Peanut butter is a highly nutritious, energy dense food staple that can help with weight loss, or weight maintenance and there’s research to prove it.
One study from 2009 analyzed over 51,000 female US nurses and found women who ate a higher nut or peanut butter consumption (~ 2 servings of nuts per week) were less likely to be overweight or obese compared to women who did not consume nuts or peanut butter.
Isn’t the nut butter high in fat?
Yes, peanut butter is high in fat, ranging from 45-75% of mostly unsaturated fat. However, this is the good, heart-healthy fat! There is evidence that suggestions unsaturated fat, called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are more easily broken down and therefore leads to less fat being stored in the body.
Why else do we need fat?
Fat has several important bodily functions and is required for our survival. A few reasons include:
1) Fat is used as structural pads to hold the our organs and nerves in position and to protect them against traumatic injury and shock.
2) Fat helps us maintain our body temperature and preserve body heat.
3) Fat helps with our digestion, absorption, and transport of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.
4) Fat helps us slow down digestion, which makes us feel fuller longer.
What else is healthy about peanut butter?
Other nutritional benefits of peanut butter include its high protein, high calorie, and fiber content as well as various vitamins and minerals including iron, B-6, magnesium, and potassium. Its extensive nutrient profile all contribute to early satiety, allowing you to feel fuller longer and prevent over eating. It’s a perfect snack.
Peanut butter is not created equal
The healthiest peanut butter is made from dry, roasted peanuts. That’s it. When companies add salt, sugar, and oil into the nut butter, it completely changes it’s nutrient profile. This change is not favorable to our waist lines and most likely may be contributing to the obesity epidemic and other chronic diseases.
Here are my top commercialized brands:
-Ingredients: organic dry roasted peanuts, sea salt
– Ingredients: peanuts, 1% of less of salt
-Ingredients: roasted peanuts
*Not affiliate links ^, just pure opinion
3 tips to find the best peanut butter:
1. Look at the ingredients label.
– Typically, roasted peanuts should be the only ingredient, but this is America, and we love our salt, sugar, and fat, so the next best trick is to try to find the peanut butter with as few ingredients as possible (aim for 2-3 ingredients).
2. Ignore the word “natural” on a peanut butter jar. The term “natural” is not FDA regulated, which means there isn’t a clear definition on what natural means. If you see “natural” on the label, check back to the ingredients (refer back to tip #1). Does it have 2-3 ingredients?
3. Play it safe, and make your own peanut butter. It’s so incredibly easy and fun. See video and recipe below. This was my first video and so much fun to make! I’ll be making more in the future.
homemade peanut butter
1 (16oz) jar unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
1. Place peanuts in high-speed blender or food processor.
2. Slowly blend at low speed and gradually increase until peanuts are smooth and creamy.
3. Add honey or salt, if needed. Blend for a few more seconds until combined.
– Purchase unsalted, dry roasted peanuts so you can add your own amount of salt, if needed.
– If you like it sweet, you can add 1-2 teaspoons honey.
– Store in a airtight container in the refrigerator. For best quality, use peanut butter within ~2 weeks.
Let me know what you think, or if you know of any other companies with awesome peanut butter, I’ll add them to my list!