Here are peanut butter nutrition facts and health benefits. The health benefits of peanut butter mentioned in this article are based on studies.
Peanut butter is a protein-packed spread popular around the world. It’s made of ground peanuts — often roasted first — blended into a thick paste.
The final product contains a range of nutrients that may offer health-boosting benefits. However, it’s important to check the label when buying peanut butter. Many brands today add ingredients like sugar, vegetable oil, and trans fats that can reduce its nutritional value.
Natural peanut butter is available at health food stores and specialty grocers, and can be easily found online. Look for a product that contains no additives other than a little salt.
You can also make peanut butter at home by blending peanuts in a food processor until you reach your desired texture.
1. Peanut Butter Nutrition Facts
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 2 tablespoons (32g) of smooth peanut butter with added salt.
Carbs: Peanuts butter is relatively low in carbohydrate. The carbs in a serving of peanut account for only 13% to 16% of their total weight, translating to a glycemic index (GI) of only 14. A serving of peanut butter is less likely to affect blood sugar than higher-GI foods like the white bread (75 GI per slice) used to make a PB&J sandwich.
Most of the carbohydrates in peanuts are complex, the type that the body breaks down gradually. Peanut butter has few of the simple carbohydrates that trigger spikes in blood sugar.
Even commercial peanut butter brands that add sugar tend to keep it to a minimum, adding no more than a gram or two to those naturally found in peanuts.
Fats: Although 16 grams of fat per serving may seem like a lot, most are “healthy” monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Only around 4% is from “unhealthy” saturated fat, the type that can clog your arteries.
The monounsaturated fats in peanuts are primarily from oleic acid (which positively influences cholesterol levels), while the polyunsaturated fats are predominantly from linoleic acid (which helps build muscle). Peanut butter also contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and associated with a reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
However, some commercial brands contain hydrogenated oils that stabilize the peanut butter and prevent the natural oils from separating and rising to the top. Unlike monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, hydrogenated oil does affect blood lipid levels, causing “bad” LDL cholesterol to rise and “good” HDL cholesterol to fall.
Protein: Approximately 35% of peanut butter’s total weight is from protein, making it a good source of plant-based protein. It provides 7 grams of protein per serving.
Vitamins and Minerals: Peanut butter is nutrient-dense and can help you meet your reference daily intake (RDI, or recommended daily amount) of vitamins and minerals. Peanut butter provides important B-complex vitamins as well as essential minerals and antioxidants.
Here is how 32 grams of peanut butter contribute to the RDI of key nutrients:
Copper: 43% of RDI
Manganese: 28% of RDI
Vitamin B3 (niacin): 25% of RDI
Iron: 22% of RDI
Folate: 20% of RDI
Potassium: 18% of RDI
Vitamin E: 18% of RDI
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 17% of RDI
Magnesium: 14% of RDI
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 11% of RDI
Zinc: 10% of RDI
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 9% of RDI
Unlike tree nuts, peanuts and peanut butter do not provide vitamins A or C.
Calories: Packaging often lists a single serving of peanut butter as 2 tablespoons (32 grams), roughly the amount needed to make a peanut butter sandwich. Like all other types of nut butter, peanut butter is high in calories, and has 191 calories per serving.
But the good news is that peanut butter packs a lot of nutrition into a small amount of food. And, because peanut butter can make you feel fuller faster, you don’t tend to eat a lot. What you do consume can support health.
2. Health Benefits of Peanut Butter
Improved Heart Health
One of the main fats in peanut butter is oleic acid. When substituted for other fats in your diet, oleic acid is shown to help maintain good cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. Managing these levels in your body can lower the risk of heart disease.
Peanut butter also contains omega-6. This fatty acid lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases protective (HDL) cholesterol. In addition, peanuts are a natural source of arginine, an amino acid that may prevent heart and vascular disease by promoting good blood vessel function.
Reduced Risk of Diabetes
Oleic acid also been shown to reduce the body’s insulin resistance, a condition that raises your blood sugar and leads to diabetes. Research shows that peanut butter’s omega-6 content may have this same effect as well.
Peanuts are a great source of antioxidants like manganese, vitamin E, and B vitamins. These compounds act to prevent and repair cell damage in your body, and this effect can reduce your risk of chronic diseases like cancer.
One of peanut butter’s most powerful antioxidants is coumaric acid — and research found that its activity is boosted by 22% if you roast peanuts before whipping them into a butter.
It also contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that’s been shown to have anti-cancer effects and may lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, and cognitive decline.
May Reduce Risk of Gallstones
Gallstones, a major health risk in developed countries, is caused by being overweight, crash diets, certain types of cholesterol drugs, and birth control pills. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on peanuts and nut consumption relating to the risk of gallstones was undertaken and the results of the study showed that over a period of 2 decades, women who consumed peanut butter and nuts regularly may have reduced their risk of developing gallstones.
Potentially Antioxidant Properties
Peanut butter may contain antioxidant properties due to the presence of folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and thiamin. One of the antioxidants found in it is resveratrol. Resveratrol is a polyphenolic antioxidant that may help in controlling chronic diseases.
Can Help Reduce Cravings
Eating peanut butter can help you lose weight because the ingredients in peanut butter have the ability to reduce cravings. In a study that included up to three meals of 15 obese women, who added 42.5 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of peanut butter to their breakfast. And as a result, they felt fuller and wanted to eat less than the control group. However, additional research on the specific role of peanut butter in appetite suppression is limited. Several studies have linked the consumption of peanuts and nuts with the ability to boost metabolism in a way that aids weight control.
Can peanut butter help maintain weight?
Eating peanuts will help you lose weight or not? Although peanuts are part of a high-fat, high-calorie food, they are not associated with weight gain as you might expect.
In fact, most of the available research indicates that diets rich in peanuts and nuts may be more effective in supporting weight maintenance than diets that eliminate peanut butter from the diet.
Furthermore, people who regularly ate peanuts and peanut butter tended to have a lower BMI than those who didn’t. However, the exact reason why peanuts aid in weight maintenance is unclear.
Because the calorie content of nuts provided to the body may not be completely absorbed, they may not lead to an excess of calories supplied to the body but on the contrary will cause weight gain.
Finally, more research is still needed to better understand the role peanuts and peanut butter play in weight management.