Does Peanut Butter Make You Fat?

Fitness experts have plenty to say about peanut butter. The delicious nutty cream has been hailed as being high in protein and naturally healthy just as many times as it is deemed full of sugar. With all the opinions out there, some people are wondering: does peanut butter make you fat? There is partial truth to most comments about peanut butter. But when it comes to finding out the truth, you have to look at all sides.

Several Types of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is made when roasted, de-germed nuts are ground into a paste. Traditional store bought options typically have additional ingredients like oils, sugar, and salt. These account for its smooth, rich taste that we love and help give the product a longer shelf life. In order to answer the question of does peanut butter make you fat, we have to start by looking at the three main types.

1.   Natural Peanut Butter

In theory, natural peanut butter should be nothing more than nuts, right? Wrong. Most natural peanut butters also contain sugar and palm oil. These ingredients may be naturally occurring and unprocessed, but the title of “natural” is misleading to consumers after the real fresh ground version.

2.   Regular Peanut Butters

Every day peanut butter contains processed oils, refined sugar, and molasses. Simply put, it’s not as good for you as one might think. These added ingredients hike up the calorie count and take away from the nutritional value of the product. So take in moderation.

3.   Reduced Fat Peanut Butters

Anyone in the fitness and healthy lifestyle niche will tell you that reduced fat peanut butters are anything but good for you. But you should know thatn by stripping away the natural good-for-you-fat that is derived from peanut butter, they also strip away nutritional benefits. 

Does Peanut Butter Make You Fat?

People might believe peanut butter makes you fat because it is high in calories. However, it is also high in a variety of vital nutrients such as protein, potassium, zinc, copper, and vtamin B and E. The addition of these different nutrients actually help control hunger and may cause you to eat less. Two other factors to consider are:

Satiation and Metabolism

By adding peanut butter to your diet regularly, you will be satisfied longer and therefore eat less. Individuals who consumed this product often also saw a slight increase in their metabolism. This news comes from a 2008 study from the Journal of Nutrition. Furthermore, a secondary study from 2010 in the British Journal of Nutrition noted that these benefits are derived whether you eat raw peanut or processed butter.

Moderation

No matter how healthy a food is, eating it in excess will lead to weight gain. A single serving of peanut butter contains around 200 nutrient-dense calories. Increasing peanut butter intake without increasing exercise can lead to weight gain. To prevent this, enjoy this substance in moderation.

Nutrition and Benefits of Peanut Butter

1.     It Has Good Fat

Not all fat in foods will make you gain weight. As we ask “does peanut butter make you fat?” we have to look at the type of fat that is in this product. Healthy fats such as the monounsaturated kind that is found in peanuts are linked to several health benefits. In moderation, peanuts have the ability to decrease heart health problems and the risk of diabetes.

2.   It Is Full of Nutrition

The simple truth is that peanut butter is chock full of nutrients the body needs. To start, there is a high level of B vitamins which provide a natural source of energy and boost the immune system. With 208mg of potassium, peanut butter can also prevent leg cramps after tough workouts and supports healthy muscle development. Lastly, it is a source of antioxidants like vitamin E and magnesium which supports bone health.

3.   It May Reduce Coronary Death

Heart health problems most commonly come from high cholesterol levels in the body. Individuals who ate peanut butter at least four times per week were 37% less likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who did not.

4.   It May Stop Alzheimer’s

In addition to supporting heart health, peanut butter is also able to prevent brain deterioration later in life thanks to its dosage of B vitamins. It is revealed that individuals who consumed at least 22mg of B vitamins daily were 44% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who consumed half as much. Peanut butter contains 2mg per serving and is one of many options for getting this nutrient.

Peanut Butter Diet

Two studies at different leading universities found that foods, like peanut butter, which are rich in monounsaturated fats can not only prevent heart disease but also help individuals lose weight. Holly McCord of Prevention Magazine used these claims from Harvard University and Penn State to craft The Peanut Butter Diet; a dietary guideline for incorporating peanut butter into your everyday life.

In this book, McCord discusses how portion control and a healthy active lifestyle can play a large role in peanut butter helping you lose weight. According to her findings, men should stick to no more than three servings per day while women can consume two. One serving is considered two-tablespoons of peanut butter, based on manufacturer specifications. In the book you will find a complete guideline to delicious meals including recipes and an easy to follow meal plan.

One example of a day in the life of the Peanut Butter Diet consists of:

  • Breakfast: 8 ounces fat free milk with waffles made with peanut butter maple syrup
  • Lunch: Hearty dose of albacore tuna salad made with Dijon, low-fat mayonnaise, carrots, celery, and pickles.
  • Snack 1: Low-sugar fruit such as a pear or orange.
  • Dinner: Tahitian Grilled Chicken topped with Peanut Butter Mango Sauce and serviced with a side of cooked rice.
  • Snack 2: Angel food cake topped with coarsely chopped peanut butter and bananas.

The easy to follow diet is composed of mouthwatering meals which when followed correctly will never have you asking “does peanut butter make you fat?”

 
 
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