Have you stopped eating peanut butter due to its saturated fat content? Then it’s time to get the facts right. Before demystifying the myth, let’s first try to understand what exactly peanut butter is.
What Is Peanut Butter?
Peanuts are legumes, and peanut butter is made by processing these legumes. The first step in the commercial production of peanuts is to roast them. It is followed by blanching them in heat or water to get their skins removed. Subsequently, they are ground and take the form of a paste. To make the butter more tasty, oil, seasoning, sweeteners, and other ingredients are added to it.
Is It Healthy To Have Peanut Butter?
Many people stay away from peanut butter as it contains saturated fat. It is a completely wrong notion, as the mere presence of saturated fat does not make food unhealthy. Moreover, it is the whole package of nutrients that makes a food healthy, not just one or two contents.
Also, many foods that are considered healthy, such as olive oil, wheat germ, and even tofu, contain some amount of saturated fat.
Nutritional Profile Of Peanut Butter
One serving, i.e., 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, comes with 3.3 grams of saturated fat and 12.3 grams of unsaturated fat. To keep it simple, it makes up to 80% unsaturated fat. Thus, peanut butter is almost equivalent to olive oil in terms of the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat. Peanut butter also comes with some fiber, vitamins, minerals (including 200 milligrams of potassium), and other nutrients.
Unsalted peanut butter contains 5 milligrams of sodium and has a huge potassium-to-sodium ratio. On the other hand, salted peanut butter contains twice as much potassium as sodium. These numbers are far better in comparison to roast beef, bologna, and many other sandwich fixings.
Health Benefits Of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter comes with several unknown health benefits. Let’s delve deep into each of them.
🔹 Helps Control Appetite
Peanuts are a rich source of plant protein. Peanut butter, combined with its calorie and fat content, aids in controlling your appetite and keeping you fuller for a longer time. Thus, it is safe to have peanut butter in moderate quantities, i.e., about two tablespoons a day.
🔹 Cuts Down The Risk Of Diabetes
The main fat in peanut butter is oleic acid. It lowers your body’s insulin resistance, a condition that elevates blood sugar and makes you a diabetes patient. According to studies, the omega-6 content in peanut butter also offers the same benefit of curbing diabetes.
🔹 Offers Protection For Your Heart
The high monounsaturated fat content in peanut butter is good for your heart. According to researchers, insulin-resistant adults who followed a diet rich in monounsaturated fat had less belly fat when compared to people who consumed more carbohydrates or saturated fat.
Also, many studies have proved that people who eat peanut butter as part of their diets regularly are less likely to develop heart disease than those who rarely have it.
🔹 Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Peanuts come with high concentrations of polyphenolic antioxidants. It reduces the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines, thus reducing the risk of stomach cancer.
🔹 Other Benefits
Resveratrol, an antioxidant, is present in peanut butter in high quantities, thus providing protection against cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral and fungal infections. Apart from that, peanut butter cuts down bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases good (HDL) cholesterol.
It also boosts your immune system by acting as a shield against infectious agents. Furthermore, the magnesium present in peanut butter is essential for healthy nerves, blood, and bones; niacin aids digestion; and phosphorous helps in the proper functioning of your cells.
I hope you are now well-informed about the lesser-known benefits of peanut butter. However, peanuts are a common allergen, and you should stay away from them if you have an allergy to them. Also, while buying peanut butter, make sure that you check the labels for added sugar, salt, oil, and preservatives. It is always recommended to buy peanut butter made with as close to 100% peanuts as possible.