Nut butters. They’re huge in the fitness world and I’m pretty sure we’ve all had the odd peanut butter sandwich in our lunchbox growing up, many of us still do! But a lot of us are confused when we eat it, are we being “bad” by having some peanut butter or are we eating it because it contains healthy fats along with a decent amount of protein in our diet.
Well, here’s the answer: It depends.
We can’t paint them all with the same brush. i.e. There are some ‘better’ than others-like most foods these days. See my picture above for clarification.
If you go to the supermarket to get peanut butter, there’s a variety of them on show. Which do you pick up? The cheapest? The one with the ‘lowest fat’, or the one that has the best ingredient list & nutritional value?
Well, as you can see from the picture above, one tub contains a lot more ingredients than the other. Choose the latter.
100% organic peanuts & sea salt. Simple, natural organic ingredients. In comparison to the added salt, sugar and hydrogenated oils (a source of dangerous *trans fats) in the other peanut butter, which is used to keep it from separating.
As you can imagine, the organic peanut butter has a better nutritional content to the other. Pay the extra quid for quality!
Calories – 186
Fat – 16g ( 3g of which saturated)
Protein – 8.5g
Carbs – 5g
Salt – 0.6g (Irish Recommended Daily Allowance is approx 6g)
Calories – 180
Fat – 12g ( 2g of which saturated)
Protein – 6.5g
Carbs – 15g
Salt – 1.2g (Irish Recommended Daily Allowance is approx 6g)
Now I know a lot of you pay no attention to the labels at the back of food, but basically, the reason we should go for the organic peanut butter is simply because it has 2 ingredients, you know what they are and that’s exactly what you’re eating!
With the regular peanut butter, it has more added salt and sugar, hence why the salt and carbohydrate values are higher than the other (see above), whilst having less protein. It also has hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are trans-fats, AKA very bad fats.
*Trans-Fat: Has been shown to raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) while lowering your good cholesterol (HDL) whilst being related to causing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It has absolutely no positive benefit to the human body in any way!
Even worse, if your food says 0g trans fat, it may still contain it!
This is because, due to some seriously stupid labeling rules, food companies only need to list trans fat content if the food contains 0.5 grams or more per serving. So if the food has 0.4999g trans fat it does’t legally have to be put on the label. And then you have the products which go that extra mile to print 0g trans fat on the back of the pack (as the regular peanut butter above has).
To wrap this up I will simply say, choose the better peanut butter next time you are shopping (you now know the difference), yes you may have to mix it when you open it as the natural oil may rise; but I would much prefer that than putting unnecessary, unhealthy ingredients into my body.
Tip: Have you ever tried sliced apples with a layer of peanut butter as a snack? Well, you should!
Until next time 🙂