Saturday 18 May 2024
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Is Peanut Butter Good or Bad for Health?

Peanut butter is one of the most popular spreads in the world. It has a fantastic texture, it tastes great, and there is just something about how it sticks to the roof of the mouth before it melts that makes it awesome. At least that is how most peanut butter connoisseurs would likely describe it.

However, some people are allergic to peanuts and can never enjoy them. In fact, some are so allergic to peanuts that a peanut could literally kill them.

What’s Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is, to a great extent, an unprocessed food. It’s basically peanuts that have been roasted and ground into a thick, sticky paste. However, this often does not apply to most commercial peanut butter brands, as most of them contain various added ingredients like vegetable oils, trans-fats, and sugar. Instead of buying junk food, why not get real peanut butter containing nothing but peanuts and a little salt? The effects eating peanuts has on health are almost similar to those peanut butter presents, considering that the butter is basically peanuts that have been ground into a paste.

It is a Good Source of Protein

Peanut butter is a reliable energy source that provides all of the three main macronutrients. A one hundred gramme portion of peanut butter contains:

  • Carbohydrates: 20g of carbs (13 per cent calories) of which 6 are fibre.
  • Proteins: 25g of protein (15 per cent calories) which is more than enough compared to what most plant foods have to offer.
  • Fats: 50g of fat, which totals to about 72 per cent of the total calories.

While peanut butter is quite rich in proteins, it is low in methionine, an essential amino acid.

Peanuts are members of the legume family, which includes lentils, beans, and peas. Compared to animal protein, legume protein is generally lower in cysteine and methionine.

Low in Carbs

One hundred per cent pure peanut butter contains no more than 20 per cent carbs, making it a great low-carb food. At the same time, it is worth noting that it doesn’t increase blood sugar rapidly, making it an excellent option for people with type 2 diabetes. A study conducted recently shows that women who used peanut butter at least five times a week were at a 21 per cent reduced risk of contracting type-2 diabetes.

High in Healthy Fats

Considering that peanut butter is rich in fats, a 100g portion of the butter contains about 588 calories, which is rather hefty.

Despite having a high-calorie content, eating reasonable amounts of whole peanuts or pure peanut butter is okay when you are on a weight loss diet. Half the fat found in peanut butter is basically oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat present in olive oil. It is worth noting that the butter also contains substantial amounts of linoleic acid, a vital omega-6 fatty acid that is quite abundant in vegetable oils.

According to some studies, consuming more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 could increase your risk of contracting chronic disease and inflammation.

Peanut Butter Is Quite Rich in Minerals and Vitamins

Peanut butter is quite nutritious. A single 100g portion of ground peanuts provides many minerals and vitamins including:

  • Niacin or Vitamin B3: 67 per cent of the recommended daily intake
  • Vitamin B6: 27 per cent of the recommended daily intake
  • Vitamin E: 45 per cent of the recommended daily intake
  • Folate: 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake
  • Copper: 24 per cent of the recommended daily intake
  • Manganese: 73 per cent of the recommended daily intake
  • Magnesium: 39 per cent of the recommended daily intake

Peanut butter also contains high levels of biotin and decent amounts of potassium, iron, selenium, vitamin B5, and selenium.

The Bottom Line

Peanut butter has lots of benefits, but it does still have a couple of negatives.

It is a decent source of protein and is relatively rich in nutrients. It also gets loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre in the IBC pumps. However, this is not that significant when you think about its high-calorie load. It is worth noting that peanut butter is also a potential source of aflatoxins that could affect your health negatively in the long run.

While you should not make peanut butter a staple in your diet, it is still okay to eat it every once in a while in small amounts. The biggest issue with peanut butter is that it is so hard to resist.

Reasonable consumption of the butter will not have any significant effects on your health as long as you avoid sugary soda, foods full of trans fats, and highly-processed foods.