Is Fatty Peanut Butter Good for Cholesterol?

When making fast decisions, it might feel like you know the answer to something because it’s just so obvious. So, when asked if peanut butter is something you can enjoy when you have cholesterol concerns, your immediate thought might be no, because it’s high in fat. However, it’s not that cut and dry.

Seventy-five percent of the cholesterol in your body comes from the liver. The remaining 25 percent is from your diet. While less cholesterol is coming from your diet, it’s still important to pay attention to what you eat when you are watching your cholesterol levels. In a rush to take control of our health, we might be tempted to throw away absolutely all fatty things from the kitchen. But not all fats are created equal.

Two tablespoons of peanut butter have 3.3 grams of saturated fat and 12.3 grams of unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fat lowers the amount of LDL in your body and reduces your risk for heart problems. As most of the fat in peanut butter is from the “good” fat, you might not need to be concerned about it. Moreover, peanut butter is cholesterol-free.

Peanut butter is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Two tablespoons have almost eight grams of protein which is excellent as it is a slow-burning fuel that keeps you satiated after eating it. Peanut butter — despite being high in fat — is not linked to weight gain when it is part of a regular diet. In fact, it can help people who want to lose weight. The protein and fiber keep you full in a way that many carb-heavy foods do not and can help you maintain muscle mass.

The American Heart Association believes that as nut butters, including peanut butter, are high in nutrients and cholesterol-free, they are a heart-healthy snack. As with so many other foods, peanut butter can be a healthy part of your diet, but overindulging can be harmful. Peanut butter is high in calories; if you are watching your caloric intake, you should keep a close eye on your serving size.

If you took the peanut butter out of your pantry because of cholesterol concerns, you can probably put it back and enjoy it. Of course, it’s always best to speak to your doctor when you are looking to make changes in your routine. Your personal health concerns may be different than other people’s and your doctor can advise you on a plan. Hopefully, you'll be enjoying peanut butter soon!

Banner image: PiccoloNamek, Wikimedia
October 03, 2019
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