Sadly, many conventional peanut butters are far from nourishing and clean. This could be problematic for those of you who frequently consume this popular food in one way or another (ex. the famous PB&J sandwich). This post will open your eyes to the top 5 peanut butter risks so that you can make healthier choices for yourself and your family moving forward.
Take your jar of peanut butter and check the ingredient label for one of the following terms:
Do you consume these red flag oils in your peanut butter?
The manufacturing process of these poor quality & cheap oils involves many damaging practices:
This means that all the goodness that seeds naturally contain, like the beneficial omega 3 & 6, vitamin E, carotene, and lecithin are removed during the refining process.
But this also means that industrial vegetable oils lose their natural protective abilities from spoilage, making the end result rancid.
Finally, many refined oils also contain pesticide residues coming from the poor selection of seeds used to make these oils (see red flag #3).
If you ever tasted unsalted peanuts then you know that they are actually sweet in their natural form.
With that being said, many manufacturers still add refined sugar to peanut butter under more or less obvious names like sugar, molasses, maltodextrin or honey.
And although our bodies need sugar to fuel our cells and physical activities, eating too much refined sugar causes many issues. To name a few:
One of the reasons why we love sugar so much is because of the way it acts on our brains.
Sugar targets the pleasure & reward center in the brain and helps to release the chemical dopamine, which motivates us and helps us to feel good.
Research also suggests that sugar has an addictive potential like some drugs (cocaine, alcohol).
The next red flag on the list relates to the quality of peanuts used to make the butter.
Even peanuts are sprayed with synthetic chemicals like pesticides and /or fungicides or they may contain some pesticide residues.
Because peanuts are often crop rotated with cotton, which is actually one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world, also known as the “the dirtiest crop”.
So for the sake of your health, make sure to lower your intake of pesticides because long-term exposure has been linked to many health problems including:
I bet that you can see salt on the ingredient label of your favorite peanut butter brand.
Am I right?
You’ve probably heard of refined sugar but you should know that salt is as much refined as sugar.
The harsh chemical and high-temperature refining processes remove the beneficial trace minerals naturally present in salt, making the end result very low in its nutritional value.
Another problem with added salt in foods is that you can end up eating more than what is actually good for you. Therefore, you could increase your risk for developing health problems associated with high salt intake including:
Finally, there is a problem with a toxin called Aflatoxin (Aspergillus flavus), which is produced by a mold that can grow on various crops including:
Even milk, cheese and dried spices can get contaminated with aflatoxin.
As for peanuts, aflatoxin can develop on them in two main ways:
Ultimately, long-term exposure to aflatoxin will lead to many health problems, especially around the digestive area.
Specifically, aflatoxin has been linked to liver cancer and peanuts in general slow-down the metabolic rate of the liver.
This is why you should avoid peanuts if you suffer from:
There are a few things that you can do to eliminate or minimize your dietary intake of toxic aflatoxin:
One of the main functions of the liver is detoxification. Help this important organ to remove the many toxins that you ingest and inhale on a daily basis. Try:
Legumes, grains, nuts and seeds have many nutritional benefits but they also contain certain anti-nutrients like phytic acid. This enzyme inhibitor can combine with minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc or iron and prevent them from being absorbed into the body. Consequently, you can become deficient in these vital nutrients which can lead to problems like bone loss.
You can neutralize or reduce phytic acid and make grains, legumes, nuts and seeds more digestible by following proper preparation practices such as:
Peanut allergy usually starts to develop in the early childhood years and the latest research shows that introducing peanuts to infants can reduce peanut allergy by more than 80%.
The National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease lists specific guidelines and recommendations for health care professionals and parents on how to go about introducing peanut-containing foods to infants.
You can find links to the guidelines in the “Resources” section at the bottom of this page.
Now that you opened your eyes to the common peanut butter risks, it’s time to put it into practice!
I can understand that you may feel overwhelmed with all of this information.
But remember, it’s not all or nothing.
ORGANIC FOOD LABELS