After almond butter peanut butter is probably the most widely used vegan butter. Several people around the world looking for a comparison of vegan butter vs margarine. Vegan butter like peanut butter can replace margarine on any healthy diet, especially on the keto diet.
It’s because peanut butter is nutrient dense and has many health benefits. In fact, a controlled intake of peanut butter is good for you always.
Two major benefits of vegan peanut butter are promoting healthy heart function and preventing obesity.
Although there is a wide range of peanut butter health benefits, some adverse effects are also observed after consumption of peanut butter. Let’s discover whether peanut butter is good for you or bad.
Why Is Peanut Butter Good for You?
Peanut butter is good for you because it is highly nutritious and contains several essential nutrients like fiber, protein, magnesium, and monounsaturated fat. These nutrients help to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, bowel movement problems, and obesity.
Before going through the benefits of peanut butter first check “what is peanut butter!” Well, peanut butter is a vegan butter prepared from peanuts which is one of the best keto nuts. Peanut butter is prepared by blending roasted peanuts until they become a smooth paste.
As it is a no cook butter nutrient values of peanut butter are the same as peanuts. That’s why peanut butter is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These healthy nutrients aid in multiple health benefits.
Peanut Butter Health Benefits
There are enormous health benefits that can be achieved by eating peanut butter. The major health benefits of peanut butter are described below.
Maintainance of Blood Glucose
Peanut butter can reduce fasting blood glucose. One study has shown that intake of 32 g (2 tbsp) peanut butter can reduce fasting blood glucose spike (1).
The same study also indicates that consumption of peanut butter can attenuates the overall glycemic response after a high-glycemic-index meal.
A higher intake of nuts is inversely related to weight gain and obesity. Studies for a duration of 5 years have shown that a higher intake of healthy nuts like peanuts can reduce the risk of weight gain or obesity by 5 percent (2).
As both peanut and peanut butter are identical in total nutrients, you can achieve the same health benefits from peanut butter consumption.
Prevention of Heart Problems
Peanut butter is a rich source of unsaturated fat like poly and monounsaturated fats which are beneficial for healthy heart function. According to studies, polyunsaturated fats can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (3).
Moreover, dietary unsaturated fats can reverse cholesterol transport and increases good cholesterol or HDL (4).
Also, peanut butter contains omega 6, arginine amino acid, and oleic acid. All of these nutrients have benefits over healthy heart function like lipid control and reduction of blood sugar.
Peanut butter is very efficient for diabetes control. Both peanut and peanut butter has a very low glycemic index of 14. Studies have shown that low GI diets aids in glycemic control in prediabetes and diabetes (5).
Moreover, peanut butter is full of dietary fiber.
Dietary fiber is a well-known anti-diabetes agent. Regular consumption of dietary fiber is able to reduce fasting blood glucose concentration.
Also, peanut butter is a great source of oleic acid which is beneficial for diabetics. Oleic acid helps to reduce insulin resistance by regulating PI3K signaling pathway genes (7).
Another study has shown that regular consumption of peanut butter is able to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in women (8).
Reduction of High Blood Pressure
People are often worried about the keto diet and high blood pressure. They always ask can keto lower blood pressure! Well, if you are adding low carb peanut butter to your keto diet plan you don’t need to worry about blood pressure.
Peanut butter is low in carbs. A low carb diet is able to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure within 3 and 6 weeks (9).
Moreover, peanut butter is a good source of dietary fiber. According to studies, high dietary fiber intake can reduce blood pressure in hypertension patients (10).
Nutrient-rich peanut butter has anti-inflammatory effects. These nutrients help to decrease lipid peroxidation and provides protection against oxidative DNA damage.
This anti-oxidative effect of peanut butter aids in the prevention of cancer. Studies have shown that regular consumption of peanut butter is inversely associated with the risk of gastric cancer (11).
Moreover, peanut butter is a rich source of niacin and vitamin E. Both of these micronutrients promote anti-cancer activity. Niacin and vitamin E both are useful nutrients to prevent UV ray damage and skin cancer (12, 13).
Peanut butter is full of essential nutrients that promote a healthy gut function. The three major useful nutrients of peanut butter are fiber, protein, and glutamine.
Our body uses dietary fiber as microbiota fuel. Consumption of dietary fiber produces short-chain fatty acids which boost colonocytes.
Because of this function, intestinal transit time decreases and the food absorption rate speeds up (14).
Moreover, the water-insoluble fiber of peanut butter reduces constipation by increasing the portion of soft stool bulks. Another useful nutrient called glutamine is present in peanut butter. According to studies glutamine improves gut barrier function and reduces constipation in animals (15, 16).
Furthermore, protein aids in the reduction of harmful bi-products in our gut (17). By decreasing these bi-products protein-rich peanut butter helps to prevent stomach disorders.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Peanut butter is packed with healthy minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and copper. Also, useful vitamins like vitamin E and B2 are present in peanut butter. All of these micronutrients boost peanut butter’s health benefits over the skin.
Copper is very useful for the reduction of premature wrinkles (18). On the other hand, calcium and vitamin E increases skin healing rate (19, 20). Moreover, a high intake of zinc may be able to reverse skin disorders like acrodermatitis enteropathica (21).
Furthermore, the vitamin B2 component of peanut butter is able to maintain skin moisture and reduces the risk of itching & dry skin.
Side Effects of Peanut Butter
Although peanut butter is a good source of nutrients, it has some side effects also.
The most common side effect of peanut butter is allergy. Peanut butter can make you constipated if you have a peanut allergy. Furthermore, if you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome(IBS), peanut butter can worsen the condition.
The high fiber component of peanut butter can increase constipation, gas, and bloating problems for IBS patients. For, severe cases it may cause watery diarrhea. If you have a peanut butter allergy or IBS you may get affected by these health problems after consumption of peanut butter.
However, peanut-allergic people and IBS patients can cure these stomach problems easily. To, get rid of bloated stomach or gas, constipation you should avoid peanut butter.
Peanut butter contains a high amount of protein, calcium, and saturated fat. A high intake of these nutrients can cause kidney problems. Studies have shown that surplus protein intake may increase intraglomerular pressure and glomerular hyperfiltration.
Damaged glomerular structure and chronic kidney disease are the most common outcome of this issue (22). Moreover, intraglomerular hypertension may lead to kidney hyperfiltration, glomerular injury, and proteinuria (23).
On the other hand, higher saturated fat intake is associated with an increased risk of kidney problems like albuminuria and eGFR decline (24). Furthermore, excess intake of calcium causes Hypercalcemia which causes kidney stones (25).
Peanut butter is a medium-high source of carbs. Uncontrolled intake of carb-rich peanut butter may kick you out of ketosis.
Moreover, the high carb and saturated fat profile of peanut butter can cause obesity or even heart problems in case of too much eating.
Peanut Butter Nutrition
Peanut butter is a rich source of both macronutrients and micronutrients. Let’s check the nutrient value of 100 grams of peanut butter (26).
- Calories: 639
- Protein: 22.5 g
- Fat: 51.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 22.3 g
- Dietary Fiber: 4.8 g
- Sugar: 10.5 g
- Calcium: 49 mg
- Iron: 1.73 mg
- Magnesium: 169 mg
- Phosphorus: 339 mg
- Potassium: 564 mg
- Sodium: 429 mg
- Zinc: 2.54 mg
- Copper: 0.42 mg
- Thiamin: 0.13 mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.19 mg
- Niacin: 13.3 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.44 mg
- Folate: 86 µg
- Vitamin E: 9.11 mg
Peanut Butter Alternatives
If you are facing health problems after eating peanut butter or do not like its bitter taste you can use other vegan butter. There are several substitutes for peanut butter.
The popular alternatives of peanut butter are
- Almond Butter
- Chia Butter
- Coconut Cream
- Macadamia Butter
- Walnut Butter
Peanut butter is one of the best vegan butter. This is a powerhouse of healthy nutrients and has numerous health benefits.
The major benefits of peanut butter are the prevention of obesity, heart diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Moreover, peanut butter can aid in gut health, cancer prevention, and healthy skin development.
However, peanut butter is not always good for you. There are some side effects of peanut butter like allergy, kidney problems, gut problems, and heart problems. Among these, all except allergies are the cross-product of the surplus consumption of peanut butter.