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JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 9,840
1/23/12 11:44 A

Nutella has trans fats in it, too, so I would avoid any that you don't make yourself.

MWILSON432 Posts: 97
1/23/12 7:27 A

Coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil are good substitutes for butter, as far as cooking goes. We are vegetarians and use this instead of butter for putting on bread and whatnot...
I also use their vegan buttery sticks for baking.
Anyway. Peanut butter is calorie dense. We use MaraNatha no stir peanut butter. 2 tbsp.s is 180 calories, which is not bad as far as peanut butter goes. Its all natural and has no added sugar. Mostly, I will have a teaspoon of it and dip my apples in it. Some people think that almond butter is healthier, but it has 10 more calories per 2 tbsp. We use it because my daughter is not allowed to have peanut products at her school and my husband likes the taste of it better.
Edit to add: Here is a link to the nutrition facts on Nutella. Its 200 calories per 2 tbsp. and has lots of added sugars. We, again, use it as a substitute for peanut butter for my daughter's lunches.
I don't think there is anything wrong with consuming some peanut butter in moderation. Another poster suggested greek yogurt and PB2, which is great for putting in smoothies and pretty low cal...both are great options.

Edited by: MWILSON432 at: 1/23/2012 (07:33)
LADYJEXIE_2 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,205)
Posts: 325
1/23/12 7:26 A

... Mix PB into an equal amount of mashed garbanzo beans.

BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 1,939
1/23/12 6:54 A

Anarie, please keep in mind that the CSPI is one of the groups that was telling us to EAT trans fats in the first place. The vilification of butter, saturated fat and the promotion of hydrogenated vegetable-oil alternatives was greatly sponsored by them. Thank goodness they got all the fast food restaurants to get rid of that nasty lard fry oil and replace it with healthy trans fats! How many people have clogged arteries because of the CSPI? We certainly will never know, but it is probably thousands. Also keep in mind that there is more that is evil about 'fake' peanut butter than the added fake oils. These are also packed full of sugar.

I also don't think there is a healthier alternative to real, pure peanut butter. I am not talking about the horrible processed food garbage that claims to be peanut butter, but the real stuff that contains only peanuts (and maybe salt). I would say that calorie for calorie, peanut butter is a good choice. If the calorie density of peanut butter is an issue, then maybe just have less or dilute it into something else.

EMILYESQ Posts: 302
1/23/12 12:18 A

Someone else mentioned PB2 already, but I will as well because I totally switched over to that instead. It's not going to be the same consistancy as peanut butter, but I use it primarily on sandwhiches so I can't really tell that much. Still tastes peanutty. You can find it at a lot of larger grocery stores now in their organic/health food sections for $5-6.

ALLYGALE Posts: 29
1/22/12 3:50 P

Mixing peanut butter with a mashed up banana works really well and can greatly lessen the overall calories (it also provides you with a serving of fruit!) Just put the two in the blender for a few seconds and you have yourself a yummy dip/spread! (It can be thicker or thinner than typical peanut butter depending how how much banana you use). I like mixing the two together and using them as a dip for apples and veggies!

I got the idea from a site called chocolatecoveredkatie - it's one of my main go-to for healthy sweet desserts/ideas!

CHANGEBODY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (540)
Posts: 12
1/21/12 12:36 P

Hey...I am not allowed Peanut butter anymore, due to a medical condition...but I have used almond butter or even cashew butter in recipes that call for PB in them....also I have made my own maple cinnamon almond butter for toast, because unsweetened almond or cashew butter obviously doesn't come close to PB!!! Good luck :)

0FITNTRIM7 Posts: 38
1/21/12 12:26 P

thank you Mandie!

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,581
1/21/12 12:16 P

I am not sure why the menu planner leaves off chunky PB, I prefer chunky myself.

If you remove most of the oil from almond butter it will become really dry and chunky. Impossible to spread. And the fat in almond butter and PB is what is good for you.

0FITNTRIM7 Posts: 38
1/21/12 12:08 P

Why is the menu loaded with SMOOTH peanut butter only? I prefer crunchy and I am not aware of any nutritional differences, so why is it left off of the menu choices? (Healthy Heart diet, if that makes any difference perhaps?)

KICKBOXER75 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,407)
Posts: 13
1/19/12 1:56 A

All natural almond butter. The oil will separate to the top, and you can drain a lot of it, then mix it together. This can also apply to natural peanut butter as well. But you should leave some oil in there, for texture (otherwise it'll be hard as a rock!) and it is a good fat!

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,581
1/19/12 12:34 A

There is nothing like Peanut Butter. When I want peanut butter nothing can replace it. So personally I eat only a teapsoon.

I have found that almond butter and cashew butter while great tasting also have the same amount of calories and fat. And if your grocery bill is limited the cost can be three to six times the cost of natural peanut butter. I kid you not, I have seen almond butter for $18 a jar, a 16 oz jar.

I was buying PB a while ago. And I automatically thought, the store brand is cheaper. Then I looked at the shelf, the store brand cost two dollars more than the name brand. So that day I got the name brand.

ANARIE Posts: 13,205
1/18/12 8:50 P

This is an old thread, but I wanted to mention one thing for the budget-compromised. Everyone's down on "regular" peanut butter because it has partially hydrogenated oil. Normally, those words on a label mean "don't buy this; it's full of trans fats which are really bad for you." Peanut butter is a different case, though. The amount of hydrogenated oil is so tiny that in lab tests, they couldn't find even a trace of trans fat in two or three servings. (And those tests were sponsored by groups like the CSPI that are super-paranoid about food quality.) There's just a gram or two per jar; it's in there to keep the natural peanut oil from separating, and it only takes a few drops. Peanut butter that only has peanuts is still better, of course, BUT... IF it's much, much cheaper, and IF a few cents a serving is really going to make a difference to your family's budget, and IF you don't eat anything else that has partially hydrogenated oils, don't feel bad about a tablespoon of Jif now and then. The good of the monounsaturated oils outweighs the bad of that tiny smidge of hydrogenation.

But also double-check the prices on the peanut-only kind. The store-brand peanut-only stuff from Whole Foods is usually the same price as name-brand supermarket stuff, for example. That was a huge surprise to me!

FUNSTYLE Posts: 180
1/18/12 8:07 P

Otoh, if you want peanut butter, why not just go ahead and have it? How does it make sense to not have something you want to have?? emoticon

LAETU5 Posts: 1,405
1/18/12 7:36 P

There really isn't anything that tastes like peanut butter other than peanut butter and peanuts. When I do get peanut butter I get all natural peanut butter that has an ingredients list that just says peanuts.

You could try taking that 2 T of peanut butter and whipping it into some greek might allow you to keep most of the flavor while upping the volume. Haven't tried it but from other things I've mixed with greek yogurt I think it might work.

Or you could just eat a serving of peanuts...when you chew them it's the same flavor and it would take longer to eat them.

Anyway, real peanut butter isn't unhealthy it's just not diet friendly to have a lot of it. Same goes for any other nut butter, olives, and avocado.

PANDAS10 SparkPoints: (16,949)
Fitness Minutes: (15,393)
Posts: 408
1/18/12 6:09 P

I had to laugh at the idea of "reduced fat peanut butter"
At one time, I too had bought into the idea that if it is reduced fat, it must be better.

Your reduced fat peanut butter has just as many calories per 2 TBSP serving as my regular peanut butter - but I'll be yours is filled with extra sugar.

I didn't realize the difference until I started reading labels.

Peanut butter is healthy in moderation. If you want to have a little more peanut butter, try to cut back a little elsewhere in the day; or try to do only 1 TBSP.
I know 1 TBSP was more than enough for me to spread on a banana...

FUNSTYLE Posts: 180
1/18/12 4:34 P

Almond butter which is even sold in individual packets at some health food stores.

40ISHHUBBY SparkPoints: (21,745)
Fitness Minutes: (18,574)
Posts: 460
1/18/12 4:33 P

probably not as good as the real thing but it sustains me like regular PB with 1/4 of the calories do for me it works

BSMO1987 Posts: 383
8/17/11 6:14 P

I put PB in my oatmeal every morning to add protein and healthy fat. If you like PB, try other nut butter to mix things up a bit; almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter. If you want the healthiest peanut butter, find a local grocery store or food co-op that has their own self serve bulk peanut butter and almond butter. you can grind it fresh for the cleanest tastiest peanut butter ever!

Fitness Minutes: (20,400)
Posts: 2,704
8/17/11 5:28 P

Try making a Greek-yogurt based dip. I'm thinking a little honey, the scrapings of a vanilla bean and maybe some cinnamon or allspice? That would be awesome for dipping apples in!

I also make a really crazy dip where I roast carrots until they're really soft, and then puree them with some Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and honey. It's bright orange and sweet- it would actually be good spread on just about anything!

Instead of looking for packaged dips at the grocery store, you should definitely try making some of your own!

BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (15,376)
Posts: 1,939
8/17/11 3:14 P

The funny thing is that I consider peanut butter to be the healthy alternative to all the nasty processed food things I used to eat!

Note: I get the peanut butter that is just ground peanuts (or sometimes peanuts and salt). I don't even consider those nasty trans-fat sugar bomb spreads that claim to be peanut butter but aren't as being actual peanut butter. They are really just sugar-margarine peanut flavored goo!

GOPHEROON SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (12,495)
Posts: 2,310
8/17/11 3:11 P

SCTK519, I think the whipped PB works well for people who like to use it as a spread because it's easier to cover a bread with less of the stuff.

However, gram-for-gram Whipped Peter Pan has more calories than regular 100% PB (6.25 cal/g vs. 5.63). The discrepancy comes because the serving size of 2 tbsp weighs 24 grams for whipped and 32 grams for regular PB. I think Nutella's serving size is 37 grams, again something that needs to be considered if using a kitchen scale to track foods. That's not universal though, and also the list of ingredients varies by country:

EVEST001 Posts: 8
8/17/11 3:11 P

The protein is not very high, but PB2 has about 50 calories per 2T. It is basically peanut butter with most of the oil squeezed out to make a powder. It can be mixed with water to make peanut butter, but it doesn't quite live up to the real thing. I prefer to use it to add a peanut butter flavor to smoothies or oatmeal.

DSLICE418 Posts: 29
8/17/11 3:04 P

These are such good ideas! I love hummus (I think I am addicted to condiment like things) But I am going to definitely look at cashew and Almond butter to see if the have what I am looking for.. and Whipped peanut butter? That sounds like a great idea!!

YISMET Posts: 364
8/17/11 2:59 P

I agree with GOPHEROON - peanut butter is actually quite healthy, especially the fat. I eat it almost every day, though normally only about a tablespoon. I've seen some other Sparkers mention this peanut butter: as a healthier alternative, but I've never tried it.

Also, definitely do NOT substitute with nutella. It is way worse nutritionally, and absolutely addicting. I could eat the entire jar with a spoon :)

SCTK519 Posts: 2,086
8/17/11 2:55 P

I get Whipped Peter Pan peanut butter; I believe it's fairly equivalent on fat, but has only 150 calories.

Here's a good article on Nutella and why it's better than PB & J:

GOPHEROON SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (12,495)
Posts: 2,310
8/17/11 2:48 P

I think you're slightly mistaken by saying PB is unhealthy just because it has a lot of fat and calories -- that's just the nature of peanuts.

A peanut butter at its healthiest is just 100% nuts with no additives like palm oil or partially hydrogenated oils. So hopefully you won't go looking for some weird "low fat PB" to satisfy your needs! :)

Depending on how you like to use PB, there might be something you can find with soy in it, or figure out a nut that has the carbs-protein-fat -ratio that you prefer. As an example, you might pick almond butter or cashew butter instead. You can also go a different route and test-drive hummus, which is oily like peanut butter but made with garbanzos and tahini.

DSLICE418 Posts: 29
8/17/11 2:08 P

I LOVE Peanut butter. Right now as I type this I am eating PB on rice cakes. So good, but there are so many calories in just 2 T reduced fat jiff has 190 calories, 15 carbs 12 grams of fat and 8 grams protein. I feel like there is a better alternative for peanut butter that isn't so unhealthy. Something slightly sweet that still has the protein that peanut butter has, just not so much fat and calories. I've thought of buying Nutella, but I haven't read the nutrition facts on it yet, someone told me it has a lot of sugar in it. I wanted to get some input from my fellow Sparkers before I went to the store and got overwhelmed with decisions. Any advice is greatly welcomed!

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