Peanut Butter has been a staple in America for generations. Initially used by the Aztecs and Incas around 1000 BC, peanut butter has evolved from a paste, to animal feed, to the creamy OR crunchy flavors we know now. Peanut butter is known for being high in protein, fiber, heart-healthy fats and essential vitamins like: Vitamin E, B6, niacin, calcium, potassium and iron.
On the other hand, is peanut butter really as good for you as you think? Peanut butter could be working against you depending on the quantity and quality. Certain varieties of peanut butter contain added sugar, oil, fat, and preservatives that could be keeping you from your health goals. So how do you make sure YOUR peanut butter is not sabotaging you?
Tips to consider when picking out peanut butter:
- Read the label – many brands contain added sugars and salt that can be dangerous for diabetics and people with high blood pressure.
- Portion size – beware of over-eating peanut butter, two tablespoons of peanut butter that is high in fiber and protein should be more than enough to curb your hunger.
- Peanut butter pairs – consider swapping out those high-carb, low-nutrition items such as crackers, cookies, and sandwiches with jelly for healthier items like celery, carrots, multigrain crackers, apples, and bananas which will help you stay full, longer.
- Make your own – If you have a food processor and 15 minutes to spare, you can whip up your own batch and adjust it to your taste and preferred consistency with just a touch of salt, honey, and/or oil.
Though through the years peanut butter has become more and more of an issue with allergies in children and adults. While most peanut allergies start during childhood, they can develop at any time in life. If you start having any of the following symptoms after consuming peanut butter, avoid peanuts all together until you see a doctor. Symptoms include: itching, hives, trouble breathing, runny nose, stomach pain and nausea shortly after eating peanut butter. Symptoms can vary from person to person and an individual may not always experience the same symptoms with every reaction. If you suspect you are allergic make an appointment with us to get tested!