Is peanut butter good or bad for your health?

Peanut butter is a popular spread and a good source of protein. However, it can be dangerous for people with peanut allergies, and some brands are high in fat and sugar. So, is peanut butter healthy or not for most people?

Peanut butter is one of the most popular spreads in the world.

For many peanut butter lovers, it’s delicious and the texture is simply amazing — especially the way it sticks to the roof of your mouth before melting.

Of course, not everyone can enjoy peanuts. Some people are allergic to peanuts, and they can even be fatal for a small percentage of the population (1).

But is peanut butter unhealthy for the other 99% of people? Find out.

What is peanut butter?
Peanut butter is a relatively unprocessed food. It’s basically just peanuts, often roasted, until they turn into a paste.

Yet this is not necessarily true for many commercial brands of peanut butter. It may contain various added ingredients, such as:

vegetable oil
Trans fat
And eating too much added sugar and trans fat has been linked to various health conditions, such as heart disease ( 2Trusted Source , 3Trusted Source ).

Instead of buying processed foods with various added ingredients, choose peanut butter with only peanuts and a little salt as an ingredient.

Peanut butter is basically a paste made from peanuts. Many low-quality products also contain sugar and vegetable oil.

It is a good source of protein
Peanut butter is a fairly balanced energy source that provides all three major macronutrients. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of peanut butter contains ( 4Trusted Source ):

Carbohydrates: 22 grams of carbohydrates (14% of calories), 5 of which are fiber
Protein: 22.5 grams of protein (14% of calories), which is more than most other plant foods
Fat: 51 grams from fat, about 72% of total calories
Although peanut butter is fairly rich in protein, it is low in the essential amino acid methionine.

Peanuts belong to the legume family, which also includes beans, peas and lentils. Legume proteins are much lower in methionine and cysteine than animal proteins.

Methionine deficiency is usually associated with an overall protein deficiency or specific disease state. Methionine deficiency is extremely rare in people who are generally in good health.

On the other hand, low methionine intake is also thought to have some health benefits. Studies have shown that it can increase lifespan in mice and rats, but it’s not clear if it works the same way in humans ( 5Trusted Source , 6Trusted Source ).

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