Peanut butter is delicious, but is it really good for you? It’s time to delve into your favourite snack spread.
There’s a kind of unwritten law in the fitness world: “must love peanut butter”. Peanut butter is one of the all-time favourite snacks of healthy eaters and fitness fanatics the world over. It’s versatile, cost effective, and so tasty. But is it really as healthy as the fitfam would like to believe?
7 Benefits of Peanut Butter
Whether you like it crunchy or smooth (I’m #TeamSmooth and I don’t care who knows it!), good quality peanut butter should be peanuts… and that’s it. None of this added sugar, added palm oil nonsense, thanks. The best peanut butter for a healthy diet contains 100% peanuts – and nothing else. That’s the recipe for the best tasting peanut butter with all the benefits of the actual peanuts and no unnecessary extras. After all, you don’t want extra oil, sugar, thickeners, or preservatives in your peanut butter do you?
100% natural peanut butter is a great source of nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins – but be aware of the high calorie nature of this moreish snack! In other words, if you can use self-control and eat peanut butter within your calorie goals, then it’s a great health food!
1.) Peanut butter is a good source of MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids), especially oleic acid, which can help lower LDL “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL “good cholesterol” level in the blood.
2.) Natural peanut butter contains B-vitamins including riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates, plus minerals including copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
3.) It is a good source of dietary protein with a range of amino acids, and of course it’s a vegan friendly plant protein source.
4.) Peanuts are high in polyphenolic antioxidants, including p-coumaric acid, which can limit the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach – beneficial for stomach health.
5.) Peanuts are also high in resveratrol, a polyphenolic antioxidant which can protect against viral infections, heart disease, and even some cancers.
6.) Resveratrol could also reduce your risk of stroke – it does this by changing some molecular mechanisms in your blood vessels and by increasing your body’s production of the vasodilator nitric oxide.
7.) 100% peanut butter is a good source of vitamin-E, a fat soluble antioxidant that helps protect the skin from harmful oxygen free radicals.
Peanut Butter Nutrition
If you choose a peanut butter that is just 100% whole peanuts (like ours!) then you will be getting all the healthy nutrition of peanuts – and nothing else.
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Calories in Peanut Butter
100g of peanut butter contains 564 calories, so make sure you keep an eye on portion control, and make it fit your macros! Remember that peanut butter is much easier to eat than whole peanuts, because it’s been ground down to a buttery paste that packs a lot of calories into its volume.
Check out the bottom of this post for our favourite recipes using 100% natural peanut butter – they will help you get the taste and health benefits without just eating it off the spoon (although that’s OK too, if it works for your diet!)
What’s The “Peanut Butter Diet”?
Yes, there really is something called the Peanut Butter Diet, a system that promises you can eat peanut butter every day and lose weight, improve health markers, and get healthier. We haven’t read it cover to cover, but it sounds similar to what lots of fitness fanatics do already. Eat some peanut butter every day, but make sure it fits your macros, and eat it within the context of a healthy, calorie-appropriate nutrition plan.
After all, there’s nothing magical about fitting peanut butter into your daily diet! We know that lots of you enjoy 100% natural peanut butter on the daily, either in your morning oats, on rice cakes, or on your mug cakes. If you’re feeling creative, check out the peanut butter inspired recipes here on The Core™!
Try These Delicious Peanut Butter Recipes!
There are dozens of recipes on The Core™ that feature peanut butter, here are some of our favourites (but we encourage you to have a scroll through!).
Peanut Butter Truffles
Peanut Butter Protein Cookies
Peanut Butter Chicken Strips
About the Author
Nicola Joyce has been writing for (and about) sport, fitness, nutrition and healthy living since 2004. She’s also a keen sportswoman: her background is in endurance sport but she now competes as a natural bodybuilder, most recently winning a world title with the INBF. When she’s not writing content, she can be found blogging. Follow her here www.nicolajoyce.co.uk and on Facebook & Twitter (@thefitwriter) too.