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Carbs in Peanut Butter + Everything you need to know about Peanuts

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If you’re eating low carb, you’ve realized how delicious peanut butter is. In this post we’ll review how many carbs are in peanut butter and what to consider when eating peanut butter.

How many carbs are in peanut butter?

2 tablespoons of peanut butter contain 6 grams of carbohydrate.

How much fiber in a serving of peanut butter?

2 tablespoons of peanut butter have 2 grams of fiber.

What’s the net carbs in peanut butter?

If you’re eating low carb, you can count on about 4 grams of net carbs per serving. Peanuts and Peanut Butter with no added sweeteners will not raise blood sugar and are technically safe on a low carb or diabetic friendly diet.

Is peanut butter okay

Is peanut butter bad for me?

Peanut butter is delicious. However, there’s a dark side to eating peanuts. One argument, that I’m not really a fan of is that it’s high calorie. That’s true but it’s not necessarily a negative. Let’s review a quick the breakdown of macronutrients and calories:

1 gram of Fat = 9 calories
1 gram of Protein = 4 calories
1 gram of Carbohydrate = 4 calories

This basically means that you get more calories from fat (by weight) than you would from protein or carbs. There’s a raging debate on the impact of calories. Yes, calories are energy. However, quality is more important for health and longevity than quantity (within reason of course). You’d never be able to sustain quality of life by eating only carbohydrates. There’s a significant breakdown of health due to the overconsumption of carbohydrate (at it’s core, it’s insulin resistance).

Broken down further, fat isn’t going to be an issue if you don’t over consume. Fat in and of itself is NOT going to make you fat. Overconsumption of carbohydrate is much more likely to make you fat. So the high calorie concept, while true, isn’t what you need to be worried about in relation to peanuts. With the calorie concept out of the way, let’s move on to why peanut butter is actually not ideal for you.

First, let’s review why peanut butter isn’t technically consider “Paleo”.

Peanuts are not Paleo

Being legumes, peanuts are not considered “Paleo”. Here’s the real issue with peanuts, plants defend themselves via anti-nutrients. They can’t bite you or run away. Let’s review some of the anti-nutrients and issues contained in peanuts.

Peanuts Contain Lectins

Lectins are found in raw legumes (aka peanuts). Resistant to human digestion, Lectins may travel into the bloodstream unchanged. We (humans) don’t digest lectins. In fact, our body’s immune system will produce antibodies in hopes of destroying the Lectins.

Not only that but it’s not uncommon for Lectins to damage the lining of the gut wall (contributes to leaky guy).

All in all Lectins may contribute to:

  • Joint Pain
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Headaches
  • Autoimmune Issues
  • Fatigue
  • Brain Fog

Peanuts Contain Saponins

Saponins are known to irritate and damage the lining of the intestinal tract. It’s possible for Saponins to promote chronic inflammation. And chronic inflammation may instigate an immune over-activation. There’s data showing that even prolonged cooking won’t lessen or prevent the impact.

Peanuts and Aflatoxin

Molds and fungus and peanuts, they all go together really well. Did you know that Aspergillus flavus is 20 times more carcinogenic than DDT in pesticides? That’s found in raw peanuts! There is good news on this one… you can dramatically reduce aflatoxin by cooking or roasting.

Peanuts are a poor source of protein

Just imagine eating 10 grams of protein but the protein you actually is 6,7 or maybe 8 grams. Peanuts have a PDCAAS score about 20-25% lower than animal protein sources. That’s because of a low level of essential amino acids. AND because of the anti nutrient issue discussed earlier.

Aren’t legumes a great source of iron?

They are. However, the form of iron in plants can’t really be absorbed like iron in animal products. Iron in plants is bonded to phytates which reduces the absorption rate by as much as 80%. This is also true with minerals like zinc, also limited by phytates. Ope.

If you have irritable bowels, avoid peanuts

I’ve got an entire post on FODMAP, check it out if you’ve got an unstable gut. Know this: if you struggle with digestive issues and decide to consume beans, legumes (peanuts) often, you’ll end up with a bigger problem and no relief.

Yeah but… do you eat peanuts?

I do but I shouldn’t. And I don’t eat them all the time (even though that would be delicious).

All in all I would say that ideally, we should avoid peanuts. They’re doing us no favors. In fact, we’ve opted to make our commercial kitchen completely peanut free. However, we do sell products in our store that contain peanuts. I would love to be able to make some products with peanuts but I just can’t justify the pros over the cons. There are just too many negatives when it comes to peanuts, especially for those trying to heal.

Carbs in Peanuts

Key Peanut Takeaways and Recap

  • Generally speaking, peanuts are a low carb option and are okay on a Keto Diet. Peanuts and pure peanut butter with no sweeteners will not raise blood sugar.
  • Peanuts are legumes and are not considered Paleo.
  • Peanuts contain Lectins which are known to be resistant to human digestion. Lectins trigger your body to produce antibodies in an attempt to destroy the Lectins. Lectins are also known to contribute to: Joint Pain, Allergic Reactions, Headaches, Autoimmune Issues, Fatigue], Brain Fog
  • Peanuts contain Saponins which are known to irritate and damage the lining of the intestinal tract.
  • Raw peanuts contain Aspergillus flavus which is 20 times more carcinogenic than DDT found in pesticides.
  • The protein found in peanuts is a poor source of protein in comparison to animal products.
  • Peanuts contain iron. However, Iron in plants (including legumes) is bonded to phytates which reduces the absorption rate by as much as 80%. Translated: the iron in peanuts isn’t enough to justify eating peanuts for iron.
  • If you struggle with digestive issues and decide to consume beans, legumes (peanuts) often, you’ll end up worse off. Peanuts contribute to an unstable gut and are considered a FODMAP.

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Maribeth Wagner

Monday 15th of March 2021

Thank you for the information on peanuts. So informative. Now how does Almond Butter stand? I have basically replaced our peanut butter intake with almond butter instead. Thank you, can't wait to get back to FC soon. Maribeth Mediterranean Table Red Feather Lakes CO

Rob Benson

Monday 15th of March 2021

Hi Maribeth!

Almond butter is a better option. If lectins are a worry for you, just get blanched (no skin) almonds. Almonds are also generally mold free too.

See you soon!