Peanut Butter….Is your brand a good one?

peanutPeanut butter has been a household staple for most families for decades.   Every man, woman and child enjoys peanut butter.

Oddly though, I never liked peanut butter growing up.  I wouldn’t even use a knife to put jam on my toast if it had been previously used by a peanut butter user.

I remember going to friends homes after school for some playtime and they would take a soup spoon and scoop out a heaping spoonful of peanut butter to snack on.  I always turned up my nose and refused to get in on the after school snacking.

It is just recently that I started to eat a little bit of peanut butter.  And I mean just a little bit.  I sometimes use it in stir fries and I occasionally make peanut butter cups for my sweetie.  I still don’t think I could spread it on toast though.  When purchasing peanut butter I always buy organic pure brands from the health food store.  And I will tell you why below.

First off though…..My nut butter choice for toast is raw organic almond butter, or jungle peanut butter, or cashew, walnut, pistachio and other exotic nut butters such as macadamia nut butter.  These butters are cleaner, more nutritious and are mold, sugar and additive free.

Now let us analyze peanut butter.

Peanuts, which are actually a legume, are very flavourful.  They pack an abundance of protein.  A 1/4 cup of peanuts has 9.50 grams of protein, 3 grams fiber, 9.0 grams of monounsaturated fat and almost 6 grams of polyunsaturated fat.  There is no cholesterol or trans fat.

Peanuts are used in many dishes, trail mixes, crumbled on salads, used in some protein bars, served as cocktail snacks etc.  Peanut butter is available everywhere and there are many many brands of this spread.

So with the peanut and peanut butters prevelance in our grocery stores….we think it is all good.  Unfortunately there is a dark side to the peanut and peanut butters you are buying off the grocery store shelf.  According to an article by Natural News of June 19, 2014, The World’s Healthiest Foods website places peanuts on its “10 Most Controversial Foods” list.  The reason for this ranking is the peanut’s association with food sensitivities and allergies,  and the fact that a good quality peanut is very hard to find.  Most peanuts carry a mold called “aflotoxin”.

Aflotoxin is a mycotoxin.  Aflatoxin is a carcinogen shown to cause liver cancer in rats and we can presume,  humans if ingested in large amounts.  Studies show occasional ingestion of peanuts or the butter won’t cause too much harm but long term eating of small amounts like on your daily breakfast bread would not be a good idea.

The powerhouse qualities of peanut butter are being undermined by additives used by many companies in the production of peanut butters.

You should only buy peanut butter that has an ingredients list of two items….peanuts and salt.  The majority of peanut butters on the shelf contain nasty ingredients such as sugar, corn syrup, lard, palm oil, cotton seed oil, soy lecithin, whey and hydrogenated vegetable oils.  Yukk!  And one more thing…read the label and make sure it reads ZERO trans fats.  Trans fats are the bad fats….chemically altered hydrogenated garbage we all need to avoid at all cost.  And just because a label has the word “NATURAL” on it does not mean it doesn’t have these nasties in it.  You must still read the label.

If you love peanut butter and eat it often, may I suggest a visit to your local health food store to get some freshly ground peanuts.  Most health food stores have a grinder and they package their own peanut butter which has only one ingredient….peanuts.  There are also some really good nut butters that are organic, pure, raw and tasty that you may wish to try to replace your peanut butter habit.

Just a suggestion.

 

 

 

 

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