Peanut butter – properties and influence on weight loss


For some people it is a healthier substitute of jams and chocolate creams, for others – gut bomb in a jar. What peanut butter really is and what influences its properties? Is there really a place for this product in a reducing diet?

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is a food product, especially popular in American and Dutch cuisine. In the United States, more than 60% of peanut production is used for the production of peanut butter. In the kitchen it is most often used as a spread for bread and an additive to baked goods. John Harvey Kellog is considered an “inventor” of this treat.

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Properties of peanut butter

Many people expect that peanut butter will have similar nutrition facts as the material it is produced from. Partially it is true, as peanut butter is characterized by similar caloricity (690 kcal/100 g), the content of fat (ca. 68 g/100 g), protein (ok. 25 g/100 g) and quite low content of carbohydrates (ok. 10 g/100 g). We would also expect to find there B-group vitamins (especially niacin) and trace amounts of mineral ingredients (especially potassium). Therefore, to a certain extent, this statement is true, however, we need to highlight that multi-stage process of production of peanut butter will influence quality and quantity changes of nutrients contained there. An important side-effect related to the process of peanut processing is possible destruction of unsaturated fatty acids under the influence of temperature. It is highly possible then that trans fatty acids will be produced in the product, the consumption of which may be correlated with the appearance of i.a. atherosclerosis and obesity.

Peanut butter and weight loss

There is a popular statement often seen on the Internet, that peanut butter makes us lose weight. It is not entirely true. It should be noticed that this product is rich in calories. Moreover, its texture and easiness of consumption make us eat more than we would eat in case of peanuts. Moreover, it is so tasty that it’s hard to eat it in moderation. Often instead of eating one teaspoon of peanut butter, we eat a few tablespoons and consequently – consume a lot of calories.

It is also the case, that we eat peanut butter with products rich in carbs – bread, oats, cake or banana. A meal rich in fats and proteins at the same time will decrease glycemic index, on the one hand, but on the other increase the risk of storing fatty tissue (due to the simultaneous state of high insulin level and fatty acids in the bloodstream). Such a combination will definitely inhibit the process of weight loss. It should also be noticed that “shop” peanut butters often contain a lot of sugar, which will not only increase caloricity of the product, but also stimulate the above mentioned phenomenon, even if we don’t combine peanut butter with carb products.

Peanut butter has its pros and cons. On the one hand, in moderate amounts it may constitute good diet diversification and complement it in fat. On the other hand, high level of processing, the content of calories and possible presence of trans fat and sugar decidedly doesn’t support its use in a diet. A solution, as usual, is common sense – a teaspoon of peanut butter from time to time will definitely do no harm, but we should not treat is as an element of daily diet, especially in uncontrolled amounts.

Posted on: August 26, 2018

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