Peanut butter is one of the most famous spreads available all across the world. It tastes quite delicious and is simply amazing the way it sticks to the palette of your mouth much before it melts.
Do you already have experience?
It feels wonderful, isn’t it!
At Least that is how many butter lovers would describe.
Of course, not everyone loves eating peanuts. Yes! There are people who are highly allergic to peanuts and also for others; they can unquestionably kill someone for peanuts. But our question here is that is peanut butter unhealthy?
Want to know, let’s find out!
What Is Peanut Butter, exactly?
Peanut butter is considered to be an unprocessed food. It is comprised of peanuts only, generally roasted that are ground until they are converted into a paste. Moreover, this somehow does not implies some brands of the peanut butter that contains other ingredients as well as sugar, vegetable/edible oil and even trans fat.
Also, consuming too much of the added sugar, as well as the Trans-fat, has said to be linked to several health problems like heart diseases, weight gain and much more. So, rather than buying junk, consider buying standardized peanut butter. Remember with the term standardized we mean that it should contain nothing but peanuts and maybe a little salt, as well. For several purposes, the health effects of regular peanuts should similar to those of peanut butter, since it is important is just ground peanuts.
Peanut Butter Nutrition- Is it Healthy or not?
1. Peanut Butter is a Good Protein Source
Peanut butter is quite balanced when we compare it with other energy sources or supplements. It aims to provide you with all the three essential macronutrients. Somehow, a 100 gm portion of the peanut butter can provide you with the following nutrients:
- Carbohydrate: 20g of carbohydrates along with 13% of calories, six out of which are fiber.
- Protein: 25g of protein is equal to 15% of calories, which comparatively high when compared to other products or vegetables.
- Fat: 50g of fat has around 72% of calories.
Although peanut butter is highly rich in protein, it has a low amount of amino acids. Peanuts come from the family of legumes if talking a little technically. The legume family has several vegetables like beans, peas, and pulses as well. All legumes have lower contents of methionine and cysteine when we compare it to that of animal protein. So, if you blindly rely on the peanut butter or other legumes as the main source of the protein, deficiency caused due to low levels of methionine can be a real risk.
Secondly, the low levels of methionine consumption are also hypothesized to contain some health-related benefits as well. According to some research or studies, it has been observed that this extends the lifespan of the rats and mice, but it is somehow, unclear if it works in a similar way on humans.
2. It has Low Levels of Carbohydrates.
It is a well-known fact that pure peanut butter has around 20% of essential carbohydrates. This further makes it suitable for those who are looking for low-carb diet plans. It also provides you with a minimum rise in the levels of the blood sugar. Therefore, it is said to be the perfect options for the ones suffering from type-2 diabetes.
Also, according to an observation research work, it has been noticed that women who consumed peanut butter 5 times a week or more have around 21% of reduced risks of diabetes. Such benefits have also been partly provided by the oleic acid, which is one of the main fats available in the peanuts. The antioxidants available in the peanut also play the vital role and boost your immune systems.
3. It has High Levels of Healthy Fats
Yes, as a matter of fact, peanut butter has a very high fat content. About 100g portion tends to contain a hefty amount of calories that is around 588. Also, in spite of the high-calorie amount, consuming the moderate amount of peanut butter or a handful of peanuts is absolutely fine, especially if you want to lose weight.
Half of the fat content in peanut butter is actually made from the presence of oleic acid. This is, however, the healthier version of the monounsaturated fat content, which is found quite commonly in olive oil. Oleic acids have a number of health-related benefits like boosting the immune system, maintaining the sugar levels, and improving the insulin sensitivity in the body.
The butter is also known to contain some really important compounds like linoleic acid, omega-6 fatty acids and much more. The omega-6 fatty acids are also found abundantly in several vegetable or edible oils. Some recent studies suggest that consuming omega-6 fatty acids in excess as compared to omega-3 may increase the risk factors related to inflammation and can cause some severe chronic diseases.
Furthermore, not all researchers are convinced with this theory. The higher-quality of studies have shown that linoleic acid is responsible for increasing the blood levels of markers related to inflammation; however, this theory is also being doubted by many.
4. Peanut Butter Is Highly Enriched with Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Peanut butter is very nutritious. Around a 100g of the peanut butter tends to provide you with several vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin E :45%
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 67%
- Folate: 18%
- Vitamin B6: 27%
- Copper: 24%
- Manganese: 73%
Well, peanut butter is also high in elements like biotin and is known to have moderate amounts of vitamin B5, zinc and more. However, you need to be a little aware that this is just for the 100g portion, which tends to have around 588 calories as suggested by the studies. They say: Calorie for Calorie, peanut butter is not that nutritious when compared to the low-calorie vegetables like spinach, legumes or even broccoli.
5. It has High Amounts of Antioxidants.
Just like the other food or food-products, peanut butter also has more compounds than just minerals, fats, carbs and vitamins. Yes, it also contains a number of active nutrients, which have some amazing health benefits. Thus, that makes the peanut butter rich in antioxidants. It also has high amounts of p-coumaric acid which is known to reduce conditions like arthritis.
Furthermore, it also contains some resveratrol, and this element is linked with lowering down the risk of heart-related diseases and other chronic diseases in various animals. This element also has some other potential advantages, whereas evidence in humans is still in a limited amount.
6. Peanut Butter is a Potential Source of Aflatoxins
Although the peanut butter is highly nutritious, it may also contain some elements that can be a little harmful to your body. Well, when listing down the list, we can say that such elements are known as aflatoxins. Peanuts grow under the ground, where they are found in huge colonies formed by a ubiquitous mold known as Aspergillus. This mold, in particular, is the main source of aflatoxins, which are the potential source of carcinogenic compounds.
However, humans are resistant to the short-term side-effects of the aflatoxins, but what happens is due to consuming the compound more than the required amount. Some human research has shown the link of aflatoxin that may cause liver cancer or mental retardation in small kids. But, somehow there is some good news as well- that is according to a source, the processing of the peanut butter tends to reduce the levels of this harmful substance by 90%. In addition to this, the USDA monitors the accurate amounts of aflatoxins in the vegetables or other food products to ensure that they do not go over the recommended limits.
The Last Words
Well, there are a lot of merits of consuming the peanut butter, but just like any other food product, it has a few demerits as well.
Peanut butter as stated above is highly enriched in nutrients and protein too. It also contains a high amount of fiber, vitamins and essential minerals. However, it does seem to be as important when you move a little out of the box and consider the calories present in it. On the other hand, it is also the main source of aflatoxins, which is direct, linked some severe yet fatal effects in the long run.
So, you should not use peanut butter as a dominant ingredient in your diet. Somehow, it is fine to consume it every now and then in small portions. But the main problem with the peanut butter is that it is quite hard to be resisted by those who love eating it.
Also, if you consume peanut butter in small portions, it will not cause you any sort of harm. But, if you have a certain inclination to binge on it, then it is best to avoid it anyhow. In case you can keep the consumption moderate, by all means, then you can continue enjoying the peanut butter at any point in time.