Is Peanut Butter Good For Your Health?

People love peanut butter.

In the United States alone, peanut butter sales in 2017 amounted to approximately $1.85 billion. That translates to about 530 million units of the popular sandwich filling being sold within that year, per Statista.

Peanut butter being that popular is not really surprising.

It’s a sweet treat that can also be used in a variety of savory dishes to add some complex flavor. Whether you prefer foods with a creamy texture or items that offer some crunch, peanut butter has you covered.

Even vegans have no reason to shy away from consuming peanut butter. PETA notes that “nearly all peanut butter is 100 percent vegan.”

The widespread popularity of peanut butter does prompt an important question though. With so many people in love with this spreadable, is it actually safe to eat on a regular basis?

To put it simply, is peanut butter good for our health?

That’s the main question we’re going to answer in this article. But first, let’s answer some other important questions.

Should You Be Worried about Peanut Butter’s Fat Content?

One of the reasons why there are people out there who are hesitant to consume peanut butter is because it is known to contain the substance known as saturated fat.

For those who could use a refresher, saturated fat is the type that does not feature double bonds and remains solid at room temperature. Saturated fat is also potentially problematic because it raises your so-called “bad” cholesterol while also putting you at greater risk for heart disease, according to Heart.org.

Peanut Butter’s Saturated Fat Content Is Manageable

That sure sounds terrible doesn’t it? Does that also mean that you should avoid peanut butter altogether because of its saturated fat content?

Well, not exactly.

According to this article from Harvard Health, peanut butter is actually similar to olive oil in terms of saturated and unsaturated fat levels. Around 12.3 grams of unsaturated fat are found in two tablespoons of peanut butter compared to only 3.3 grams of the saturated stuff.

As long as you don’t go overboard with your peanut butter consumption, the threat of saturated fat can be minimized.

Is Peanut Butter Something to Avoid if You Are Trying to Lose Weight?

Over the years, we’ve learned that having a high-calorie diet is not good for your waistline. If you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning, chances are you won’t be shedding the excess pounds anytime soon.

Because of that, it would seem that consuming peanut butter may be a bit of an issue.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, two tablespoons of smooth peanut butter contains about 188 calories, while crunchy peanut butter contains only a slightly smaller amount of 180 calories.

Admittedly, that is a lot for two tablespoons.

Be Careful with Your Calories and You’ll Be Fine

Here’s the thing though: Medical News Today notes that the daily recommended calorie intake for men tops out at around 3,000, while the amount for women goes up to 2,400.

What that means is that you still have some calories to play with. As long as you balance out the peanut butter with some other low-calorie foods, you won’t have to worry about zooming past the daily recommended average.

Moderation is key and if you want to lose weight while still enjoying peanut butter, you need to keep that in mind.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Peanut Butter?

Thus far, we’ve only focused on dispelling some of the misguided notions people have about peanut butter being unhealthy.

Now, let’s discuss some of the reasons why it is healthy.

For starters, peanut butter contains a good amount of potassium.  Potassium helps counterbalance the presence of sodium in your body. By getting more potassium in your body, you are effectively protecting yourself better against the potentially harmful effects of consuming too much sodium.

Considering that high amounts of sodium are often found in popular food items such as salad dressings and pizza, balancing that out with some additional potassium will help.

A Solid Source of Protein

Peanut butter is also a good alternative source for protein.

Remember what I said earlier about peanut butter being vegan? Well, vegans need good alternative sources of protein because they avoid meat and meat-based products. Peanut butter is not the only food item that can supply them with protein, but it’s likely one of the best-tasting sources.

The Other Healthy Goodies Found in Peanut Butter

It’s also not a bad idea to consume peanut butter because it’s known to contain healthy amounts of magnesium, niacin, and phosphorus. The first one is crucial to regulating your body’s different organ systems and making sure everything is working as it should be while the latter two will boost your energy levels.

Also, if you’re having some trouble with your digestion, downing peanut butter is not a bad idea. The niacin and fiber present in peanut butter should help get your digestion back on track.

One last thing, if you’re trying to get more fat and protein into your diet without suddenly spiking your carbohydrate and blood sugar levels, consuming some peanut butter is a good move.

Is Peanut Butter a Healthy Snack?

After learning more about what peanut butter contains, we are now better equipped to answer the question asking if peanut butter is good for our health.

Much as I would love to give you a straight yes or no answer, doing so would be impossible.

The right answer here is yes, peanut butter is healthy, but it’s probably best to limit it to being a snack food.

Don’t forget that moderation is essential when consuming peanut butter. Getting some of it into your body is fine and potentially even beneficial, but going overboard and using up half a jar in one sitting is never going to be considered a healthy move.

Which Type of Peanut Butter Is the Healthiest?

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer creamy or crunchy peanut butter. Both of them are on the same level health-wise.

Where peanut butters vary is in terms of additives.

The best type of peanut butter is one that features very little or even no additional ingredients at all. If you can whip up your own peanut butter using only natural ingredients, that would be even better.

Conclusion

For many of us, the idea of going without peanut butter for any extended amount of time is too difficult. This staple food is simply too delicious to completely cut out of our diet.

Peanut butter is a favorite food for many kids and adults the world over. There’s no reason for that to change considering that peanut butter is a healthy food item overall.

We don’t have to do anything drastic like eliminating peanut butter from our daily diet. As long you avoid having peanut butter with every meal and exercise control over your consumption of it, you should be able to enjoy its benefits while minimizing its potentially harmful effects.

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