March 05, 2019 at 03:08AM by CWC
We love a good nut butter. And while almond and cashew butter have taken center stage (even sunflower seeds have joined the game) it’s sometimes nice to get back to our roots: peanut butter. Since making appearances in our childhood PB&Js, the protein-packed spread has become a healthy-eating staple.
It tastes so good, you might begin to question whether or not it’s actually good for you. Worry not—in the newest episode of You Versus Food, Well+Good’s YouTube series breaking down the buzziest food and drink trends, top dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, confirms that the yummy spread has tons of nutritional benefits.
“Peanut butter is made of peanuts and peanuts are pretty healthy,” says Beckerman. “So just like that perfect match you found on Tinder, peanuts have an optimal profile— a nutritional profile, that is.”
Peanuts are full of fiber, monounsaturated fats (aka the good kind), antioxidants and protein. They also contain folate, which keeps your energy levels up, and resveratrol, which fights inflammation. And while almonds ultimately have more fiber, and cashews have more healthy fats, Beckerman says peanuts take the cake when it comes to protein—seven grams per 1-ounce serving.
As for peanut butter itself, the ooey gooey spread is made from roasted peanuts, which release oil when ground. Natural peanut butters, Beckerman says, have a short ingredient list: salt, oil, and peanuts. However, she warns that some peanut butters contain unnecessary additives that make your spread less healthy (like sugars and hydrogenated oils). Also: If your “natural” PB doesn’t separate in the jar, it probably isn’t too natural.
Just like everything else, you should eat peanut butter in moderation. Beckerman says a serving size is two tablespoons, which is about 200 calories.
Side note: Peanuts aren’t actually nuts, they’re legumes (yes, we too feel betrayed). So if you’re following a paleo diet, they’re a no-no. If you’re not, be sure to watch the video above.