Time magazine has thrown all our ideas about peanut butter out the window with the revelation that yes, your favourite spread is (to an extent) good for you.
According to registered dietician Lisa Sasson, “it really is a healthy food. There are so many reasons to keep it in your pantry or bring it to work.”
Professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard, Dr Walter Willett, backs up this jaw-dropping claim. “It has a great nutritional package” with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. A standard serving – two tablespoons – contains seven grams protein, sixteen grams fat and two grams fibre.
While the fat content of peanut butter has led to people avoiding it, Dr Willett says it is in fact an example of “a mostly healthy unsaturated fat” that “will reduce blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease, especially if this replaces butter or processed meats.”
Of course, not everyone will see its benefits. If you don’t like peanut butter, or are allergic to peanuts, Dr Willett places other nut and seed butters (including almond butter and cashew butter) in the healthy category.
The healthiest kind of peanut butter contains minimal ingredients – peanuts and just a little bit of salt. “Scan the nutrition labels and avoid peanut butters that have hydrogenated oils, which are unhealthy fats that are added to keep peanut butter from separating or going bad quickly,” says Lisa.
We’re not going to hesitate next time we’re in the vicinity of a spoon and a jar of peanut butter – as long as we stick to two tablespoons.