Navigating the Debate: Is Peanut Butter Healthy?

Butter is something we all are fond of, and when it comes to Peanut butter, who can say no? So, all those peanut butter lovers will get to know whether this delicious butter is healthy for us or not.

Peanut butter is a blend of ground peanuts that may sometimes be roasted. Still, nowadays, some brands adulterate peanut butter with sweeteners and a little salt to make it more delicious, so this, in turn, adds calories, trans fat, and sodium, which reduces its nutritional value.

Is Peanut Butter Healthy?
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1. What are the Ingredients in Peanut Butter?

Natural Peanut butter is a storehouse of nutrition and several essential elements like

  • Niacin
  • Vitamin E
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B9

Along with this, it also contains:

  • Calories- 188
  • Fat- 16%
  • Protein– 8gms
  • Fibre- 3gms

2. What Are the Benefits of Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter has a lot of health benefits, but there are some which are noteworthy. Below is a list of health benefits that make it so important.

2.1 Weight management:

Peanut butter helps in weight loss and helps control obesity; the rich protein content in the peanut butter diet helps the brain function ideally. Peanuts are good for the heart, so a nut butter diet lowers the risk of heart disease.

Those in the lower-risk zone of cholesterol level can have peanut butter in their diet without worrying, but those with high cholesterol should have it carefully.

2.2 Rich in antioxidants:

Peanut butter also contains antioxidants like manganese and vitamins E and B, which help purify blood.

2.3 P-coumaric acid:

The most important antioxidant is p-coumaric acid, generally found in roasted peanut butter. It has anti-carcinogenic properties and prevents liver cancer and breast cancer.

2.4 Magnesium content:

The peanut butter diet is rich in magnesium, maintaining magnesium in the body.

2.5 Blood Glucose management:

Polyunsaturated fats like linoleic acid and monounsaturated fats like oleic acid are present in high amounts in peanut butter. Consumption of these improves insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism in the body.

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Image Source: depositphotos

3. How do you consume peanut butter to get health benefits?

Knowing how to consume peanut butter and its nutrition chart is equally important.

When you have it, your body should always be capable of absorbing the nutrition of peanut butter. Or else it will be of no use. We often make mistakes while choosing the right way of having it.

It is mandatory to check the brand of peanut butter you are buying as everything depends on it. Before grabbing the bottle of your favorite peanut butter, always go through the ingredients to ensure whether it contains added sugar and salt.

Otherwise, your diet will be in vain. Especially for those who have diabetes, sugar is poison for them, and for those who have heart disease, salt is not good for them. Now you are wondering where to find such pure peanut butter.

Don’t worry! You will find natural peanut butter at any health food store or easily found online.

The next thing to check is the fat and calorie content, which are the main reasons behind weight gain.

If you are looking at peanut butter as a weight loss substitute in your diet and buying it just for its protein content, then you should keep in mind that these two should also be less in quantity in peanut butter.

Now comes another integral part of how much to consume: always remember that a “high intake of anything is never good.” Two teaspoonfuls of peanut butter in your diet will not affect you much. Instead, it is advisable to take this small amount.

But finishing half a jar of peanut butter is not a good sign. It will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and give rise to related health problems.

There are many ways of eating peanut butter, and it’s up to you to choose which way to eat it, whether to gulp it as your favorite sandwich spread or use it as a fruit spread. Another thing is that you should never eat peanut butter straight out of the jar because this way, you will consume maximum calories.

You can eat it as a nutty spread in your sandwiches, fruits, or snacks, or you can eat it with jelly or chocolate (though you intake more calories). In this case, you can choose chocolate or jelly without sugar.

Peanut butter can be mixed with soy sauce, ginger, and lime juice to prepare a tasty salad, or you can mix it with yogurt to taste it better. This way, you will have both a nutritious and balanced diet.

Always remember that the food value should remain intact whichever way you consume it. Having peanut butter with milk will improve bone health and help properly function the immune system.

4. What Are the Dangers of Peanut Butter?

Along with its benefits, your tastiest peanut butter poses health risks, but the risks depend entirely on the level of our intake. Some drawbacks possessed by peanut butter are:

4.1 Peanut allergy:

Some people have allergies to peanuts. So, those who have peanut allergies should avoid a peanut butter diet. You can use substitutes instead. You should also avoid eating nuts.

4.2 High-fat content:

Peanuts are a rich source of heart-healthy fats, but peanut butter contains saturated fats like palm oil, Vanaspati, and fatty acids as the primary fats.

The saturated fats mix with the blood and thus thicken the blood-carrying arteries, thus reducing blood flow to the heart. This leads to heart disease.

More fat gets deposited in the muscles and tissues of adults, resulting in weight gain.

4.3 High-calorie content:

Peanuts have high-calorie content, which is also in the peanut butter diet. Calorie in limited quantity is good, but high calorie leads to weight gain, thus causing health-related problems.

4.4 High cholesterol:

Peanuts are known for high cholesterol. Those who have heart-related problems should have peanut butter in limited quantities.

Cholesterol is basically of two types: Good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.

The body needs good cholesterol, and the right amount of good cholesterol doesn’t affect much, whereas bad cholesterol harms the human body. Bad cholesterol brings several heart-related problems with it, thus risking heart health.

4.5 Deficiency of other minerals:

Peanuts as well as peanut butter both contain magnesium in adequate amounts. It is good, but the human body also needs other types of minerals. Peanut butter is incapable of providing those minerals.

A balanced diet is necessary for organs to function properly. So, having a single type of mineral disturbs this balance.

5. Does Peanut butter work regarding weight loss?

Many of you might be wondering why I put this question separately. Though we have discussed this several times regarding peanut butter, this particular doubt needs special attention.

Most of our body functions are associated with body weight in one way or another. When your body weight is under control, everything is in your control. Once you know the mantra of maintaining weight, you are already a step ahead in fitness management.

The fundamental of weight loss is “right food: right quantity.” Whatever you eat, eat the right amount. Don’t overeat, not too little.

Peanut butter, you should always consume a 2- tablespoon serving. This much butter is loaded with 200 gm calories and 16 grams of fat — primarily unsaturated parts essential for the body. The right amount of peanut butter gives you the stamina to do any work.

You should always check the unsalted version of peanut butter because you are trying to lose weight. Right!

Obesity or weight gain not only makes you lazy, but you also lose stamina easily. Obesity makes you prone to deadly diseases; your heart doesn’t function properly and results in coronary heart disease.

Research shows that those who eat a peanut butter diet or nuts, in general, have reduced cases of coronary heart disease.

6. What should we eat if we are allergic to peanut butter or can’t eat peanut butter?

Those who yearn for delicious nut butter but can’t have it. No need to worry at all! Several nut butter substitutes available in the market are equally tasty and nutritious.

Some even have the same nut composition as peanut butter. But before having this nut butter, always check whether you are allergic to the nut butter or not. Sometimes you can even eat this nut butter and peanut butter just for a change of taste.

Below is a list of other nut butter. Just check them once and eat whichever you like.

6.1 Almond butter:

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By: Cegli on Shutterstock Copyright 2022

The almond species is native to Iran and surrounding countries but widely cultivated worldwide.

Nowadays, California almonds are also famous for their nutritional value. Almonds have high nutritional value, so they are loved by people. The fats and carbs are perfectly balanced, providing the right nutrition.

They also like peanut butter, which has vitamin E, which improves skin. Additionally, it has cholesterol-reducing capacity and omega-3s- 3s, which peanuts lack.

6.2 Walnut butter:

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By: Madele on Shutterstock Copyright 2022

Walnut is an edible seed that people usually prefer as a snack. Walnuts are a rich source of proteins, dietary fibers, and carbohydrates that provide energy and help perfect bowel movements.

One interesting thing regarding walnuts is that they are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid), which are good for health and don’t contain oleic acid. That’s good!

6.3 Macadamia nut butter:

Macadamia nuts are enriched with minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, etc. It also contains essential vitamins like vitamin B6 and other B vitamins. These nuts are found in Queensland and South Wales specifically.

This nut has a drawback also. Unlike other nuts, this nut has a high fat and less protein content. They also have a high monosaturated fat content, which is not good for the body. So you should be careful while eating this nut.

7. Is peanut butter good for your health?

I have already provided all the other details, and now it’s time to answer the most wanted question you have regarding peanut butter. Is it a myth that peanut butter is unhealthy, or is it true? Does it contain both bad and good qualities? Now answer it yourself!

As peanut butter’s benefits were already discussed earlier, we know that to get healthy, we should eat peanut butter so that its good things benefit us. One survey on eating nuts and inflammatory markers in type 2 diabetes was done earlier.

Nut consumption, specifically peanut butter, was found to improve fasting and after-meal glucose levels. It’s healthy, then. Right?

Let’s come to the other point. Is it unhealthy? Peanut butter has a couple of grams of saturated fats in vegetable oils, which is not good. It also contains more sodium than potassium, which is not at all good for high blood pressure patients.

But does that make it bad? This answer lies in respective food habits. A little peanut butter doesn’t affect much. But when you eat it in large quantities, it poses a high risk. Have your tasty peanut butter but wisely.

It depends on us whether peanut butter is healthy or not. Nothing is healthy or unhealthy until we make it. So it is in our hands to understand our body functioning and have this.

So next time, while munching your favorite sandwich with peanut butter, keep these points in mind. You will enjoy having it.

Bottom line

I hope this guide clears all your queries on whether peanut butter is healthy or not. And if there is anything else you would like to know regarding peanut butter, feel free to connect with us in the comment section.

Happy reading!!

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