If you’re on a diet, peanut butter could be your new best friend.
It may not have all the qualities of superior superfoods but research has shown that snacking on peanut butter is an effective way to control hunger without weight gain. How does peanut butter help those on a diet? It increases the production of Peptide YY (PYY), a gut hormone that keeps you feeling full. A Purdue University study published in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that people who snacked on peanuts and peanut butter self-adjusted their caloric intake spontaneously and did not add extra calories to their daily diet.
Research has shown that consuming peanuts regularly can decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. It contains monounsaturated fat, which is good for the heart.
Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN and founder of Nourish Snacks, recently wrote in Women’s Health: “Peanut butter is loaded with so many health-promoting nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium, iron, selenium and vitamin B6. Research shows that those who regularly eat nuts and nut butter, including peanut butter, are less likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”
A tablespoon of peanut butter, rich in fiber and protein, has 90 calories and 8 grams of fat. But just one serving packs a punch of nutrition. A serving offers 3 mg of vitamin E, 49 mg of magnesium, 208 mg of potassium, and 0.17 mg of vitamin B6.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that consuming 1 ounce of nuts or peanut butter (about 2 tablespoons) five days a week can cut the risk of diabetes by almost 30 per cent.
When buying peanut butter, buy regular. Reduced-fat doesn’t help your waistline since the calories are about the same. Check for counts of sodium (40-250 mg in 2 tablespoons) and sugar (1-2 gm in 2 tablespoons) when buying a jar of your favorite brand. More often than not, organic versions have half the sodium and sugar content.
Skip the jam, jelly and bread. Pair your peanut butter with an apple, one of the healthiest snacks you can enjoy at any time of the day! Or with any one of these zero calorie foods.