The nutty paste is back in fashion, but is its healthy reputation justified?
At first glance, peanut butter’s place in the pantheon of healthy foods seems somewhat questionable, since it’s high in both fat and calories. However, take a step back and the wider picture reveals peanut butter’s merits, especially for anyone with an active lifestyle (and isn’t allergic to peanuts, obviously). For the final word on whether peanut butter is good for you, we spoke with dietitian Alana MacDonald.
What are the health benefits?
“Peanut butter is high in energy and protein,” says MacDonald. “It also contains healthy fats, fat-soluble vitamins and fibre, and may help to satisfy
appetite and support energy levels longer than a high-sugar or more refined spread.”
Any unhealthy ingredients to look out for?
Even healthy foods can contain hidden nasties. “It’s best to go for peanut butter that is as natural as possible, avoiding added sugar and salt in particular,”says MacDonald.
Is peanut butter good for your heart?
“Peanut butter is a source of fibre and has monounsaturated fats which help control cholesterol levels, making them healthy for your heart,” explains MacDonald. “It provides fat-soluble vitamins and folate, both of which are important for health.” But be wary of added ingredients:
“Be careful that the peanut butter doesn’t contain any added salt because this can be detrimental to heart health,” says MacDonald.
Is peanut butter good for your cholesterol?
“Monounsaturated fats can help to reduce cholesterol levels, as can the
soluble fibre found in peanut butter,” says MacDonald.
Is it a good snack if you want to lose weight?
Peanut butter is definitely a better snack choice than biscuits or chips. And
despite being high in calories, it is a worthy mid-afternoon treat.
“There is some evidence that suggests small volumes of foods which are higher in monounsaturated fats can support weight loss by helping us stay
fuller for longer,” says MacDonald. “Choosing a no-added-sugar peanut butter will reduce the risks of blood sugar crashes, which can support
weight loss. Two tablespoons of peanut butter does provide roughly 200 calories, though, so it should be eaten in moderation.”
Is it good to eat if you’re aiming to put on muscle?
Nut butters have long been beloved of gym regulars aiming to build muscle, and for good reason. “Peanut butter will enhance and maintain energy levels due to its nutritional balance – low in sugar, high in fat, slow-release energy,” says MacDonald. “It will provide moderate amounts of protein – more protein than other spreads. However, it won’t provide as much protein as a glass of milk or fish, meat or a meat replacement
such as tofu.”
No salt? That’s just nuts.
Some peanut butters contain added sugar, hardened fats, stabilisers and truck load of salt. But Mayver’s new Unsalted range is just crushed peanuts with no added anything. Just nuts! Perfect for a smoothie protein boost (or Ultimate Smoothie Bowl), a delicious salad dressing or to supercharge your toast. You can enjoy Mayver’s Unsalted knowing you are only eating the best ingredients for you. Grab it here from Woolies.
If you’re really looking to smash your daily PB, check out the Mayver’s Protein + Range, or pop into your gym bag a pot of their Goodness to Go:
Perfectly portioned to satisfy your Peanut Butter craving, no matter where you are.