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Peanut butter: The good, the bad and the mantra

The goodness of eating peanuts depends on how much you consume and the variety you get.

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

For a long time, we have been hearing that butter is the most dangerous fat. Whether it’s solid or semi-solid, it’s worse for you. It has been blamed for everything from obesity to heart disease. Yet, recently, it has made a comeback as a “health food” in the form of peanut butter.

Peanut butter is utterly delicious and contains high amount of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and protein. Two tablespoon of this butter has 3.3 grams of saturated fat and 2.3 grams of unsaturated fat. This ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat puts it up on the list with olive oil. In moderation, saturated fat is okay for your body. It also provides you some fibre and has a terrific potassium-to-sodium ratio if consumed unsalted. People who regularly include peanut butter in their diet in the right way are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat it.

What’s bad about peanut butter?

Peanut butter is loaded with omega-6 fats and low on omega-3 fats. The ratio is often as high as 20:1 omega-6 vs. omega-3 fats. This imbalanced ratio can cause inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases. In addition, too many omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids can lead to asthma, type 2 diabetes, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, metabolic syndrome, macular degeneration and more. Peanut butter often contains mold that is a big reason for food allergies or inflammatory immune reactions.

Peanut butter is healthy

Make sure that peanut butter actually helps your body in the best possible way. While buying it, always pick certified organic brand. They’re made of peanuts grown in bushes off the ground or higher up to eliminate the issue with mold. Also, many a times, peanut butter contains non-organic hydrogenated oils. It adds to omega-6 count making the butter unhealthy to consume. Beware of this junk and stay away from it. It can cause you weight gain and inflammatory reactions in your body.

It is wise to make your own peanut butter or buy the natural organic one. Only then it can actually be beneficial for your health.

Consume in moderation

It’s tasty. It contains nutrients. But, at the same time it contains some harmful substances like peanut lectin, a growth promoter of colon cancer cells and Aflatoxins, a kind of fungal toxins.

The mantra is to consume in “moderation” and use good organic quality with right foods. If you make it a part of your proper diet, it can support and boost metabolism and fat-loss because of its high-protein content. In fact today, it is one of the highest plant-based protein sources. Peanut butter is one of those foods that can turn meals into masterpieces. However, sometimes it can be a metabolism death food.