Jan. 24 Is National Peanut Butter Day
January 13, 2021 | View PDF
Peanut butter has been eaten in the United States since the late 1800s. It is believed that a St. Louis physician may have developed a version of peanut butter as a protein substitute for his older patients who had poor teeth and couldn't chew meat. Peanut butter has been baked in cookies and spread on bread for sandwiches. It is readily available at grocery stores and was at one time the only nut butter available-and it isn't even a nut it's a legume. But is peanut butter good healthy?
Research suggests that eating peanuts or peanut butter every day may reduce the risk of heart disease. Peanut butter is high in fat. One of the main fats is oleic acid, which helps to maintain good cholesterol and blood pressure. Oleic acid has also been shown to reduce the body's insulin resistance, a condition that raises blood sugar and leads to diabetes. Peanut butter also contains omega-6, which lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL). Many of the antioxidants found in peanuts like manganese, vitamin E and B vitamins prevent cell damage in the body. This can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer. Peanuts are also a good source of protein and fiber. Foods high in healthy fats, protein and fiber like peanut butter also take longer for the bodies to digest so a person feels fuller longer.
Although peanut butter is filled with nutrients, it is also filled with calories and fat. These fats are nutritious but should be eaten in moderation to avoid excess weight gain. Also, depending on the brand of peanut butter, it may have added sugar, salt, and oil. All-natural products without the added ingredients have the best health benefits.
There are many ways to eat peanut butter besides the typical PB&J. Peanut butter can be added to smoothies, mixed into muffin or pancake batter instead of butter, added to low-fat salad dressings, or mixed into oatmeal. Peanut butter mixed with yogurt makes a healthy fruit dip. Find your family's favorite way to eat peanut butter and enjoy.