One of my assignments as a dietetic intern was to come up with a Holiday themed menu to be used in the cafeteria throughout the year. We did some heart-healthy stuff for Valentine’s Day, a BBQ theme for the Fourth of July and a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with mashed potatoes and turkey. President’s Day is a holiday that doesn’t exactly scream “theme meal” however. The day honors all of America’s past presidents, but especially George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
There are rumors floating around the internet that Lincoln invented peanut butter, but none from credible sources. Apparently George Washington enjoyed peanut soup. And Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, was a peanut farmer from Georgia before being elected.
Additionally, my favorite food is peanut butter and I never tire of talking about it. Peanut butter has Vitamin E and B6, as well as magnesium, protein, fiber and healthy fat. You can read more about peanuts and nutrition at the national peanut board’s fact page.
It’s hard to tell from my pic, but here we have
Unsalted Natural Peanut Butter(ingredients: peanuts)
Skippy Creamy(ingredients:peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils(cottonseed, soybean and rapeseed), to prevent separation, salt.
Reduced Fat Skippy Creamy(ingredients: peanuts, corn syrup solids, sugar, soy protein, salt, hydrogenated vegetable oils(cottonseed, soybean and rapeseed) to prevent separation, mono and diglycerides, minerals, vitamins)
As you can see, the first all natural peanut butter has the shortest ingredient list by far. The reduced fat versions of all peanut butters (not just Skippy) takes out the healthy peanuts and replaces them with sugar. For a savings of about 10 calories you now have a product with more sugar, less protein and less healthy fats-not to mention many more ingredients.
The difference between the natural peanut butter and your traditional, commercial peanut butter is that the commercial type has added oils(hydrogenated, sometimes partially hydrogenated) and sugar(sometimes in the form of high fructose corn syrup). It can be a little bit of a pain to stir up the natural kind, which is made with peanuts(and sometimes salt), but it is worth it in my opinion to avoid the addition of unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients in my peanut butter. The jar pictured is from Trader Joe’s(where I think they have good prices) but they sell all-natural peanut butter right in the regular grocery store, in the regular peanut butter aisle. Scoop some up now… I think prices are only expected to go up.
Barring a food allergy, I hope you all managed to celebrate the holiday with some peanut butter.