Peanut butter is a widely loved food across the world. But, people consume it without actually thinking about what’s inside it and if it’s healthy for them.
Have you been wondering about this lately?
Let’s answer the question of if peanut butter is healthy for you.
Who Invented Peanut Butter?
First, let’s talk about who invented this widespread delicacy.
It can first be traced back so far as to the Aztecs and Incas. They smashed peanuts into a paste but did not have any other additives.
The true inventor of this spread, however, is Marcellus Gilmore Edson. Edson patented a roasted peanut paste in 1884. Then, in 1895, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented a peanut butter made from raw peanuts instead of roasted. He targeted peanut butter as an easy nutrient for patients without teeth.
While these two men launched the start of peanut butter, Dr. Ambrose Straub made the process easier by using a machine in 1902. 20 years later, a chemist named Joseph Rosenfield refined the recipe by smoothing it out and perfecting the art of making the oil not separate from the peanut butter.
In 1932, this same chemist created the well-known Skippy peanut butter.
What Is Peanut Butter Made Out Of?
Peanut butter is–not surprisingly–made out of peanuts!
Peanut butter, in its most basic form, is just ground peanuts that form a paste. Over the years, people have enhanced this recipe by using different additives, sugars, oils, and salt to increase the taste and consistency.
You can even easily make your own peanut butter recipe at home. All you need is to ground up peanuts in a food processor for a few minutes. After it’s ground up, you can add a little bit of salt to taste and whatever other additives you wish.
Is Peanut Butter Healthy?
Now to answer the question.
Peanut butter is healthy, but only in moderation. If taken in excessive amounts, it can cause side effects and lose its health benefits. However, if it is used in proper amounts it can be a good addition to your healthy diet.
The fats in peanut butter can help you stay fuller longer.
Contrary to popular belief, the fats in this spread aren’t actually bad for you when it’s taken in moderation. Adding peanut butter to your afternoon snack can prove to keep you full until your next meal. Your want to eat more will go away because it tricks your brain into thinking you ate a larger amount of food. In reality, it was a few tablespoons of peanut butter.
Since this will decrease your intake of food, it will increase your likelihood of losing weight.
Because peanut butter is high in magnesium and potassium, it increases muscle development. The protein level in peanut butter is also high. Protein is a necessary component if you are wanting to build muscle.
Because of this, peanut butter is a great option for bodybuilders and those who may need to repair damaged muscles.
Peanut butter contains monounsaturated fats which promote good heart health.
These fats replace unhealthy fatty acids and decrease your bad cholesterol levels as a result. This is much better than eating unhealthy fats that can cause harm to your health. Eating these healthy fats also reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes.
If you are worried about your heart, adding peanut butter to your diet can be a good option for you.
Stabilizing Blood Sugar
Including peanut butter in your diet can also result in a lower blood sugar level. It can also prevent blood sugar spikes if that is something you are concerned about.
Peanut butter is by no means going to heal all your problems, but it can aid in the process and promote good health.
What are the Risks?
There are primarily no risks to eating peanut butter, however, there are risks to eating too much of it.
Like most foods, too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. Peanut butter is no different.
It is very important that you know if you have a peanut allergy before consuming peanut butter. In some cases, peanut allergies can be deadly and even the smell of the spread can cause a reaction.
If you are concerned that you have a peanut allergy, you should consult with your doctor right away
While peanut butter can help you lose weight because it makes you fuller, it can also make you gain weight if you consume too much of it. If you do not monitor how much you are eating, you can eat too much of it. Even though it is a small substance, it has a lot of peanut butter calories.
It is important to check the back of the peanut butter container and see the ingredients. Be aware of any unhealthy added sugars and trans fats that could be harmful to your health.
If you are not careful, you can overload on sugars, fats, and salt. In large amounts, these can be dangerous to your health.
Always check the ingredients and be careful about how much you are consuming.
What Kind of Peanut Butter Should I Eat?
Luckily, there are many stores and places you can find peanut butter at. There are also many different brands and types, whether you want crunchy peanut butter, extra crunchy, smooth, or extra smooth.
There’s peanut butter out there for everyone, no matter who you are and how picky you may be.
If you can’t find one that you like in stores, you can find more here at American Dream Nut Butter.
But while there are many places to choose from, you have to be careful what you buy. There are a few things you should look out for when buying peanut butter.
No Added Sugars
Raw peanut butter is great in its most natural form–just peanuts. There shouldn’t be any need for you in your diet to choose one that has more added sugar. This could be dangerous to your health if you are trying to stay away from sugar, and it could cause you to gain weight.
Always check the back label to see what sugars have been added to the peanut butter and if they are natural or artificial.
You should make sure whatever brand and kind of peanut butter you choose is organic. This means you won’t be eating peanut butter that has come from a farm that sprays its plants with pesticides.
By choosing organic peanut butter, you eat healthier and safer!
No Added Oils
Your peanut butter shouldn’t have any added oils in it either. Many brands like to add hydrogenated oils to make their peanut butter more smooth, but they don’t actually need to.
The hydrogenated oils only make it more unhealthy and can increase your cholesterol. It can be easy to buy brands with these oils because it helps the oil not separate in the container. But while it’s easy, it won’t be good for your health in the long run. Taking the harder path for better results is always a good choice.
Less is More
In peanut butter, the fewer ingredients the better. The more ingredients you see on a container, the less natural it probably is.
Ideally, you should really only want to see two ingredients on there, the first being peanuts. A second ingredient could be salt for a bit more taste, but good peanut butter companies manage to make those spreads amazing with just peanuts.
If you see tons of ingredients on the container, put it down.
Don’t take everything you see on the front label for truth. Even if the front label says it’s natural, most of the time, it might not be. If the peanut butter has more than peanuts and salt in it, more than likely it is not truly natural.
How Can I Incorporate Peanut Butter Into My Diet?
Peanut butter can be incorporated into your diet in so many different areas.
First, it makes a great way to snack. Whether it’s just taking a spoonful, or adding it to your pretzels and celery. Peanut butter can make great for dipping fruit in too as a healthy and hearty option.
If you don’t like to eat peanut butter straight, you can add a scoop of it to your smoothies and shakes for extra protein. This will disguise the peanut butter taste a bit more but still give you the health benefits you need.
You can use peanut butter on sandwiches (like the famed peanut butter and jelly sandwich) and make them healthier by using a natural and organic spread.
The possibilities are endless, and you can experiment with what you like best.
Peanut butter is a great addition to your diet within moderation, and now we’ve answered the question for you of is peanut butter healthy. If you haven’t thought about adding it to your diet plan, go ahead and do so!
There’s no reason you can’t put a little extra nutrition into your meals and snacks.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, take a look at our other articles on our food page today!