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PB and J for Lunch: Why It's a Good Idea

Fitday Editor
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Though a PB and J sandwich has long been a popular choice for lunchtime, it can be difficult to determine if this is a healthy choice, or simply an easy option. In order to make an educated decision, it is important to evaluate the protein, carbohydrate, vitamin and mineral, and fiber content of each of the ingredients.

Provides Protein

One of the most important reasons why a peanut butter and jelly sandwich makes a great choice for lunch is due the high protein content found in peanut butter. While protein can also be found in beef, chicken, and dairy products, these items typically contain high amounts of saturated fats. In contrast, peanut butter (and other types of nut butters) contains high amounts of unsaturated fats, which can effectively treat and prevent many serious health conditions. Protein is important for your body's health in a number of ways. This nutrient is not only important to help keep your muscles strong and toned, but can also keep your hair, nails, and skin looking great.

Provides Carbohydrates

In addition to the protein provided by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, this lunchtime meal also contributes a high amount of carbohydrate. Though fat is often thought of as your body's source of energy, carbohydrates are also essential to providing your body with the energy that it needs to make it through a long and strenuous day. If you are concerned about the calorie content associated with high carbohydrate foods, look for breads are lower in calorie count.

Provides Vitamins and Minerals

So far, this article has focused on the peanut butter and bread part of a PB and J sandwich--but the jelly is equally important in providing many health benefits. In fact, depending on the type of jelly you choose, you can get a high percentage of several of your essential vitamins and minerals in one simple sandwich. For best results, look for jellies and jams that are in their most natural state. This means that the products should contain little added sugar or fat, and should have high quantities of the real fruit. Try to switch up the flavor of jellies that you use on a regular basis in order to get a variety of different vitamins and minerals.

Provides Fiber

Finally, when the right choices are made in regards to bread and jelly or jam, your sandwich can also contain high amounts of dietary fiber. Fiber can help treat and prevent cardiovascular disease, and has even been found to be effective in managing diabetes and obesity. When choosing breads, look for varieties that are made from whole grains. Whole grain breads are significantly higher in fiber that their white alternatives. In addition, jellies and jams that contain high amounts of real fruit will also contain lots of dietary fiber.

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