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Peanut Butter Nutrition for the Athlete

Dec 19, 2009

Peanut butter nutrition has gotten a bad rap due to all of the added sugar you'll likely find in the average jar. With all the different types of protein shakes and bars, many athletes neglect the power of real foods that deliver a quality protein punch.

Peanut Butter Nutrition

While it is true that peanut butter has a relatively higher fat content, the fat in peanut butter is the good kind. More than eighty percent of the fat in peanut butter is unsaturated. These monounsaturated fats promote heart health. As an added benefit to both dieters and atheletes alike, this healthy type of fat keeps you fuller, longer. Also, peanut butter contains no trans fats or cholesterol.

It is important to note that the nutrition information mentioned above relates to natural peanut butter. This means the kind without added sugars. Most of the better known brands have added sugars, and many add more when they reduce the fat (for flavor's sake). Several of these brands offer natural versions of the standard sugary peanut butters. Be sure to read labels before you buy, because there are plenty of choices that contain no sugar at all.

Peanut Butter: A Super Food for the Athlete

Though peanut butter has either been blacklisted from many dieter's plans or reserved as an indulgence, it is a fantastic option for added protein and nutrition. Two tablespoons of this nutritious nut butter offer up seven grams of protein. While it's not enough to replace a turkey sandwich, it's certainly a great alternative to cream cheese or butter on your morning bagel. Down it with a glass of milk and you will increase its power to repair and rebuild muscle tissue after a workout, by adding the essential amino acids that peanut butter lacks.

The satiating power of the healthy fats in peanut butter can prevent you from overeating, or choosing less nutritious options to quell your hunger. It can also feel like a delicious indulgence, which can be a powerful mental tool. Try it atop a scoop of your favorite low-fat ice cream.

How to Incorporate Peanut Butter Into Your Diet

Peanut butter is a versatile food. It can be added to both savory and sweet dishes for added flavor. Some simple suggestions include:

  • Try it with your daily apple or banana
  • Use it as a dip for celery or other veggies
  • Add it to your protein shake
  • Spread it on a whole wheat or multigrain toast, bagel, waffle or English muffin
  • Add it to your morning oatmeal
  • Try it on whole wheat or multigrain crackers for a nutritious snack

The options for including peanut butter in your diet are endless. Try adding just a tablespoon or two to your regular daily diet and you'll feel fuller for longer with this heart-healthy, nutritious and delicious food.

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