What Is The Problem With Peanut Butter?

All things are good in moderation, but there are some potential problems with peanut butter that you need to be aware of.

This is a classic snack, and many of us eat it by the spoonful. It’s a source of healthy fats, and for the most part, you’d think it’s nothing but good for you. So what are the risks?

Three Potential Problems With Peanut Butter

The reason peanut butter isn’t as good for you as you may have thought is because peanuts are technically a legume – not a nut. Legumes don’t carry many of the same antioxidants and health benefits that tree nuts do.

We can break down the issues with an excess amount of peanut butter in your diet into 3 categories: gut health, inflammation, and additives.

Peanut Butter Contains Lectin & Aflatoxin

Lectins are one of the many compounds you’ll find in that jar of peanut butter, and when consumed too frequently, can contribute to poor gut health.

This is especially true for those already suffering from some sort of gut condition, including but not limited to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut syndrome, etc.

There is also a toxin, know as aflatoxin, that can contribute to adverse health effects. These two compounds work together to wreak havoc in your stomach, especially when this food is a staple in your diet.

How Peanut Butter Contributes To Inflammation

Peanut butter contains healthy fats – that is true. In theory, these omega fats should lower inflammation, right?

Unfortunately the ratio of these fats, omega-6 and omega-3, are not in the ideal ratio. In fact, the ratio can contribute to increased inflammation in your body – which brings a whole host of problems with it.

Additives In Peanut Butter

This won’t necessarily be true of fresh from the tree nut butter, but for the most part, what you buy on the grocery store shelf contains additives and preservatives.

Two of these aforementioned additives also happen to be the worst ingredients you’ll find in food – high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils (trans fats).

Consider A Healthier Alternative

Because peanut butter isn’t truly a tree nut, it simply doesn’t carry the same benefits that you may assume it does.

Instead of peanut butter, consider a true tree nut butter.

Healthy Alternatives

  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Pecan butter

Final Thoughts

In all honesty, these alternatives don’t taste quite as good as peanut butter, and they are generally more expensive.

But, from a health perspective, there is no comparison between these nut butters and peanut butter, which truly should be classified as a “legume butter”.

Now that you are aware of the different problems with peanut butter, it’s up to you to decide if that tasty spoonful is worth the inflammation, poor gut health, and long term damage it’s additives can cause.

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Stevie Compango, CNSC, CPT

Stevie is Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for the past 10 years. He specializes in mobility and chronic pain management. His methods have helped thousands of clients improve the quality of their life through movement.

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