First things first…I love peanut butter.
It is probably my favourite snack and I look forward to it every afternoon. I always eat it along with a banana and generally with a coffee.
With its rise in popularity I wanted to take a look at this delicious snack and what to look out for.
Peanut butter is made from ground dry-roasted peanuts. If you opt for the 100% peanut butter with no palm oil then generally the only extra ingredient may be small amount of sea salt for taste.
I have tried all of the common brands that you would find in supermarkets.
- Pip and Nut
- Good Earth
My favourite for taste is Mani-Life despite it being slightly more expensive. This is the one that I generally go for.
The simple fact is that incorporating peanut butter into your daily diet is a great idea. It has many benefits and is a fantastic snack to help you stop or deal with any cravings that arise.
Some of the benefits of peanut butter are as follows.
- Several studies suggest that eating peanuts and other nuts can help people maintain their weight, or even help with weight loss. This may be because peanuts improve satiety, which is the feeling of fullness, thanks to their protein, fat, and fiber content.
- Peanut butter contains many nutrients that can improve heart health, including:
- monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)
- polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
- vitamin E
3. Peanut butter is a relatively low-carbohydrate food that contains good amounts of fats and protein, as well as some fibre. These characteristics mean that peanut butter, with no added sugar, does not have a significant impact on blood glucose levels. This means it can be a good option for those with diabetes.
All of the above benefits make peanut butter look almost like a superfood.
The main thing we need to watch out for though is the calories that are present in peanut butter. For me, or someone that trains regularly or is trying to pack on size and not worried about calorie intake, then it doesn’t matter to a degree.
However, if you are trying to lose weight then this is when you need to be careful with how much peanut butter you eat.
Per 100g peanut butter has approx 600 calories. So for instance if we look at an average intake for a female then it is 2000 calories. Obviously this changes a lot depending on age, metabolism, physical activity and goals.
It is very easy to go through 100g of peanut butter if you like it so if you start eating 600 calories of peanut butter a day as a snack you could very quickly have surplus calories each day without realising it.
The assumption is that when something is good for you then you don’t have to worry too much with how much you eat and this may be true for a lot of food items.
However when it comes to food items that are high in fat such as peanut butter, and also avocados for instance, caution must be used.
If you are trying to lose weight then the simple equation of calories in and calories out has to be your main concern. The fact is if you eat too many calories each day, and don’t burn enough to create some sort of deficit, then weight will not be lost and you are likely to gain weight.
Therefore high calorie foods, no matter how healthy they are, must be consumed in moderation.
I measured out 50 grams of peanut butter to show you how small amount this is. This small bowl would equal 300 calories approx. The bowl is a small ramekin that a pudding would come in.
Now you may eat peanut butter just off a spoon, I do regularly. But chances are you are more likely to eat it with some rice cakes or a banana or on toast. Maybe you have it in your porridge or a smoothie.
So now we have the calories from the peanut butter plus whatever we are eating it with. Lets average out our additional snack content to another 150 calories.
Now we have 300 calories plus 150 calories, so 450 calories contained in our small snack. Thats probably a quarter or your daily intake.
Then, simply as an example of how easily calories can add up, lets add in our favourite coffee. Now I drink black coffee which is basically 0 calories. However if you have a latte or cappuccino each afternoon as a little pick me up then this could be approx 150 calories. It depends on milk type and size.
Now we have 450 calories plus 150 calories so our small afternoon snack is now 600 calories. Things add up very quickly.
Everything I eat I will turn it over and have a quick look at the nutritional label. Not because I am anal about what I eat but more because I am interested. Whatever you put in your mouth has an effect on your body. If you just blindly eat anything then you will pay the consequences later.
If you believe the advertising on packs then again you will probably become victim of food companies tricks. You must take responsibility for what you eat.