National Peanut Butter Lovers Month
In honor of National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, this month's feature is highlighting the nutritional wonders of one of America's favorite nutty spreads. Peanut butter is not only a great energy booster, with its supply of carbohydrates, it is also terrific at fending off hunger because of its rich serving of protein and fat.
Now some may cringe at the mention of fat, but even the fat in peanut butter is good for you. Peanut butter contains monounsaturated fats which are beneficial to the body because of its ability to lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL).
Another perk of peanut butter is its dose of fiber, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium and Vitamin E.
Despite the abundance of benefits related to peanut butter, there are some details to be cautious of. In order to make peanut butter more creamy, some types of peanut butter are hydrogenated which results in added trans fats. Also it is important to remember: moderation, moderation, moderation! Fat provides 9 calories per gram (versus 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates and protein) making it more calorically dense when looked at gram for gram. One serving of peanut butter is one tablespoon, about the size of a poker chip, and provides 95 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein.
The big debate now is whether natural or regular peanut butter is better for you. Recently the United States Department of Agriculture released a study that showed there is no reason to believe natural peanut butter is superior to regular. It is simply a matter of personal preference -- just always remember, whether natural or regular, to keep those portion sizes in check.