Peanut Butter: Allergen? Comfort Food?

Peanut Butter: Allergen? Comfort Food?
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.


With all the peanut allergies, a lot of people ask me about whether it’s healthy to eat on a regular basis.

Normally, I’d think of peanut butter as just another food and nothing special, but a while back, I read this incredible article by Ginny Messina.

That made me realize how important peanut butter actually is, and that it’s worth a closer look.

I think peanut butter is a fantastically delicious plant food, especially if you get a natural kind that doesn’t have any added oils or sugars.

Peanut butter is an easy way to transition over to plant proteins – most people are used to it and love a peanut butter and jam (or banana?) sandwich.

Peanut butter tastes good, it has a unique flavor that you don’t get from other nut butters.

It’s such an easy food to incorporate because it’s familiar and it’s versatile. I use it to make dips, dressings, bean dips, sandwiches, smoothies and chocolate-pb spreads.

{jumi [files/includes/youtube.php] [UZ_ZW79afNc]}

As a legume (not technically a nut), peanut butter has a slightly higher protein and slightly lower fat content than nuts.

It also has a fair amount of vitamin E, various B vitamins (particularly niacin), magnesium and manganese.

The main trouble with peanut butter for me is that I find it really easy to overeat it. Because it tastes so good, I can very quickly eat too much.

There’s nothing at all wrong with eating peanut butter straight off the spoon, it’s just that you want to make sure you make that part of an overall healthy and balanced diet.

That’s true of all nut or seed butters, though. Because they are pretty dense, you only need a spoonful or two to get their amazing benefits.

There is something called aflatoxin in peanuts, which is a type of mold and can trigger a reaction in some people.

If you’re allergic, or if you notice a reaction specifically to peanut butter, then of course don’t eat it.

There are so many other nut and seed butters out there now that it’s easy to enjoy whichever your personal favorite is. I love almond butter as a spread and tahini for dressings and dips.

But if you don’t have any problem with peanut butter specifically, there’s absolutely no reason to avoid it.

The thing to remember is that there are downsides of every food – even the healthiest ones. But that doesn’t mean they’re bad for us or that we shouldn’t eat them.

Lots of people are allergic to tomatoes, and unripe tomatoes have alkaloids that are toxic. Tomatoes also have lots of antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients and are overall a very healthy food to eat (unless you happen to be allergic).

I sometimes have reactions to underripe apples and pineapples. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat those fruits, and definitely doesn’t mean I think you should avoid them.

Our bodies have an amazing ability to handle toxins if we’re healthy overall, and if we don’t get overloaded with toxins.

I think the key is just to make sure that we don’t eat too much of any one food – whether it’s tomatoes or peanut butter.

Keeping things in balance and getting variety means we can enjoy the benefits of each different food and not stress about the little things (because stress is pretty unhealthy).

Ways To Enjoy Peanut Butter

I find regular peanut butter sandwiches a bit too sticky, so what I’ve started doing is having cucumber or lettuce with it. It’s so good!

One day, I wanted to have a big veggie sandwich with cucumber and red pepper and lettuce, but I didn’t have any hummus which is what I usually would have used. I tried it with peanut butter, and was fantastic.

Peanut butter on apple slices is one of my favorite snacks. When I was little, my mom used to core the apple and fill it with peanut butter.

I also love ants on a log (celery with pb and raisins), and saw the genius idea to do ladybugs on a log (cranberries instead of raisins) at a Peanut Butter & Co demo table.

If you happen to be allergic or sensitive to peanut butter, you can always do all of these things with almond butter, or cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter or any of the variety of nut and seed butters available now.

What’s your favorite way to have peanut butter? Let me know below 🙂


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


vegan taster meal plan + quick start guide

Download Free