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Peanut Butter - Is It Healthy? Is It Good To Eat Regularly? Organic vs. Not Organic

Updated on July 31, 2012

Many people today have learned from multiple sources that peanut butter is unhealthy and fattening. This is not surprising considering the fact that most peanut butter consumed comes from brands which contain unhealthy and fattening additives. These additives include hydrogenated vegetable oil, refined sugar and stabilizers which have proven to be unhealthy and fattening.

In addition, these non-organic peanut butters often come from crops which are rotated with cotton, which is treated with chemicals too toxic to be used on food crops. The residue is transferred to peanut crops the following year. Health experts believe that these toxins are responsible for peanut allergies experienced by many individuals.

Hydrogenated oil, which is mainly used to prolong shelf life produces trans-fats which are a major cause of heart disease and many other health conditions. Refined sugar promotes blood sugar problems leading to obesity and robs the body of B vitamins. Mono and diglycerides are used as emulsifiers. Manufacturers claim they are a non-fat but do not have to state their source, their contribution to calories or whether they are hydrogenated.

The only type of peanut butter which is healthy and non-fattening is unrefined, organic peanut butter containing only organic roasted peanuts with or without salt. No emulsifiers are used so the oil separates and settles at the top of the jar. The peanuts must be roasted because this process eliminates cancer-causing mold aflatoxins which can develop in raw peanuts. Roasting has the added benefit of increasing antioxidant potency.

Many people believe that because peanut butter contains saturated fat that it cannot be healthy or promote weight loss. The presence of saturated fat doesn’t make a food unhealthy or contribute to weight gain. Many healthy foods contain saturated fat such as tofu, wheat germ and olive oil. Peanut butter has the same ratio of saturated fat to unsaturated fat as olive oil. When determining whether a food is healthy the whole package must be considered.

Peanut butter is composed mostly of unsaturated fat which is effective in lowering LDL cholesterol. It also contains polyunsaturated fat which raises HDL cholesterol, helping to balance cholesterol levels. Although peanut butter is calorie dense, only small amounts are needed because it is very filling and satisfying. When eaten in the right quantities, it is more effective and healthy for weight control than low calorie diet foods.

Peanut butter is fairly high in dietary fiber which helps regulate blood cholesterol, blood sugar and weight. Studies have shown that individuals who eat nuts and nut butters are far less likely to gain weight than those who do not.

Peanut butter contains several other nutrients which include protein, niacin, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and potassium. It also contains resveratrol which is an anti-microbial agent able to protect against bacteria, viruses and funguses. Other benefits of resveratrol included lowered risk of heart disease, cancer and slowing of the aging process.

Research shows that peanut butter is effective in combatting diseases. A number of studies have shown that niacin rich foods like peanut butter protect against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.

Several nutrients in peanut butter have been found effective at cancer prevention. These nutrients include phytosterols, folic acid, phytic acid and resveratrol. The risk of colon cancer has been decreased with regular consumption of peanut butter. A large study that took place over twenty years showed that woman who eat nuts, peanuts or peanut butter regularly have a lower risk of developing gallstones.

As always, the negative health effects associate with botanically based foods such as peanut butter has to do with adding unhealthy ingredients to it, or refining it in a way which only benefits the manufacturer. Unrefined, organic peanut butter is very healthy and a wise choice for long term health maintenance.


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    • BethanRose profile image

      BethanRose 6 years ago from South Wales

      I LOVE peanut butter. I mean I could eat it from the tub with a spoon. (Gross I know.) I maintain my slim figure and peanut butter doesnt affect my weight, in fact it sustains it because the peanut butter fills me up nicely. Gret hub with some facts on peanut butter I didn't know! Thanks!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I had to re-visit this very informative hub. I love peanut butter and only eat organic, roasted. And, you are so right about this wonderful food being so filling and satisfying. So, thanks once again for an excellent hub. :)vocalcoach

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      What's your opinion of Smart Balance brand peanut butter, when eaten in small quantities? The ingredients shown on the label look much healthier than those of the "popular" processed peanut butter brands. However, the peanuts aren't listed as organic. JAYE

    • lengsilai profile image

      lengsilai 6 years ago from Lang Island

      Hmm, I will continue taking peanut butter without much guilt after reading your article.

    • profile image

      Rouillie 7 years ago

      yay! One more reason to love peanut butter. A good, informative read.

    • theseus profile image

      theseus 7 years ago from philippines

      I love peanut butter!!Anything which has peanut on it actually. Great hub.:)

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Peanut butter is one of the only foods that will litteraly makes my mouth salivate when I see it. I love peanut butter!!! Yummy~!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Interesting and very helpful information. Thanks for all your hard work.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I have always loved peanut butter and choose the ones with little to no added ingredients or organic. Sadly the term has broadened. cashew butter is also good.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Now I know the importance of peanut butter. I like to eat peanuts but I find it out that peanut butter is healthful as well.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Excellent hub about peanut butter. Taking your article right to the store with me to be sure I purchase the organic and right type. Big help to me as I recently turned vegan and eager to learn all I can about healthy food. Thanks. Voting up!

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

      GojiJuiceGoodness 7 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      Good info here! Thanks for sharing your hub.

      We eat a LOT of peanut butter everyday. I agree it depends on what kind of peanut butter you eat as to it's healthiness. We buy Once Again Nut Butter's Organic Peanut butter with no additives, sweetners, etc. It's tastes really good & it's probably one of the healthiest peanut butters on the market.

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      I'll be darned. Peanut butter, one of the things I allow myself to eat, now I have to be careful. Curses! Back to reading labels. Thanks.

    • Jemmy-T profile image

      Jemmy-T 7 years ago from Lovely Home

      I love peanut butter, sadly the side ingredients of industrialization makes this unhealthy thing.

      The organic peanut butter have to be the best choice.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for a lot of new information. I like peanut butter but seldom eat it because I thought it was unhealthy. I guess its like the old rule of everything in moderation.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 7 years ago from hub

      So much to know about peanut butter! Hard to know which way to believe, when you understand that there are good points and bad with peanut butter:)