Benefits Of Eating Peanut Butter For A Healthy Heart
The evidence is strong that eating peanuts could be a low cost measure to improve cardiovascular health. Because peanuts are nutritionally dense and rich in antioxidants, they can be part of a heart healthy diet and even may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Nuts may lower the LDL or our bad cholesterol and may decrease inflammation in the body as well.
The nutrients in peanuts responsible for this include: protein, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, Vitamins E, B3, B6, Folate, Copper and Manganese; plus other beneficial plant compounds called phytonutrients. They are also low in saturated fat and totally free of the dreaded trans fats. Scientific evidence suggests consuming 1.5 ounces of peanuts daily as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of CVD.
Peanut butter is often considered unhealthy due to its level of saturated fat and sodium, however, it’s ratio of saturated fat to unsaturated fat is 3.3 grams to 12.3 grams is around the same as olive oils and it is acceptable to be eaten in moderation. The potassium in peanut butter helps counteract the harmful effects of the sodium content as well. Peanut Butter is a relatively unprocessed food. It is basically just peanuts, often roasted and ground into butter. However, this may not apply to commercial brands that can contain various added ingredients such as sugar, sodium, vegetable oils and even trans-fat. So try to choose a real peanut butter with two (2) ingredients: peanuts and a bit of salt. Peanut butter contains only around 20% carbs and causes a very low rise in blood sugar so is an option for diabetics as well. . BUT we must remember that peanut butter is also high in calories so we have to keep this in mind and be moderate in consumption. Keep in mind that two (2) Tablespoons is considered a serving and has between 188 and 200 calories.
Another issue related to Peanuts/Peanut Butter consumption that you may have heard about is that it may also contain substances called Aflatoxins. These are carcinogenic toxins produced by mold from improperly stored peanuts in warm, humid conditions such as silos. Look for the freshest ingredients, ideally grown closest to you not shipped from overseas. Be sure the peanuts were sold inside the USA.
The bigger manufacturers are the most strictly regulated and watched for compliance. Countries such as Brazil, Asia, and Africa have a much higher risk due to poorly treated or poorly stored peanuts. America has strict standards so the risk is minimal. If you have a tendency to binge on Peanut Butter frequently it may best to avoid it all together as toxins could possibly build up over the years if you are not careful in peanut butter selection and consume a large amount regularly. These same toxins can be found in corn, milk, cheeses, figs and grains as well. As a foot note the following vegetables can decrease the carcinogenic effects and help cleanse the liver, (considered detoxifying vegetables): carrots, celery and spinach.