Nutrition & Dieting/Eating nuts
I understand that eating nuts is good for you. Is peanut butter a good substitute? Thanks for your help.
Yes nuts have a lot of great benefits. They are an excellent source of fat, include some protein, and dependent on the type of nut have various nutrients.
Peanut butter is good as well. There are a few things to consider though. First of all peanuts are not nuts, they are a type of bean. However peanuts still contain a wide array of nutrients.
When buying peanut butter you really need to read the labels. If you can, opt for a natural peanut butter. If you look at a few of the popular big brands you'll notice they contain a lot of unnecessary stuff. These varieties have added sugars and other ingredients including hydrogenated oils (aka trans fat)
The big brands like Skippy and Jif now make natural peanut butter. These contain peanuts, salt, oil, and sugar. I can do without the sugar, but still this is an optimal choice to the others that have a dozen or more ingredients. I use the Skippy natural myself.
The natural jars will usually cost about the same as the others. Please keep in mind that the term natural is used loosely here. It is basically saying "not filled with extra crap"
Another option is real natural peanut butter. These usually will come with more cost but contain just peanuts, salt, and possibly palm oil. These do tend to be more expensive and will separate. Or some stores actually have grinders where you can make your own. I've never really priced this so I can't attest to the cost.
Finally it is in your best interest to avoid the low or reduced fat peanut butters. These may sound healthy but usually have added sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. Fat equals flavor. When food manufacturers remove any degree of fat thay don't want to compromise the flavor, so they compensate with sugar.
There are other nut butters such as almond butter. These tend to contain less sodium and fat. A small jar of almond butter can cost $7.00-$10.00. So as you see it is a little more expensive than the peanut butter which ranges from $3.00-$6.00.
As far as raw nuts go you really can't go wrong with almonds and walnuts. When you buy them though be sure to read the label. You want them to be 100% raw and not have added sugars or other stuff. Almonds actually have a ton of uses. They can even be used to make a no carb flour.
So to sum it up, peanut butter (peanuts) and nuts like almonds each have their own distinctive benefits. Peanut butter is a perfectly healthy food though. Sure it has some draw backs but not enough to totally avoid it.