Is Peanut Butter Healthy?

Is Peanut Butter Healthy?

Peanut butter is a household staple in the typical American diet. It is most commonly used on bread, fruit, vegetables, and crackers as a convenient and “healthy” spread. However, is peanut butter actually healthy? The short answer is yes, with shades of grey.

Important Things to Consider

1. NEVER buy peanut butter with fully or partially hydrogenated oils. This “ingredient” is in about 90% of commonly consumed peanut butters and is an immediate red flag that should be avoided.

2. There should never be more than 2 ingredients in your product. Peanuts and salt (preferably no salt added is the best option). Look for products with one ingredient, peanuts.  If no products have just one ingredient than opt for the product with 2 ingredients, peanuts and salt.

3. Always buy natural peanut butter with the oil on top. Yes, it is a little bit inconvenient to stir, but this is peanut butter in its natural/unprocessed state.

4. Dont be duped by marketing slogans such as “reduced fat” or “smart balance”. The only thing you should be looking at is the ingredient list.

5. Numerous studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat nuts.

6. Peanut butter is full of vitamins, minerals, and potassium and a great source of protein and calories. With that being said, if you are watching your total calorie intake keep in mind 1 serving of peanut butter (2 tbsp) has ~200 calories.

7. According to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, people who eat a diet high in foods like olive oil, avocados, and peanut butter are more likely to lose weight and keep it off than people following a more regimented, lower-fat diet.

Which Products To Avoid

Any peanut butter with more than 2 ingredients such as hydrogenated oils.

What To Choose

Natural Peanut Butters With Oil On Top And Contains Less Than 2 Ingredients

Notice the ingredients.  Peanuts… That’s it!

or

Natural, Raw, Almond Butter

  • The same principle applies to almond butter. Look for products where the ingredients listed are just almonds. Any unnecessary oils, sugars, or salts, should tell you to avoid that particular product which has gone through more processing with artificial additives to increase taste and shelf life.

Conclusion

Yes peanut butter is healthy. I use natural peanut and almond butter on broccoli, celery, half an apple, or half a banana.  Peanut butter paired with a fruit or vegetable can make for a great snack or side dish. Where people start to run into trouble is when they start mixing peanut butter with sugary jams and processed bread. 99% of Jam is fake/artificial sugar and when you couple that with 25-45 grams of processed carbohydrates from bread the once “healthy” peanut butter it can be transformed into a sugar and carb loaded nightmare. But to answer the question of the article,YES, 1 serving of natural peanut butter or almond butter is healthy as long as you are mixing it with the right foods.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
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An Oatmeal Recipe You Will Love

An Oatmeal Recipe You Will Love

Studies have shown that regularly skipping breakfast increases your risk of obesity by 450%!

This week’s blog can be found at http://www.builtlean.com/. This is another great health-orientated website and one that I will be writing for once a month. My article is the headline article on the homepage.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have questions or comments.

Kevin

The Ultimate Snack

The Ultimate Snack

I get more questions about this topic than any other. “What can I snack on that is low in carbohydrates but high in protein?” The truth is, you can only eat so much cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and nuts. (Which are also great snacks) Variety is one of the biggest challenges for people adjusting to a healthy nutrition regimen. “What food can I eat in between meals and at night?” Since chips, crackers, candy, and anything processed should be out of the question, options can be limited. However, here is one great option to give you some variety.

Home-made Beef Jerky

The Benefits

  • High in protein
  • Unprocessed
  • Low in fat
  • Versatile flavor choices
  • Low in sodium
  • Zero Carbohydrates
Why not just buy beef jerky?
Pre-packaged beef jerky possesses a few problems. Sodium(salt), saturated fat, and preservatives are the 3 downsides of pre-packaged jerky. The American Heart Association suggests keeping daily sodium levels under 1500 mg’s. One serving of pre-packaged beef jerky can contain up to 750 mgs of sodium or half your recommended daily amount. Preservatives are added to jerky to extend shelf life. Like any processed meats, sodium nitrite and MSG are concerns that can be detrimental to your health, especially in jerky products. Saturated fat for any red meat can be high, but with the home-made version you can buy a leaner meat or cut out excess fat.

 

Cooking Instructions

1. Start by cutting a 1-pound trimmed, strip steak into thin slices no more than 1/8 inch thick, 1 inch wide, and 3 inches long. (To make the steak easier to slice put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before slicing.)

2. Refrigerate the marinated steak overnight (or during the day) in a seal-able bowl or bag.

Options for a personalized marinade per 1lb of meat. (mix and match your favorites)

  • 2 chopped garlic cloves or equivalent in minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp A-1 sauce
  • 1 tbsp Teriyaki
  • 1 tbsp whiskey
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Salt
  • Curry
  • Onion
  • Cilantro

3. Place the strips on a baking rack and bake in the oven until strips are dry and moisture is absorbed. Place a baking sheet underneath the rack to prevent dripping.  (Between 45 and 60 minutes at 180 to 220 degrees)

4. Remove from the oven and refrigerate in a seal-able bag or bowl for a healthy protein-filled snack!


Conclusion

The versatility of ingredients in the marinade make this an attractive snack for people looking for some variety. My advice would be to make a bulk serving on sunday night to last you throughout the week. As I have discussed in my previous blog posts, aim for healthy snacks in between meals to make up 5 or 6 smaller meals per day instead of 3 large meals. Snacking is not the enemy. Unhealthy snacking is the enemy.

My suggestion

A snack that is high in protein and has large amounts of fiber is ideal. Mix some home-made jerky with a handful of walnuts for a healthy dose of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and useful calories. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From Naples,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com