Aflatoxins in peanut butter can be greatly reduced by choosing a peanut butter made from Valencia peanuts. These peanuts are mostly grown in very dry climates in New Mexico. They are also grown on bushes as opposed to underground which is where the mold problem starts.
This is crucial as the dry climate does not allow aspergillus to grow, the fungus that produces the dreaded disease and cancer promoting aflatoxin.
Unfortunately, if you are allergic to peanuts, you are going to want to pass on all manner of peanuts or peanut butter, no matter how organic and aflatoxin free it is. Perhaps you can look into Sublingual Immunotherapy as studies have indicated that it can help with overcoming peanut allergies.
Benefits of Peanut Butter
In the case of gallbladder disease, we often talk about fat reduction or minimizing bolus fat like peanut butter, but interestingly, peanut butter consumption 5 times per week or more is correlated with a 25% reduction in gallbladder disease.
Peanut butter often gets a bad wrap. But does it deserve it?
Remember, we are talking about the kind of peanut butter that you have to stir. I am not talking about fake peanut butters like Jiffy, Skippy and the ones with added vegetables oils and sugar. I am only speaking of peanut butter with the ingredients reading organic peanuts and sea salt.
Those are the only ingredients I would allow in my peanut butter, all the other special additions are creating a less than wholesome product and erasing the potential benefits of peanut butter.
The real stuff contains a reservoir of CoQ10, resveratrol, and phytosterols that help with cholesterol metabolism, as well as a whole host of vitamins and minerals. Given the omega-6 overload of the Standard American Diet, it is worth mentioning that two tablespoons of peanut butter contain 4,709 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids and 26.6 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
We are aiming for a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3’s, and peanut butter is nowhere close to that ratio. This would be a reason to use almond butter as almonds have a much better ratio.
Fat Loss and Peanut Butter
From my experience in helping 100’s of patients lose a significant amount of body fat, peanut butter is often one of those foods that stalls fat loss. I can’t find any literature as to why this happens, but I have seen it happen countless times.
It could be that people are overindulging and don’t realize how many calories they are consuming. If fat loss is challenging for you or you have plateaued in your fat loss journey, then consider removing peanut butter from your diet. Check out this post on how protein can aid in weight loss.
If you are going to eat peanut butter, it is important to find a peanut butter made from peanuts that have been processed properly.
Avoiding Aflatoxins in Peanut Butter
Once you have ensured your peanut butter is from 100% Valencia peanuts, then I would look for roasted peanut butter. Roasting can decrease aflatoxin content by 61-90% depending on how much heat is used in the roasting process. However, according to a 2020 study, roasting does increase the potential for allergenicity.
Maranatha brand peanut butter which uses Valencia peanuts states that their peanut butter is aflatoxin-free. I can’t find any study on this other than their statement, but given that Valencia peanuts are known to be extremely low in aflatoxin, with proper storage I would expect Maranatha and Kirkland brand peanut butter to be the lowest in aflatoxin.
I used to go to the store and grind my own peanut butter or almond butter at Whole Foods, but this is actually a terrible idea, as these nuts are sitting exposed to moisture and temperature changes for long periods of time increasing the potential for mold growth.
Your peanut butter check list:
- Only peanuts and sea salt on ingredient label
- Valencia peanuts from the USA