Peanut butter, to most of us, is a delicious snack that can be enjoyed on toast, in a sandwich, with fruits like apples and bananas, added into a smoothie, or just on its own as a sneaky treat! And, like many foods that taste incredible, there is always the question of how healthy it actually is. Peanut butter is often seen as relatively healthy and athletes use it as an alternative to other sweet snacks like chocolate or candy. But how healthy is it really?
High Protein, Low Carb, High Fat
The reason that peanut butter is so popular as a snack is usually down to its high protein content. And, particularly as it is often used as an alternative for sweeter snacks, having high levels of protein is a huge health bonus. However, it is also high in healthy fats that keep you full and is relatively low in carbohydrates.
Peanut butter also contains a lot of nutrients, including those that have been shown to maintain and improve heart health – magnesium, vitamin E, and both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These nutrients are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and improving heart health overall.
Peanut butter is used by athletes and bodybuilders to up their calorie intake as it is relatively healthy and has a lot of calories. However, it is also important to note that as peanut butter is high in calories, it cannot be eaten in excess as it can contribute to weight gain due to an overconsumption of fat and sodium.
Balancing Blood Sugar
As peanut butter, particularly brands that have no added sugar or extra ingredients, has high protein and fats it does not affect your blood sugar levels too much, making it a great option for everyone, including people with diabetes.
It also contains relatively high levels of magnesium, which is an important nutrient that people are often lacking in their diets. Low levels of magnesium have also been linked to prediabetes and diabetes.
In conclusion, peanut butter is, in general, a very healthy snack. With high levels of proteins and healthy fats, it will give a boost of vitamins and keep you full. The main thing that you need to keep in mind is to choose a peanut butter that has as little ingredients as possible – look for those without added sugar, added oils, or other strange ingredients – the more natural it is, the more of the nutritional value you will gain from it!
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