Everything you need to know about Peanut Butter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know about you but I’ve always thought peanut butter was a kind of treat food, I associated it with the likes of chocolate spreads and I’ve only ever eaten it in Reese’s Pieces, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or Peanut Butter M&Ms (can you see a trend here…) and I’ve never dreamed of trying a peanut butter and ‘jelly’ sandwich. However I’ve recently learned that peanut butter can be good for you, and I’ll tell you exactly why.

Of course big processed brands of peanut butter aren’t especially good for you because they have a lot of added ingredients, but we have a great range of organic peanut butters that are made with just peanuts, keeping additives to an absolute minimum or none at all!

Nutrition
Now, it’s true that peanut butter contains fat, but there is such a thing as good fat – exactly the type in peanut butter. It’s full of unsaturated fats and has a high level of monounsaturated fat, and according to a recent study insulin-resistant adults who ate a diet that is high in these kinds of fats had less belly fat than those who ate higher levels of carbohydrates or saturated fats. High quality whole food peanut butters are packed full of essential nutrients such as Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin B6 which is good for your immune system, and potassium, and every 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contains 7g of protein making it a good morning snack choice.

Health
Because of the nutrients found in peanut butter, it helps reduce the risk of various chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. What’s more, a study was done by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard Medical School which showed that girls between 9 and 15 who regularly ate peanut butter were 39 percent led likely to develop benign breast disease by 30. Now I’m not saying that only eating peanut butter will reduce these risks, just that it will help to reduce the risks as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Weight loss
While peanut butter is not a low calorie food, it can actually help with weight loss because it has 2g of fibre and 8g of protein per serving, keeping you fuller for longer, plus it has a sugary taste that can keep cravings at bay! Research from Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that people eating moderate-fat items – like peanut butter – were generally able to stay on a diet longer and keep weight off for a longer period of time than those who ate a low fat diet, now isn’t that good news for the new year!

Not only is Peanut Butter gluten free, most brands are suitable for vegans – perfect if you’re participating in Veganuary!

Edit:
After a conversation with one of our customers who is sadly allergic to nuts, we thought adding some handy alternatives would be of use. Wowbutter‘s clever soy alternatives (available in both smooth and crunchy!) are made in a facility free of all tree nuts, and Meridian have a couple of delicious savoury spreads – their sunflower seed butter and Pumpkin Seed Butter are both favourites of ours!

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  • Leanne J

    Peanut butter is also great for fitness and strength training – but although it’s packed with protein, be mindful of its fat content. Fat isn’t ideal for pre-workout because it takes longer to digest, but this is perfect for post workout or healthy snacks! It also works well adding a couple of spoons of peanut butter into a protein shake – try peanut butter banana and thank me later 😀

    Protein ball snack idea: Mix together a cup each of peanut butter, honey, and your choice of protein powder (vanilla or chocolate work well). Then stir in up to 4 cups of dried fruit, dark chocolate bits, grains, or nuts—sunflower seeds, chopped almonds, oats, raisins, cranberries, oat bran and flaxseed are all great. (If the mix is too dry, add more honey; too wet, add more dry ingredients.) Roll the dough, break into bite-sized balls, and chill in the fridge until ready to eat.

    I also love the range of alternative nut butters on here – almond, hazelnut or cashew butter is brilliant and a nice change if you can’t have peanut.

  • Wendy Ely

    I too love peanut butter with banana. It even makes tofu delicious! Blitz together tofu and bananas, then stir in some Suma organic crunchy unsalted peanut butter. Try not to eat it all before you’ve spooned it into pots, add cocoa if you “need” it. It freezes well, for easy breakfasts.

  • Cally Smith

    I just wanted to throw in another great and ethical reason NOT to buy any peanut butters that contain added oil. In most cases the added oil will be palm oil, which not only is extremely high in saturated fat but most importantly it is sourced from rainforest destruction. Palm oil is in lots of everyday products and is driving to extinction most animals of the rainforest. Even some very ethical butters sold in supermarkets still contain palm oil. Peanut butter needs NOTHING added!

  • Peter

    Reese’s peanut cups/ pieces etc. or any other product from the US made by Hershey usually contains around 3 GM ingredients. It is a pity that the author eats these and then comments on ethical eating.