Is peanut butter good for you?
Is peanut butter healthy? We’d all like the answer to be a resounding ‘Yes!” Peanut butter might be unappealing gloop with no aesthetic qualities, but it tastes delicious!
What are the health benefits of peanut butter? Does peanut butter actually have health benefits or is it simply caking itself to every bodily organ with dire consequences?
Let’s find out. First things first...
What is peanut butter?
In its purest form, peanut butter is just roasted (or similar) peanuts ground into a mushy paste. Chunky peanut butter comes with some crunchy peanut bits; smooth peanut butter is crunchy-bit-free. All pretty straightforward.
This purer end of the peanut butter spectrum is basically unprocessed, so do stay there if you possibly can. At the other end of the processing spectrum, peanut butter can contain all kinds of health undesirables – added sugar, vegetable oils and, perish the thought, trans fats. These peanut butter wannabes must be avoided as they are one gooey step removed from junk food.
However, pure peanut butter will basically mirror the health benefits of whole peanuts. Let's find out more about the health benefits of peanut butter:
Peanut butter is high in protein
Every spoonful of peanut butter contains about 25% protein. Which sounds great if you’re a big fan of peanut butter, but there’s one small problem.
While rich in protein, peanut butter is NOT rich in one amino acid we all need – methionine. Even if you’ve never heard of it, you need it, so don’t let peanut butter be your protein staple. Mix it up.
Peanut butter is low in carbohydrates
That may come as a surprise, but peanut butter, despite its appearance, is a worthy addition to a low carb diet.
If you suffer from Type 2 diabetes, peanut butter is also worth considering as it causes minimal rises in blood sugar levels. Eat a moderate amount 4 or 5 times a week and you’ll probably have a 20% lower risk of actually getting Type 2 diabetes.
Peanut butter is high in healthy fats
Yes, there are such things as healthy fats more precisely; monounsaturated fats and we need them. These healthy fats don’t pile on the weight like their notorious counterparts.
Did you know that peanut butter is one of the best high protein vegan foods? Read our blog on '10 High protein vegan foods you should be eating.'
Peanut butter is packed with vitamins and minerals
Kind of, sort of; 100 grams has about half your daily Vitamin E needs covered and around 70% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin B3 and manganese. More moderate, but still relevant amounts of Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium and copper add to what is a fairly decent vitamin and mineral equation.
As you can see peanut butter does have some health benefits. Suffice to say, moderate dollops on toast or mixed into your favourite recipes won’t cause any unexpected surprises.