Welcome to the Kitchen Makeover Series! This is part 1 of a multiple post series focused on swapping out your kitchen favorites for a healthier, more nutrient rich version. Since I can’t come to your house and clean out your kitchen for you, this is the next best option 🙂
Creating a healthier lifestyle starts in the kitchen!! You know I don’t believe in dieting, but rather using the powers of eating REAL food to help you live your best life. Changing your eating habits takes time, but the best place to start is making small changes towards the bigger picture. You can’t do a total clean sweep of your kitchen in one step and expect changes to stick.
It only makes sense that we kick off this series with my one true love- NUT BUTTER! Not just peanut butter, but all nuts in general. But seriously, the benefits of eating nut butter goes way beyond your normal Jiffy Skippy Jar. You might have something along these lines in your cupboard:
So what’s the issue with this classic pb&j superstar? A plain peanut butter’s ingredient list should really just consist of peanuts. But this one is full of additives like sugar and vegetable oil. You can see my post HERE to understand the effects of sugar better. And hydrogenated vegetable oil? I know it’s confusing, but it’s not the kind of oil you want to be eating often! Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil contain trans fat, which lowers HDL (good cholesterol) and raises LDL (bad cholesterol). The problem is, when a label says ‘hydrogenated oils’ it could be fully or partially! Why would they use hydrogenated over naturally saturated oils? Hydrogenated oils are cheaper and have a longer shelf life! So instead of eating a satiating fat(the good kind) filled snack, your filling up on sugar, promoting inflammation, and possibly encouraging heart disease! Sorry Skippy…
I know, you’re probably really annoyed of me right now. BUT the best news? There are other peanut butter options that actually contain real food ingredients, no fillers, AND taste better (maybe not at first, but I promise your taste buds will learn to prefer real food)!
When looking at plain peanut butter labels, try to find ones that just have peanut butter (and maybe salt) as their ingredients!
And if you are a peanut butter lover, try to branch out and try almond, cashew, or even sunflower seed butter! There are so many brands out there that even add flax seeds or chia seeds to really amp up your jar of goodness.
Here are some of my favorite brand options:
Plain peanut butter: MaraNatha 2 ingredient PB–>only ingredients are salt and peanuts!
A little extra power: Nuttzo 7 Seed & Nut Butter (my fave!)
A little sweet: Wild Friends Peanut Cashew Supper Butter …honey, chia, and flax YUM
Nut free: Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter (unsweetened and salt free!)
And why should we eat nut butters anyways?
Fats have a bad rap, but they are actually one of the best things you can eat to maintain a healthy diet and even lose weight. The GOOD kinds of fats (like those found in avocados, coconut oil, seeds, nuts, fish, etc) actually help you burn fat. They keep you fuller for longer, stabilize blood sugar, raise good cholesterol (HDL), are brain food, and are crucial for key nutrient absorption such as Vitamin D.
So, try eating some nut butter with an apple, in oatmeal, or even by the spoon (story of my life) for a satisfying snack!