Peanut butter: Benefits, calories and nutritional value
In addition to great taste in sandwiches and sweets, peanut butter also has substances that are very beneficial to health, such as protein, good cholesterol and fiber.
Peanut butter is one of the most popular foods with an average consumption of three pounds per American per year.
It is also one of the best and cheapest sources of protein that you can find on supermarket shelves.
Despite its nutritional benefits, peanut butter is high in fat and calories. Just two tablespoons provide at least a quarter of the recommended daily allowance of fat, and a small percentage of saturated.
In addition, as a processed form of pistachio, it is one of the eight most common food allergens in the United States, affecting 1.4% of the population (or approximately 4.6 million people).
Even so, the nutritional benefits of peanut butter often outweigh the consequences, especially for those who do not get enough protein in their diet.
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 2 tablespoons (32g) of peanut butter.
Calories: 190 kcal Fat: 16g Sodium: 140mg Carbohydrates: 8g Fibers: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 7g
Nutritional truths about peanut butter
One serving of peanut butter is two tablespoons (32 grams).
Like all other types of butter, peanut butter is high in calories and fat. But the good news is that it is rich in nutrients for such a small amount of food.
And, because peanut butter can make you feel full faster, you do not tend to eat too much.
Its consumption can be extremely beneficial for health, especially for the heart and the prevention of coronary heart disease.
Peanut butter has a relatively low carbohydrate content.
The carbohydrates in a serving of peanuts represent only 13% to 16% of their total weight, which corresponds to a glycemic index (GI) of only 14. This means that a serving of peanut butter is less likely to affect your blood sugar. than foods with a higher GI, such as white bread (75 GI per slice).
Most of the carbohydrates in peanuts are complex, the type that is gradually broken down to be metabolized.
While 16 grams of fat per serving may sound like a lot, most are “healthy” monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Only about 4% come from “unhealthy” saturated fats, the type that can cause atherosclerotic plaque and clog your arteries.
Monounsaturated fats in peanuts come mainly from oleic acid (which has a positive effect on cholesterol levels), while polyunsaturated fats come mainly from linoleic acid (which helps build muscle).
Peanut butter also contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and associated with a reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
However, some brands contain hydrogenated oils that stabilize peanut butter and prevent natural oils from separating and rising to the top.
Unlike monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, hydrogenated oil affects the level of lipids in the blood, causing the rise of “bad” LDL cholesterol and the fall of “good” HDL cholesterol.
Peanut butter is high in nutrients and can help you meet your recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamins and minerals.
It is rich in B vitamins, as well as essential minerals and antioxidants.
See how 32 grams of peanut butter contribute to the RDI of essential nutrients:
Copper: 43% of RDI Folic acid: 20% of RDI Iron: 22% of RDI Magnesium: 14% of RDI Manganese: 28% of RDI Potassium: 18% of RDI Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 17% of RDI Vitamin B3 (niacin): 25% of RDI Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 11% of RDI Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 9% of RDI Vitamin E: 18% of RDI Zinc: 10% of RDI
In addition to its nutritional value, peanut butter contains compounds that can potentially promote weight loss and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Weight loss
Peanut butter is believed to help with weight loss by causing premature satiety.
By reducing your appetite, peanut butter can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of obesity.
An eight-year study from Harvard University evaluated the medical history of more than 50,000 women and found that higher consumption of nuts corresponded to lower rates of weight gain and obesity compared to women who never ate nuts.
- Heart disease
Evidence that peanut butter or peanuts can reduce the risk of heart disease is controversial.
For its part, the FDA states that consuming 45 grams of nuts a day can be beneficial for the heart, but not that it could prevent heart disease. Some scientists disagree.
A review of studies from France in 2016 showed that an antioxidant in peanuts, known as resveratrol, can reduce cardiovascular inflammation and relax blood vessels, increasing circulation and lowering blood pressure.
It is also known to reduce the oxidation of LDL, which contributes to the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. These anti-atherosclerotic properties may have a cardioprotective effect if used as part of a low-fat diet in conjunction with daily exercise.
Peanut allergies are one of the most common and potentially dangerous food allergies, affecting at least 1% of the US population and 2% of children.
The risks are no less serious if you eat peanuts or peanut butter.
Peanut allergies can range from severe, mild to life-threatening.
In rare cases, it can lead to a whole-body reaction known as anaphylaxis, characterized by a severe rash or hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, rapid heartbeat, and swelling of the face, tongue, or throat.
If left untreated, anaphylaxis can lead to shock, coma, heart or respiratory failure and death.
Recipes and preparation
As a quick snack, peanut butter can be eaten alone or spread on a banana or cracker.
It is also delicious to mix in vanilla yogurt or smoothie.