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Peanut butter – go natural and you won’t go back

June 7, 2010

There’s something nostalgic about the stuff that sticks to the roof of your mouth.  It reminds me of my grade school days, sitting in the cafeteria with bad hair and braces, eating my PB & J or PB & banana sandwich (always cut diagonally on white wonder bread).   PB made an another appearance at recess when I’d carry around my Ziploc bag of peanut butter smeared on celery sticks.     

Twenty years later, I’ve acknowledge that I didn’t make the healthiest choices.   The white bread was my first problem.  Even worse was the so-called peanut butter inside.  

If you have a jar of PB in your home, please do me a favour.   Walk over to where your peanut butter is stored.  Pick it up and read the ingredients.  Do you see any of the following?

  • Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (trans-fats)
  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar of any kind

If the answer is “yes” to any of the above, take the jar in one hand, open the garbage with the other, then toss.  Walk away and never look back.   What you are eating is not peanut butter.   It’s merely a mix of refined oils and sugars, with a few peanuts in there somewhere.   Horrible for you.   They add the hydrogenated oils to minimize the naturally occurring oil separation, improve the shelf life and enhance the plasticity of the PB for easy spreading.   

What are hydrogenated oils?   Natural fats that are processed by bubbling hydrogen gas through them at high temperatures. They become partially hydrogenated which changes their structure to the “trans” form.   These trans fats interfere with metabolic processes, increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol and are the source of many chronic diseases.

So, get the REAL stuff and pick up a jar of NATURAL ORGANIC peanut butter.   The ingredients:  Peanuts. Period.  

Isn’t that amazing?   Peanut butter that is actually made with peanuts and nothing else.   You can find the all natural stuff at any grocery store nowadays.   Even Shopper’s Drug Mart carries it for crying out loud so no excuses.   Once you try the real stuff you’ll actually be able to taste peanuts again!   And you won’t go back.   I forced a spoonful of Skippy PB in my mouth recently and wanted to gag.   I wonder how I went through my grade school days eating that crap. 

A few quick nut butter tips…

A few tablespoons of PB or any other nut butters a day is ideal.  You will get a good dose of protein and keep your blood sugar stable.   Check out the other health benefits for peanut butter.

If you’re feeling adventurous follow my footsteps and go for the all natural almond butter or cashew butter.   It gets pricey but you can grab a large  jar of MaraNatha almond butter at Costco for $12 or so.   Or head to a bulk food store and pack your own.   You can compare the nutrients of Almond Butter vs Peanut Butter right here .

As for the oil separation, don’t let it scare you off.  Simpy turn the jar upside-down and/or stir it up.  Remember, the oils are good for you.  If you pour it out, be prepared for some dry and crusty nut butter.  You’ll need a chizzle to get at it.   

Last but not least, my snack staple.   I’m usually running late in the morning so I just spread my nut butter of choice (almond) on a banana and eat it like so.  It’s quick, filling and leaves you with no dirty dishes:)

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