Does Peanut Butter Lower Cholesterol?by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Professional
November is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month.
According to the Texas Peanut Producers, Americans eat 3 pounds of peanut butter per person each year. The average American child consumes about 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school. Since we obviously love our peanut butter, just how nutritious is it for us?
Peanut Butter Health Benefits
Here are 4 health benefits of peanut butter:
1. Suppressed hunger
While peanuts are energy dense (i.e. not low in calories) consuming peanuts are a regular part of your diet does not lead to weight gain due to a high satiety value (or reduced feelings of hunger).
2. Reduced risk for heart disease
Including peanuts in your diet leads to reduced cardiovascular disease risk due to peanuts promoting lower triglyceride levels and increased serum magnesium levels.
3. Heart healthy fats
About 50 percent of the fat contained in peanuts is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. This is the same type of fat found in olive oil. Studies have found monounsaturated fats improve cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk.
4. Lower color cancer risk
Studies have connected frequent peanut intake to reduce colorectal cancer risk.
Selecting a Healthy Peanut Butter
Read the food label. Select peanut butter containing no hydrogenated fats and minimal added sugar. Check the ingredient list and choose a peanut butter with only peanuts and salt listed. This means no additives and a rich peanut flavor.
Be sure to refrigerate natural peanut butter. The oils may become rancid if stored at room temperature. Try refrigerating the peanut butter upside down so the oils and solids remix and less stirring is required.
Consuming peanuts as a regular part of your diet is just one step you can take to promote lower cholesterol levels. Want more ideas? Access my free e-course here!
P.S. Did you know it takes 850 peanuts to make one 18oz. jar of peanut butter?