Smart Swap: Peanut Butter

Mmm, peanut butter. Some of you probably eat it by the spoonfuls (and no, I’m not judging!). And who doesn’t love a good PB&J sandwich? Even after eating one almost every single day growing up, I still enjoy an occasional PB&J (especially toasted!). Or a PB&banana, or an apple with peanut butter. Yep, peanut butter is delicious. And we Americans sure do consume a lot of it (another thing I learned in Australia, as they don’t eat peanut butter like we do!).

Unfortunately, the peanut butter I grew up eating (specifically Skippy and Jif) contains partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils are industrially created, and thus have high levels of trans fats, raising bad cholesterol and contributing to heart disease. All this from a food that is supposed to be healthy? These oils have even been linked to breast and colon cancer, a depressed immune system, and allergies. Eww.

Check out these articles for more info on the negative health effects of partially hydrogenated oils:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trans-fat/CL00032
http://www.livestrong.com/article/318407-hydrogenated-oil-health-effects/

 

So what other options are out there? Luckily, there are quite a few. See below for my take on a good, better, and best substitute for healthy, all-natural, and even organic peanut butter:

Good: Skippy Natural Peanut Butter – Crunchy and Creamy

A good no-stir all-natural option. No heart-clogging partially hydrogenated oils used here! And out of the three options, this one you will most likely be able to find in retail grocery stores.

Better: Earth Balance Natural Peanut Butter – Crunchy and Creamy

Another no-stir all-natural option. Made with flaxseed for the added benefit of Omega-3s and sweetened with Agave rather than refined sugars. Also comes in a coconut & peanut version (crunchy or creamy). Look for in co-ops, natural health food stores, and participating retail grocery stores.

Best: MaraNatha Organic Peanut Butter – Crunchy and Creamy

Love that this one is no stir and organic! No harmful pesticides or synthetic fertilizers were used and the peanuts have not been genetically modified (more to come on that in a later post!). Look for in co-ops, natural health food stores, and participating retail grocery stores.

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