Did You Know This About Peanut Butter?

Do you like peanut butter crunchy or creamy? Do you prefer it in sandwiches combined with strawberry jam or with grape jelly?

Or, are you one of those people who like it on celery sticks or crackers? Regardless of how you decide to eat it, peanut butter is undoubtedly a staple in the American diet.

However, have you ever stopped and asked yourself what the ingredients in store-bought peanut butter are?

If you look at the ingredients list, it will surprise you! 

The Ingredients in Store-Bought Peanut Butter

In the old days, peanut butter was made using a simple ingredient, i.e. ground roasted peanuts. However, today, if you were to take a jar from the shelf in a supermarket, the odds are that the peanut butter has so much more than one ingredient.

Nowadays, the list of peanut butter ingredients ranges from salt and hydrogenated oils to added sugars and other preservatives. Many peanut butter manufacturers also add a pinch of salt for flavor and peanuts are naturally not high in sugar. However, processed peanut butter products today often contain high amounts of both added sugar and salt.

Reduced-fat peanut butter is also questionable. This is because the manufacturers often take healthy monosaturated fats out and then fill up the product with additional sugar and salt for better flavor. 

The average American consumes a lot of salt and sugar so choosing peanut butter for meals may only add up to the salt and sugar amount they consume. Hydrogenated oils and preservatives like potassium sorbate are also present in store-bought peanut butter as a means to prolong its shelf life.

Hydrogenated oils are of special concern and they’re present in more than 80 percent of peanut butter brands. These oils are chemically changed through the addition of extra hydrogen atoms to stabilize and solidify the oil molecules.

Store-Bought Peanut Butter Packed with Hydrogenated Oils & Trans Fats

Peanut butter that contains hydrogenated oils last longer. However, they also add artery-clogging saturated and trans fats to the otherwise healthy profile of peanut butter.

Trans fats are chemically made fats that add to the bad cholesterol and reduce the good cholesterol. They also put people at a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Although it’s not as bad for your health as partially hydrogenated oils, fully hydrogenated oils are still a source of saturated fats and also a minor source of trans fats. According to research, the higher one’s intake of saturated fat, the higher the risk of coronary heart disease. 

According to the American Heart Association, for a healthy heart, people should lower their intake of foods with hydrogenated oils. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to ditch peanut butter if you want to keep your optimal health. You should opt for healthier peanut butter options. 

Check brands that sell organic peanut butter or peanut butter or brands that sell peanut butter with as few added ingredients as possible.