It’s a new year and many of us have wanted to make healthier and wise choices when it comes to our eating, but we’ve found that these healthy foods can be quite bland. So I want to bring back some fun into our diets.
Remember when we were kids and we’d have peanut butter and jam sandwiches for lunch? We didn’t know it but those were probably the unhealthiest lunches are parents were packing for us. But they didn’t know better.
Let’s look at why the sandwiches they made were unhealthy for us and what we can do to turn it upside down and make it not only healthy but also just as yummy!
Old times (haha, this is a very relevant term).
- White bread
- Skippy Peanut Butter
- Strawberry Jam
Hope you see the problem already. First of all, our parents made these sandwiches with white bread. White bread which had bleached processed flours and tons of other ingredients including sugar.
Skippy peanut butter (or similar) whose second ingredient is sugar and third ingredient is partially hydrogenated oils.
Strawberry jam whose first ingredient was mostly sugar.
Ok, so let’s flip this sandwich to a healthy version.
- 100% whole grain flax bread. (look at the ingredients to make sure high fructose corn syrup is not one of them)
- Strawberry jam with no added sugar.
- Organic creamy peanut butter with no additives (the one I like does have sea salt added but nothing else). Side note: don’t exceed more than 2 table spoons of peanut butter in one meal.
Yum, these sandwiches really hit the spot especially because the flax bread has a bit of a nutty flavour already, and this is further accentuated with the peanut butter. On days when I work out I sometimes add half a peanut butter as well to really complete this as a satisfying meal.
Ok so now we have a healthy sandwich, but what are the real benefits of peanut butter?
First of all, peanuts contain monounsaturated fats which have been shown to lower the bad form of cholesterol known as LDL.
Peanut butter is also rich in antioxidants. Surprisingly, about the same amount of cell protecting antioxidants as found in strawberries!
Peanut butter may also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease since it contains Niacin. In a recent study, those who consumed 22mg of niacin daily had 44 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s than those who only consumed 13mg. Two tablespoons of peanut butter pack 4mg alone, so it is a great way to supplement your daily diet to make sure you get enough.
Some pretty good news there. Now remember, my recommendation is that you don’t go overboard with your peanut butter intake, try and keep it to 2 tablespoons a day since it is very calorie rich. However, as a sandwich it is a great meal to add to your weight loss regimen as it will keep you satiated for a long time since it will help create a meal that is equal in fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Do you have any favorite peanut butter recipes?