There are so many good things to say when it comes to peanut butter. But then, there are a few downsides too. Too much of everything, they say, is bad. So as much as eating peanut butter is good, eating too much peanut butter is bad, and can be injurious to your health. Peanut butter is a very great source of protein, and it is equally loaded with lots of nutrients. Talk about vitamins, minerals, fiber, and so on. You find lots of them in peanut butter. However, it is very high in calories. Aside from the high load of calories in peanut butter, another source of concern is the aflatoxins it contains. Indeed, peanut butter is only good for moderate consumption. Regular long-term consumption may be dangerous to your health.
In light of its downsides, it is not advisable to use peanut butter as a staple food in your daily diet. However, you can eat it occasionally. It is not so bad that you should not eat it at all. Eating too much of it is what is not safe, so you can still eat small amounts occasionally. This is easier said than done because it is quite difficult to resist the amazing taste of peanut butter. The safe limit for peanut butter would be one spoon at a time, and no more. But stopping can prove almost impossible after just one spoon. If stopping would be a problem, then you may have to avoid it altogether for the sake of your health.
The Nutrients in Peanut Butter
No one can contest the fact that peanut butter is a good source of nutrients. You will get significant amounts of protein and essential vitamins from it. You will also get good amounts of trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
One serving of peanut butter is usually pegged at 2 tablespoons. These are the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you would get if you consume 1 serving of peanut butter:
Each serving of peanut butter would give you slightly above 7 grams of protein. Considering that the recommended daily intake for protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men, that amount is very significant. This means that athletes and bodybuilders who need to load up proteins can find help with peanut butter.
The magnesium content of 1 serving of peanut butter is 57 milligrams. That about one-sixth of the recommended daily allowance for women (310-320 mg) and one-seventh of the daily allowance for men (400–420 mg). Magnesium is an essential mineral, which is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes in your body.
Each 2-tbsp peanut butter serving has 107mg of phosphorus in it. That’s more than 15% of the recommended daily intake for adults (700mg). Phosphorus is involved in the building of healthy cells as well as strong bones. It is also involved in energy production.
When you consume a serving, you would get about 8 percent of your recommended daily intake of zinc from peanut butter. There is about 0.85 mg of zinc in each serving. Zinc is very vital for DNA formation, immune function, and protein synthesis.
With only one serving of peanut butter, you will get as much as one-third of the niacin your body needs for the day. That is quite incredible. The amount of niacin in each serving is over 4 mg. Niacin aids both nervous and digestive functions in your body. It also aids in energy production.
6. Vitamin B6
There are 0.17 grams of vitamin B6 per peanut butter serving. That’s about 14% of what an adult needs daily. Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions in your body. It also boosts heart health as well as immune function.
Why Eating Too Much Peanut Butter Is Bad
Like, we have mentioned earlier, too much peanut butter is bad for you. Here is why:
1. It is high in calories
Come to think of it, there are 190 calories in each serving of peanut butter. That’s just from two tablespoons. Imagine how many tablespoons you would probably consume if you use peanut butter as a spread for white bread, for instance. Add that to the calories from white bread. What do you think?
You can get everything that is wrong with excess calories from peanut butter if you eat too much. An extra spoon of peanut butter would add about 100 calories to your daily intake. Too much peanut butter is indeed bad for your health.
2. Partially hydrogenated oils are dangerous
When you leave peanut butter at room temperature, it usually becomes oily. This is typical of most fats. But when the oil is hydrogenated, it would remain solid even at room temperature.
But then, oils can either be fully or partially hydrogenated. Fully hydrogenated oil is generally harmless. Your body turns it to saturated fats during digestion. However, partially hydrogenated oil is very dangerous, because it contains trans-fats.
Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease over time. So you should avoid peanut butter that contains partially hydrogenated oil.
3. They contain aflatoxins
The aflatoxins in peanut butter are products of fungi which accumulate as peanut plants grow. If there is only moderate exposure to aflatoxins from peanut butter, then there is no problem. However, too much or long-term exposure may put you at health risk.
90 percent of the aflatoxins in peanuts are removed while its butter is being produced. However, too much consumption of peanut butter can make the aflatoxins accumulate to a dangerous level in the body. A high level of aflatoxins in the body is linked to growth impairment in children, as well as liver cancer in adults.
How Much Peanut Butter is Safe?
The safe limits for peanut butter would depend on the type you are consuming. But generally, you should not consume more than one serving at a time. You should also not eat peanut butter every day.
If you follow these, you would not be eating too much peanut butter. More so, you can get some of the nutritional and health benefits of peanut butter without standing the risk of the negative effects of overconsumption.