Peanut Butter: Weight Loss Food or Direct Path to a Higher BMI?

After years of instructions telling people to steer clear of peanut butter, many nutrition experts have now labeled it as a weight loss food.  This popular and delicious spread is often considered to be a staple throughout an American childhood.

High Calorie Spread

Since it is made from peanuts, it is higher in calories than certain other spreads.  For that reason, many people have assumed that it is not a good weight loss food and have excluded it from their diets.  However, there is a lot more to peanut butter than calories.  This means that the decision as to whether or not to include it in your diet is more complex than that.

Peanut butter also contains essential nutrients including healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.  It’s the fat content that causes the spread to have a high calorie density.  That said, there are many high calorie foods that are still good weight loss foods, provided they are consumed in moderation.  According to recent research, that may be exactly the case for this particular ingredient.

Is Peanut Butter a Weight Loss Food?

To answer this question, it’s a good idea to get a better understanding of exactly what you’ll get from peanut butter by eating it.  Then, you can see whether or not this is a weight loss food suited to your diet.

That may look like a lot of fat, but remember that 75 percent of it is unsaturated.

A 32 gram serving – that is, about 2 tablespoons – of peanut butter comes with:

  • 192 calories
  • 16 grams of fat
  • 3 grams of saturated fat
  • 8 grams of monounsaturated fat
  • 4 grams of polyunsaturated fat

That may look like a lot of fat, but remember that 75 percent of it is unsaturated.  Research shows that unsaturated fat, eaten in moderation instead of saturated fat, is better for controlling LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It may even be better for reducing your heart disease risk.

Eating peanut butter isn’t just about fat.  You’ll also gain:

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin E
  • B vitamins
  • And many other essential vitamins and minerals

Despite the high calorie content, this is a nutritious and filling food that research shows can be combined with a healthy diet.  This makes it a handy weight loss food to keep in the house.

Helpful tip:

To get the most out of your peanut butter, choose the all-peanut type.  Either buy it freshly ground at a health food store or buy it in jars in which the only ingredient is peanuts.  This helps you to avoid additional unhealthy oils and added sugars and salts that are completely unnecessary.

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