Is Peanut Butter Actually All That Good For You?

Plus, how long should it really take to eat a jar of peanut butter? More than two days it seems. We get to the NUTS (and bolts) of life's very important questions.

Is Peanut Butter Actually All That Good For You?

by Aimee Jakes |
Published on

I think I eat too much peanut butter.

Good day? I'll reward myself with a blob of PB! Bad day? I'm treating myself to a spoonful! Bored? Why not, eh? Brexit?! Chain PB-ing like a gluttonous goblin.

The creamy, salty, luxuriously-nutty spread was there for me every step of the treacherous journey to adulthood. It held my hand when I was trying to bosh out a half-decent dissertation with no sleep and wrapped it's tender arms around me when I missed home.

It spooned me and I spooned it (into my mouth). True #relationshipgoals!

I would have been blissfully pouring buttery, peanut-y gloop into my gob without much ado, if it weren’t for my colleagues' concern: ‘Aren’t you going to spread that on toast or something (you sick bastard?!)’ or the fact I can no longer squeeze my calf into my favorite pair of jeans.

Prior to the tutting and the calf-stuck-in-jean-meltdown, I was relieved my addiction was healthy. ‘Thank the mighty Jesus I am not addicted to chocolate M&M’s or drunk-texting or spending each month's pay on blow up sex dolls!’ I mean, Deliciously Ella and the clean-eating brigade are advocates of the spread, so it must be good for you, right? It may be golden in aesthetics but is it golden in its intentions? So, I asked some nutritionists to help me suss out the contradictions surrounding the spread.

Is peanut butter ACTUALLY good for you? I mean 50% of its name says butter...

Yes! But like too much sex can lead to cystitis....

'Peanut butter is loaded with nutrients including a source of healthy fats and protein. BUT, as you mentioned it is also high in overall fat content,' Jay Harper a fitness and nutrition coach, explains, 'This isn’t to say that fats are bad, as our bodies need a certain amount of fat to function correctly and absorb certain vitamins like A, D, E and K. But, fat is the most calorie-dense nutrient so it can be easy to consume way too many calories if it’s not accounted for...’

So how long should it take me to eat a standard jar of peanut butter?

A lot longer than 2 days apparently (sob) confirms nutritionist Sharon Morrow. ‘Half a jar a day is a lot of calories. It is good for you, however, overconsumption isn’t healthy.’

Jay says he consumes a jar of peanut butter every week or so, but he makes the resounding case of how it will differ from person to person depending on what their fitness goal is. He explains, 'When I go on a muscle-building phase, for example, a jar might last me only a few days as I will add it to smoothies to boost my calorie intake. But on a fat loss phase, we recommend usually no more than 50g or so per day.'

A typical tablespoon of peanut butter is 20g which is 125 calories (ish). So if you are trying to lose weight, then two and a half tablespoonfuls is your limit* (A standard jar 350g/50 = 7) Seven days = A week.

I have cracked this code! A jar of PB should last you 7 days (ish).

*Hypothetically, I mean, you can have a jar of peanut butter before breakfast if you bloody well want. Own your freedom like a true Viking. Get the spread in your beard. Revel in it. Yolo.

Though Jay shows the danger of using a tablespoon to measure a calorie-dense food….


Which means all my how-much-PB-can-I-fit-on-a-spoon logic is rather redundant.

Now for the important bit. We are all stunningly different. We all have different bodies, hearts, minds and annoying habits, which is the glorious thing about life. We all have different Netflix tendencies, some of us need to snooze are alarms for a whole hour (me) and some of us spring out of bed at 5am like a stray tampon from a purse during a conference meeting. A one-size all approach when it comes to diets (to the dismay of the billion pound diet industry) is just not feasible and makes no sense.

Fun game: Eat peanut butter when you fancy some. Maybe spread it on something, so your colleagues don't ring HR. Stop when you feel a bit sick or it sticks to the roof of your mouth. Repeat til jar is gone.

Voila. That's how long a jar should last you.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

7 Different Healthy Breakfasts To Have This Breakfast Week

Tanya Burr Fills Us In On Baking, Kitchen Disasters And Peanut Butter Cups

7 Things To Do With Leftover Celery

Follow Aimee on Twitter - @aimeejakes

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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