5 Ways Eating a Lot of Peanut Butter Affects Your Health


Many of your favorite cupboard staples—like creamy, melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter—were performing double snacktime duty last year, when most people were staying at home more and avoiding unnecessary visits to the grocery store as much as possible.

Peanut butter has always been one of America's favorite versatile foods, even before the pandemic. You can spread it on a banana or celery for a protein- and fiber-rich snack, add it to breakfast smoothies, overnight oats, and dessert recipes for added taste, and enjoy a few spoonfuls of deliciousness on its own.

Peanut butter, when not highly processed (as some commercial versions are), is an extremely healthy food that provides a wealth of nutrients and health advantages, and can even aid weight loss. But there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing," and eating too much peanut butter can be dangerous.

1. You can boost your blood sugar management

Peanut butter contains a significant amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which may help with insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.

In a 2018 randomized control trial looking at consuming nuts and inflammatory indicators in persons with type 2 diabetes, researchers discovered that eating nuts—specifically peanut butter—improved fasting glucose and after-meal blood sugars.

2. You may have a healthier heart

Peanut butter is a powerhouse of antioxidants and essential nutrients that can improve heart health. These include niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, and healthy unsaturated fats. Peanut butter is also low in carbs.

According to one study, people who suffer from coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease have a reduced risk of mortality with increased peanut butter intake, because of the powerful antioxidants that are contained in nuts. Peanuts are high in polyphenols, which might be why they can help reduce the effects of coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease.

3. You'll be full for longer

Peanut consumption is linked to fewer snack items and may aid weight management, according to a small randomized control experiment published in 2017.

Peanuts are a high-protein, high-fiber food that is easy to eat. Even a few bits of peanut butter smeared on an apple at snack time will keep you full until your next meal, unlike an empty-but-high-calorie snack like potato chips, which will leave you hungry and reach back into the bag an hour later.

However, peanut butter is still a high-calorie meal (approximately 200 calories per serving), and you can binge on it. Peanut butter is a 'domino food,' which means it's simple to consume more than one serving. If you're trying to lose weight, you might want to use a measuring spoon to scoop out your peanut butter.

4. You can ingest carcinogenic toxins

Aflatoxins, which are created by a fungus that can contaminate crops and peanut plants, have been linked to an increased risk of liver and kidney cancer in people. Foods like peanuts and peanut butter are tested for aflatoxins by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); no infections have been documented in the US, although outbreaks have occurred in poor and tropical nations.

While there is a minimal danger of eating aflatoxins, there are certain precautions you may take: Purchase trustworthy peanut butter produced closer to [the United States], as studies have shown that American-grown peanuts contain less aflatoxins than the safe level.

5. You consume too much sugar, salt, and fat

Peanut butter can be both nutritious and delicious, but it can also include hidden added sugars and dangerous trans fats.

Check the back of the labels if you're looking for peanut butter on the shelves. Avoid peanut butters with more than three components and opt for those with only a small amount of salt. Corn syrup solids and hydrogenated vegetable oil are high on the ingredient list even in the Reduced Fat version. 

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