Ask Amy: What is your recommendation for peanut butter. Is this okay to use? – Lisa B.
Amy says: I tend to rely more on almond butter. Almond butter has a bit more fat than peanut butter, but that includes more monounsaturated fat and about half the amount of saturated fat. Almond butter also has more fiber, and fewer carbohydrates.
Peanuts aren’t actually nuts. They’re legumes and they’re related to peas, dry beans and lentils. Here are a few things to think about when selecting a peanut butter.
1. Many peanut butters contain hydrogenated fats and sugar.
2. Peanuts are frequently contaminated with a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin.
Aflatoxins are naturally occurring fungal toxins, and peanuts are one of the most contaminated crops. Aflatoxin, being a toxin, is metabolized by the liver. Large enough doses of aflatoxin can be a liver carcinogen in high doses.
3. Peanuts are one of the most pesticide contaminated crops.
4. Peanuts have omega 6 fats which we want less of as women with PCOS.
My mom was a “choosy mom” and I grew up on Jif. But Jif and other highly processed brands like it, are often filled with hydrogenated omega 6 oils, high fructose corn syrup or sugar. Here is the ingredient list for Jif:
MADE FROM ROASTED PEANUTS AND SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: MOLASSES, FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (RAPESEED AND SOYBEAN), MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, SALT.
When I do use peanut butter today I try to purchase an organic Valencia peanut butter from Trader Joes or Arrowhead Mills Organic Valencia Peanut Butter. The ingredients to look for are simply, organic roasted unblanched valencia peanuts, and maybe a little sea salt. Valencia peanuts are resistant to aflatoxin and are grown in areas where aflatoxin isn’t a problem. I also try to pour the oil off the top and even replace a little if the peanut butter is too dry with a PCOS friendly oil like olive oil.