Like most of us, peanut butter was probably a staple part of your diet when you were a kid. But for some reason, when we grow up, we start to think of peanut butter as an indulgence that could ruin our diet. Peanut butter won’t ruin a diet, and could actually help you more ways than you think. It’s time to get friendly with peanut butter again.
Peanut butter is full of filling fiber. A diet high in fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy as well as helping you feel full. When you feel fuller, you are more likely to cut down on your overall calorie consumption, which will help with any weight loss you are trying to achieve. A fiber rich diet also helps reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease
Even though peanut butter does contain a fair amount of fat, the types of fat it contains are the healthy type that fight against heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are also the right types of fat to help you get rid of belly fat.
One serving of peanut butter (2 tablespoons) contains 7 grams of protein. Just like fiber, protein helps you to stay full and feel satisfied. In effect, you will eat less and lose weight. Protein also has another benefit. It helps you to build muscle tissue. Muscle will help you burn more calories every day because it requires more calories to maintain. In order to really get the muscle building benefits of peanut butter you should drink a glass of milk. The amino acids in the milk along with the amino acids in the peanuts make a complete set of proteins that your body can better use to build muscle.
Our diets can very easily become overridden with sodium (salt). The high levels of potassium in peanut butter helps to counteract the sodium which can be dangerous to our health. A 2 tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains over 200 mg of potassium, which is a good dose to aid in heart health and nerve function.
So how do you do peanut butter the right way? Well, peanut butter is a very versatile spread. As long as you buy the right kind, there is no end to the ways you can use it. To make sure you get all the benefits of peanut butter, choose a natural peanut butter but not a low fat one. The low fat will still have all the calories, only without the heart healthy fats we discussed earlier. Check the sodium content; the lower the better.
Peanut butter is delicious spread on apple or banana slices, or on whole wheat toast. Try adding it to smoothies or put a dollop on your oatmeal. You can even cook with peanut butter; why not make a spicy peanut butter satay or dipping sauce for your spring rolls. And of course, you can always eat it right off the spoon, just like you loved to do when you were a kid.