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Why I love peanut butter (and you should too!)

Who doesn’t love peanut butter? I do! So much so that years ago my mom doctored up this Baby Blues cartoon and sent it to me. She used to hide it when I went to visit. (Honestly? I think she still does but claims she just ran out of it.) Yes, I love it that much.

Peanut butter culprit-mom

Peanut butter. It’s so, so good. And so good for you! In fact, it has a whole day devoted to it—there is a National Peanut Butter Day celebrated every January. 

Shunned for years by people trying to manage weight, peanut butter can actually help in a weight management program. Unlike carbohydrates which are digested quickly, the fat and protein in it slows digestion giving the sense of fullness.

Have you ever eaten a plain bagel (pure refined carbs) yet start looking for something to eat an hour later? If instead you ate just half the bagel with a nice smear of peanut butter, the sensation of hunger would not have returned nearly so quickly.

Look at the nutrition facts of creamy peanut butter…

Per 2-tablespoon serving:

  • Calories: 190
  • Protein: 7g
  • Fat: 16g (sat fat 3g)
  • Cholesterol: 0g (like all plant products, peanut butter is naturally cholesterol free)
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
    • Fiber: 2g
    • Sugar: 3g

Similar to other nut butters, peanut butter has a high percentage of fat. However, nearly 75 percent are the heart healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats— and over 50 percent mono. Nice!

High fat foods often come with high calories. However those calories in peanut butter are paired with many nutrients—protein, magnesium, niacin, phosphorous, vitamin E, and fiber. And the best part is you will feel fuller longer because of the protein and fat.

So, is this nut butter healthy to eat? Yes, it is! However caution—too much of a healthy food can be unhealthy. Just remember that serving size matters, especially when it comes to food with heavy amounts of fats. (Check out this blog post Yes, you can overeat ‘good for you’ foods)

Shopping tip: When buying peanut butter, there are a few things you should be careful of. Make sure the brand you buy does not have added sugar, partially hydrogenated oils or a high level of sodium. Natural peanut butter is the best way to go because it’s simply peanuts and a little bit of salt.

Watch the video and/or read the transcription on the importance of controlling portion sizes. Again, remember, too much of a healthy thing is not healthy.

Video Transcription

I wanted to do this video because I wrote a blog about portions of foods that we might eat a little bit too much of, for example, peanut butter. And I wanted to show an example of what one tablespoon looked like versus two.

When eating peanut butter, it’s important to know when you eat a tablespoon, you should have a level tablespoon. Two tablespoons of peanut butter is about 190 calories. So this is an example of what one tablespoon of peanut butter looks like, smeared on a slice of bread. It’s a very very thin smear, as you can see. If you put it on a little bit thicker, that’s about two tablespoons.

1 level tablespoon peanut butter

1 level tablespoon peanut butter

2 level tablespoons of peanut butter

2 level tablespoons peanut butter

 

So consider how much you put on a piece of bread and the difference between these is going to be nearly 100 calories. Think about how much you’re portioning onto the foods you’re eating, and consider your weight management program. If however, weight is not an issue, nothing to worry about.


Special thanks to Caitlin Marek for assistance with this blog including content and video transcription!

Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach
NeilyonNutrition.com
For a 30-minute complimentary Ditch Dieting Forever Strategy SessionBOOK NOW!
@JenniferNeily

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17 Responses to Why I love peanut butter (and you should too!)

  • I love mixing peanut butter in my oatmeal! It adds protein and makes it taste delicious!!

  • I eat two tablespoons straight off the spoon! I don’t feel hungry for hours. As a matter if fact if i do this around noon time, some times i’m not really hungry at 6pm!

  • I love peanut butter, but don’t eat it that often. I have been tracking what I eat for a few years now. I used to not have any problems getting enough fat into my diet. I was sitting here thinking, I need a little more fat and a few more calories (to round out my meals/snacks for the day). I remembered my peanut butter and, at first, only added 1 tbsp., looked at how it changed the amount of daily fat and calories for the day. I realized that I could do a full serving so, I added the additional tbsp. I don’t keep a lot of nuts, seeds, and similar items in the house because I tend to go through them too fast. Well, it’s just the cashews. I prefer the cashews over any of the others, like peanuts (unless it’s in a homemade trailmix), but cashews are expensive. So, I figure I should get back to eating some peanut butter.

  • I am on a prediabetes diet, with 117 bad cholesterol which is high. I usually eat 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter almost everyday. Should I stop the 2 tablespoons? Thank you for your comments.

  • Iam only here coZ I finished three large peanut butter jars , I thought I was alone but now I know iam not , in fact il go eat something healthy together with the peanut butter.

  • I love peanut butter! It goes with almost anything! Peanut butter and jelly peanut butter and banana peanut butter and marshmallow cream peanut butter and cream cheese peanut butter and American cheese hey it’s really good this one’s going to sound weird but it actually has roots in Asian food I make up my tuna fish salad which is very good put it on a piece of bread and put peanut butter on the other bread sounds weird but all the time so don’t freak out I absolutely love it it’s one of my favorite sandwiches. I’m addicted!

  • I love peanut butter straight out of the jar too! Just give me a big spoon! Who knew there was a blog about peanut bufter? On celery or apples thank you

  • Love 1 tbs of peanut butter in my 0 percent Greek yogurt with a few walnuts and a banana
    Delish!!!

    • Oh that’s a good one Diana! I will have to try. I usually have Greek yogurt, walnuts, some fruit on hand, and a sprinkle of Kashi GoLean but will give this a try! Thanks!

  • Natural crunchy peanut butter mixed with raw honey -taste is out of this world!

    • But it doesn’t even need to be natural or raw honey! Just crunchy (smooth will work if your desperate) pb and honey! #todiefor! -Neily 🙂

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