We don’t need to get a show of hands to estimate that many of you reading this article right now are nut butter lovers. Why else would you be on this article in the first place, right? But there’s one particular question that plagues nut butter lovers across the globe – peanut butter in particular. Is it really good for you? More importantly, is peanut butter really good for you when you’re trying to lose weight? Well, this unassuming and seemingly cupboard staple packs a meaner punch than you think.
Peanut Butter Fact #1: It Helps You Feel Fuller
Peanut butter is rich in many things (like flavor, of course), but some of the things that it is particularly rich in are protein and monounsaturated fats. Incorporated peanut butter into your regular diet, in moderation and an appropriate serving size, can help you stay fuller for longer throughout the day. Spread on your toast for breakfast, or pack a serving to munch on with an apple for your afternoon snack. Wherever you choose to have your peanut butter, just make sure that it’s only 2 tablespoons max to avoid overeating.
Peanut Butter Fact #2: It Will Energize You
On the days that you feel like you’re short on energy, getting some peanut in your system will definitely provide you with the boost that you’re looking for. This is because peanut butter is high in protein, healthy fats and fiber, all of which work together to deliver a much needed doze of energy. Additionally, the peanut butter will keep your blood sugar regulated so you won’t have to worry about the post-high crash after.
Peanut Butter Fact #3: It Helps Maintain Your Caloric Deficit
Individuals on a calorie restricted diet will definitely benefit from adding peanut butter to their regular food intake. Wondering why? Well, one solid is reason is that peanuts actually contain much higher protein content than other kinds of nuts. Statistics show that they actually have a whopping 8 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons. Combine this with the first fact we raised and you’ve got a high likelihood of reducing your daily caloric intake in the long run.
Peanut Butter Fact #4: It Could Potentially Increase Your Metabolic Rate
The jury isn’t completely in on this one yet, but research is certainly promising when it comes to peanut butter’s ability to increase an individual’s metabolic rate. In a study done by the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, researchers concluded that individuals who consumed roughly 500 calories per day over a span of 19 weeks saw an average of 11% increases in their metabolisms.
Peanut Butter Fact #5: It Can Help You Fight Stress
Stress is one of the biggest culprits of weight gain that the fitness community has seen today. Elevated levels of stress can cause binge eating and the release of the hunger hormone known as ghrelin and the stress hormone known as cortisol.
At the end of the day, if you want to really make a dent in your weight loss goals, then you’re going to want to keep your stress to a minimum. Unsurprisingly, in our opinion at least, a delicious treat like peanut butter can help you fight stress. Peanut butter contains a plant sterol known as beta-sitosterol, which is capable of normalizing cortisol levels brought about by stress. Bonus points? Beta-sitosterol can also help give your immunity an extra boost.
Peanut Butter Fact #6: It Protects Your Bones
Who knew that peanut butter was the gift that just keeps on giving? Peanut butter can actually help protect your bones thanks to its mono and polyunsaturated fat content. These substances assist in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin K. Vitamin K, meanwhile is incredibly helpful in the transport of calcium through the body. It goes without saying that this is great for your bones.
Peanut Butter Fact #7: It Helps Combat Toxins
Remember those poly and monounsaturated fats we were telling you about? Well, turns out that another fat-soluble vitamin is Vitamin E. This vitamin is spectacular when it comes to fighting against toxins like those found in air pollution. In fact, Vitamin E is also good for soothing premenstrual syndrome, battling eye disorders like cataracts, and even neurological disease like Alzheimer’s. Believe it or not, Vitamin E is also great at assisting in combating diabetes.
Peanut Butter #8: It Helps You Switch Your Fat Genes Off
Okay, maybe that sounds a little weirder than it was supposed to, but here are the facts: we know that peanut butter helps us fill our bellies with lots of fiber, we know that it contains protein that will give our metabolisms a huge boost, and we also know that its chock full of monounsaturated fats that will help get your belly nice and slim. But there’s one more thing that we haven’t yet mentioned, and it’s probably the hidden weapon of peanut butter that doesn’t get much recognition: genistein.
Genistein is a compound found in peanut butter that interacts directly with the genes in our bodies that are responsibility for obesity. The compound helps to control these genes, thus reducing our body’s capacity to store fat. Other foods that have this compound in them are beans and lentils, but let’s face it, peanut butter tastes so much better.
Given these eight facts about peanut butter, we think it’s pretty safe to say that we’ve proved peanut butter’s effectivity when it comes to helping people lose weight. So what now? Well, now it comes down to the type of peanut butter that you get. It goes without saying that if you choose a peanut butter that has tons of added sugar, then you’re probably going to be sabotaging your body rather than do it good.
When buying peanut butter, you should look for one that only has one ingredient: peanuts. While it’s not that bad to purchase peanut butters that have small amount of added oil and salt, it’s still crucial that you pay attention to the kinds of oil used or how much salt is put in it. Most importantly, stay clear of peanut butters that claim they’re light versions or low-fat. These types of peanut butters are generally guaranteed to replace the fat that was removed with sugar.