If you’re on a diet, peanut butter might be a guilty pleasure. But it shouldn’t be. It may sound unbelievable, but there are health benefits of eating peanut butter. Are you scratching your head what they are? Let me tell you.

I’ve made up a short list of all reasons why you should indulge your peanut butter cravings. Read and enjoy!

Health Benefits of Peanut Butter

#1 Peanut butter can be good for weight loss

It sounds like a dream that comes true, does it? Let’s take a look at the nutrient profile of peanut butter. Then we’ll see why it could be beneficial to add peanut butter to your diet.

A 100 g of peanut butter contains:

  • Carbs - 20 g, of which 6g are fiber
  • Protein - 25 g
  • Fat- 50 g
  • Vitamin E, B3, B6
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • 588 calories

In fact, peanut butter contains 39 % of the recommended daily amount of magnesium and 79 % of the needed amount of manganese. It’s also rich in protein. We can say that protein is the fundamental building material for our cells. It breaks down to amino acids, which are used by our cells.

Magnesium is good for your muscles, bones, and immunity. It helps you regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It’s also excellent for your heart.

Potassium, on the other hand, helps your heart and nerves to function properly. It’s useful for countering the effects of sodium on your body, too.

As you see, peanut butter is nutrient dense food. As such, it has a place in your diet.

But, 588 calories are a lot, so how could it be useful for weight loss? Well, it contains a fair amount of fiber – 6 g. A diet rich in fiber makes you feel full. So, eating peanut butter will diminish your appetite, and you’re going to eat less. In this way, you’ll compensate for the extra calories.

Fiber is also perfect for your digestive system, and it keeps constipation away.

A study in 2013 claims that children that consumed nuts – peanut butter includes- were less likely to become overweight or obese.

But don’t over indulge. If you can’t limit your peanut butter consumption, it certainly will have the opposite effect on your diet.

#2 Peanut butter reduces the risk of heart diseases

What? That can’t be true. That’s what you’re thinking. I’ll prove you wrong.

Research states that adding peanut butter to your diet lowers your risk of developing a heart disease. Let’s see why.

Peanut butter contains both saturated and unsaturated fats. The unsaturated fats are polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats.

What is the effect of these fats?

They lower the levels of the bad cholesterol ( LDL). At the same time, they promote the circulation of the good cholesterol ( HDL). This means that your arteries are less likely to get clogged. Moreover, if you have high levels of HDL, the blood flow to the heart will be slow. This leads to heart disease.

Peanut butter has a potent antioxidant. It’s called resveratrol, also found it red wine and red grape. The main role of resveratrol is to fight the free radicals that can damage your cells. Resveratrol also could limit the spreading of cancer cells and destroy them. Some studies suggest that it can protect nerve cells from damage, for example in cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

#3 Eat peanut butter to prevent diabetes

A study claims that adding peanut butter to your diet can lower your risk of developing diabetes. Amazing, isn’t it?

Unsaturated fats are not only beneficial for your heart. They are excellent for your blood sugar, too. They decrease insulin resistance, which means that your body uses the insulin more effectively.

Resveratrol, the antioxidant found in peanut butter, also improves insulin sensitivity. However, there is still a lot of controversy on the subject.

But what about if you already have type 2 diabetes? You shouldn’t eat peanut butter then, right? Wrong.

Since peanut butter is so rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, it’s a delicacy you can enjoy. The American Diabetes Association doesn’t recommend more than two tablespoons at a meal or a snack. However, make sure that it’s high in fats. A low-fat peanut butter means added sugar. Moreover, you want to experience the healthy benefits of unsaturated fats.

#4 Peanut butter has anti-cancer properties

How can peanut butter be effective against cancer? Well, it contains B-sitosterol. This is phytosterol which might have anti-cancer properties. Research links it to preventing colon, prostate, and breast cancer.

B-sitosterol is also good for your cholesterol levels. It limits the amount of cholesterol that enters the body. Consuming 2,000 mg of phytosterol can lower cholesterol levels by 5- 15 %. Peanut butter contains around 144-157 mg per 100 g. However, it doesn’t have an effect on the levels of good cholesterol.

B-sitosterol is also connected to reduced symptoms of enlarge prostate. A study notes that b-sitosterol might reduce the growth and the spreading of prostate cancer cells. But this effect is only observed in animal trials. More research is needed to determine its usefulness against cancer.

#5 Peanut butter is excellent for your gallbladder

Peanut butter is effective against gallstones, too.

Gallstones are solid pieces that form in your gallbladder. You won’t know you have them until they block a bile duct. Then you’ll certainly feel them. There are several main reasons for the formation of gallstones:

  • Genes
  • Overweight
  • Diet rich in fats, cholesterol and low in fiber
  • Problems with the gallbladder

Research has shown that women who consume regularly nuts and peanut butter had a lower chance of developing gallstones.

But if you already have gallbladder issues, it’s best to avoid peanut butter. Since the gallbladder plays a major role in digestion, a rich in fat food like peanut butter is not recommended.

So the next time, you’re in a mood for a tasty snack, grab a tablespoon or two of peanut butter. There are enough health benefits of peanut butter that you can include it in your diet without feeling guilty.

What do you think? Do you find peanut butter to be a healthy snack? Tell us your opinion. And don’t forget to share the articles with other peanut butter fans. They wouldn’t want to miss these amazing health benefits. And give us a like if we have been useful!

(Last Updated On: April 28, 2021)

Annalise O'Conner is a Registered Dietitian and Personalized Nutritionist. She is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, teaching nutrition in the School of Public Health and APAN (Asian Pacific Islander American Network) Email: [email protected]

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