Let’s not beat around the peanut bush: unless you’re allergic to this particular nut butter, you may be one of the many people who love peanut butter. It’s a staple of the Western diet. If you’re like so many others, you were probably sent to school every day with a helping of peanut butter spread on some whole grains bread. But was this really the best meal choice? Does peanut butter have lectins?
Of course, roasted peanuts smell magnificent. And when they’re turned into peanut butter, they’re one of the most popular plant foods out there. But, you may be wondering if eating peanut butter that much is healthy.
The sad truth is that peanuts, and therefore peanut butter, is high in dangerous lectins. Read on to know more about this lectin food and whether it is good or bad for your health.
Does Peanut Butter Have Lectins? Know The Truth Right Now!
Remember, lectins are toxic plant food proteins that bind to carbohydrates and can be harmful to your health. Research suggests that the peanut agglutinin lectin (also called PNA) might show increased instances of colon issues, glandular concerns, and digestive and bowel complications.1,2
Lately, it seems to be the norm that much-loved foods — often touted as health foods — seem to carry with them disturbing health-compromising compounds — like lectins. There are several foods that might be okay on a paleo diet or keto diet that just won’t work on a low-lectin diet. The peanut is one such food.
But rest assured, just because you give peanut butter the boot it doesn’t mean you have to kick all nuts and nut butter to the curb.
What Peanut Butter Does To Your Body And Heart Health?
Now, peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut oil are all on Dr. Gundry’s “NO” list. If you’re following a low-lectin diet, you should just steer clear of them entirely. Part of the reason has to do with the phytic acid content in peanuts. Phytic acid can bind to the nutrients your body needs most thereby preventing their absorption in your system.3
Phytic acid is pretty common in most nuts and grains. You can also find phytic avid in lectin-heavy legumes. Whatever nutritional benefits you may reap from those foods can be counteracted by their lectin and phytic acid content.
Also, peanut allergy has become quite common these days. Turns out, the food you buy at the grocery store tends to be linked to 90% of allergic reactions. This is obviously not limited to peanuts and peanut butter. These allergies can be linked to regular cow’s milk, wheat, eggs, and shellfish. But peanuts are one of the most common food allergies and can sometimes result in a fatal reaction if ingested.4
You will know if you are allergic to peanuts and peanut butter because the allergic response often occurs during early childhood. Unfortunately, this is an allergy that will likely last throughout your life.5
Finally, you should know that most commercial brands of peanut butter are chock full of artificial trans fats and added sugars. There’s a collection of recent research out there that points to a link between trans fatty acids and the following health concerns:
- Heart health issues
- Nervous system concerns
- Compromised vision
- Colon health complications
- Compromised blood sugar levels
- Weight gain
Aflatoxins are also found in peanuts. In fact, several studies have shed light on the instances of aflatoxin contamination in peanuts. Aflatoxins are a group of toxic compounds that are made by the molds in certain foods — like peanuts. Unfortunately, they can cause some serious health concerns too.7
So, clearly the bottom line when it comes to peanut butter (and cashew butter, actually) is to do your best to stay away. There are Dr. Gundry-approved nuts and nut butter you can eat though.
What Nuts And Nut Butters Should You Eat?
When it comes to looking for nuts and nut butter that are Dr. Gundry-approved, look no further than this list (just be sure to consume no more than ½ a cup serving of nuts per day and no more than 1 Tbsp of nut butter per day):
- Blanched almonds
- Baruka nuts
- Macadamia nuts
You can also consume these nuts in their nut butter form. Just make sure there is no added sugar or unhealthy oils, like sunflower oil.