Peanut butter is a popular spread that people use in many meals and snacks. It contains no cholesterol and is a nutritious option packed with protein and healthful fats.
Peanut butter also contains many nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, which can be beneficial to a person’s health. However, there is conflicting information around whether it is a healthful foodstuff.
This article explores how peanut butter can affect a person’s cholesterol, along with its health benefits and possible health risks.
Peanut butter contains two types of unsaturated fat:
Monounsaturated fat: According to the American Diabetes Association, monounsaturated fats may reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. High levels of LDL cholesterol can
Polyunsaturated fat: As with monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats may also help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in a person’s body.
Additionally, peanut butter itself
According to the
|Type of fat||Amount per 100 g peanut butter||Amount per 28.38 g (2 tbsp) peanut butter|
|Monounsaturated fat||25.4 g||7.2 g|
|Polyunsaturated fat||12.3 g||3.49 g|
|Saturated fat||10.1 g||2.86 g|
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend people get around 5–6% of their daily calories from saturated fat. Based on this guideline, a person who eats 2,000 calories per day may have approximately 13 grams (g) of saturated fat in their diet.
The AHA also recommend 2 tablespoons of peanut butter as a serving size.
When eating peanut butter in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, there is little risk to a person’s health. People aiming to follow a healthful diet may wish to eat pure peanut butter, which contains no other ingredients.
Sugar and salt intake
Flavored peanut butter products can contain added sugar. Although foods with added sugar can be part of a healthful diet, it is best to limit the intake of this substance as much as possible for optimal health. Those who need to follow a low sodium diet should choose unsalted peanut butter when possible.
Additionally, a 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter has around 188 calories. For a person consuming 2,000 calories per day, this much peanut butter would be 9.4% of their daily calorie intake.
Those who eat more calories than they burn are likely to gain weight, which may lead to some people having overweight or obesity, potentially causing other health issues. It is important for a person to be mindful of what they eat and try to stick to a healthful, balanced diet.
When eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, peanut butter can provide many benefits.
Good source of protein
According to the
May reduce risk of certain cancers
Research shows a link between consuming nuts and peanut butter and a lower risk of certain cancers. For example, a
Provides essential vitamins and minerals
Peanut butter contains many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are important for the body to function correctly.
Peanut butter is a
- vitamin E
Helps heart health
Due to its high amount of unsaturated fats, peanut butter may help reduce a person’s LDL cholesterol levels. Having optimal LDL levels is linked with a lower risk of heart disease.
Maintaining blood sugar levels
Some research suggests that people consuming a meal with peanut butter had a lower blood glucose level than when they had the same meal without it. These results suggest that peanut butter may help improve blood sugar control, which is important for optimal health and disease prevention.
May aid weight loss
Peanut butter is full of fiber, fat, and protein, which can help make a person feel fuller for longer. This feeling of fullness could reduce a person’s chances of snacking on less healthful foods.
- a reduction in body weight
- a reduction in waist circumference
- improvements to blood lipid ratios, the ratio of “good” cholesterol to “bad” cholesterol
Although peanut butter contains both saturated and unsaturated fats, when eaten in moderation, it can have a positive impact on a person’s cholesterol levels.
Peanut butter is high in calories and fats, and therefore if possible, a person should always eat it as part of a balanced and healthful diet. When people consume it in healthful proportions, peanut butter can offer many health benefits.