"Peanut Butter Is The Glue That Holds My Life Together"
I spread peanut butter as thick as I would love. I love all types of peanut butters from crunchy to smooth, organic, natural, to the plan ole' jar of Skippy my mom use to buy. During contest prep peanut butter was "off-limits." It was on the DO NOT EAT list for several reasons, it was high in calories/fats/sugars, and I could not control my consumption. Peanut butter often times gets a bad rep for its caloric counts.
Personally, peanut butter is the best tasting spread out there. It's salty, sweet, smooth, crunchy, good on almost anything, and sooooo satisfying. All I wanted during prep was peanut butter. Needless to say the first thing I had after my bikini competition was a peanut butter and banana toast for an entire week.
Since then I've learned of some peanut butter alternatives that I can have in moderation. I've done lots of research and I've also tried a lot of nut butters. I'm sorry folks but almond butter can NOT be compared to peanut butter. Here are some health benefits of peanut butter when consumed in moderation (that would be 1-2 tablespoons or LESS). I know imagine LESS than that, but it's possible and you have to decide how important your goals are.
Health Benefits of Peanut Butter
What To Look For In A Peanut Butter
Sodium- higher sodium might mask the peanut butter flavor and you want to look for the lowest amounts of sodium (most organic ones will have less).
Sugar- Natural peanut butters will have almost half as much sugar as the more commercialized Jiff and Skippy jar. Try to keep the sugars as low as possible especially if you are going to be using the peanut butter with something else (say jelly for an example, that will add even MORE sugar to your snack/meal).
All Natural- look for ingredients in PB that have more peanuts and healthy fats added. Natural peanut butter usually have peanuts as main ingredient and might not contain as much artificial ingredients to make it taste better.
Stay away from LOW FAT peanut butters. Often times the lower the fat the more sugar or carbohydrates or both are in the product (this goes for all of the low-fat things you see). Take out some of the fat the product might not taste as good or have as much of the same texture and therefore added sugars and other things can be added to mask the flavor.
Flavored PB's will most likely contain more sugar and carbohydrates.
Trust me, some of the healthier versions might be more expensive but look for sales. If you can't afford a healthier option or can't find one just control you peanut butter consumption and measure out your servings. It won't hurt you as long as you know what you are eating. Peanut butter is fine in moderation.
My Go To Ways of Using Peanut Butter
On rice cakes with strawberries and chia seeds
PB powder in my protein shakes
On my protein waffles (a little goes a long way here)
PB protein cookies
In any smoothie
straight off the spoon!
If you can't control your peanut butter how do you expect to control your life?