The Best Peanut Butters and Their Benefits
The nutty paste is back in fashion and with good reason. Keep one of these peanut butters in your larder at all times
At first glance, peanut butter’s place in the pantheon of healthy foods seems somewhat undeserved, since it’s high in both fat and calories. However, looking at the wider picture you can see peanut butter’s true worth for anyone with an active lifestyle (and isn’t allergic to peanuts).
As far as healthy snacks go, peanut butter is one of the most appetising. It tastes great on a slice of wholemeal toast or a bagel, delicious mixed with a smoothie and surprisingly good when added to a bowl of chopped apple or banana.
It’s full of protein, and contains high levels of healthy fats – especially if you go for the organic variety, which don’t contain paunch-prompting hydrogenated fats. (Levels of sugar and salt can vary between brands, so check the label to ensure you’re getting the healthiest option.) Plus, peanut butter contains zinc, which boosts your immune system and is a common deficiency in the diet.
Here are the five reasons PB should be welcome in every larder.
Benefits of Peanut Butter
1. Healthy fats
Peanut butter is fatty, but the ratio between saturated and unsaturated fat leans heavily towards the latter, which can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Because peanut butter provides so much monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat it can also reduce the appetite, and the healthy fats assist in the production of the muscle-building hormone testosterone.
RECOMMENDED: How to Boost Your Testosterone Levels the Natural Way
2. Packed with protein
There’s a reason peanut butter is a snacking staple for gym regulars: a couple of tablespoons of the stuff will bring in around 8g of protein, which will help your muscles recover from any exercise.
3. Full of fibre
Every two tablespoons of peanut butter contains 2g of fibre, a useful boost towards the RDA of 30g (most in the UK fall short of this target). Fibre is linked with a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
4. Endless energy
Peanut butter is indeed high in calories, but that’s just a glass-half-empty way of saying it’s full of energy. Also, the magnesium in peanut butter provides slow-release energy to keep you fuelled for longer. If you’re looking to support an active lifestyle, peanut butter will provide the fuel.
5. Always adaptable
You can enjoy peanut butter’s brilliance in an unending variety of ways. Spread it on sandwiches, dip celery or something better than celery in it for a snack, mix it into curries, blend it into smoothies… or just spoon it in directly.
RECOMMENDED: Peanut Butter Recipes
Best Peanut Butters
Which peanut butter tastes the best?
Meridian Organic Crunchy A lack of added sugar or salt makes this a very healthy, but fairly bland spread. Meridian also has a wide range of nut butters, from almond to hazelnut, that are worth a try. From £2.49, meridianfoods.co.uk
Peanut Butter & Co Crunchy This is runny with an abundance of nuts, without adding palm oil or sugar. £2.19, ilovepeanutbutter.com
Sun-Pat Original Crunchy Not the healthiest, but the added sugar and salt provide a super flavour. £1.75, premierfoods.co.uk
Whole Earth Crunchy Original This thick, satisfying peanut butter tastes great despite having no added sugar. £2.59, wholeearthfoods.com
Hi-PRO Peanut Butter If it’s protein you’re after, then this spread, which ramps up the protein content to 5g per tablespoon, is your best bet. £2.70, hipronutrition.co.uk