Friday Feature: The Health Benefits of Peanut Butter

Did you know that peanuts are not even a nut at all, but that they are actually legumes?  Peanut butter is packed with good nutrition that can easily be incorporated into your snack and meals. There is a common misconception that PB should be avoided because of its high fat content and the amount of calories it contains.  However, the following health benefits would indicate that PB, eaten in moderation, might just do our bodies some good!

1.  PROTEIN is present in high amounts when it comes to peanut butter.  This means that peanut butter can help us to fill fuller longer, it can help build & repair muscle tissue, and assist in all other protein-related functions that take place in our bodies!

2.  PB surprisingly contains FIBER (probably because it’s in the legume family)!   Fiber helps in regulating both blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  It also helps regulate your digestive system by promoting healthy bowel movements (did I really just write that!?!), and also keeps you fuller longer (like protein).

3.  We find the HEALTHY FATS in PB!  Surprisingly enough, PB can be compared to olive oil in that they both contain the same ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats.  These healthy fat levels can help lower your risk of developing heart disease (by keeping bad cholesterol levels down) and type 2 diabetes.

4.  There are other IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS found in PB.  You will find varying amounts of niacin, vitamin E, calcium, copper, potassium, iron, and magnesium in PB.  There is also the presence of resveratorol which has anti-microbial properties that help the body to effectively deal with bacteria!

So!  It looks like PB is a GREAT food to add to our menus!  People have asked me what kind of PB to buy.  I suggest buying natural PB (I buy mine freshly made from the health food store) as the nutrients are much more prevalent.  However, reduced fat brands of PB are great too!

Because peanut butter is so calorie dense, we should not eat it be the cup-fulls!  A good amount of PB to have daily is approximatley 1 – 2 tablespoons.  Some ways to eat your peanut butter might include:

  • PB on toast.
  • PB & jelly sandwich.
  • PB on a rice cake (I LOVE this on the chocolate rice cakes!).
  • PB on celery.
  • PB on apple slices.

PB can really be incorporated to nearly any fat loss program.  However, once again, because it is calorie dense it is cruicial to meaure out your portion because getting just a little extra can add a lot of calories to your menu that will negate all fat loss efforets.  You MUST go check out this video that my friend Dan created!  He & I work together and we have a blast!  He made this video one day after we discovered the measuring mistake (thus the lack of fat loss) by one of our clients.  So, after you watch this video I am quite convinced that you will be sure to measure your peanut butter each time you pull the jar out!

Video:  Love the Peanut Butter

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