Something that tastes so good, can it be that healthy also? Well, yes, as per the recent studies that recommend peanut butter as not just a good source of protein and beneficial fats but also a great food for weight loss. Peanut butter in its real and original form is nothing but peanuts that are roasted and ground. So effectively, the health benefits from peanut butter should also be equivalent to that of peanuts.
Nutritional content in peanut butter
Macronutrients in peanut butter:
|2 tablespoons||180-210||8 gm||7-8 gm||16 gm|
However as compared to the amount of calories in peanut butter which is about 580 in a portion of 100 gm, it relatively lacks the amount of nutrition as compared to other low calorie healthy foods.
How does peanut butter help in weight loss
Packed with about 180 to 210 calories in a serving of 2 tablespoons, it apparently may not come as one of the diet foods. However, its not only the nutritional content but also the finger licking taste of peanut butter that actually helps in weight loss. How? Well, the fibre and protein in peanut butter keep you satiated for long, along with the good taste which keeps the hunger pranks at bay.
When you are on a diet that contains food as tasty as peanut butter your taste buds are well satiated to control the unwanted food cravings helping you achieve your weight loss goals in the long run.
Other health benefits of peanut butter
- Peanut butter is a good source of protein: A serving of 2 tablespoons of peanut butter gives about 7-8 gm of protein. The protein density of peanut butter keeps you full for longer. It also helps in muscle building if you are on a workout regime.
- Peanut butter is heart friendly: Just like olive oil, peanut butter is dense in unsaturated fats which are known to improve your cardiovascular health when consumed in moderate quantities.
- Peanuts are a source of healthy fats: Your body needs some healthy fats to boost proper functioning of your health and metabolism for which peanut butter can act as a great source.
- Peanut butter can be combined with a variety of other foods: The rich taste of peanut butter can be combined with several other healthy foods of your choice as per your diet program to make a delicious meal while you stick to your diet.
- Peanut butter contains some amount of fibre: Fibre gives you a feeling of satiation or fullness and also helps with regularization of metabolism. Although the fibre content of peanut butter is somewhat less, about 2 grams in a serving of 2 tablespoons, it does help in the long run.
- Peanut butter is a quick energy booster: Peanut butter provides you with much needed energy or calories which can be obtained quickly on the go, along with quality protein. Peanut butter is easy to carry while you travel and also quite cost effective as compared to other sources of quality protein and calories which are especially required to fuel your workout.
There are several types of peanut butter available in the market today. To make a decision in buying you must go through the list of contents specified on the pack. Generally the commercial brand peanut butters have sugar and oil added to them.
- All natural peanut butters: These are traditional ones with sugar and palm oil added to them. These are relatively unprocessed or less processed as compared to the other types of peanut butter. If the consumption is in moderation i.e. 2 tablespoons a day the added sugar and salt don’t make much of a difference.
- Reduced-fat or low fat peanut butters: In order to reduce the amount of fat which is naturally present in peanuts, the peanut in the mixture is replaced with sugar, making it less nutritious. Not only fat but also the other vital nutrients naturally found in peanut butter are lost due to such replacement.
- Regular peanut butters: Regular peanut butters contain sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil like soybean oil, fully hydrogenated vegetable oil, salt. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is nothing but trans fat which has harmful effects when it comes to cardiovascular health. Even products labelled with zero trans fat have marginal amounts of trans fat.
All natural or organic peanut butter is relatively unprocessed and is the best option to minimize the intake of unwanted fats. Your second deciding factor should be sugar content specified on the label. Although sugar largely adds to the delicious flavour, brands with less sugar content should be preferred for regular consumption and optimum health benefits in the long run. Next factor is the amount of sodium, our body needs only about 200 mg of sodium per day, most of which already comes from the daily intake of salt. Excessive intake of sodium can cause water retention causing extra burden on blood vessels and heart to retain the water thus causing a risk of high blood pressure or stroke. Excessive sodium content can also decrease the nutty flavour naturally found in peanut butter.
Moderation is the key to maintain a healthy lifestyle and so is true for peanut butter. A serving of 2 tablespoons in a day should be the ideal amount of consumption to achieve optimum health benefits. With peanut butter in your diet it is recommendable to do some moderate amounts of exercise each day, as peanut butter is a food rich in calories.
Peanut butter is not recommended to those allergic to peanuts or children under 18 months, also pregnant or breast feeding mothers with a history of such allergies.
With the numerous health benefits that peanut butter offers, it of course is a healthy yet delicious diet food. When consumed in moderation, peanut butter is a great source of protein, good fats and an instant energy booster.[affegg id=1]