What PB is in Your Pantry?

September 22, 2011

If I had to list my favorite foods, peanut butter would be pretty high up there!  I LOVE it:)  However, I am very particular about what brand I like and that is mainly because of the ingredients.  Have you ever paid attention to what is in the peanut butter you eat? If you’re like most people, you grew up eating Jif or Skippy or one of those brands.  You like the way a spoonful of Jif creamy peanut butter tastes.  However, I want you to grab that jar of pb from your pantry and take a look at the ingredients.

You may never have even noticed the ingredient list before, but now is your chance to take a look.  I want to help you understand why it is important to know what is in your jar of peanut butter and provide some healthy pb options.

Let’s start by comparing two brands:

* Skippy PB ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar, Soy Protein, Salt, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Cottonseed, Soybean and Rapeseed) to prevent separation, Mono and Diglycerides, Palm Oil, Minerals (Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Oxide, Ferric Orthophosphate, Copper Sulfate), Vitamins (Niacinamide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid)

* Harris Teeter Naturals Organic PB ingredients: Dry Roasted Organically Grown Unblanched Peanuts and Salt.

WOW! The Skippy brand list is a mouthful…literally. The main glaring difference between the two is the LONG list of things in the Skippy PB.  I only used this one brand as an example, but I can guarantee that Jif, Peter Pan, etc. all have long lists of ingredients. Do you know what all those things are in the Skippy brand?  Let me help you understand by explaining a couple of the worst… Corn Syrup solids are basically manufactured/processed sugar and have no nutritional value, just empty calories that lead to weight gain.  Please also note that the Organic brand mentioned above has 1g of sugar and the Skippy brand has 4g per serving.  The hydrogenated vegetable oil is terrible for you too.  Basically, the vegetable oil, which is a liquid fat, is injected with hydrogen gas at high temps under high pressure to make it solid at room temp.  The hydrogenation process converts the fat into indigestible trans-fatty acids…no good:(

My question to you is why?  Why are you eating these brands if it is really full of sugar, chemicals and hydrogenated vegetable oils?  I’m not sure if pb is such a healthy snack and topping for your apples if it is full of all these unhealthy, processed ingredients???  You may want to consider a brand like Harris Teeter Naturals that contains only peanuts and salt.  What a better choice to buy a brand that has all natural ingredients and is much healthier for you! 

My challenge to you is to start buying a more healthy pb (natural peanut butter or organic peanut butter).  Stay away from any brand that has a list of ingredients a mile long, especially ones containing corn syrup and hydrogenated oils! 

Food for Thought: Each serving of peanut butter contains about 7g of protein.  PB is an excellent source of protein.  Just make sure you buy the right (healthy brand) and put it on your apples, bananas or celery as a healthy snack:)

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