Natural Peanut Butter, Is It ‘Natural’? #WellnessWednesday

Natural Peanut Butter, Is It ‘Natural’? #WellnessWednesday

When you have a chronic condition, it’s extremely important that you feed your body the right fuel that it needs. When you add in extra toxins, it makes an already compromised environment even more compromised!

So, natural peanut butter… it has to be healthy, right?

I mean it says ‘Natural’. It has to be all natural . . . righttttttt?

WRONGGGGGGG.

Let’s take a look at this Jiff Natural Peanut Butter.

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When I look at this packaging, the following jump out at me:
  • The word ‘Natural’
  • Contains 90% Peanuts
  • Sugar and Palm Oil
  • Molasses
Not on the packaging, but here’s a post from Snack Girl on the difference between the Natural Jif Peanut Butter and the Regular Ol’ Jif Peanut Butter.
What does the word ‘Natural’ on packaging mean?

It doesn’t mean what you probably think it means. And nope, choosing packages that say natural and all natural reallllllly isn’t choosing the ‘healthiest’ option.

NATURAL: Currently, no standards exist for this label except when used on meat and poultry products. USDA guidelines state that “natural” meat and poultry products can only undergo minimal processing and cannot contain artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, or other artificial ingredients. However, “natural” foods are not necessarily sustainable, organic, humanely raised, or free of hormones and antibiotics. (Adapted from www.sustainabletable.org | © Institute for Integrative Nutrition | Used with permission)

Well, it contains 90% Peanuts! That’s good right?

Yes, yes it is good! I mean, hellllllllllllloooo, it’s peanut butter. You legit make peanut butter by blending peanuts up… so, shouldn’t it be like 99.9% peanuts?

Sugar and Palm Oil

So sugar and palm oil, eh?

In the Snack Girl post above you can learn more about palm oil, but sugar… is sugar natural? Well, it can be. If you notice the ‘Molasses’ ingredient in the list, you’ll see that there is a little bit of sugar coming from a more ‘natural’ source. But let’s look further into this ‘sugar’ ingredient.

Where does sugar usually come from?

There are a ton of sources sugar can come from. Sure, maybe it’s pure cane sugar, but let’s get real. Did you know that pretty much 100% of sugar beet crops are genetically modified? And did you also know that if the ingredient is listed as ‘sugar’ it’s pretty much a sure bet that at least the majority of that sugar is coming from sugar beets? (Read more here from the Organic & NonGMO Report) If you don’t believe me, call the company and ask them where their sugar is from.

So, Jif . . . I have to ask? How on earth do you consider genetically modified sugar to be ‘natural’?

I’d love to know!

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What you should look for when you’re looking for a natural peanut butter solution:
  • First off, if you have an autoimmune disease I actually suggest you do not consume peanut butter. I say this because peanuts are actually not considered nuts, but legumes. There are proteins within legumes, grains and some veggies (like nightshade vegetables) which are extremely hard to digest. When you have a normal functioning digestive system, you may be able to eat these foods without any problem. BUT, when you have a compromised immune system – aka, leaky gut – you should really remove these proteins from your diet.
  • “Natural Peanut Butters” usually contain at least 90% peanuts and do not contain artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives . . . but inspect the ingredients. Just like the Jif ingredients, they claim to have no artificial sweeteners, but to me how is genetically modified sugar NOT artificial? The damage that those genetically modified molecules are doing to our bodies hasn’t been researched in long-term studies.
  • Look for PB that has sea salt in it, if any salt at all.
  • Peanut butters sweetened with honey are great options. If you want your PB sweet, look for AT THE VERY LEAST organic sugar. That way, you know you’re not getting GMO sugar, but organic sugar cane.
  • The best natural PBs contain peanuts and that’s it!

So be on the look out for what ingredients are in your nut butters. The same issues occur with ALL nut butters, not just peanut butters!

Also, think about the jelly you’re putting on your PB&J too 😉 You don’t want jellies that contain a TON of sugar. The best “jellies” are just smashed up fruit! It’s delicious – I promise you’ll love it.

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!

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