As I sat contemplating this week's health topic, I decided a snack was needed in order to get my brain thinking. I immediately set to work in making my favorite snack; I got out the peanut butter jar and a spoon. Then it hit me, like a pound of peanuts, why not dedicate this week's blog to one of my favorite foods that keeps me going, almost daily, Peanut Butter! I knew that peanut butter had some health benefits, but what exactly does it provide and is it really a health food? Let's take a look at what I could find about the good and bad of peanut butter.
A Brief History
First off, let's take a quick glance into the history of peanut butter. For a more detailed history, click on one of the links below:
National Peanut Board
The earliest history we have of peanut butter is from the Aztecs and Incas, who grounded peanuts into a paste. Modern uses of peanut butter in the United States can be attributed to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. A doctor and early activist for good nutrition and health, he filed a patent in 1895 for a process of creating peanut butter by boiling nuts and making a paste. He saw this as a necessity for many of his patients who had difficulty chewing. Peanut paste offered an easily digestible food that was packed with nutrients. Thanks to Kellogg, and the many contributors and entrepreneurs that followed, this peanut paste of years ago began evolving into the creamy peanut butter we know and love today that has become an American, household staple. The average child graduates high school consuming around 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. (PreparedFoods).
Health Benefits of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter contains many benefits that, in moderation, can be a wonderful addition to a well-balanced diet.
Moderation is Key
Although there are many health benefits to peanut butter, there are also ingredients that make peanut butter not so healthy and why eating it in moderation is important.
Per a serving size of 2 tablespoons, peanut butter is high in calories (approximately 200 calories), fat (16g, 4 of which are saturated fats), sodium (140mg) and added sugars. While most of the fats in peanut butter are the good kind, it is still important to consume in moderation to avoid unwanted weight gain.
As you can see, peanut butter may provide you with many health benefits but eating it in moderation is the key to enjoying this tasty food. So, next time you are in need of a snack to tie you over to your next meal, consider having a small serving of peanut butter. To add even more health benefits to your snack, pair your peanut butter with celery or apples.