Peanut Butter, The Good And Bad

Looking for a healthy, good-tasting snack?  Try peanuts or peanut butter.  Peanuts are very inexpensive and make a convenient and filling snack.  They are high in protein which is about 98 percent digestible.  The fat in them contains 28 percent linoleic acid, one of the dietary fatty acids, which has a beneficial effect in cholesterol metabolism.  Peanut flour has four times the calcium and phosphorus and twice as much iron as wheat flour.  Also, peanuts contain no cholesterol.


However, peanuts have one flaw.  They are easily susceptible to a mold called Aspergillus flavus, which is cancer causing.  The actual toxin is called aflatoxin.  So be sure to buy from well-regulated areas or your local health food stores.


Also, stay away from commercial peanut butters.  They contain additives such as hydrogenated oil or sugar.  They also contain as much as 25 to 35 percent sugar.  You should be able to easily find “natural” peanut butter made of only peanuts and salt.  Since the peanut oil is not hydrogenated, it may separate and need to be stirred and it may need to be kept in the refrigerator.  However, this is a small inconvenience for such a tasty and healthy treat.  Try it on celery, apples, or just on a spoon.  And let’s not forget the yummy peanut butter and banana sandwich!

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