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Nutrition & Dieting/Peanut Butter Inflammation?


QUESTION: Hello Mr. Santoro

I have been doing some research trying to figure out if natural peanut butter is inflammatory.

On one hand, this website seems to say that it is anti-inflammatory

However, whenever I search elsewhere there seem to be some people who think it is inflammatory.

Do you have any advice on this?

Thank you.

ANSWER: Hey Chris,
Good question.
Peanut butter is generally fine to eat. I'll explain more in a minute.

Other good anti inflammatory foods are
-Green Leafy Vegetables
-Green tea
-whole grains

Foods that may cause inflammation
-Processed carbs
-Red meat
-Processed fats (Trans fat)

Here is where peanut butter can be bad. A lot of commercially available brands add in hydrogenated oils and sugar which are both inflammatory. Peanuts are in fact a type of bean, not nut. On their own they are a good source of monounsaturated fat which is good for reducing inflammation. What you want to do is buy natural peanut butter. There should be no hydrogenated oils or sugars listed on the ingredients list. Or some higher end grocery stores will have machines where you can make your own.
Still though it is best to eat in moderation or use alternatives like almond butter, while still looking at the label.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Mr. Santoro

I would like to ask a follow up question.  You listed whole grains as anti-inflammatory.  However, I  checked one website and it listed brown rice as being "moderately inflammatory

The same seemed to be true for oatmeal

Due to this and other factors I have been avoiding grains.  In addition, I seemed to gain weight fast when eating grains and I also recall encountering instances of brain fog after eating oatmeal.  

Is there something wrong with the information I posted above that claims that grains are inflammatory?  I'm sorry but the contrast has confused and I wanted to seek clarification.

Thank you.

Hi Chris,

Thanks for writing back. The problem with grains comes from the processing of them. Things like white bread and pasta are made of processed grains.
In preparing to answer this I did some reading to better establish a basis. While whole grains can be moderately inflammatory, processed grains are almost double on the inflammatory scale as opposed to the whole form.

Take a look at this article as it relates to grains and inflammation. Be warned it is some rather dry reading

Another concern is Gluten in grains. Gluten can be inflammatory, however this can be over exaggerated too.
Gluten seems to be the new bandwagon diet trend. The truth is some people should not eat gluten, be it for diseases like celiac or other digestive issues. However others tolerate gluten just fine. In fact people have eaten gluten and whole grains for years with no problems. Like I said it just happens to be the offender of the era. 90s was carbs, 8s was fat.

If you are a generally healthy individual with no intolerances to gluten then I don't see why you can't add grains into your diet.
While they may cause a level of inflammation, it is nowhere near as high as processed grains or other high offenders.
This is another good resource to look at

As for your fast weight gain while eating grains, this could easily have to do with your carb tolerance. All these trendy diet advice sources like to promote whole grains, but they fail to mention some of us (me included) have a crappy starch tolerance and need to stick with more fibrous carb sources.

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Tim Santoro


I can answer questions regarding the following. Confusion about basic nutrition, explain how to improve diet, when and how to eat better, eating for weight loss, eating for health, eating for fitness. I will answer questions about nutritional and workout supplements. I will not endorse any fad diets, however I can explain the draw backs to them and explain why they are the wrong way to go. I will not give advice relating to medications and/or their interactions with food and supplements.


I have earned certifications in Fitness Training and Fitness Nutrition from ISSA. I also self taught and stay current on the fitness industry. I lost 70 pounds training my self.


SFN- Specialist in Fitness Nutrition from ISSA CFT-n Certified Fitness Trainer from ISSA

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