Is Peanut Butter Good for You?

That peanut butter is rich, flavorful and creamy immediately raises speculation about its nutritional value. Because it tastes so damn good, many people wonder: Is peanut butter really a healthy choice?

If you have a jar of peanut butter in your home, take a look at the nutritional facts. Two things will probably jump out. First, it is calorie-dense. With 200 calories in just tablespoons, it’s like eating a bowl of cereal. Second, with 16 grams of fat per serving (about 25% of a typical person’s daily value), it’s quite high in fat. It even has 3.5 grams of saturated fat – about 16% of your daily value.

It doesn’t seem to paint peanut butter in a good light.

But calories and fat don’t tell the full story. According to Dr. Walter C. Willett, a nationally known nutrition expert at Harvard University:

The presence of saturated fat doesn’t automatically kick a food into the “unhealthy” camp. Olive oil, wheat germ, and even tofu – all “healthy” foods – have some saturated fat. It’s the whole package of nutrients, not just one or two, that determines how good a particular food is for health.

The ratio of unsaturated fat to saturated fat in peanut butter is similar to that of heart-healthy olive oil. Peanut butter also contains fiber, protein and some vitamins and minerals.

Peanut butter, other nut butters and nuts have been studied quite extensively. As it turns out, people who consume nuts or nut butters are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes. According to a separate study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, individuals who eat a diet high in foods like peanut butter are more likely to keep weight off than people following a lower-fat diet. Researchers at Purdue University also found that people feel fuller and eat less after snacking on peanut butter than other foods.

So, go ahead and spread some gooey peanut butter on a frozen banana (my favorite) or on a sliced up apple. Mix it into your smoothies. Peanut butter – and other nut butters and nuts – can certainly be a part of your healthy diet.

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  1. Good!

    I cannot live without Skippy peanut butter! So good, but so pricey in London!

    • Skippy peanut butter is not the kind that is good for you. When you buy peanut butter, the only ingredient should be “peanuts” (maybe salt). You need to eat the kind that you have to stir and keep in the fridge. Skippy has a lot of crap in it that allows you to keep it on the shelf for a long time.

      • If you’re in the UK and want to find a readily available, healthy peanut butter try Whole Earth. The Crunchy Original has the peanut skins still left on and is very satisfying, plus even though it has no sugar it manages to taste sweet and the crunchy version is more difficult to eat too much of. You can get it in Tesco’s.

  2. I personally am a fan of almond butter. Nut butters also make delicious cookies (in moderation, of course)!

  3. Cashew butter FTW!
    It is amazing.
    But peanut butter is also amazing.

  4. I like to grind my own organic peanuts from the grocery store. And as another commenter said, the ingredients should be peanuts only – no added oils that keep the peanut butter from separating. Just stir it up while at room temp and then refrigerate it.

  5. My fav is sunflower seed butter – it’s offered in chunky, added omega-3 (flax seed) and creamy! I’ve substituted it for peanut butter with garlic dill pickle sandwiches…

  6. christopher says:

    im not a big fan of peanut butter-but i will take advice given here-and give it a try.then also-how about Nutella?or its generic type?Nutella-its peanut butter-made from hazlenut and chocolate-maybe milk chocolate.

  7. It’s kind of important you get real honest to goodness peanut butter. Because if you don’t the above study is MOOT.

  8. Ben kirwa says:

    For real,You need to accept what your body need for your fitness.

  9. Check this out guys, if your worried about calories and fat:

    It doesn’t taste exactly like peanut butter, but it’s still pretty darn good.

    Cause seriously, who only has a couple tablespoons of peanut butter?

  10. Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was
    wondering if you knew where I could get a
    captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!


  1. […] peanut butter is high in fat and calorie dense, it gets a bad rap. But calories and fat, as I’ve mentioned before, don’t tell the full story. Peanut butter has a similar overall fat to saturated fat ratio as […]

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