Peanut butter is one of those things that basically everyone has at their house. And for good reason: It’s delicious, it goes with literally everything (even carrots, I swear!), and it lasts forever.
Still, don’t let that calorie count put you off. “Nuts and nut butter, including peanut butter, used to get a bad rap because we were so fat-phobic for years,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table.
But fat in your food is not the enemy, especially when it comes to PB, says Taub-Dix. “Actually, it could keep you more satiated and stop you from snacking on worse things.” The high serving of protein also helps in the fullness department.
In terms of your overall health, studies link nuts to lower cholesterol levels, particularly LDL (or the “bad” cholesterol). Peanuts have also been shown to improve heart health and may level off blood sugar levels by helping the body absorb carbs more slowly—an important advantage for those with diabetes. What’s more, eating nuts like peanuts can actually help people maintain weight loss over time and control their hunger and appetite.