Peanut butter is perhaps the most popular nut spread in the world. It has an appealing texture, tastes great and the way it melts in your mouth is truly wonderful. This is probably how most of the connoisseurs would describe this nutty spread, and they’d want to get every last bit from the jar – even resorting to an air operated diaphragh pump!
Yet, not everyone likes peanuts and some people are even allergic to them. In fact, peanut butter can be deadly for a small percentage of the world’s population.
What Exactly Is Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is one product that is relatively unprocessed. A good quality peanut butter simply contains peanuts, which are usually first roasted and then ground up until the mixture becomes a paste.
However, this is not applicable when it comes to most of the commercial peanut butter brands which contain other ingredients including vegetable oils (including palm oil), sugar and some brands even contain trans fats.
Instead of buying a brand that contains unnecessary and harmful ingredients, choose an authentic peanut butter that only contains peanuts along with a pinch of salt.
For general purposes, health effects associated with standard peanuts should, therefore, be very similar to peanut butter, as this product is essentially ground-up peanuts.
A Great Source of Protein
Peanut butter is classified as an energy source that is fairly balanced which supplies the three main macro-nutrients. In a 100 g portion of peanut butter you will find:
• Carbohydrate: 13% of calories, 20 g of carbs, 6 g of which includes fibre.
• Protein: 15% of calories, 25 g of protein which is quite high in comparison to other plant foods.
• Fat: 72% of calories, 50 g of fat.
Despite the fact that peanut butter contains a fair amount of protein, it has low amounts of an essential amino acid known as methionine.
Peanuts form a part of the family of legumes which includes lentils, peas and beans. The legume proteins are far lower in cysteine and methionine when compared to animal proteins.
Low in Carbohydrates
Peanut butter that is pure usually only contains 20% carbs, which makes this spread suitable for most low-carb diets.
Eating peanut butter also results in a much lower rise in your blood sugar, which is the ideal choice for individuals that have type 2 diabetes. One observational study revealed that women who consumed peanut butter five times a week happened to be at a 21% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Loaded with Healthy Fats
Since peanut butter has a high-fat content, a portion of 100 g contains around 588 calories. Even though the calorie content is high, eating whole peanuts or pure peanut butter is still healthy on weight-loss diets. Around 50% of fat present in peanut butter includes oleic acid, which is healthy monounsaturated fat also found in high concentrations in olive oils. Peanut butter also contains low amounts of linoleic acid, which is one of the essential omega-6 fatty acids which is abundant in the majority of vegetable oils.
Certain studies now suggest that taking in high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which is relative to omega-3, can elevate inflammation along with the risks of other chronic diseases.
Peanut Butter Contains an Average Amount of Minerals and Vitamins
Peanut butter is classified as fairly nutritious. In a 100 g portion, peanut butter manages to provide a variety of different minerals and vitamins which include:
• Vitamin B3 or Niacin: 67% of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)
• Vitamin B6: 27% of the RDA
• Vitamin E: 45% of the RDA
• Manganese: 73% of the RDA
• Folate: 18% of the RDA
• Copper: 24% of the RDA
• Magnesium: 39% of the RDA
Peanut butter also contains a decent amount of biotin along with adequate amounts of selenium, zinc, potassium, iron and vitamin B5.
There are many great things associated with peanut butter, yet there are a couple of negatives.
It contains a fair amount of nutrients and is a protein source that is decent. It also contains minerals, vitamins and fibre, yet this does not appear to be as significant if you take the high-calorie load into account.
On the negative, side it is one of the potential sources for aflatoxins, that are linked with harmful effects over the long run. Even though it is not recommended to consume peanut butter as one of your main food sources, it is still okay to eat it in smaller amounts.
The main issue relating to peanut butter has to do with how difficult it is to resist!
Peanut butter in moderation will usually not result in negative effects, provided you avoid those awful and dangerous foods like trans fats and sugary sodas, along with other junk food that has been highly processed.