Is Peanut Butter Bad for Weight Loss?

Made from creaming peanuts, peanut butter is actually considered a health food. Peanut butter can be a healthy option for your weight loss plan, but it is important to consume it in moderation. According to the CNN website, peanut butter is included as a component of many diet plans because it has the ability to suppress hunger.

Basics

Choosing peanut butter as a part of your weight loss plan is not necessarily bad, but since it is high in fat and calories and eating too much of it can lead to unwanted weight gain, be sure to use it in moderate amounts and measure out portion sizes before eating it, whether as part of a meal or as a snack. Also give yourself time to eat slowly so that you can know when you are full and avoid overeating.

Significance

Peanut butter contains a significant amount of protein at about 8 g per serving. Protein is filling and provides a sustained amount of energy over longer periods. Eating peanut butter will provide you with a filling source of sustained energy, decreasing your need to eat more to maintain your energy levels. Also, your digestive system uses more energy to break down protein, which causes your body to burn more calories during the digestive process.

Peanut butter also is a source of fiber. According to Harvard University, every serving of peanut butter contains about 2 g of fiber, which is about 8 percent of your necessary intake of fiber. Similar to protein, fiber keeps you feeling full longer and on smaller portions of food aids your weight loss efforts.

Considerations

When losing weight, it is important to ensure that you still consume a healthy amount of nutrients, and peanut butter can provide you with a valuable source of vitamins and minerals. Also, peanut butter contains healthy unsaturated fats, which are important to keep your immune system, brain and overall body functioning properly.

Tips

Keep your peanut butter use in moderation, but do not avoid it entirely to achieve weight loss. Stick to more natural forms of peanut butter to help you avoid unnecessary amounts of added sugar. Avoid peanut butters that are labeled reduced fat; they generally contain added sugar to replace the flavor that is lost when the fat is removed. The added sugar provides calories that are deficient of healthy nutrients. Look for peanut butter that does not contain trans fat. Although trans fat is no different from any other fats in terms of weight gain, it can play a significant role in an unhealthy heart.

Warning

Sweets that are made with peanut butter are not helpful to your weight loss. Even though cookies, pies and candy bars are made with peanut butter, it does not make them healthy and acceptable to eat when you are trying to lose weight. These foods generally contain a significant amount of added sugar, butter, oils and eggs. These additives increase the fat and caloric content of the sweets to levels that can compromise your weight loss efforts.