Peanut butter is a childhood favorite of, well, everyone. Who does not crave the taste of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every now and then? For some of us, however, the craving goes a bit further, and we find ourselves dipping not the jar on a regular basis. But we are also becoming more and more health conscious as, paradoxically, the global obesity levels reach alarming proportions, and we certainly want to keep the weight down. After sifting through all the data about peanut butter, we now know that it is healthy in small doses, and can become really unhealthy if taken in immoderate amounts. And, just like any other food, what matters the most is the time of day we eat it in, and the amounts we consume.
What’s the nutrient content?
What is the content of peanut butter? It contains peanuts, some oils, and a certain amount of sugar. Since peanuts are a great source of carbohydrates and fats, peanut butter is also very rich in these two elements. Add to that the sugar, and you have a deadly combination that is great for giving you the instant energy boost.
Eat for breakfast
Naturally, therefore, peanut butter is a great booster in the morning. You will get an instant injection of energy, especially if you have a strict workout regimen in the morning. The protein in the peanuts will also help your muscles to repair easier and faster from the wear and tear of a workout session. Of course, keep in mind that you simply cannot dip into the jar of peanut butter and scoop handfuls into your mouth. You need to balance it out by adding the peanut butter in a protein shake, possibly a whey protein shake. Alternatively, you can eat it with some oats and fruits as a complete breakfast.
Eat as a snack
A peanut butter sandwich is a great way of getting that extra energy boost when you are feeling particularly low. So, it serves as a great snack in the evening. You still have some time to go before dinner, and there is probably quite a bit of work you need to get done. Grab a piece of multigrain bread and slap on some organic peanut butter, and you are good to go.
Avoid at night
Eating peanut butter at night is never a good option. It is a combination of a lot of carbs and fats, and that is lethal to your fitness goals when you are going to sleep. Even a protein shake mixed with peanut butter is not a good idea; there will be too much for your body to process, and the unused sugars will simply be transformed into fats. However, if you are looking to gain some weight- because a healthy weight is what the goal should be- by all means have a spoonful or three.
Choose your peanut butter carefully. You will find many versions available in the stores- some are organic and some are fat-free or low fat. Buy the organic ones, of course; they contain the maximum amount of real peanuts and peanut oil, minimum sugar, and very little preservatives and hydrogenated oils. Do not buy the low fat or fat-free versions; manufacturers do away with the fat but replace it with extra sugar. Non-organic versions also come loaded with preservatives and hydrogenated oils.