Since the early 1900s peanut butter has been a fixture in American homes. Whether it’s peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches or as a featured ingredient in cookies, it’s a favorite. The question is, is it good for you?
Although peanut butter is high in fat (16 grams of fat and 190 calories per two tablespoons), you get a lot of nutrition. It’s a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. A two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains more than eight grams of protein, nearly two grams of dietary fiber, 208 milligrams of potassium, more than half a gram of iron, 24 micrograms of folate and three grams of sugars.
In 2003 the Food and Drug Administration approved a qualified health claim for peanuts, with evidence suggesting that eating 1.5 ounces per day—as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol—may reduce the risk of heart disease.
The cool thing about peanut butter is, if you keep a jar at work or in your gym bag, you can scoop up a few hundred calories and more than a dozen grams of protein in seconds. It also provides quick protein directly following a workout, the time your muscles need these nutrients the most. Affordable, easy and ready to go! Look for the varieties that don’t have added sugar and preservatives at health-food stores—although many supermarkets now carry more healthful varieties as well.