Is peanut butter fattening? This article will show you common peanut butter mistakes that can make you gain weight.
Most people agree that peanut butter is delicious. But they don’t seem to agree whether peanut butter is fattening or good for weight loss.
The high-calorie content of peanut butter is a big concern for many. A tablespoon of peanut butter has 94 calories.
But you should also realize that peanut butter is loaded with fiber. Fiber increases satiety and keeps us full for long.
If you love peanut butter but you’re worried that it’ll make you gain weight, read on. I’ll show you how to eat it without getting fat.
But before we look into how peanut butter can make you gain weight, here are its nutrients.
Peanut butter nutritional facts
Here are the nutrients found in 2 tablespoons (32g) of peanut butter.
Fats: 16 g (saturated fat: 3.3g, monounsaturated fat: 8g, polyunsaturated fat: 4.4g)
Vitamin B6: 10% Recommended daily intake (RDI)
Magnesium: 12% RDI
Potassium: 5% RDI
Iron: 3% RDI
As you can see, peanut butter has a lot of beneficial nutrients. But it can trigger weight gain if you make the mistakes below.
Ways peanut butter can make you fat
1. Going for low fat
Low fat doesn’t mean healthy. Manufacturers add sugar and hydrogenated fats to low-fat products to make up for the low-fat levels.
Adding unhealthy ingredients like sugar increases calories and cravings. And as you may know, sugar has also been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and other health issues.
You’re better off eating ‘natural’ peanut butter even though it might not be as tasty as the brands loaded with additives.
Remember to diligently read the labels. Natural peanut butter should only contain peanuts and small amounts of salt.
2. Not controlling your portions
Peanut butter is a high-fat food and fats are high in calories. A gram of fat has 9 calories.
Two tablespoons of peanut butter can add up to 200 calories. That’s 10 percent of total daily calorie intake for someone who consumes 2,000 calories a day.
What makes thing worse is that most people don’t stop at two tablespoons – they keep going until the whole jar is empty.
And you know what? A cup of peanut butter contains 1,518 calories. Such high-calorie intake will sabotage your progress and make you gain weight.
Account for peanut butter calories in your total daily calorie intake. Or avoid it altogether if you binge every time you eat it.
3. Using peanut butter as a protein source
Research shows that protein is good for weight loss and building muscles. But peanut butter isn’t the best protein source.
Peanut butter is more of a fat source than a protein source. If you want to increase protein intake opt for high-protein foods like fish, lean beef, eggs, and so on.
4. Pairing peanut butter with unhealthy foods
There are so many ways to eat peanut butter. You can eat it alone or pair it with an apple or cheese.
But some combinations, however mouth-watering, can trigger undesired weight gain. So you may want to save those chocolate and peanut butter recipes for special occasions only.
Here are healthy foods you can pair peanut butter with – frozen mangoes, apples, pears, whole wheat bread, cheese and so on.
5. Eating peanut butter every day
Some folks can eat peanut butter every day without gaining weight. But for others, this can be disastrous.
If you’re one of those people who have to eat more than 5 tablespoons of peanut butter every time you open the jar, eating peanut butter every day will make you gain weight.
To lose weight you have to consume fewer calories than you burn. Eating peanut butter every day will increase your total daily calorie intake.
Is peanut butter fattening?
Yes and No. If you make the mistakes above peanut butter may make you fat. But if you avoid them, peanut butter can actually help you lose weight.
If you want to lose weight or maintain your ideal weight, don’t eat more than 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter a day. Alternatively, you can replace an unhealthy snack, say a cookie, with peanut butter.
Here’s a summary of the things you shouldn’t do:
- Avoid low-fat peanut butter
- Don’t eat it every day
- Don’t by brands with many additives
- Don’t eat it every day
- Don’t pair it with unhealthy food
I may also note that some people are allergic to peanut butter. Research shows that eating peanuts can cause running nose, itching, skin reaction, digestive problems, shortness of breath and even death to people with peanut allergies.
Peanut butter benefits
Peanut butter is actually good for your health. Here are science-backed benefits of peanut butter.
Controlling appetite is a big challenge for most people trying to lose weight. Well, research shows that peanut butter can help.
Lowers risk of Alzheimer’s and memory loss
Peanut butter has high amounts of niacin, a compound which has been proven to lower risk of Alzheimer’s.
According to this study, participants who got more niacin from food had 70 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s and better cognitive function.
Lowers risk of type II diabetes
In one observational study, researchers concluded that people who eat peanuts regularly have 21 percent lower risk of type II diabetes.
Reduces risk of colorectal cancer
According to research, peanut butter can lower risk of colorectal cancer by 22 percent.
May prevent gallstones
Research shows that those who eat more than 5 servings of nuts per week have a 30 percent lower risk of gallstones compared to those who don’t eat nuts regularly.
Some studies show that peanut butter promotes weight loss. For one thing, peanuts contain fiber which helps control hunger.
A study conducted by University of Houston shows that peanuts can help prevent obesity. According to the study, students who swapped peanuts for unhealthy snacks had lower BMI after 12 weeks compared to those who didn’t eat peanuts.
Peanut butter is not unhealthy but it’s high in calories. And if you overindulge it can make you gain weight. Just make sure you avoid the mistakes above if you add peanut butter to your diet.
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