One of the most popular spreads in the world is peanut butter. It has an amazing texture, tastes great, and the way it sticks to the roof of the mouth before melting is simply wonderful. At least, thatís how the vast majority of connoisseurs would describe it.
The fact is that not everybody can enjoy peanuts. Some are allergic to them, and for a small percentage of the population, they can literally cause death.
What is Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is simply just roasted peanuts that are ground until they form a paste. However, this does not apply to most commercial brands of peanut butter that contain several added ingredients like vegetable oils, sugar, and even trans fats.
A drum pump helps companies produce lots of peanut butter very quickly, but more doesn’t always mean better. Always buy real peanut butter rather than buying junk food. It should contain nothing besides peanuts and perhaps a bit of salt. The health effects of regular peanuts should, for all purposes, be almost identical to those of peanut butter because it is essentially ground peanuts.
It is an Excellent Source of Protein
Peanut butter is one fairly balanced source of energy that can supply all the 3 macronutrients. A 100g peanut butter portion contains:
- Protein: 25 grams of protein (15 per cent of calories), which is quite higher than many other plant foods.
- Carbohydrate: 20 grams of carbohydrates (13 percent of calories), of which 6 are fibre.
- Fat: 50 grams of fat, which totals about 72 per cent of calories.
While peanut butter is fairly rich in protein, it is low in methionine, which is an essential amino acid. Peanuts belong to the legume family that also includes lentils, peas, and beans. Legume protein is considerably lower in cysteine and methionine compared to animal protein.
Low in Carbohydrates
Pure peanut butter comprises just 20 percent carbs, which makes it ideal for a low-carb diet and causes a very low rise in the blood sugar level, which makes it an excellent option for people with Type 2 diabetes. According to the findings of an observational study, women that consumed peanut butter 5 times a week or more were at a 21 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
High in Healthy Fats
Peanut butter has a very high fat content, which means that just a 100- gram portion contains about 588 calories.
In spite of the high calorie content, it is perfectly fine to eat moderate amounts of whole peanuts or pure peanut butter on a weight-loss diet. Half of the fat in peanut butter is made up of oleic acid, which is a healthy type of monosaturated fat also found in olive oil in high amounts. Peanut butter also contains linoleic acid, which is an essential omega-6 fatty acid found abundantly in vegetable oils.
Peanut Butter is Fairly Rich in Minerals and Vitamins
Peanut butter is fairly nutritious. A 100-gram portion provides many minerals and vitamins:
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 67 per cent of the RDA
- Vitamin E: 45 per cent of the RDA
- Vitamin B6: 27 per cent of the RDA
- Copper: 24 per cent of the RDA
- Magnesium: 39 per cent of the RDA
- Manganese: 73 per cent of the RDA
- Folate: 18 per cent of the RDA
Peanut butter is also high in biotin and contains decent amounts of iron, vitamin B5, selenium, zinc, and potassium.
The Bottom Line
Peanut butter has many positives but a few negatives too. It is a decent source of protein and fairly rich in nutrients. It is also loaded with minerals, vitamins, and fibre, but this might not seem as significant when you consider the high calorie load.
Conversely, it is a potential source of aflatoxins that are associated with negative effects in the long run. While peanut butter should not be used as a dominant food source in your diet, it is probably okay to consume it every now and then in small quantities.
However, the main problem with peanut butter is that itís just too hard to resist. Consuming peanut butter in moderate quantities is unlikely to have any major adverse effects but only if you steer clear of truly bad foods like trans fats, sugary soda, as well as highly processed foods.