Is Peanut Butter Addictive? {+ Free Live Workshop}

Think everything tastes better with peanut butter?

Is your “PB&J” mostly peanut butter with a little jam 😉 ??

Ever wonder why you’re craving peanut butter?

(And can’t stop giving in?)

We’re hardwired to derive pleasure from foods with a lot of fat and calories.

It’s a built-in survival mechanism going back thousands of years, when calorie-rich food (and food in general) was scarce.

This wiring is why ice cream, cheesecake, and brownies taste so good to us!

But even whole plant foods that are high in fat and/or rich in calories can give us a pleasure sensation.

This is why you loooove peanut butter so much. (And why others think dates are pure bliss.)

The highly caloric nature of peanut butter, combined with the mouth feel from all the fat and low water content, makes peanut butter very pleasurable and extremely addictive.

And since most peanut butters are also mixed with sugar and salt, too, they’re that trifecta combination that makes stopping near-impossible after a single spoonful.

We just can’t help ourselves…

Here’s another interesting thought by Dr. McDougall: Nuts (in nature) are enveloped in a hard shell. It takes time and serious effort to crack a nut open (WITH the help of a nutcracker or pick. No tools? Good gourd!) and any tree or plant usually doesn’t offer that many nuts.

But in our modern world, eating nuts is as convenient as unscrewing the lid to a jar and pouring them straight in your mouth.

And then there’s peanut butter — 19 nuts smooshed into one tablespoon. You don’t even have to use the energy to chew!

It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-oz jar of peanut butter!

(Shocking, I know. But it really puts it into perspective, no?!)

Try to think of nuts and peanut butter (or almond butter, etc) as a delicacy, which they were in society up until the 1900s 🙂

When I use peanut butter on the meal plans, it’s used sparingly — just enough to add flavor. (A little goes a long way when done right.)

The Fine Line Between Lusting After Peanut Butter and Having an Addiction to It

With food addiction, the problem is not necessarily the food (though some foods, like sugar and dairy, are physically addictive), but the addictive behavior you associate with it.

If that’s the case, you need to address the psychological and emotional attachment you have to the food.

Apply the asparagus rule: If I tell you you can’t have asparagus ever again, you’re probably not going to bargain with me about exceptions… “ But on my birthday right? I can have asparagus on my birthday?” or try to tell me why you should have asparagus… “But my body is craving asparagus… shouldn’t I listen to my body? And asparagus is a source of this one vitamin!” Or justify eating asparagus… or spout off some study you read about the magical benefits of asparagus…

I guess if you really liked asparagus you might… lol, but you get my point. Substitute in a vegetable you’re only lukewarm about in place of asparagus…

…and if you don’t feel that way about a certain food, you might not have the best relationship with that food…

And remember: The prescription for any addiction is abstinence, or at the very least minimizing temptation as much as possible.

I can’t keep peanut butter in the house because my husband can’t help himself around it. He will eat it and eat it — putting it on practically everything, or just his finger, until it’s gone. The jar wouldn’t last the week.

Me? I could take or leave peanut butter, but that struggle is real for me with other foods (like dehydrated mango!) which I don’t keep in the house either. (Date vs. peanut)

To be certain, my husband still LOVES the taste of peanut butter and lusts after it (the mere mention and he starts drooling!) but he also thanks me for not buying it. (It’s very love-hate.)

BIG NEWS!!! I’m hosting a very limited, very VIP, free workshop on food addiction and overeating this Thursday, June 11th.

I just did this training with premium members a few weeks ago and it was so incredible, emotional, spirit rocking that I’m doing it one more time.

Everyone left the workshop feeling stronger than ever!

“After the overeating workshop, I am convinced that I can control my “input” (efforts like meal planning and sleeping or light exercise) and rely only on that. If I lose weight – great! If I don’t – no problem. The least I can do is control what goes in my mouth and everyday life.”- Sireesha C

“It feels so good to not be alone in this fight, and having “homework” or something specific to work on each month makes it feel less overwhelming.”- Denise A

More details in tomorrow’s newsletter. You must be on the newsletter to receive details, signup here for free! But for now…

Leave a comment below on what you hope to learn (so I make sure to cover everything!).

P.S. Want to know my thoughts on PB2 and “diet” “low fat” peanut butters?

Dr. Essy says not to use it, period. But I’ve seen the McDougalls use it in recipes…

My opinion? If you have an addiction or trigger with peanut butter, you probably should not use PB2.

For example, a member (a peanut butter addict) discovered PB2 and started going through a container a week, putting it on everything. We agreed she needed to avoid anything like peanut butter.

Similarly, another member, who could take or leave “regular” peanut butter, found herself eating an entire jar of “low fat” peanut butter (sold by Trader Joe’s) every week. One look at the ingredients and I knew why: there was a boatload of sugar and this member was prone to sweets. She also admitted because it was lower in fat and calories, she was more generous with it, even “rewarding” herself for using such a healthier choice.

And one more insight from Beth: “I LOVE peanut butter, but not PB2. I’ve found fresh peanuts to be the best sub for me in many recipes. If I have PB I’ll eat it all. I can have a jar of peanuts on hand and not touch them. For a sauce recipe that calls for pb I’ll throw peanuts in the blender with the other ingredients. I also like to buy the grind your own pb at the store because I can buy just a tiny bit if I need it for a recipe.”

Bottom line: If it’s not an addiction/love for you, PB2 might be a good lower fat, lower calorie, substitute in meal plan recipes that call for a dab of peanut butter (but the low fat ones are probably not a good idea no matter what due to sugar content).

17 Signs You Are Obsessed with Peanut Butter

We here at Eat This! are not doctors. However, we do know a peanut butter addict when we see one. And now, they’re proudly getting placed in the limelight because this article is especially for the PB lovers who cannot go a day without feeling a wistful longing for the sacred stuff. I, the writer, will wholeheartedly confess to being dependent on peanut butter—so, from experience, I deem myself as the expert in this field. See how well you can relate to the list below, and then try out one of these 20 Healthy Peanut Butter Recipes for when your mouth starts to water!

You Know You’re Dependent on Peanut Butter When…

1

You Go Through One Jar Every Week

The label says 16 servings, but you easily kill the jar in a week’s time. If this is a weekly ritual for you, then yes, you do show symptoms of having a dependency on peanut butter. No need to panic, though; this isn’t a strap-you-in-a-straitjacket situation. Just remember that, if you’re trying to scorch stomach fat, going through a jar a week probably won’t help you reach your goals as quickly as you’d like. However, if you’re pretty active, you might be okay to dig in because you’re in need of the extra calories. After all, there’s a performance perk to the spread: peanuts are packed in leucine, an amino acid that aids in muscle repair!

2

You Call it PB for Short

Pet names are just a part of the game we call love. When you’re truly committed to peanut butter, it becomes tiresome to articulate the entire name over and over again when boasting about it to your friends. “I had the best peanut butter smoothie this morning,” or “Have you tried Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter? Because I have and it’s awesome.” Sooner or later, you find yourself shortening the name to its initials out of convenience…and because you’re obsessed with it!

3

Just One Spoonful Gets You Going…

If this resembles you then yes, you are exhibiting symptoms of having a dependency for peanut butter. As ridiculous as this animation seems, there is some truth behind it. Whether you’re cheering because you’re eating one of the tastiest high protein snacks out there or because you’re just an innately happy person, one effect that peanut butter has on the body may be the most plausible factor in your excitement equation. Peanut butter actually contains a plant sterol called beta-sitosterol, which works to fight against the effects of stress. Studies indicate that it helps the stress hormone, cortisol, balance out with other hormones. So, if you’re in high-stress mode and have the urge to to shovel out a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter, your body is trying to balance its hormones. Who knew peanut butter was also a natural stress reliever?

4

… but then You Got to Have at Least One More

So, one spoonful may start a domino effect of multiple spoonfuls. We get it, you had a long day at work and you’re looking forward to a hot date with your jar of peanut butter but try and refrain from consuming gobs of it in one sitting. Follow one of the best weight loss tips, which is practicing mindfulness when eating. Really savor each individual tablespoon worth of PB; you may only need one or two!

5

If PB is on the Menu, You’re Hooked

Picture this: you’re perusing the menu at brunch and you spot a dish with peanut butter in it. If your taste buds are truly conditioned to love all things peanut butter, then you most likely are down to slather PB on just about anything. Peanut butter french toast? I’ll have an order of that, please!

6

You Make PB&J Gourmet

You know your dependency is out of control when you start incorporating a certain aesthetic into the way you prepare your PB&J. If you’re going all out with the decorative cutting board, slicing an expensive french baguette, or even serving this as the main dish at a dinner party, then you’re in too deep.

7

You Start Making Your Own

You want to learn how to lose belly fat? Besides making a significant reduction in added sugars, another thing you can eliminate is synthetic oil—specifically, ones of the hydrogenated nature. While there are many brands that don’t include these oils in their product, you may save a few dollars by whipping up your own batch!

8

PB2 Doesn’t Make You Feel the Same

Dehydrated peanut butter? Where’s the delish factor in that? To be fair, it is much lower in calories and fat than normal peanut butter, clocking in at just 45 calories for 2 tablespoons and only costing you 1.5 grams of fat. Nevertheless, the taste and texture of PB2 just aren’t the same for the avid connoisseur of peanut butter. Plus, regular peanut butter is packed with the healthy fats that keep you fuller, longer.

9

You Feel a Void Without Your Stash

Imagine the following scenario.

You scurried out of your house on Saturday morning, anxious to get away for the weekend—and about halfway there, you realize that you remembered to pack your toothbrush but not your jar of peanut butter. Instantly, you’re clouded with this feeling of emptiness and longing for a spoonful of nutty goodness. We know it’s hard, and we’re here for you. On the bright side, this serves as a wonderful opportunity for you to try another one of the other nutritious nuts out there! Grab a bag of raw almonds for munching on at the beach to hold you over until you return to your loved one.

10

You Find “The One”

Your dependency only worsens when you find the brand that produces the most irresistible version to you. This is what marketers like to call brand loyalty. No matter how extravagant the competing brand’s advertisements are or how cheap their products may be, you are devoted to one, and only one, brand. Kudos to you for finding your PB soulmate! We just hope it’s one of the better options; you can find out by checking our exclusive list of 36 Top Peanut Butters—Ranked!

11

You Put PB in Your Oatmeal for Extra Creaminess

Oatmeal and peanut butter is actually my favorite breakfast combination. Two tablespoons of this nut butter contain around 7-8 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. This fiber and protein duo work to ensure you feel full for a longer period of time (because protein takes a longer time than carbs to digest, and fiber aids in the process of digestion by slowing the absorption of sugar in your bloodstream). Add PB into oatmeal and I feel like I’m instantly given the gift of satiety and nourishment. I love to eat a bowl of Nature’s Path brown sugar maple oatmeal, with a banana and Trader Joe’s flax and chia seed peanut butter (that’s “the one” for me). That’s what I, the peanut butter addict, envision as the perfect morning meal.

12

You Get That Notification That Says Your Fave PB is on Sale This Week

excited in #excited

Oh shoot, hold the phone—literally—because your absolute favorite brand of peanut butter is on sale this week! For me, this is quite a glorious moment; two jars for $5 is my jam! Does your peanut butter never seem to go on sale? Consider seeking out ones that do but are free of palm oil, sugar, and hydrogenated oils. In fact, there should only be one ingredient: peanuts.

13

Almond Butter Comes Second

For you, no other nut butter can compare to peanut butter—not even vitamin E-rich almond butter. However, it’s certainly not seen as taboo; it’s just a different kind of nut that doesn’t fulfill the craving for PB. Almond butter definitely offers a bit more nutrition such as vitamin E and a higher content of amino acids (i.e. the building blocks of protein) but there’s no reason you have to choose one or the other.

14

You Can Detect when the PB is Missing

This is just a downright crime. Smoothie recipes without peanut butter? Do they even taste good? The answer is yes. Yes, they do, but peanut butter makes an incredibly delicious addition to most fruit smoothies. Not to mention the healthy fats help your body absorb all of the nutrients that reside within each piece of fruit. Peanut butter fans know when the nut butter is absent because PB makes the shake just a bit thicker and offers a pleasant nutty flavor to an otherwise sweet mix.

15

You Have Nostalgia About PB&J’s from Childhood

Fellow peanut butter addicts, I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on the first time you ever sunk your teeth into a plump PB&J. Maybe you cannot remember the first time, but one thing’s for sure: it was so good that it kept you coming back for more. Nowadays, as nutrition becomes a more prevalent topic in society, the classic PB&J is not all that healthy. Fortunately for you, there are ways to make it healthier! First, I recommend utilizing Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain bread because it is free of all those nasty, fake ingredients and preservatives. Next, as I said above, choose a peanut butter that only has one ingredient: peanuts. Finally, swap out the jam or jelly that’s laden in added sugars for half a banana! And if you really want an extra sweet kick, drizzle just a bit of organic honey and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon atop the innards. There you have it folks—a new and improved health-inspired PB&J recipe.

16

If You Don’t Have it in the Morning, You Think About it All Day

You literally cannot function. All you can think about is PB. Why didn’t I just have it this morning? WHY!? Denying yourself of any food is not good for you mentally or physically. You’re not going to speed up your metabolism by restricting yourself from having a tablespoon of peanut butter in the morning; in fact, it’ll drive your cravings to a new level of insanity and may cause you to overindulge when you get home. Whoever said patience is a virtue was probably thinking about the peanut butter they can’t wait to eat.

17

You Get Offended when Others Don’t Share Your PB Feelings

Not everyone is as gung-ho about peanut butter as you, and that’s alright. It’s just something you need to accept because life is too short to have disdain for others, especially if it’s over peanut butter. Peanut butter is supposed to alleviate you from your high-stress moments, remember? Its purpose in the earthly realm is not to spark arguments, it’s supposed to spread happiness. But we do understand if you need to remind yourself of this more than once upon encountering people who don’t love PB. Speaking of things that get your knickers in a knot, check out what happened when 21 Nutritionists Confessed Their Pet Peeves!

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Peanut butter is known the world over and is one of the most popular and versatile spreads. It’s important to know the different types of peanut butter and how to eat them as part of a healthy diet.

It’s made simply by blending roasted peanuts into a liquid. For many people the taste and texture of peanut butter is amazing.

Peanut butter is relativity inexpensive and contains a high amount of protein and fat. In this article I’ll explore using an evidence-based approach if peanut butter is good or bad for your health. Answering the question: is peanut butter healthy?

This healthy looking peanut butter may not contain added sugar, but it has very unhealthy fats from hydrogenated oil

Not All Peanut Butters Are Created Equal

Most peanut butter in the shops is not pure. Manufacturers often add unhealthy oils, salt, sugar, flavourings, artificial sweeteners and even trans fats.

Unpure peanut butter reduces the cost to the manufacturer, yields higher profits, gives a longer shelf life and enhances the flavour for some peoples tastebuds. Sugar, sweeteners and trans fats are all detrimental to our health.

Real peanut butter should contain only peanuts with no added oil or sugar, a pinch of salt is the only acceptable addition.

Pure peanut butter is more expensive, but like so many things in life you get what you pay for and if you’re concerned with health it’s worthwhile avoiding the junk peanut butter and only buying pure 100%. The healthiest peanut butter is one that’s 100% peanuts with nothing else.

Often pure peanut butter contains the skins – you can tell as it will have flakes of red or brown. These skins have been shown to be high in antioxidants and make peanut butter more nutritious.

Only pure peanut butter is a low FODMAP food. Pure peanut butter closeup:

Pure 100% peanut butter

Peanut Butter Nutrition

Peanut butter is about 50% fat, 25% protein and 20% carbohydrates by weight.

It’s a great protein source but as it doesn’t contain every amino acid it’s not a complete protein. That isn’t an issue as long as you have a varied diet and don’t just rely on peanuts alone for protein.

Peanuts are a legume as they grow underground in pods making them not true nuts.

Peanut butter is a nutritious food containing many vitamins and minerals including E, B3, B6, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese.

However as peanuts are high calorie with 1 tbsp containing 94 calories, it’s not nearly as nutritious as fruit or vegetables per calorie or serving. Natural peanut butter is low carb and suitable for a ketogenic diet.

Peanut butter chocolate

Aflatoxins In Peanut Butter

These toxins are found in peanut butter and are produced by fungi as the peanuts grow.

Short term exposure to the aflatoxins in peanut butter seems to not affect humans much. But there’s little research into the long term risk.

Diets high in aflatoxins have shown links to liver cancer and impaired child growth. The same toxins can be found on other crops including corn and tree nuts.

However when peanuts are roasted to make peanut butter up to 90% of these toxins are destroyed.

The levels of aflatoxins allowed in foods are set by the EU so that peanut butter on the shelf is no immediate danger.

Hi Oleic Peanut Butter

There’s a new variety of hi-oleic peanuts that are now being sold that claim to be healthier.

Traditional peanuts and peanut butter made from them are about 50% oleic acid and high oleic peanuts are 70%. Oleic acid is a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that’s also found in olive oil and tree nuts.

High oleic peanuts are lower in the omega-6 linoleic acid.

Manufacturers of high oleic peanut butter claim that they help reduce monosaturated fats. There’s still ongoing research as to the importance of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and the correct ratio that’s optimal for health.

There’s limited unbiased research into the benefits of high oleic peanuts, but they may be a useful addition to add variation in a diet.

Final Worlds On Peanut Butter and Health

Yes peanut butter is a good source of nutrition but it’s not all good. Follow these tips to enjoy peanut butter as part of a healthy diet.

  • Only consume pure peanut butter without additives.
  • Don’t rely on peanut butter alone as a protein source or for a large part of your diet.
  • Peanut butter does contain a toxin that can have a harmful effect on the body, so it’s best consumed in moderation as part of a varied diet.
  • Small amounts of peanut butter occasionally is unlikely to cause any harm, but it shouldn’t be an everyday food.
  • Keep reading for alternatives to peanut butter – as always the best diet advice is to eat a varied diet.

Healthy Alternatives To Peanut Butter

There’s lots of other nut and seed butter varieties that you can add to your diet that taste amazing and can be used as a direct replacement for peanut butter. All recipes are made from just whole food ingredients and are free of oil, dairy, sugar and junk.

Cashew Butter

Pure raw cashews make an amazing nut butter.

Sprouted Almond Butter

Almonds are soaked and sprouted in salted water to make one of the healthiest nut butters out there. Also known as activated almond butter.

Sunflower Seed Cookie Butter

All the taste of cookies in a raw spreadable healthy butter.

Coconut Butter

A great healthy alternative to coconut oil is this butter that is made from the whole coconut without anything taken away.

Healthy peanut butter oat cookies made from just 3 whole food ingredients. These vegan cookies are sweetened naturally with just bananas and are full of goodness.

Any nut butter can be used instead of peanut butter if you prefer. These cookies can be made from gluten free oats. This cookie recipe is suitable for vegans as its free of dairy, eggs and butter.

Get the Recipe

Healthy vegan snickers ice cream bars that are made from wholefood ingredients and bursting with nutrition. High in heart healthy fats and protein. Easy to make and can use any nut or seed butter for the healthy caramel layer.

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Healthy chickpea blondies made without peanut butter that are vegan and high in protein. These Chocolate Chip Almond Chickpea Blondies are really easy to make, taste great and are free of eggs/milk/butter and flour. A blondie is just a lighter, in colour, brownie! Some people call these chickpea brownies.

Get the Recipe

These homemade salted caramel snickers bars are easy to make, dairy free and delicious. This is a great recipe to make with children as it doesn’t involve anything hot and you need to use your fingers. Vegan snickers recipe is loaded with nutrition and goodness making a great healthy candy.

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My peanut butter addiction made me fat

A self-proclaimed peanut butter addict once tipped the scale at 350 pounds because of her love for the creamy spread.

Amy Leroy

Amy LeRoy, a 29-year-old mother of two from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, is currently unrecognizable after losing 149 pounds in about 10 months by drastically changing her diet

At one point, Leroy says she was eating over 4,000 calories a day.

“My calories were adding up because of the quantity of food I was eating, I was overeating and was consuming way too much peanut butter,” LeRoy told Caters.

“I’d easily eat three large spoonfuls of peanut butter at a time, then I’d have snacks with lots of peanut butter in them too.”

LeRoy – who fought with her weight most of her life – shed some pounds with a gastric band in 2006, but gained back all the weight with her highly caloric diet.

Amy LeRoy

“I was hoping for a miracle and at the time I wasn’t ready to change my diet so drastically and later had it removed due to the pain it was causing,” LeRoy told Caters.

“Since calorie counting I set a lot of small weight loss goals, which made it easier to achieve and now try to keep 85% of my diet healthy.”

LeRoy – who once struggled from social anxiety so disabling that she had to be medicated – isn’t afraid to go out in public anymore.

Her newfound confidence has also pushed her to document her weight loss and fitness regime on Instagram, where she hopes to inspire others like her who struggle with food addiction and who may also be suffering from depression.

“I started posting my progress on Instagram every week and soon I had a following who were cheering me on and encouraging me on my weight loss journey, ” said Leroy.

LeRoy – who consumes 1,500 calories a day now – feels more full of live than she ever has.

Swapping out peanut butter and taco bell with Greek yogurt, salads, lean meats and lots of veggies, has pushed her to help others lose weight naturally.

“I try to encourage others now on Instagram and I hope my success inspires others who don’t believe they can lose weight,” she said.

Amy LeRoy before and after weight lossCaters News Agency

I frequently tell myself that an addiction to peanut butter is a pretty healthy addiction to have. At least it isn’t drugs or cake or something, right? Despite this belief, I felt like I was kind of overloading on peanut butter from eating it every day (or even twice a day), so I decided to see if I could give it up, you know, just to keep myself in check.

Before Giving It Up

Christin Urso

I absolutely LOVE peanut butter more than any other edible food, drink or condiment. If I could eat peanut butter at every meal, I probably would. Even if it was just a straight spoonful out of the jar. For me, peanut butter basically solves all problems, including hunger and stress. Honestly, most vehicles of holding peanut butter are just getting in the way of me eating it straight.

OK, so I was kind of getting grossed out at myself for eating so much of it, I thought I should probably relax a little bit. And that’s when I remembered Lent was coming up. What a perfect time to surrender a food that comprises probably around half of my daily calories (major groan of despair)!

Beginning of Lent

Jill Langin

I thought that I was definitely going to lose 15 pounds from not eating peanut butter all day long (not the goal, just a thought). But seriously, I wondered what I was going to eat. What was I going to put on my toast? What was I going to stir into my oatmeal? What was I going to eat a spoonful of when I was bored and freaking out about the lab report I should be writing? I even thought that maybe I should just kick the PB habit altogether (jk jk).

Middle of Lent

Sarah Silbiger

Wow. I realized that there were so many other delicious foods to eat besides peanut butter. Yeah, I missed peanut butter, but I discovered that I actually do like avocados, and avocado toast kept me happy. Also, not eating 1,000 spoonfuls of peanut butter a day definitely opened up some more hunger. I was eating a lot more, but with a lot more variety throughout the day.

End of Lent

Grace Lee

I just wanted it to it to end. “Is lent over, yet?” I constantly thought. I literally just wanted a peanut buttery breakfast so bad.

After Easter

Alexa Nakamura

On Easter, I went straight for the peanut butter. I even had a peanut butter-themed breakfast on Easter morning and it was everything I had hoped for. It was delicious! I loved every second of it, but when it was gone, I did not feel like I needed any more peanut butter that day. In fact, the next morning I had avocado toast with eggs instead of a peanut buttery meal. Yes, it’s crazy, I know.

Peanut butter is still one of my favorites foods, and I still think nut butters should be a food group, but I have definitely made huge strides to kick my addiction. I am happy I gave it up and explored other foods, but I am definitely happy to have it back in my life.

Peanut butter is just one of those foods that plays well with others: peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and chocolate, peanut butter and spoon—right out of the jar. And though they’re delicious, some of these long-standing combinations aren’t necessarily the healthiest. Now, no one is suggesting tossing your favorite snack into the trash, but there are some key suggestions to ensure your peanut butter addiction doesn’t get the best of you. Read ahead for our favorite hacks.

Keep serving sizes small

Size matters. According to Lynda Layng, a certified holistic health coach, healthy chef and recipe developer, one of the key things to keep in mind when indulging in this savory snack is how much of it you’re consuming. The exact amount varies, depending on what your goals are—whether it’s weight loss or maintaining muscle. But she recommends sticking to about one to two tablespoons per serving. (Measure it out using a measuring spoon once just to get a sense of what that actually looks like. You may be surprised!) “It’s so easy to go over that, so portion control can be a challenge,” she says.

Choose wisely

Peanut butter can fit into a healthy diet fairly easily, depending on the type you buy. “Assuming we’re talking about fresh-ground, unsalted peanuts with no added sugar (not a jar of Skippy!) there are a ton of health benefits,” Layng said. “It’s a good amount of protein and high-quality fat, filled with omega-3 fats that are good for keeping you fueled and full for a long period of time and healthy heart and brain function. also contains vitamins and minerals like immune boosting B-6, bone building magnesium, potassium, folate and niacin, known to help with digestive health, healthy skin and the heart function.”

Try different nut butters

Dr. Cathy Ostroff, a clinical nutritionist and doctor of chiropractic, says she has always counseled people to try other nuts and seeds. Almond or sunflower butter or tahini are good options. She points out that peanuts, which are actually legumes, are one of the foods that are most genetically modified. Peanut butter also contains lectins, which can cause food sensitivities that can manifest itself in headaches, inflammation in the body, headaches, rashes or joint pain.

Say so long to sugar

When trying to select which peanut butter to throw in your cart, make sure that you’re keeping an eye on how much sugar is in the container. Many brands have tons of added sugars that can seriously sneak up on you if you’re not careful. (And let’s not even talk about the extra sugar if you’re combining peanut butter with chocolate or jelly.) Layng recommends selecting brands of the “minimally processed, no-sugar variety.”

Maintain balance

Too much of anything is no good—even if you’re nutty for peanut butter. “Eating too much of anything is not healthy,” Layng said. “So the same goes for peanut butter. Provided that it is a small part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle people can benefit from having some peanut butter.” Ostroff points out that it’s key to “have a big diversity of food in your diet.” One main reason is that people tend to develop food sensitivities to foods they eat often, as the proteins in those foods are ones that the body is most exposed to. So, even if something is one of your preferred foods, it shouldn’t be part of all your meals.

Figure out where peanuts came from

It’s important to consider where peanuts are grown, given the potential for aflatoxins, or toxins that are produced by fungi that grow in certain foods and have been linked to cancer and other health issues. “Many people struggle with peanut allergies, and it’s been found that mold can easily grow with the peanut and be a concern,” Layng says. “So be aware of where they are being sourced and pay a little more for a higher-quality product.”

Find health combinations

As previously mentioned, peanut butter has long-standing relationships with some not-so-green foods. That said, it doesn’t mean some new couplings can’t happen. Layng recommends pairing peanut butter with carrots, apple or celery sticks for a healthy snack. She also suggests including peanut butter in smoothies with spinach and banana for a protein-packed drink. For those looking for a nutty fix with fewer calories, Layng suggests snacking on peanut dipping sauces with sushi rolls or steamed broccoli. Peanut or almond butter could also serve as a base for some delish and portable nut butter balls–try this easy recipe.

Keep it as a treat

Though hard and fast rules for how often healthy individuals should eat peanut butter are hard to come by, less is more. “It’s hard to answer without knowing a person’s history and stress level,” Layng says. “Everyone is different. I would keep it as a small part—not something to have in large quantities on a daily basis—of an overall healthy diet, with a focus on whole foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with quality sleep, drinking plenty of water and exercise.”

Peanut Butter Addiction

While I’m not in any recognized self-help program, I do realize that I am, and have been, a confirmed peanut butter addict. My dear mother probably didn’t realize that her simple act of making something for my brown paper bag lunch could lead me to a lifelong quest for more.

Author and long-time peanut butter lover Sheila Moss.

In my formative years I had to have my peanut butter and concord jelly sandwich on the ubiquitous white bread. I allowed no deviations. Mom never argued; peanut butter and jelly was cheaper than baloney.

Later, when it wasn’t sandwiches, it was baking peanut butter cookies. Every Saturday you could find my sister Maggie and me in the kitchen joyfully mixing and stirring and sampling. In those days no one warned us that eating cookie dough was harmful.

While each generation embraces peanut butter as its own, it actually owes its existence to George Bayle, a snack maker who started making it in the 1890s. It was introduced to the nation at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Upon sampling a spoonful, youngsters were apt to struggle. “Thus ess stwiking 2 tha ruff of mmmy mmouff.”

Some critics put down peanut butter because of that very feature, but they are overlooking that it’s both the protein and low water content that causes peanut butter to stick to the roof of your mouth. Incidentally, peanut butter provides a feeling of satiety thus helping weight loss and management. Oddly enough, the critics miss the most important aspect of peanut butter: it’s one of our number one comfort foods.

As I grew older, I ventured from my comfort zone. I tried peanut butter with marshmallows; peanut butter with bananas; and the worse combination, peanut butter with pickles.

For a while I hid my love for peanut butter from my fellow high school teachers. Then one Friday in the lunch room I had an epiphany. The social studies teacher sitting across from me was scrunched down behind her lunch bag, but I saw a tell-tale wisp of peanut butter on her upper lip. “You’re eating a peanut butter sandwich! What kind?” I asked.

Startled, she stammered, “Peanut butter and jelly, my old standard. By Friday, I feel I deserve comfort food. It helps me get through freaky Fridays.”

I looked at her. Wasn’t that why I also brought my peanut butter favorite on Fridays? “I prefer peanut butter and cucumber myself.”

“Hey, let us in on the discussion,” demanded a fellow English teacher. We would exchange combinations and announce to the rest of the lunch room that ours was the Peanut Butter Fan Club Table. I mean the average person consumes six pounds of peanut products each year. Some of them, I fear, are secret spooners—those fans who enjoy sticking a spoon in the peanut butter jar and licking it in solitary bliss.

Old habits seem to stick, like peanut butter, for once I retired I still enjoyed my peanut butter with cucumbers on whole wheat bread. Sometimes I would be daring and have peanut butter on graham crackers. The added crunchiness is a welcome change.

Did you know that January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day? Normally I don’t watch morning TV, but on that day I heard the magic word ‘peanut butter’ from the Channel 4 news woman. “Stay tuned for a special segment with…..” I stopped only long enough to grab some coffee and then I sat down on my couch. Sure enough, a guest was giving the background of peanut butter and then she went on to demonstrate the “Peanut butter is not your Dad’s Olds.” First step in modernizing the old favorite was taking a whole wheat tortilla, placing it flat and spreading it with peanut butter. Next, take a peeled banana and place it about two inches from the edge of the tortilla. Drizzle honey over the entire surface of the yellow smile and roll up. Deftly slice the filled tortilla into mini wraps. Enjoy.

If that doesn’t peek your taste buds, here are some other new combinations to whet your appetite: goat cheese, granola, avocado, pomegranate, butter, bacon, berries (blue), poached egg or burger.

But for me, I fall under the old adage: “If it isn’t broken; don’t fix it.”

Anyway you cut it, it still sticks to the roof of your mouth.

A Midwestern by birth, but a California by adoption, author Sheila Sullivan Moss has printer‘s ink flowing through her veins. Her parents were in the newspaper business in Wisconsin.

Sheila received her BS degree in journalism and education and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she met her New Yorker husband. They moved to California where she did PR for the Los Angeles Community College District, and The PKU Newsletter for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Sheila returned to teaching and retired in 1992, after more than 20 years of teaching. She has continued writing magazine articles for such magazines as Senior Plus. She also did a monthly column The North Valley Community Newspaper.

Sheila can be contacted at [email protected]

True Life: I’m Addicted to Peanut Butter

Becki BrownFollow Jun 12, 2018 · 3 min read

I’ve been eating peanut butter pretty much every day for the past 4 months. When I start to run low, I make sure to hit the grocery before I run out. I’ll be heading home from work or errands, and my mind will jump to a spoonful of that creamy, nutty goodness (that sounds much creepier than I anticipated).

Four months ago, I got sober, something I hadn’t been for an extended period of time since high school, which would be close to 10 years. And so I had a gap to fill in how I spent my time, unwinded at the end of the day, indulged. And that hole has been filled with an obscene amount of ground peanuts (trying my best to avoid saying peanut butter a dozen times in this).

When I get real and buy the jar that’s the size of my head.

I even googled, “how much peanut butter can you eat before it’s bad for you?” Turns out a lot. So based on my limited internet research, it seems as long as I keep my habit to a few spoonfuls a day, I should be alright.

But then there’s another consideration — in getting sober, I’ve had to recognize addictive tendencies (like thinking about that first hit of peanut butter before I even leave work). So I’ve had to question if mentally/emotionally my peanut butter addiction is acceptable. And let me tell you, the amount of resentment and frustration I’ve confronted at the thought of cutting it out would make the average person question what designer drug “peanut butter” stood for.

But the thing is, I didn’t want to have to give up another thing. I’ve already gotten sober, goddammit! I’ve given up my dominant vices, and so I wanted to keep this one. Which I have.

In turn, I’ve had to recognize an unfair association in my mind between pleasure and guilt. Because for so often, the things I indulged in induced guilt for justifiable reasons: avoiding real life, responsibilities, growing up, being accountable.

But you know what, my peanut butter addiction isn’t hurting anybody.

I’m not avoiding the text or phone call that I know is going to ask me to do something I don’t want to do. It doesn’t cause me to stay up late fucking around or do something I’ll struggle to face in the morning. It won’t make me resentful of the people in my life who expect me to be a functioning person.

One thing I might be is slightly hungover. Because hitting peanut butter hard at one in the morning might not result in mental or emotional damage but my stomach will have something to say about it the next day. Usually lots of gurgling translated loosely to, “Whyyyyy?”

I don’t know what the journey with me and peanut butter will bring. Are we in it for the long haul? Will I find another savory, luscious spread to take its place? Only time will tell, but for now, I’m okay with my addiction. Because fuck, it’s the small things in life, right? And if this shit is getting me through the day a little happier and lighter then I’m not gonna question it too much.

Plus, I’m making up for all those unlucky folks with a peanut allergy, so it kind of makes me a good samaritan. Right??

For non-peanut butter ramblings, check out my page.

1. You’ve got multiple jars of peanut butter on the go at any one time. One for your desk at work, one at your cupboard at home, one at your boyfriend’s…

2. You’re passed the point of caring about people judging you for eating it out of the jar with a spoon. This snack is just as acceptable as an apple, OK?

3. You have a favourite type of peanut butter and other brand just don’t compare. Have you tried Sainsbury’s own brand yet? Oh sweet JESUS.

4. And don’t even get us started on the crunchy/smooth debate. It would be like having to choose between two children. Yes we just compared our peanut butter obsession to having children. SO WHAT.

5. Anybody who knows you knows that Reece’s cups or the little crunchy pieces are the way to your heart. Buy me the white chocolate ones and I’ll probably drop my pants on the spot.

6. You’re tried – or attempted – to combine it into every meal possible. So it’ll be peanut butter chicken sauté for main and peanut butter ice-cream with chocolate brownies for dessert.

7. Your life got significantly better when Ben & Jerry’s started making peanut butter cup ice cream. It was honestly the best thing to happen to you that month.

8. You’re constantly telling people that peanut butter is made of “good fats” and is just as healthy as having a handful of unsalted almonds. Right? RIGHT? Or that’s what you tell yourself anyway.

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#flaxseed #pancakes topped with #maplesyrup #whitechocolate #peanutbutter and #love #breakfast #yumyum #foodporn #chefnumer #souschefchauncey #happybelly #stickyandsweet #peanutbutterandco #whitechocolatewonderful

A post shared by guerilla bear (@houseofdandridge) on Apr 6, 2016 at 8:23am PDT

9. You would have it with literally anything and use it like a substitute to humous. With carrots? Pita bread? SWEET POTATOES? Yup.

10. You question any friendships with people who don’t like it. You literally just cannot understand how and why people wouldn’t be a fan of peanut butter.

11. You pity people with a nut allergy so, so much because it means they’ve probably never tasted the pure joy of a Reece’s peanut butter cup.

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Can’t thank my misses enough for the beautiful birthday cake she had ordered made by the amazingly talented @roos_cakesandbakes helping making my day so special. Tasted so good! #cake #birthday #birthdaycake #reeces #reecespieces #food #foodporn #peanutbutter #rooscakesandbakes

A post shared by Muscle Ink (@the_muscle_ink) on Apr 4, 2016 at 5:59am PDT

12. If it features on a dessert menu, you’ll probably choose it over any other option. Soz creme brulee, but have you seen how good the peanut butter cheesecake sounds?

13. You’ve been gifted something peanut butter related on more than one occasion and you’ve rated it higher than other ‘actual’ presents. Soz.

14. You go on about how obsessed with PB you are just so your friends/colleagues/family are aware. “Did I mention I’m in love with peanut butter?”

15. Oh, and you call it PB now. You’re on nickname terms.

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😝🙄🤓 #peanutbutter #live #love #lift #chickswholift #eatallthefood #hungry #fit

A post shared by ☸️Jennifer Cook☸️ (@livelovelift333) on Apr 6, 2016 at 7:05am PDT

16. If you see anything peanut butter flavoured, it makes you stop in your tracks and drool at it until you’re forced to buy it. Peanut butter jelly beans? Pop tarts? Cake mix? YAAAS.

17. Potential relationships can hang in the balance depending on whether or not they like peanut butter. If we can’t sit and eat it out of (two separate, obvs) jars together than what even is the point.

18. Actually, you don’t even care if it’s peanuts – almond butter, cashew butter or any nut butter alternative will do. You’re not fussy.

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For the love of peanut butter. #cookies #reeces #peanutbuttercups #peanutbutter #baking #chocolate #cutoutcookies #hearts

A post shared by Lauren Pallas (@lauren_elyse22) on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:52am PDT

19. No other feeling quite compares to getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth and having to lick it off. This is the best you can feel with your clothes on.

20. You’d choose it over Nutella, marmite or other spreads any day. That just goes without saying, really.

21. MAY YOUR PEANUT BUTTER LOVE AFFAIR CONTINUE LONG INTO THE FUTURE <3

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Dusty Baxter-Wright Senior Entertainment & Lifestyle Writer Dusty Baxter-Wright is Cosmopolitan’s Senior Entertainment and Lifestyle Writer, covering celebrities, movies, TV and books as well as travel, interiors, food and drink on a daily basis.

Addicted to peanut butter

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