Peanut butter is a hugely popular comfort food that is loved by both kids and adults. This tastier and more filling alternative to dairy butter is used not only as a spread, but is also an ingredient in many other snacks and desserts. But, is peanut butter is healthy?
Another related question: Is one brand of peanut butter the same as another?
The answers to these questions depend on which type of peanut butter you are using and how much of it.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of peanut butter: one, pure, or homemade peanut butter, and two, packaged peanut butter.
Most people, let’s assume over 99%, use store-bought peanut butter. The store-bought peanut butter contains not only peanuts but also sugar, salt, added oil, and some other stuff that is used in processed foods.
One popular brand of peanut butter contains the following ingredients: roasted peanuts, soybean oil, corn maltodextrin, sugar, salt, glycerides, and hydrogenated vegetable oil made from cottonseed and rapeseed oils.
Now consider this: natural peanut butter is supposed to have only one ingredient – roasted peanuts.
Nutrition-wise, peanuts contain protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin E. And most of all, peanuts contain fat, as high as 49%.
However, the fat in peanuts is a mix of saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly unsaturated, and as a combination, it is not so bad. Mono and polyunsaturated fats help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol in the body.
But imagine adding soybean oil and hydrogenated vegetable oils, sugar, and starch to a food product that is already 49% fat. Does that sound healthy to you?
If you read online expert opinions on the benefits and risks associated with the consumption of peanut butter, you will find this crucial piece of information missing in many of them. They do not say if the peanut butter they are referring to, is homemade or factory-processed.
For example, this reputed website mentions that a two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter can add over 200 calories and up to 18 grams of fat to your diet. It is, however, not clarified if they are considering the additives in the commercially produced peanut butter.
(Referred link: https://www.webmd.com/diet/peanut-butter-good-for-you#1)
It is safe to conclude that commercially produced peanut butter may not be as healthy as it is claimed to be, unless you are buying the one that contains 100% peanuts and nothing else.
Also, you would do well to limit the consumption of peanut butter because even if it contains a healthy mix of fatty acids, you are still consuming a food product that is almost 50% fat.
Make It Yourself
And if you love peanut butter, the least you can do is to make it yourself. All you have to do is to put some roasted peanuts in a food processor and run it for a few minutes. Yes, it is that simple. Once you taste homemade peanut butter, you will never wish to buy the commercially produced variety.
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