Peanut Butter Goodness…

Thursday May 13, 2010

A food paste or spread made by grinding roasted peanuts (as the dictionary defines it). It is know to have a relatively high level of fat and consequently is a high calorie food. It’s important to remember though that it provides protein, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and other micronutrients!

I believe that every person has one food obsession (some may have more than one ;)) Peanut butter is my little secret. When I heard that one of my favorite trainers also has a small affair with this creamy (or chunky) treat, I had to dedicate a post to it.  In our workouts my trainer would tell us her stories and encounters with peanut butter which I find to be very amusing…

Even though it’s high content of saturated fats, peanut butter is considered to be a relatively healthy food.  There has been some research done on peanuts and peanut butter which I found to be very interesting and would like to share some of the information with you.

Numerous clinical trials suggest that nut consumption promotes little or no weight gain.  This has been replicated with peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. This may be due to its strong satiety properties, and evoke strong energy compensation.

One study showed that there is limited bio-accessibility of the peanuts due to inefficient mastication and digestion.  This loss of energy likely contributes to the less than predicted effect of nut consumption on body weight (International Journal of Obesity, 2008).

Peanut butter contains fiber that helps regulate blood sugars levels (It is a low glycemic food), proteins are present in relatively high amounts (about 24% in weight), together with very important micro-nutrients such as Vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin B3 – helps in recovery of cell DNA damage, magnesium, and potassium.  Now about its fat content…Over 80% of the fat in peanut butter is unsaturated, which is heart healthy and, as with all plant foods, peanut butter contains no cholesterol!

The peanut butter that I’m talking about is the natural kind.  When you buy peanut butter at the grocery store look at the ingredients.  If it contains more than 2-3 ingredients you should rule it out. The more natural the peanut butter the more nutrients you will get out of it.  To get the most natural peanut butter I would suggest buying it in whole foods, or even making it at home.  All you need is peanuts and a food processor.

As with every food obsession, it is hard to control its consumption – It takes willpower for me to put away the container.  The recommended serving size for peanut butter is 2 tablespoons.  As with any other food, consuming too much is not “ok” because it’s considered a healthy food.  Moderating will give you a small indulgence with a lot of benefits!

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