Peanut butter has a mixed reputation among fitness enthusiasts and nutrition experts. Whether it is healthy or not is a subject that is often debated. Here is a complete breakdown on protein peanut butter to help you understand the pros and cons of using it in your diet.
What Is Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is made using roasted and ground peanuts. Depending upon the texture of peanut butter, there are two types that you can choose from:
- Smooth peanut butter: The peanuts are ground to make a fine paste that is easier to spread.
- Crunchy peanut butter: The peanuts are ground coarsely to give you crunchy bits in the paste.
Benefits of Using Peanut Butter
Peanut butter has become a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts because of the range of benefits it can offer:
- Great protein source: Peanuts are legumes which are known for their high protein content. With a 25% protein composition, peanuts are a great source of plant based proteins.
- Rich in heart-healthy fats: Peanuts contain a high concentration of oleic acid which is a type of monounsaturated fatty acid. It provides several health benefits like better insulin sensitivity. It is also rich in Omega-6 fatty acids that are healthy for your heart and even prevent issues like inflammation and chronic diseases.
- High antioxidant content: The healthy fats in peanut butter are very good antioxidants. Peanuts also contain p-coumaric acid and resveratrol which are associated with benefits like reduced risk of arthritis and heart diseases. The vitamins and minerals in peanut butter also contain potent free-radical fighting capabilities.
- Good source of vitamins and minerals: Peanut butter contains several nutrients like Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Copper and Biotin. These micronutrients help balance your diet and aid in various metabolic processes.
Concerns with Peanut Butter
While there are multiple health benefits of using peanut butter, there are also some concerns that you should be aware of:
- May contain salt and added sugar: Lower quality peanut butter brands add salt and sugar to enhance the taste. Therefore, you should be careful with the product that you choose for yourself.
- May contain vegetable oils: Vegetable oils are added to some varieties of peanut butter to make it more creamy and easy to spread. It is best to avoid these products as they contain harmful trans fats.
- High in calories: With just 100g of peanut protein, you get close to 500 calories. This makes it a calorie dense food source. However, the advantage is that these calories are derived from protein and healthy fats, making them suitable in moderation even if you want to follow a low-calorie diet.
- Common allergen: Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies. So, you need to make sure that you do not have any nut allergies if you want to use this product.
How to Choose the Best Peanut Butter
The benefits of peanut butter depend upon the product that you choose. Here are some useful tips for you:
- Choose a product made with only natural peanuts. One way to ensure that your product is natural is to check for a layer of oil on the surface. Just mix it in before using the peanut butter.
- Make sure it does not contain any salt, added sugar or vegetable oils.
- Look for other allergies like gluten that can cause adverse health issues.
- If you have bodybuilding and muscle development goals, choose high protein peanut butter. It may contain other sources of protein like whey which improve the overall concentration per serving.
Overall, peanut butter is healthy for you. Based on your goals and nutritional requirements, choose the amount you consume. Also, make sure that you only use reliable brands like bGREEN 100% Vegan Peanut Butter for best results.