Peanut butter is so popular in the United States that we spent 2.3 billion dollars on it in 2019 (www.statista.com).
Is Peanut Butter Really Healthy For Us?
If you were to look at the nutrition fact label, you would see that creamy peanut butter has 190 calories for only two tablespoons. This is a high-calorie food item. It also has a total of 16 grams of fat, mostly from saturated fat and 3 grams of sugar with 2 grams of added sugar. So, on the surface, this could look like something you would want to steer away from in your diet.
Don’t Cancel Peanut Butter Out!
Peanut butter does have some health benefits. Looking at the same nutrition fact label, you will find that peanut butter has 7 grams of protein, B Vitamins, fiber, Vitamin E, and potassium. Let’s compare the potassium and sodium ratio; salted peanut butter has about twice as much potassium as sodium, and even though the best ratio would be 1:3, this still compares quite favorably with bologna, roast beef, and other sandwich fixings. There is scientific evidence suggesting that eating 1.5 ounces of nuts or nut products per day is heart-healthy and can lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. However, this has not been proven.
Peanut butter is an inexpensive, nutrient-dense food used in times of struggle. It is on the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) approved list because it provides protein for children that promotes muscle growth and maintenance. It is also in food pantries and is one of the most sought-after items because it is packed full of nutrients, can last a long time, and can be purchased with SNAP benefits.
Peanut Butter Challenge
Now that we know how important this food can be for families, I would like to mention that UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension office is collecting peanut butter for our local food pantries. Please drop off a jar or two at our office: 5339 CR 579 Seffner, FL 33584. Or you can collect some at your office, church, or school and bring by a bunch to share.