Before I changed my diet everyone said that peanut butter was healthy. I really did see it as a healthy option. All my friends who spent time at the gym said to eat it. Not to mention that it tastes really good. It is also a simple go to food for kids, that they will actually eat. You know they are getting the protein they need, and who doesn’t love a PB&J?
So, what changed my mind so much that I just stopped eating it?
It often contains aflatoxins – What is that? Aflatoxins are basically a naturally occurring fungus that is toxic. This happens to appear in peanut butter because peanuts are grown underground and have a soft shell. What does that mean really? When you eat peanut butter you are eating a toxic fungus that your liver is having to work hard to process out of your body. This mold, aflatoxin, does have health risks, some believe as serious as cancer.
They use the grossest peanuts to make peanut butter. Think about it, they ground up all the peanuts that they don’t want you to see to make this product.
Food Allergies Are On the Rise – The number of children with peanut allergies has increased by 50% in the last 15 years. This article from Prevention discusses the fact that we might not be allergic to peanuts just what they are doing to them. Though it is not our responsibility to protect other people’s kids why even put them at risk?
If you are still reading I must of convinced you or at least have you questioning if you should still be eating and serving peanut butter.
I wouldn’t leave you hanging without giving you some alternatives. Our personal favorite is almond butter. My little one loves it. The taste isn’t quite as creamy as peanut butter, but it isn’t that far off from texture. If you like the creamy, rich taste, then cashew butter has you covered.
There are plenty of nut and seed alternatives to peanut butter. Just look down low or up high at your grocery store to find them. Things like sunbutter (sunflower seeds) and hazelnut butter (not far off from nutella) are also very yummy.
Nuts are very nutrient dense. When you use high quality nut butters you will be eating something very similar to the original nut. Be sure that the butter doesn’t have too much added sugar or preservatives. Nuts are a good source of “healthy fats” which they carry a wide range of. These fats are essential for your child’s brain development.