Thursday January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day. Why not eat some peanut butter to celebrate this day?! For all of you peanut butter lovers yet another reason to eat one of your favorite foods, while for those non-peanut butter lovers a reason to give it another chance. After all peanut butter is a healthy food when consumed in moderation.
What makes peanut butter healthy?
Peanut butter is a versatile food packed with nutrition. Although peanut butter does contain a high amount of fat – the fat content contains both mono- and poly-unsaturated “heart healthy fats”. Several studies have shown these fats can help lower cholesterol and improve overall heart health. Peanut butter is loaded with protein, an essential nutrient that helps to keep you feeling full for longer. Each tablespoon of peanut butter contains a small amount of fiber, which can help normalize bowel movements and also provide satiety.
How much peanut butter should you eat?
Although peanut butter offers numerous health benefits, a large consumption can lead to an excessive calorie intake and ultimately weight gain. Each tablespoon of peanut butter provides approximately 90 calories and 9 grams of fat. Generally the recommendations are to limit your intake to 2 tablespoons per day (contains approximately 180 calories and 18 grams of fat)
What are some healthy ways to incorporate peanut butter into your diet?
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are not the only way to enjoy peanut butter. Here are several other ideas:
- Spread or dip your favorite fruit in/with peanut butter. Many recipes are available for creative ideas to serve up peanut butter with fruit.
- Mix peanut butter with your favorite oatmeal recipe. A favorite to many are the increasingly popular baked oatmeal recipes.
- Mix peanut butter with non-fat plain yogurt. Add a tablespoon of granola and fruit for a complete breakfast.
- Include peanut butter in your favorite healthy cookie recipe.
- Spread peanut butter on graham crackers, to create a fun snack for all ages.
- Make a homemade salad dressing or marinade with peanut butter. Perfect for many Asian inspired dishes
What are you waiting for?! Go eat some peanut butter!!
Kristen Smith is a registered dietitian in Atlanta, GA with over 8 years of experience in nutrition counseling and consulting. She is the founder of 360FamilyNutrition and has been featured in many national media publications. She encourages all families to eat healthy together.