Ask Will. Is Peanut Butter Good For You?
I’m not sure about peanut butter. Is it healthy for you? I’ve heard that it is, and I’ve also heard that it’s not.
Thanks for any insights you can offer.
Peanut butter is a total health food. And, as a food, it’s like blood type O, it goes goes with practically everything!
It’s awesome for a weekday breakfast, along with a piece of fruit: banana, apple, or even a pear (orange is the exception to THAT little rule). The nice thing about the peanut butter, too, is that it helps lower the glycemic index blabbitty blah of whatever you eat with it.
In other words, if you put it on a banana, an apple, or even a piece of bread, the healthy fats and fiber helps your insulin/blood sugar stay balanced!!
And this makes it as good for your blood sugar as it is for your heart. But don’t take my word for it, see what the Harvard School of Public Health has to say!
A typical 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter has 3.3 grams of saturated fat and 12.3 grams of unsaturated fat. That puts it up there with olive oil in terms of the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat.
Dr. Walter Willett notes that saturated fat isn’t the deadly toxin it is sometimes made out to be. The body’s response to saturated fat in food is to increase the amounts of both harmful LDL and protective HDL in circulation. In moderation, some saturated fat is okay. Eating a lot of it, though, promotes artery-clogging atherosclerosis, the process that underlies most cardiovascular disease.
Peanut butter also gives you some fiber, some vitamins and minerals (including potassium), and other nutrients. Unsalted peanut butter has a terrific potassium-to-sodium ratio, which counters the harmful cardiovascular effects of sodium surplus. And even salted peanut butter still has about twice as much potassium as sodium.
Numerous studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat nuts. Although it is possible that nut eaters are somehow different from, and healthier than, non-nut eaters, it is more likely that nuts themselves have a lot to do with these benefits.
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