ASK AMY: Peanut Butter and PCOS
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.
I’m an American living in Thailand. Since peanut butter is hard to find and expensive, my friends and I have learned how to make our own. It’s healthy, delicious, and fun to do! It’s nothing like Jiff, but now I couldn’t even image going back to eating Jiff peanut butter. I totally recommend it. Enjoy!
Thanks for this! I LOVE peanut butter. While almond butter is ok, I still am a sucker for peanut butter. In your jump start program you recommended Justin’s brand almond butter so I had been getting the same brand peanut butter. I however did not know about peanuts not being an actual nut or that they had that fungus. I’ll be looking for the brand you mentioned or at least Valencia peanuts. Thank you! You’re an INDISPENSABLE resource for us divas!
Is peanut butter gluten free? I use jif or skippy. It does not say gluten free on the bottle but it also doesn’t say it contains wheat. So I am not sure
Something not mentioned here is the relationship between peanuts and mold/fungus. If you have a lot of dandruff, yeast, or other mold/fungus issues then peanuts will exacerbate the issue!
I prefer sunflower seed butter to almond butter… can you comment on the comparison?
*sigh* I am going to cry. Peanut butter is my go to when I want either a simple snack, or something sweet. I knew about them not being nuts, but legumes, but being toxic? say it aint so!
But if I want to try and work on this stuff, have to do what I have to do.
had no idea about valencia peanuts! good to know. next time im stateside and stocking up on my trader joes goodies, will get me some of that, as i’ve cut peanut butter out of my diet since i can’t get the good stuff here. plus i tend to over do it 🙂 almond butter is delish regardless.
Costco is now selling organic Valenica Peanut butter!
I’m a fan of almond butter myself BUT I have recently discovered PB2. It’s peanut butter in a powdered form and has 85% less fat calories. I’ll mix it with a little almond milk for a quick snack or put a little bit in smoothies for breakfast. I’ve even made a low cal thai peanut sauce with it. I know this doesn’t address the toxicity or pesticides, but it’s a great way to avoid any sneaky calories.