Peanut butter is a delicious, nutritious and satiating food, obtained by grinding peanuts until smooth. The result is a paste, perfect for spreading on slices of bread or for making cakes and sweets yummier. In the post of today we will talk about the properties of pure peanut butter, obtained only from peanuts. In fact, unfortunately, many products that are found on the market contain, instead, added sugars, oils and saturated fats that modify the nutritional profile of the butter that becomes much more caloric and not a healthy choice, especially for body weight and the cardiovascular system. Another contraindication is peanut allergy, in this case do not eat peanut butter.
Peanut butter, properties
Peanut butter provides energy, about 600 kcal per 100 grams of product, therefore peanut butter can be eaten in the morning for breakfast or as a snack for sporty people, students or people with an active lifestyle. Peanut butter is a source of proteins, in fact, it provides about 25 grams of protein per 100 grams of product, it is satiating, thus helping to keep hunger attacks under control, and it contains fibers that are important for the proper functioning of the intestine. Then, peanut butter contains mineral salts, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium, vitamins of group B, folate and vitamin E (USDA Database - Arya et al, J Food Skis Technol, 2016 - Reis et al, Br J Nutr, 2013). This product is also a source of fat, about half of the total weight, but this fat is constituted mainly by unsaturated fatty acids, considered protective for the cardiovascular system. Unsaturated fatty acids, it is believed, would be also able to improve the body's use of insulin, with a beneficial impact on blood sugar levels. As a proof of this, a study was carried out (Jiang et al, JAMA, 2002) that analyzed for 16 years the health status and dietary habits of 83818 women aged between 34 and 59. What emerged is that the intake 5 times a week of peanut butter has led to a 21% decrease in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Not only that, peanut butter also contains antioxidant substances, such as resveratrol, a substance with an anticancer action, anti aging and able to protect the health of the cardiovascular system, and phytosterols, which are anti-inflammatory and, since they are structurally similar to human cholesterol, take its place. As a consequence, this effect causes a decrease in absorbed and circulating cholesterol (Sales et al, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutrition, 2014).
Peanut butter, warnings
Peanut butter, as we have seen, when eaten without excess is certainly a healthy food. However, do not exceed the quantity, it is always a very caloric product. Then, as mentioned at the beginning, it is important to make sure that the peanut butter purchased does not contain other ingredients such as sugars or oils, at most it can only contain a little salt. In addition, it is always important to make sure that the product is of good quality, indeed, peanuts and, consequently, peanut butter can be a source of aflatoxins, which are very dangerous mycotoxins (Mupunga et al, J Food Prot, 2014). In fact, they are considered carcinogenic. However, it seems that the processing of peanuts to obtain the butter helps reduce the amount of aflatoxins present and therefore the quantity of aflatoxins in the butter is much lower than that observed in peanuts (Siwela et a, Food and Nutrition Science, 2011).