Organic peanut butter is a satisfying comfort food that has many health benefits when eaten in moderation. It's a healthier option than conventional peanut butter because it doesn't contain partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats, and the peanuts aren't coated in pesticides. Just be sure to choose a product that doesn't contain added sugars or salt.
A 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter has 200 calories and 16 grams of fat. While saturated fat accounts for 3 grams of the fat in a serving, the remainder comes from heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fat lowers your risk for heart disease by reducing total cholesterol, decreasing harmful LDL cholesterol and raising beneficial HDL cholesterol levels. One serving also has 7 grams of easily digested plant-based protein, which contributes to muscle tissue repair and growth.
Organic peanut butter is not made with partially hydrogenated oils. These inexpensive, man-made oils have hydrogen added to them to give the products they are in a longer shelf life. Hydrogenated oils are classified as trans fats. This type of fat raises your bad cholesterol, lowers your good cholesterol, and puts you at a higher risk for having a stroke, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. By choosing organic peanut butter, you can avoid these unhealthy fats.
Conventionally grown peanuts are covered in pesticides. Because they have a thin skin and lack a hard shell, they absorb a lot of the pesticides. The pesticides used on conventional peanuts are known carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents, hormone disruptors and neurotoxins, and they can cause developmental and reproductive problems. Eating organic peanut butter is a healthier, less toxic choice.
One serving of organic peanut butter has 15 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin E. This fat-soluble vitamin acts as an antioxidant, fighting the cell-damaging free radicals in your body. Getting enough vitamin E may help protect against certain types of cancer and other chronic diseases, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Peanut Butter, Smooth
- American Heart Association: Trans Fats
- Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.; 2007
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin E
- What's On My Food?: Peanut Butter
- peanut butter on a cracker image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.