butter higher in calories (even though it is the good fat), and why you should never have more than one serving a day if you are watching your weight. But one serving a day is good. Good for the heart, good for the soul.
So Peanut Butter brand should I buy?
I’m going to state the obvious here–peanut butter should have TWO things in it: peanuts and a pinch of salt. That’s it. Before you throw that Jif or Peter Pan in your shopping cart, take a look at the label. The reason they’re so tasty is because they are PACKED with sugar=yuck.
I buy the Smucker’s Natural brand because it is the ONLY one I’ve found that does not have added sugar in it. You can get it on amazon (sometimes they have some great coupons too), or any grocery story.
When I first started buying it, I hated mixing the oils but my friend, Sarah, taught me a nifty little trick. When you open it, stir it with a knife, then store upside down in the refrigerator so you never have to stir again.