By: Mike Geary
Co-author of the best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen, The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix
Ahh, good old american peanut butter… if you’re like me, you fondly remember eating a ton of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches growing up, washed down with a glass of milk (or chocolate milk when we were in grade school) ….
But is peanut butter actually healthy, or are there potential health problems associated with eating it too often?
Well, first of all, peanuts are a legume, and not a tree nut, and legumes tend to have more antinutrients overall than tree nuts. This can be bad in some cases, but not all.
But the REAL problems with peanuts and peanut butter are…
1. Peanuts have a higher lectin content than most tree nuts, and lectins can be harsh on your gut health, particularly if you already have IBS, leaky gut, or other gut disorders. Peanuts also contain aflatoxin, which is a toxin that can have various negative health effects if you consume it too often.
2. Peanuts have a poor ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, possibly making inflammation in your body worse if you already get too much omega-6s.
3. Peanut butter often contains the additives of high fructose corn syrup AND deadly hydrogenated oils (aka, trans fats), which you already know are 2 of the most deadly additives in our food supply.
So, what are the best alternative nut butters that I use for my family and recommend to my clients?
Instead of peanut butter, I always get either almond butter, cashew butter, or pecan butter… sometimes I get all 3, and mix them together! Unfortunately, cashew butter and pecan butter are nearly impossible to find at most American grocery stores… so the easiest choice available to find in most places that’s healthier than peanut butter is almond butter.
Almond butter is Paleo-friendly, whereas peanut butter is a legume, and legumes are generally recommended to be avoided or reduced on a Paleo Diet.
One of my favorite mid-day snacks that I NEVER get tired of is apple slices dipped in almond butter…. Mmm, sooooo good! And it’s chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to nourish your body.
Unfortunately, some people have a hard time finding good almond butter, or if they do find it at a specialty store, it’s ridiculously priced at almost $30 per jar in some places…yikes!
I recently talked to one of my contacts that’s an employee at ThriveMarket, and they let me know that they are now offering a Free jar of Almond Butter for any new customers of ThriveMarket in the US, and with a minimum purchase of at least $29 of groceries. (Note, if you’re already an existing customer of ThriveMarket, I believe you can still get a free jar of almond butter on orders over $50, or at least a significant discount)
If you don’t know what ThriveMarket is, it’s basically a wholesale priced health food shopping club that’s 25-50% lower prices on healthy foods compared to most organic or specialty grocery stores. Plus, all orders of groceries over $50 are free shipping, so it saves you gas money and time by not having to drive to the grocery store as frequently. My wife and I have been using ThriveMarket for over a year now, and we’ve been continually impressed by their increasing variety of health foods, and the incredible prices!
We’ve even found new items like Paleo coconut flakes cereal, Paleo wraps, tons of great organic coffee and tea brands, lots of unique jerkies, chocolates, and of my favorite discoveries yet… maca maple cashews…OMG, these things are sooooo incredibly tasty!
Ok, I have to run now, but don’t miss out on your free jar of almond butter courtesy of ThriveMarket!
Any nut butter, including (particularly) almond butter can also contain aflatoxin, and the biggest risk is in small-scale home or store grinding of unscreened (bulk) nuts. (In fact, aflatoxin and related mycotoxins can be found in many kinds of foods depending on growing and storage conditions.) Peanuts are somewhat more susceptible, but many of the major US brands (including “natural” types have extremely low levels because of careful and consistent testing procedures. Not saying people shouldn’t choose almond butter; just saying check your facts and how you spin them.
Is there a website that measures different types of toxins in differently prepared foods?
Barry I am replying to your comment avocados are a fruit and not a nut.
Does that mean peanut byte is bad
Sorry typo error
Thank you 🙂
Is the first time that I learned peanuts are legumes nor nuts.
If I am not mistaken, cashews are also very high in lectin. I am not sure that is a great alternantive for peanut butter.
im in Cyprus,,we only just discovered olive oil butter[kerrygold],,forget cashew or almond butter till next centurion.[I know I know]
For years I’ve been reading how great all kinds of nuts are good for your body. Now, they are no good? She’s only trying to make money selling her products.
About almond butter I don’t particularly like the high prices of the almond butter, but I have a suggestion why not make it yourself you can Google it yourself to find out how to make it yourself, and it will not cost an arm and a leg get what I mean. Also by making it yourself you will know what you put into it and it will be 100per dent healthy, so tell me if you agree or disagree.
Tree nut butters are by far better for you than PB. We have an Omega slow grinder juicer which make delicious nut butters. We use organic raw almonds and cashews.
All nuts, beans, legumes, avacados, all grains, and bananas are high in copper. Most people are higj in copper already which causes sticky blood …hemaglutens. which form cysts, tumors, etc. Not good for anyone unless copper deficient. We’re talking intercellular not blood.
Try Trader Joe’s for almond and other butters – you can even buy it on Amazon if you want to pay the price and don’t have a local TJ’s>
I am afraid that by now Trader Joe’s has joined the scamming commercial grocery chain stores…Not as reliable as 16 years ago when it first came out ….Greed and customer health carelesness has taken over.
You can get Almond Butter at a good price at WalMart, and the price at Publix is okay. I have been thinking about stopping to eat PB, and this article pushed me to do it!
Unfortunately the almond butters at the Walmart I shop at in TX are not natural. They have added fats and sugar.
I agree and almond is bad for men. It lowers testosterone. I left all of it and I feel much better!
Daniel, almonds DO NOT lower testosterone. They actually INCREASE testosterone. Look it up.
Winco supermarkets allows you to grind your own almond butter right in their stores..
I buy organic peanut butter free of high fructose corn syrup or any other junk additives. 100% natural. I use it on sourdough bread which is better for you than normal white bread along with organic jam. I’m not giving up the classic childhood treat of PB and J sandwiches! Healthier options are there
Unfortunately, on the well-tested FODMAP diet for IBS (Monash University, Stanford, others, almost any GI doctor these days), almonds and almond butter are a no-no for IBS sufferers with high oligosaccharide content, while peanuts or peanut butter in moderate amounts are fine for IBS, so you have your ‘facts’ backwards on these 2 foods, at least as far as IBS is concerned. Moderate levels of GLA’s (omega-6’s), if balanced with omega 3’s, are healthy for inflammation, not inflammatory, and are even recommended for inflammatory erosive osteoarthritis. See Dr. Weill or google it as regards arthritis. Peanuts have more omega 3’s than omega 6’s by a wide margin. The proof is in the pudding; that is, people who eat peanuts have lower rates of heart disease and longevity is greater. It is also easy to obtain peanut butter that is organic with no salt or sugar added at any Whole Foods Market, and I assume that is true at many markets. Almonds may be even better (walnuts are no doubt the best for longevity and omega 3’s), but peanuts are not an unhealthy food.
Cashews are not a nut they are a bean and not to great for many
Try costco about $8.00 for almond butter
It’s possible to get natural peanut butter without HFCS or added oils. One thing not mentioned, though, is that peanut butter and almond butter and other nut butters also are high in oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stones and joint issues. I found this out the hard way after making nut butters a big part of my diet a year or so ago.
All of this may is true but the reality of eating any nuts or seeds on a regular basis is one, seeds are healthier but most importantly, you can eat all the natural and organic nut and seed butter you want but unless you are soaking and dehydrating your own at home your body is overloaded with far too much phytic acid, which is an anti nutrient and can also cause gastric distress. ( like farting after you eat beans, we all think that’s normal and becomes a household joke but when you soak you won’t have that same gas). If you are having a handful of nuts here and there then our bodies can handle a small amount of phytic acid but not in the way we eat nuts and seeds these days. Almond flour crusts, baked goods, nut and seed butters, etc.
Start looking up traditional ways of preparation for nuts, seeds, legumes and beans.
Then learn to dehydrate at home and then grind your own.
Any nut not in a shell may have gluten on it due to conveyor belts having gluten. Peanuts are a legume. Gluten contamination may hurt people.