Many people may consider peanut butter to be a guilt-ridden indulgence akin to candy bars, cookies, and cakes but read further and you will see why those people are very wrong.
Calling peanut butter a diet food, with 180 to 210 calories per serving, may seem counter-intuitive, but it has the enviable combination of fiber (2g per serving) and protein (8g per serving) that fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer, so you eat less overall. Plus, there's nothing more indulgent than licking peanut butter off a spoon, and indulgence (in moderation) helps dieters fight cravings and stay on track.
A serving of peanut butter has 3 mg of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, 49 mg of bone-building magnesium, 208 mg of muscle-friendly potassium, and 0.17 mg of immunity-boosting vitamin B6. Research shows that eating peanuts can decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.
One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that consuming 1 ounce of nuts or peanut butter (about 2 tablespoons) at least 5 days a week can lower the risk of developing diabetes by almost 30%.Peanut butter is chock-full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. A recent study found that adults with difficulty in regulating glucose processes who ate a diet high in monosaturates had less belly fat than people who ate more carbohydrates or saturated fat.
If you're thinking of buying reduced-fat peanut butter because you think it's better for your waistline, save your money; the calories are the same (or even a little higher) thanks to the extra ingredients that are added to make up for the missing fat (including more sugar).