General Question

lefteh's avatar

What is the verdict on peanut butter?

Asked by lefteh (9429points) August 16th, 2008

One of my greatest culinary weaknesses is peanut butter. I have seen it mentioned on many lists of healthy snacks, as well as many lists of fattening foods. I would really like to know how healthy or unhealthy snacking on peanut butter (with graham crackers, celery, or another auxiliary snack) is.

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51 Answers

generalspecific's avatar

i figure it’s probably not TOO awful as long as you watching your serving size and stuff like that..

ketoneus's avatar

Peanut butter is my main weakness, too. I’ve heard that peanut butter is only good for you if it still has the oil on the top. But if you ask me, that stuff is nasty. I’ll stick with Jif, even if it adds some extra padding to my ass.

skfinkel's avatar

Enjoy what you love. Life is really too short to worry about such things. Like with anything, just eat enough to be almost full.

babygalll's avatar

I LOVE peanut butter! It’s a good source of protein, so enjoy it. Try it with bananas, apples and my favorite chocolate! MmmmMMmmmm.

stratman37's avatar

one of my favorite candies is the Chick-O-Stick, so I’m thinking of just stirring in some toasted coconut with my PB.

Anyone else done this?

augustlan's avatar

Aren’t peanuts one of the “good” fats? Even if they’re not, PB is packed with protein. “Moderation in all things” will take you far.

Tantigirl's avatar

I think that peanut butter is quite healthy. My teen daughter has decided to eat vegetarian, and when we were talking to her doctor about it, one of the foods he said she should eat is, yup, peanut butter.

loser's avatar

Peanut butter rocks!!!

andrew's avatar

There are a bunch of calories in peanut butter. Like, a lot. So you just have to watch it.

Also, the non-“natural” versions have tons of high fructose corn syrup, but I think even jiff has a version that doesn’t.

That said, I just had pretzels and peanut butter today.

ebenezer's avatar

mmmm… celery.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I want to like it, I just don’t.

SuperMouse's avatar

Aaaaawwwww peanut butter… said in Homer Simpson voice. I LOVE peanut butter. I found this article that tries to sort out the facts. Personally, I indulge regularly but I stick with an organic brand that does not have any partially hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. It was a bit of an adjustment at first (kind of like switching from regular soda to diet), but now the other brands don’t taste right to me. Full Circle is my favorite.

BarbieM's avatar

I LOVE peanut butter – on bananas, on celery, on sandwiches. I do buy the Simply Jiff, which is a lot less sugar.

cyndyh's avatar

I love peanut butter, but I only buy the kind that has “peanuts” as the entire ingredient list. You have to stir it and keep it in the fridge, but without the sugars, salt, and preservatives it’s really good for you. Yes, there are some hefty calories in any protein. A hit of a protein with the good fats can help control your appetite between meals.

I like a lot of the suggestions here, but my favorite way to have peanut butter is on a spoon. :^>

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Pure peanut butter is incredibly healthy, AND it has a ton of calories. No one said those two things were mutually exclusive.

It’s the other ingredients they put in packaged peanut butter that are not peanuts that you have to watch out for. Andrew mentioned high fructose corn syrup, the other one is hydrogenated oils. They add these to keep the peanut butter from separating. The only problem with them is they contain transfat.

And yes, the new FDA labeling system requires manufacturers to include grams of transfat in nutritional facts, however, they are allowed to write “0” if the product contains less than 500 milligrams per serving.

This is all well and good except that transfat is easily as bad as or worse for you than cholesterol, and only 300 milligrams of cholesterol is considered the maximum a normal person should consume in one day (cholesterol’s “daily reference value” according to the FDA).

The moral of the story is, read the ingredient listed, and don’t buy peanut butter (or anything) with the word “hydrogenated” anywhere in the list.

Magnus's avatar

Full of protein, tasty.

The best.

btko's avatar

Peanut butter made with only peanuts is the only way to go. But… I have heard peanuts are high in a certain kind of toxin, this is what I found:

“aspergillus flavus is a mold found in small amounts in wheat, most legumes, and most tree-based nuts. However, it is found in particularly large quantities in two sources: corn and peanuts. Furthermore, aspergillus flavus is one of the types of mold which produces a carcinogen known as aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is considered a cancer-causing substance in humans and animals by both the FDA and world health authorities.”

andrew's avatar

@btko: That’s right! I’ve heard that too!

cyndyh's avatar

@btko: Is this only a risk from unwashed peanuts? If so, I’d think that peanut butter would then be a better source of safe protein than peanuts themselves. Does anyone know?

BluRhino's avatar

I believe it is the world’s perfect food. I say Damn the aspergillus! Full spoons ahead! If what I eat will kill me anyway, I want it to be something I like.

cyndyh's avatar

@BluRhino: I was thinking something along those lines, but I still have this curious nature. :^>

andrew's avatar

Now this is totally off the cuff, but seem to remember aspergillus as a reason not to get organic peanut butter.

cyndyh's avatar

@andrew: That makes some kind of sense. Organic foods are grown without pesticides. It’s possible that pesticides used in growing peanuts would kill a lot of it as well as traditional pests.

lefteh's avatar


I just went out and bought a jar of organic peanut butter. Can I eat it, or will I get some crazy mold-caused cancer?

cyndyh's avatar

If you’re not going to eat it you can just send it to me. :^>

andrew's avatar

Smoke a cigarette while you eat it. Then at least statistically you won’t know what gave you cancer.

lefteh's avatar

Actually, one of the things I miss the most about smoking is enjoying a cigarette alongside peanut butter toast.

That being said, I do not regret quitting for a second.

Trance24's avatar

Verdict : Peanut Butter is NARSTY!!! Ew. =x

babygalll's avatar

A dark chocolate bar dipped in peanut butter and a glass of milk.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Peanut Butter =Death

so yea…. i think its bad.

babygalll's avatar

@uberbatman: Peanut Butter= Death??

Only if you are allergic to it!

babygalll's avatar

You should have said so dammit! I’m not a mind reader.

BluRhino's avatar

So if PB is “death” and what you eat will kill you ANYWAY, do it right, like The King, with his fried peanut-butter and ‘nanner sandwiches, or better yet, the Fool’s Gold sandwiches he ate daily….

If you believe he is not dead, please tell me how he survived these….

babygalll's avatar

He didn’t eat ONE he ate TWO everything!

I think the 2 lbs. of bacon did it.

cyndyh's avatar

I think it’s possible the mix of prescription drugs he was on had something to do with it.

btko's avatar

I would still get organic peanut butter over processed. However, instead of either I opt for almond butter.

cyndyh's avatar

Organic has nothing to do with whether it’s processed. It has to do with how the peanuts are grown. You can get organic peanut butter that still adds all the high fructose corn syrup, sugars, etc., and you can get non-organic old-fashioned peanut butter with “peanuts” as the only ingredient.

If it wasn’t so pricey, I’d opt for cashew butter more often.

Judi's avatar

I like peanut butter but I can’t afford the calories. That’s why I buy THIS peanut butter!
You can not tell that most of the fat is gone. I put it in shakes using nonfat milk and YUMM!!!!!

breedmitch's avatar

Some corn fungus is a Mexican delicacy. Is this the same as the cancer causing fungus? oh I hope not. I had some in DC in June.

lefteh's avatar

Corn Fungus Tamales

…they really couldn’t come up with another name?

breedmitch's avatar

huitlacoche (IPA: [wit͡ɬakot͡ɕe],

lefteh's avatar


I sorta prefer corn fungus tamales.

breedmitch's avatar

We had mixed into beans and rice. It was hea-ven!

emilyrose's avatar

does almond butter have the same toxin risk as pb? I love peanut butter too, but almond is my new fave.

Judi's avatar

I never heard about toxin risk. Is it because they’re a root food and we’re poisoning our earth with chemicals? Tell me the story of the toxic effects of peanut butter?

cyndyh's avatar

@Judi: There was a mention of a type of mold that’s high in peanuts, especially organically grown ones. I don’t know the details. There’s a mold name and such way up there. Good to see you. :^>

btko's avatar

I believe it is because it’s ground based, and not because of human interference. The mold a natural property of peanuts, it’s just they way they are. And it’s not the mold that’s the problem it’s the carcinogen that is produced by the mold

Almonds are fine.

90s_kid's avatar

I hate when people have peanut butter sandwiches with an overload of peanut butter. Sorry that was random.

Rayvin14's avatar

if it is all natural peanutt butter, then its good for you. no artificial flavoring, or sweetners. eating a spoonful a day helps lose weight.

Coloma's avatar

I can’t remember the source, but, I remember reading somewhere, sometime, that PB was invented by a man ( maybe a doc, dunno ) in the 1880’s or thereabouts as a nutritious, easy to eat food for his ailing wife. I LOVE PB..had PB & jelly on oatnut bread this morning. :-)

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