Aflatoxins in Peanut Butter | The Best Kind of Peanut Butter

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. 

Grocery list

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:

  1. Organic
  2. Only peanuts and sea salt on ingredient label
  3. Valencia peanuts from the USA

What’s your favorite way to eat peanut butter? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

14 thoughts on “Aflatoxins in Peanut Butter | The Best Kind of Peanut Butter

  1. Rene

    Valencia peanuts are still peanuts, and are grown like any other peanut: underground. Not above ground on bushes.

    1. Mike

      According to the information I have Valencia peanuts are grown in New Mexico and West Texas around Clovis, NM; Portales, NM, and Brownfield, TX. This is an area with a dry climate and sandy soil so it is going to the best area in the U. S. to grow very low Aflatoxin or no Aflatoxin peanuts.

      1. Sara

        Why don’t you just say that you were wrong? You didn’t do your research, and you aren’t willing to say so. What other research didn’t you do?

          1. Mina

            Why is she the Karen? She isn’t wrong. She isn’t picking on his style, looks, or speech. “Thedoc” is giving out the wrong info in a ‘health’ article. He should be called out. It should be corrected. Period.

          1. Mina

            She has to be having a bad day to call out misinformation? Someone calling themselves “thedoc” SHOULD have the best information, correct information when it comes to handing out info that concerns health. There are plenty of “Karens” on the internet but Sara isn’t one of them.

    2. NC

      The mold issue can occur during storage/transport/processing. So dry climates can decrease this issue; it’s also suggested that roasting can further decrease contamination.

  2. Sally W.

    I love East Wind brand. It is produced on a community farm in Missouri. Just organic Valencia peanuts with or without salt. It is sometimes hard to find. I mostly find it at food co-ops.

  3. Wendy Roseth

    arrowhead mills used to say they were aflatoxin free because they used valencia peanuts. don’t know if this is still the case.


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