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Monday, June 3, 2013

Why Peanut Butter is Actually GOOD For You!

A certain amount of fat in the diet is necessary in order to prevent fatigue, and even heart problems. But there are good fats and bad fats. Bad fats are called saturated fats. Good fats are called unsaturated fats.

All fats are made of chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. The more hydrogen atoms there are, the more damage the fats do to the body. Thus, saturated fats are filled with hydrogen and produce high cholesterol, increase the risk for some types of cancer and produce weight gain. Unsaturated fats are actually good for you.

Polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats are similar, but both have health benefits. Monounsaturated fats have health benefits like lowering cholesterol, and keeping the good cholesterol (HDL) high. And here is where the peanut butter comes in. Peanut butter is actually a good source of monounsaturated fats, along with olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, most nuts and nut butters, even avocados and olives. Polyunsaturated fats contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which are known to protect against sudden death from heart attack. Foods containing polyunsaturated fats include fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and rainbow trout, and also canola oil, walnuts, and flax seed also contain some Omega-3s.

You don't have to be a scientist to understand the differences between the saturated and unsaturated fats. Just know that saturated fats are bad and unsaturated fats are good. One way to tell the difference is that saturated fats, like butter and lard, remain solid, while unsaturated fats are liquid.

So, go ahead and have that peanut butter sandwich. In addition to being a good source of unsaturated fat, it is high in vitamin E, high fiber, vitamin B3, iron, protein, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium.
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