Peanut butter is touted as a healthy source of protein and good fats, but did you know that it has to be the right kind of peanut butter or you are actually harming your body to the equivalent of smoking cigarettes?! Don't worry, you can still have your peanut butter and eat it too. You just have to make sure it doesn't contain this one ingredient.
Just look at the ingredient label of this Jiff Peanut Butter:
The Sugar is bad enough and something I have talked about in past posts. It can lead to diabetes and heart disease and is highly addictive.
But what I am really worried about is the Hydrogenated Oils. Doctors have been quoted saying that hydrogenated oils are just as bad for your body as smoking cigarrettes. This is an ingredient that I avoid at all costs. In fact, I'd say this and any form of corn syrup are the two most avoided ingredients in my diet. If a food contains either of these I just won't touch them. No matter what.
You may know hydrogenated oils as trans fats and even in small amounts they can wreak havoc on the heart. Hydrogenation is a process in which they take vegetable oils, heat them to extreme temperatures and add hydrogen to them, altering the entire chemical makeup of the oil. This increases their shelf stability and turns these normally liquid oils, solid- more resembling plastic than oil by the time they are done.
These oils increase LDL (or "bad cholesterol") while also decreasing HDL ("healthy cholesterol"). Trans fats also accumulate in the body because the digestive system doesn't know what to do with them, hardly even recognizing them as food, so the body stores it as fat. Diets high in trans fat (hydrogenated oils) have been directly linked to obesity as well as cardiovascular disease.
Where else you may find hydrogenated oils:
- Baked goods
- Store bought cookies, cakes, cupcakes, etc
- Highly processed food products
Also, be weary of labels that say 0g trans fat. If a food product contains less than 0.5g of hydrogenated oils PER serving, a food company is allowed to state that it does not contain trans fat, even though it does. If you really like the food (like I love my peanut butter) you are more than likely going to eat more than one serving size and those hydrogenated oils will add up! Besides, in my book any amount of hydrogenated oils is not okay! Always read the ingredient label on the back and if it has hydrogenated oils, put it back! There are plenty of alternatives that do not contain Hydrogenated Oils.
Whole Foods Market does not allow any food containing Hydrogenated Oils in their store, so any peanut butter (or other food you pick up there) will be free of them!
MY FAVORITE NON-HYDROGENATED PEANUT BUTTERS!
- Whole Foods brand Organic Unsweetened Peanut Butter is my absolute favorite. It's creamy and resembles my childhood favorites Jiff and Peter Pan but without the hydrogenated oils or sugar!
- Woodstock Organic Peanut Butter:
- Maranatha Peanut Butter: