Peanut Butter is as “American” as baseball and apple pie!

It’s a staple in the vast majority of American households, if not every kitchen, and has been, for generations.

It goes great on and with many things including; white bread, crackers, celery, ice cream, bananas, milkshakes and much more.

There’s even websites dedicated to peanut butter such as PeanutButterLovers.com.

There’s no doubt, Peanut Butter offers some nutritional value. One ounce of roasted peanuts provides 10% of the daily value of folate, the naturally occurring form of the B vitamin folic acid, recommended for the reduction of birth defects and lowered heart disease risk.

But there is also no arguing the fact that traditional, non-organic or all natural brands also offer some not-so-nutritional ingredients and has serious allergy implications for many. Let’s take a look at the big picture.

INGREDIENTS:

Roasted Peanuts Sugar Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Cottonseed and Rapeseed) Salt

Let’s take a closer look at each of these ingredients:

Roasted Peanuts:

A closer look at peanuts and one learns that they are not even in the “nut family”. They are actually legumes related to peas, lentils, chickpeas and other beans.

But for as small as peanuts are, they pack a HUGE punch in terms of nutrition. They offer the following nutritional values:

monounsaturated fats – healthy fat good for a strong heart vitamin E niacin folate protein magnesium resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant found in red grapes and red wine

And there are numerous studies that prove a diet high in peanuts can reduce cardiovascular disease.

Peanut Allergies

Although allergic reactions can occur to virtually any food, research studies on food allergy consistently report more problems with some foods than with others. It turns out that peanuts are one of the foods most commonly associated with allergic reactions.

Many schools across the U.S. are banning ALL peanut products and even products manufactured in plants where peanuts have been processed due to the high number of children allergic to them and the severe nature of the allergic reactions.

But if you are not allergic to peanuts, partaking in them daily can be a great way to help your heart and body stay healthy and strong.

Sugar:

Although less harmful than High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), sugar offers no nutritional value.

Sugar is known to cause tooth decay, obesity, and hyper-activity, among other things.

It is added to Peanut Butter to enhance the taste and flavor.

Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils:

In Peanut Butter, most often includes Cottonseed and Rapeseed oils. Let’s take a closer look at each:

Cottonseed Oil:

Wikipedia: Cottonseed oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the cotton plant after the cotton lint has been removed. It must be refined to remove gossypol, a naturally occurring toxin that protects the cotton plant from insect damage. Therefore, unrefined cottonseed oil is sometimes used as a pesticide. In its natural unhydrogenated state, cottonseed oil, like all vegetable oils, has no cholesterol. It also contains no trans fatty acids. However, it does contain over 50% Omega-6 fatty acids and only trace amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, and the imbalance is considered unhealthy if not used in moderation or balanced elsewhere in the diet. Further, these polyunsaturated fats can potentially go rancid during the extraction process.