You might be surprised to find out that peanuts are not actually nuts, they're legumes. Did you know that? Kind of strange right. I mean why would they call it a nut if it's not? Here is why I don't think peanuts are good for you. They can be quite toxic and cause inflammation.
Here's a great explanation I found from Whole9Life blog. "When peanuts grow, they can harbor carcinogenic mold called an “aflatoxin“. This goes for conventional and organic peanuts. The longer they sit (during shipping, for example), especially in warm temperatures and high humidity, the more mold grows. And as it’s nearly impossible to buy peanuts “local”, as they are only grown in a few Southern locations, more likely than not, even your organic peanuts, are suspect. The far bigger concern, however, is that peanuts contain lectins which are believed to have inflammatory and atherogenic potential. Most plants contain lectins, some of which are toxic, inflammatory, or both. Many of these lectins are resistant to cooking and to digestive enzymes, and some have been scientifically shown to have significant GI toxicity in humans. Lectins from grains (especially wheat) and legumes (including peanuts and soybeans) are most commonly associated with aggravation of inflammatory and digestive diseases in the body. (As an aside, dairy from cows fed grain-based diets can also contain these grain-derived lectins.)
So instead of this......
Switch to one of these......
There are actually quite a few alternative nut butters. In our home we use almond butter, for the girls and Brian and cashew butter for me. If you live near a Costco, you are in luck. You can buy a big jar, 26oz, of Maranatha Almond Butter for around $7. That's a great deal.
I love cashew butter. My favorite way to buy it is at Whole Foods fresh from the grinder. Just cashews. No oils added. Unfortunately, they don't always have cashews for fresh cashew butter. So I buy the Whole Foods brand. Although I've decided I'm going to use my Vitamix to start making my own from scratch. It just makes sense. We always have cashews on hand at the house and it would be so easy to make and so much cheaper.
Another great option is Sunbutter from sunflower seeds. I haven't personally used sunbutter but I have many friends whose kids can't have nuts and they use this and love it.
As you can see, you have so many great options for healthy protein and healthy fats. It's just experimenting and finding one that's right for you. Here's a tip. Did you know you can buy anything from Whole Foods and if you don't like it or aren't satisfied with any of their products, you can take it back, no questions asked? You don't even need a receipt. They have fantastic customer service and I can't tell you how many things my family has tried, that we didn't like, and they are always so kind and helpful.
If you can't let go of your peanut butter and you just have to have it, make sure it's organic and made only of peanuts. That's it. No sugar and no added oils and try to limit how often you eat it.
Have you tried any alternatives to Peanut Butter? What is your favorite?