Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time! : Peanut Butter and Your Diet

The other day I was out with some friends at Steak and Shake and I was asked “How do you feel about peanut butter?”, I replied “I think its great! High protein, and full of healthy fats!”

Why we avoid peanut butter: In the numbers game of calorie counting peanut butter might seem like a high number enemy, ranking in at about 190 calories 16g of fat per 2TBS svg.

Ahhh Fat! : 16g of fat Nooooo. Okay lets take a lil step back, not all fat is bad for you. In fact your body needs fat to insulate organs and aid brain function. The fat you don’t want is saturated or hydrogenated fat, these are the fats that deposit in your organ and arteries and cause disease. The fat you do want is unsaturated (poly, mono, etc.), these are considered healthy fat, they are the kind your body can use instead of depositing. Peanut butter is loaded with these healthy fats.

Choosing Your Peanut Butter: I got a great tip from a nutritionist at the SCW conference, READ, and RE-READ your labels. Choose a natural peanut butter that list as few ingredients as possible…Peanuts and salt is all you need in your peanut butter. Beware the name brands you love as they may be sneaking transfat (unhealthy fat) into your peanut butter, look out for anything that say hydrogenated or palm oil – if you see these on the jar, put it down, walk away and move to another.

Why I am a Fan of Peanut Butter: Its a semi a sweet protein loaded snack at 8g of protein per serving. It is full of healthy fats, 8g monounsaturated, 4g polyunsaturated. It is a tasty addition to any protein shake, apple, banana, or cracker. I think of it as my chocolate replacement : 3 chocolate mini bars = 230 kcals, 13g of fat-8g saturated, only 3g protein.

I am currently using Kroger brand natural peanut butter (post peanut recall), I have also heard good things about target brand . Natural peanut butter will have separation, the peanut oil will settle at the top simply stir and eat. The consistency will be creamier than your regular peanut butter but after you refrigerate it the spread is a bout the same.

So pull out your whole wheat bread and do not be afraid to slap down a healthy helping of natural peanut butter as a healthy pre or post workout snack.

For those who were curious, yes I occasionally go to a fast food spot, you just have to be creative: double steak burger with chesse, onions, lettuce, tomato, no bun (Atkins yay! - eye roll), side salad with fat free berry vinegaret, and a large glass of water…don’t be afraid to make substitutions when you go out, just be sure to tip the waitress well, very well.

nutrition information courtesy of The Daily Plate.
Health and Happiness

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