With the recent COVID-19 pandemic causing meat shortages, people are finding other options to get their protein! With 7 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons, peanut butter isn’t just a great protein alternative, it actually brings along some health benefits too.
Peanut butter is nutrient-rich and high in monounsaturated fats, which means it can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association also found that consuming about one tablespoon of peanut butter at least 5 days a week can lower the risk of diabetes by over 20%. By keeping blood sugar stable with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, peanut butter also keeps your energy levels stable and reduces afternoon cravings. It’s a tasty snack that will keep you feeling full longer. Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD published a study in the International Journal of Obesity and stated “most people find eating 200 calories of peanut butter is more satiating than, say, 200 calories of pretzels.” The study also noted peanuts when consumed on a regular basis, can increase your metabolic rate by about 11%.
Peanut butter is also rich in magnesium, which powers over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. A two-tablespoon serving contains 15% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. This allows you to fight headaches and fatigue as well as form strong bones, produce energy, and maintain a healthy nervous system. These anti-inflammatory properties also reduce stress. Another mineral found in peanut butter is potassium, which aids in muscle recovery, and aids in lowering blood pressure.
Of course, it is important to pick the right peanut butter and avoid those made with ingredients other than peanuts! Also try to avoid the brands with added sugar, salt, and hydrogenated oils. Beware of “reduce fat” or “light” peanut butters, as they can be enticing, but usually contain added sugars. Combining the added sugar with the monounsaturated fats can induce fat storage and inflammation. Also be sure not to combine your peanut butter with white bread and jelly each time! To stay healthy, it’s always a good idea to eat a well-balanced diet.
For more information on diet and nutrition, feel free to contact us at 832-789-4989 and schedule a consultation.