Happy belated Peanut Butter Day!

There’s a Day for EVERYTHING… So I hear!

I was informed yesterday that I was missing out on a celebration that my taste buds really would have wanted to be in on, if my tummy was feeling up to it. 

How many of you were aware that January 24th is National Peanut Butter Day?  Yes, it’s true!  A day designed to celebrate my absolute favorite treat, one I’ve been told is a guilty pleasure that I should probably replace with something better for me, like unsalted almonds.  Not a chance!  This girl could live on peanut butter, alone.  (OK, not really, but I’m trying to get you to understand the love I have for this particular “treat”.)

Years ago, I switched from regular peanut butter to the reduced fat version; I’m sure just because it sounded good, perhaps like the right thing to do.  As we all know many reduced fat products don’t end up being that much better for you, because in order for them to taste as good as the full fat version, they add some sugar to increase the yum factor.  About a year ago, I switched to a low sodium, natural peanut butter, knowing this was a much better option for me.  I have yet to leave the family that is Jif, so I’ve been around the block with their peanut butters/spreads, so to speak.  (Did you know that reduced fat and natural peanut butters are classified as spreads, not butter?  It’s true.)

I decided to use this week to do a little peanut butter comparison, in celebration of its special day.  Below I’m going to show you a little comparison of the three products that I’ve used throughout my courtship with the variety of peanut butter/spreads.  All the products are Jif Creamy Peanut Butter/Spread and the information is based on one serving (2 tablespoons).

                                          Regular                Reduced Fat            Natural

Calories                               190g                       190g                       190g

Fat Calories                        130g                       110g                       130g

Total Fat                              16g                         12g                         16g

Sat. Fat                                 3g                           2.5g                        3g

Trans Fat                              0g                           0g                           0g

Cholesterol                         0mg                       0mg                       0mg

Sodium                             150mg                   250mg                   80mg

Total Carb.                          7g                           15g                         8g

Dietary Fiber                      2g                           1g                           2g

Sugars                                   3g                           4g                           3g

Protein                                  7g                           8g                           7g

You can interpret this as you will, depending on what you’re looking for in your diet.  Comparing the numbers does say quite a bit to me.  That Reduced Fat guy isn’t doin’ much for you if you’re truly looking to reduce the fat.  With higher numbers in sodium, sugar and total carbs, I think I’d throw that one out the window (or rinse out the jar and recycle it, anyway).  The regular and natural seem to go hand in hand, unless you’re looking to reduce sodium. 

Maybe my next stop will be to leave the Jif family and try to find something that’s just a bit better for me.  Until then, I’m gonna stick with the natural. 

Do you have any preferences?  I’d love to hear how you’ve chosen your peanut butter, especially if it’s a bit of an obsession for you.  Oh, and did I mention new my favorite way to enjoy this tasty treat? 

Well, if you’re in need of a nighttime snack, go get yourself some chocolate casein protein powder, mix it in a blender with water, ice and a tablespoon of “good” peanut butter.  This is a delicious/nutritious bedtime smoothie, which is good for your resting muscles at the same time.  I’m hooked!

Happy Belated National Peanut Butter Day, readers!  I’ll toast you with my smoothie tonight. 

Carri Nelsen of Gold’s Gym in Shrewsbury.

Got questions for Carri?  E-mail them to blogs@TheZoneMag.com.

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