Spread The Good News
By Chelsea Fisher
Because peanuts contain saturated fat they have long been thought of as unhealthy, but recent research has found that the lipids in peanuts aren’t as bad for us as we once thought. In fact, they are a great source of heart-healthy monosaturated fats. Numerous studies have found that eating peanuts and peanut butter can help lower blood cholesterol levels, especially when peanuts are used to replace animal protein in the diet.
Along with vegetarian protein, peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, niacin, folate, and manganese. According to the American Cancer Society all nuts provide different combinations of good-for-you antioxidants. Since they contain roughly 200-300 calories per third cup, it’s best to use nuts as a replacement for other food in your diet rather than just add them. Watch your sodium intake by purchasing roasted unsalted peanuts for both recipes and snacking.
When it comes to peanut butter, it really is best to buy organic.
The shelf-stable varieties, those that do not need to be mixed or refrigerated, are usually made up of hydrogenated oils. Studies have found that hydrogenated oils can be very dangerous to our health because they can raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol at the same time. In this instance two wrong definitely don’t make a right, so stick with the organic stuff.
Peanut butter is a great option to have around the house, especially for families on the go. It’s a great way to get fast protein in the morning, which studies have found can reduce overall food intake throughout the day, and will certainly keep you full longer. Peanut oil is also a good oil to have in the kitchen as it has a high smoking point.
Of course peanut butter is great in Ants on a Log and in our Peanut butter and Banana Shake, but it can also be used in a ton of savory recipes. Our Senegalese Peanut Stew is extremely popular at our classes, and peanut noodle dishes like our Cold Soba with Spicy Eggplant Sauce is the perfect protein-packed vegetarian meal.