Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 17 2012

How Bad is Peanut Butter, Really?

By Mark Sisson
361 Comments

Man, you guys really love your peanut butter.

I get at least one email a week from a devoted reader of the blog who just can’t shake the desire (that feels like a need) to eat peanut butter on a regular basis. They’re on board with everything else. They’ve ditched grains and vegetable oils. They’re walking more and getting better sleep. They’re getting sun and eating more vegetables than ever before. They’ve switched to grass-fed beef (sometimes liver, too!) and wild-caught fish. They’ve even happily dumped all the other legumes, except for that persistent, palatable peanut. The more dedicated among them may be soaking, sprouting, roasting, and grinding their own peanuts into peanut butter, but they’re still eating peanut butter – a “forbidden” food on the Primal eating plan.

I’m talking questions like this:

Dear Mark,

I have been following MDA for about a year now and last I week I finally went primal.  So far I have not had any issues with giving up grains (no cravings), except I cannot shake my peanut butter addiction! I eat a small bowl full of peanut butter with banana slices for a snack and I know it is awful for me! I eat very healthy foods for the rest of the day (eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch, meat and veggies for dinner) but the peanut butter is probably preventing progress! Help!

Lucy

I don’t want people to feel deprived, nor do I enjoy stripping from them the ability to enjoy their favorite foods, but I also want people to make the best and healthiest food choices possible. To do that, we need to examine the evidence. We need to give peanut butter the rice and oat treatment. We need to figure out whether or not peanut butter is really all that bad. Let’s go, shall we?

First, The Good.

What’s good about peanut butter? Why would we ever want to eat it?

It’s tasty.

I’ll admit it: peanut butter is quite delicious. I’ve never much cared for actual peanuts – they were okay, but not something I sought out – but I’d always grab a spoon or dip a finger for some peanut butter.

It contains nutrients.

It’s food, so of course it has something to it. But what?

Peanut butter is a decent source of thiamin, niacin, folate, and magnesium. It’s actually fairly rich in polyphenols, particularly when roasted (which increases the coumaric acid content considerably). Peanuts also contain small amounts of CoQ10 and resveratrol, though I’d much rather get those from beef heart, sardines, and red wine, personally.

Now, The Bad.

Why should we avoid it? What’s not to like about peanut butter? I’m not even going to discuss the soybean oil and sugar-laden garbage that passes for peanut butter, because my readers definitely aren’t asking about that stuff. They’re doing natural butter with peanuts (and salt) as likely the only ingredient.

It generally contains aflatoxins.

Aflatoxins are naturally occurring fungal toxins, or mycotoxins, produced by certain members of Aspergillus, a type of fungus found pretty much everywhere throughout the world. Aspergillus tends to colonize any monosaccharide and polysaccharide it comes across, as long as the conditions are right, but peanuts are particularly susceptible. Most crops are colonized after harvest and during storage, but since Aspergillus is found in the soil (among other places) and peanuts grow underground, peanut colonization often occurs well before harvest. The result is that peanuts are among the most contaminated crops, along with corn and cottonseed.

I wrote about the negative effects in a previous post, which I’ll sum up for you:

Aflatoxin, being a toxin, is metabolized by the liver. Large enough doses of aflatoxin are a liver carcinogen in high doses (it’s actually what T. Colin Campbell used to induce liver cancer in mice during his China Study crusade to indict animal protein). Early exposure and elevated bloods level of aflatoxin are associated with stunted growth in children.

Interestingly, it seems that the peanut butter-making process dramatically reduces the aflatoxin content of the initial peanuts, by around 89% (PDF). In the study, roasting at 160 degrees C reduced aflatoxin by 51%. Blanching, or skin removal, reduced it by 27%. Finally, grinding the peanuts into butter removed another 11% of the aflatoxin, probably because of the heat (not the actual grinding). So if you’re going to eat peanuts, stick with a good butter.

It contains peanut agglutinin.

As of now, the harmful effects of peanut agglutinin, a peanut lectin, are mostly speculative, but still compelling:

  • In isolated human colon cancer cells, peanut lectin is a mitogen, or growth-promoter. You generally don’t want cancer cells to divide and increase in number.
  • Altered glycosylation may be at the heart of inflammatory bowel disease-related cancers, like colon cancer.
  • Peanut agglutinin causes colon cancer cell proliferation via altered glycosylation, in an in vitro study.

That said, those are just in vitro studies. They don’t tell us what happens when peanuts are eaten. However, in real live human subjects who ate real peanuts, peanut agglutinin has been shown to make it through the gut lining to end up in the blood stream. That’s a little worrisome, don’t you think?

I want to reiterate, though: eating peanut butter has never been causally linked to the development of colon cancer. In fact, one epidemiological study found that frequent intake of peanuts and peanut products was linked to a lowered incidence of colorectal cancer in Taiwanese women.

It might contain a uniquely atherogenic oil. 

Yeah, peanut oil has a good amount of monounsaturated fat, about 46.8% of the total fatty acid content, which has earned it a solid reputation for heart health in the conventional health world. But it’s also got a significant amount of PUFAs, too. 33% of the total fat is omega-6 linoleic acid, with an essentially nonexistent omega-3 ALA content. You could say that about a lot of nuts, though, and I don’t think the PUFA content is the big determinant here. It doesn’t help, but it’s not a deal breaker on its own. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Peanut oil has favorable effects on standard lipid panels. LDL drops, total drops, total:HDL ratio drops. The jury is out on how much that all matters, but eating peanut oil will probably make your cardiologist happy. Awesome, right? Maybe, but peanut fat appears to be uniquely atherogenic despite the lipid effects. For decades, it’s been used by scientists to induce atherosclerosis in cholesterol-fed rats, rabbits, and primates. Some researchers think that peanut lectins, present in the oil, are the cause of the atherogenicity. Reduction of the lectin content of peanut oil, through “vigorous washing,” also reduces the atherosclerosis it causes (although not completely).

You know what else reduces the peanut lectin content? Not eating any peanut butter.

It’s a little too tasty.

There’s something about the combination of fat, salt, protein, and smooth scoopability of peanut butter that promotes overeating. I wasn’t able to bring up any concrete studies on the pro-bingeing effects of peanut butter in humans (though if you run a Google search for “peanut butter addiction,” you’ll get a bevy of testimonials from all sorts of people claiming to be addicted to the stuff), I believe it. And I bet obesity researchers who typically work with rodents would believe it, too, since peanut butter is often used in these studies as a high-reward, obesogenic comfort food that rats and mice will readily and consistently overeat.

Ultimately, to feverishly scoop in a ravenous frenzy or not to feverishly scoop in a ravenous frenzy is a choice you have to make. I wouldn’t recommend eating peanut butter very regularly, and I know I won’t for the reasons mentioned above, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. The inclusion – or exclusion – of peanut butter (or peanuts in general) will not make or break your Primal cred. There are a lot of things you want to have under control before obsessing over peanut butter, like grains, omega-6 oils, sleep, exercise, play, daily low level activity level, quality of meat, etc. You get those under control and then start thinking about some peanut butter as a treat every now and then, if ever.

As I see it, the easy answer is to just not eat it, because I don’t see anything at which it particularly excels (besides inducing people to eat the entire jar in a single sitting). You can get your polyphenols and your minerals from fruits and vegetables, your monounsaturated fat from meat, olive oilmac nuts, and avocados, and your smooth pulverized salty nutty fix from almond butter, mac nut butter, coconut butter, or any other nut butter – without the peanut lectin, the weirdly atherogenic fat, the aflatoxin load, or the insatiable desire to eat more and more and more until it’s all gone and your forearm is sticky.

Of course, it’s easy for me to say: I don’t have a peanut butter habit.

Anyway, let’s hear from you guys. Do you eat peanut butter? Are you addicted? Are you able to stop with just a bite or two? And most importantly, has your peanut butter habit negatively affected your results? Let me know in the comment section!

TAGS:  nuts/seeds

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361 thoughts on “How Bad is Peanut Butter, Really?”

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  1. I used to be addicted to peanut butter but now a tablespoon of almond butter once in awhile does the trick for me!

    After eating almond butter for several months peanut butter tastes horrible. It is too sweet and I can literally taste the chemicals in it.

    Try almond butter!!

    1. I do eat some almond butter. When I buy it, I think Hey! That’s good! Half way through the jar, I bored and eventually throw the jar away. It is not peanut butter.

      1. thanks for such thorough breakdown of peanut butter!

        i used to love it on toasted bagel. as a kid i used to blend my own peanut butter smoothie (peanuts butter + milk + sometimes banana)

        after i switched my diet, i did try almond butter. bleh, i just dont’ care for it. not the same. so i also threw away 2/3 of the whole jar.

        i much prefer dry roasted almonds (or other nuts) to the butter. for peanuts, it’s the opposite. go figure!

        i also tried other nut butter including coconut butter. also ended up throwing away most of the jars. coconut butter is simply too sweet.

        so peanut butter just becomes my 10% “proud & intelligent” cheat. but i don’t stock it at home.

        i’m glad that peanut butter does not seem the worst cheat.

        regards,

        cheers,

    2. +1 About the ‘chemical’ taste of peanut butter. It just tastes too processed to me. I’ve finally converted my kids to almond butter, but only “Barney Butter” brand and it still tastes awfully processed to me… too smooth, too sweet, too much like a bad for you thing!

      1. Almond butter often tastes rancid to me. At least the maranatha brand.
        I don’t know why you think peanut butter tastes like chemicals. If you buy organic and natural peanut butter, it just tastes like peanut.
        Also, if we go by your logic of excluding foods that taste too sweet, too smooth, too much like a bad think for you, then we should throw out sweet cream butter.
        Butter and nut butter probably go through the same level of processing, so one is not ‘better’ because it is less processed.

        1. I also think Maranatha almond butter tastes rancid. In fact, for years I thought I hated almond butter because of that. Now I make my own almond butter at home in the food processor and it’s delicious! Alittle too delicious…

        2. I also like Justin’s almond butter, and it comes in little 2T packets for automatic portion control.

        3. Yes! I recently bought my first jar of Maranatha no-stir almond butter (the one with palm oil in it) and the scent and flavor made me think it was rancid. The only other kind I’ve eaten is from Trader Joe’s. It didn’t contain palm oil, and I thought it tasted good. But I do still miss peanut butter a little.

        4. I’ve had the same problem with Maranatha brand. I prefer Trader Joe’s. I must admit to being a peanut butter fan, but this has become a great substitute:

          1-2 TB of almond butter.
          1 TB of Kerrygold butter.
          1 packet of stevia – I have also tried a small amount of honey (raw, local), which I prefer. Still deciding on this one…
          Vanilla extract
          Cinnamon
          Lightly toasted walnuts (I buy raw and just quick toast them myself)

          Blend it all together with a fork. Put it in the fridge to set up. Enjoy.

    3. Taste is a very individual thing. Cilantro tastes like heaven to some people. To others it tastes like dirty socks or underwear.

      I buy organic peanut butter spread, so labeled because it has palm oil. I just tasted some. To me, it isn’t sweet. And I have thoroughly lost my sweet tooth. No chemical taste, which there should not be if it’s organic. Different strokes.

      1. I converted or organic peanutbutter a few years ago and it is in no way sweet! Just salt and peanuts!

        But after going Primal I gave it up and have not missed it once.

      2. mmm… how do these people know what dirty socks and undies taste like?

        1. I am one of those people who think cilantro tastes bad but it’s not a dirty socks & undies thing (have you smelled those? I imagine the taste is the same). I think it’s a soapy taste. I still use in when I’m cooking but I don’t use near as much as any recipe calls for and I’d never garnish with it.

        2. Haha! I think it’s all too easy to imagine what icky things would taste like.

          But the first time I tried cilantro, I thought “Yuck, soap!”
          The second time, “hmmmm, maybe…”
          The third (& ever after) “YUMMM!!! MORE!!!” Now I truly crave the flavor, & guacamole with no cilantro is a sad, sad thing.

          I had the same reaction to chicken livers & green smoothies ( not together, mind you!). I think my body’s needs might be overriding my taste buds, but who knows… Just saying, don’t give up after one try.

      3. I low carb, and haven’t even thought about peanut butter in years, although I like almond butter, as long as the almonds have been roasted first. As for cilantro, it tastes like soap to me. I want to like it, but I just can’t get past that flavor. It always ruins a yummy fresh bowl of pico de gallo, IMO. 🙂

      4. Why does it need palm oil? Peanuts already contain their own oil. Just because it says organic don’t think it’s automatically OK. I thought palm oil was nasty stuff.

        1. Palm oil is usually added for the same reason that Hydrogenated oils are added to commercial peanut butter–to keep it from separating.

    4. I just purchased fig butter from Trader Joes without looking at the label. I rarely do that. I am not sure why I purchased fig butter, considering I own an unopened jar of almond butter that has been lounging on my lazy susan.

      1. Nut butters and fruit butters are two completely different things. I should know, I do my own preserving 🙂
        Nut butters are fruits cooked with sugar for a long time into a smooth puree. They taste nothing like nut butters. I would liken the taste of fruit butter to jam.

      2. I did the same thing! I bought the fig butter from TJ’s thinking it would be a good substitute for my Yiayia’s delicious fig preserves. Negative. My opened, uneaten jar of the fig butter is still in the fridge. I also intensely dislike almond butter, but I could eat an entire jar of PB in one sitting, so I avoid it entirely.

    5. just starting on the paleo thing for a week or three, drove my wife a little nuts until we kind of looked at each other and said we have been doing this mostly for ever, yep giving up pasta, breads etc has hurt a bit, but still confused on the whole peanut thing. We eat maybe 1-2 tablespoons unsalted blanched a few times a week and less more and more any problems?

    6. If you can taste the chemicals, may I ask if you’re eating organic peanut butter?

      @Mark
      I appreciate the analysis and breakdown, and I understand why peanut butter doesn’t fit your philosophy of eating what you call ‘primal’, but isn’t it a bit ridiculous to conclude that something is ‘too tasty’?

      Admittedly, it’s my wife that’s the nutrition expert, but speaking personally, if people were replacing what they normally snack on with peanut butter, I think they’d be making progress.

      As someone who enjoys peanut butter, I don’t believe it to be something that’s problematic in my diet.

    7. PB2 powdered peanut butter (amazon) is peanut butter dehydrated with all the oil pressed out.Just add water and you have peanut butter without all the oil and it’s delicious.

    8. I am working on gaining weight as I have been very thin.

      is eating 6 tbsp a day of peanut butter too much? I need plenty of fats. Does this sound appropriate on a 2300 calorie diet? What other fats would be good?

    9. What chemicals do you taste? If it’s all natural organic peanut butter from valencia peanuts, there aren’t chemicals in it?

  2. The way I used to devour Peanut butter is how I know eat almond butter. It takes a little getting used to but it will fill the void 😀

  3. I like the taste of peanut butter, but if it’s not around, I don’t crave it. OTOH, my wife would rebel against any diet that denied her access to peanut butter.

    For me, almond butter is a good substitute, but even then, I’d just as soon toss a handful into the blender to add flavor to a protein shake.

  4. Used to love peanut butter and jam sandwiches, but as of going relatively primal/paleo haven’t touched the stuff – even tho’ there’s still la jar lurking around the house. So short answer: don’t have any need for the stuff.

    1. Cody, you should definitely try this next-best thing to PB&Js! It’s paleo comfort food in a bowl.

      Put 1/2 cup of frozen or fresh organic blueberries in a bowl and top with 2 Tbsp of almond butter. Microwave for 45-90 seconds (depending on your microwave settings and whether or not your blueberries were frozen). Take it out when the blueberries are heated thoroughly and mash it or mix it together.

      Oh my gosh, it’s to die for! If you like it and want to experiment, you can also try putting stuff like shredded coconut, cacao nibs, etc. in it. I think my favorite is just eating it plain. It’s a beautiful little breakfast addition, snack, or dessert.

      1. Kesha, this sounds awesome thank you! I’m totally trying this later when I get home.. thanks!

        1. Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it! I don’t see how anyone couldn’t! haha

      2. I’m going to try that tonite – will let you know if I develop a new addiction 🙂

        1. Great, Cody! Please do! I have to watch myself, or else I would eat this everyday for breakfast.

      3. I really could have done without this bit of advice. 🙂 Tried it last night with my homemade blueberry jam. Like I need another “crack snack”.

  5. Yes, I do. Not nearly as much as I used to. Could I stop completely? Sure. Am I going to? No. Because I can restrict myself to a few tablespoons on pork rinds a couple times a week.

    I have seen “expert’s” opinion flip flop wildly during my 69 years. My grandfather told me that in his youth peanuts were for circus animals. Then George Washington Carver made it seem like they were the source of all life as we know it. In my youth, peanut butter was a staple food. Then the anti-fat people demonized it and the aflatoxin issue made it seem like eating it guaranteed death from cancer. Oh, but then the “experts” decided the monounsaturated fat made it a wonder food again. And then the paleo gurus denounced it as neolithic poison. Arrrrrrgh!!! Enough! I eat some peanut butter. Period. End of discussion.

    1. I like this approach. As long as you don’t overeat it, I don’t think it’s going to kill you. It doesn’t actively do harm to you like grains do, so a spoonful once in a while, oh well. You can’t eliminate everything that’s dangerous, even from your diet.

      1. Exactly. I don’t really eat peanut butter anymore bc I love almond butter now, but, like you said, I don’t think a spoonful here and there is gonna cause any damage. Obviously I’m not for an “everything in moderation” diet, but peanut butter is one of those things that seems fine in minimal amounts. I’ve never been one to eat more than a spoonful at a time anyway.

    2. Agreed. I’m not seeing many clear negatives here, compared to Mark’s takedown of other foods. If people have a problem w/ overeating it, that’s a different kinda problem. (most foods are bad if not in moderation. after all, an all “X” diet isn’t good for you, no matter what X is)

  6. “…or the insatiable desire to eat more and more and more until it’s all gone and your forearm is sticky.”

    Ha ha! That describes me with a dark chocolate bar, except for the sticky forearm part. Although, on occasion I do stain my clothes with wayward chocolate shavings. I can only bring a piece of chocolate to work, otherwise I eat the whole bar. And I have to take a little time between chocolate purchases–it helps me to pace myself better. I find that going without it in the house for a week substantially reduces my cravings. Not buying it is the key. Once it’s in the house, I eat it!

    Oh, yeah, this post was about peanut butter…I got sidetracked! I have never had peanut butter cravings, although I do like the taste better than almond butter. But almond butter works in a pinch. I usually just eat it with celery.

    1. I am exactly the same with chocolate! I can eat chocolate at any time of day, sometimes need it as dessert after breakfast. Definitely agree about trying not to buy it for a couple days to reduce the addiction. I try to eat 85-90% though so usually no more than 10 gs of sugar in the whole bar which I figure isn’t all that bad when I generally don’t eat any other sugar.

  7. Back in my vegan days, now happily far, far behind me, I was absolutely addicted to peanut butter and
    could eat a whole jar in one sitting – I liked it on everything: bananas, carrots, celery, dates, sandwiches, a spoon, etc. My body must have gotten burnt out on it and nowadays, though I love the way it
    smells, I have no desire to eat any, ever.

    1. I feel that way about potatoes. In my dieting days I ate way too many baked potatoes (fat free) topped with salsa. I had no clue what I was doing to myself! It has been at least 10 years since I have had any desire to eat a baked white potato!

  8. It’s one of those foods that is such an addictive staple that people hope if they ask the question often enough they will get the answer they want. Just the fact that you want it that bad should be a red flag!

    1. LOL story of my life. That’s how I tell what’s not good for my body – foods that bring out the deranged monster in me, who has a black hole for a stomach. Peanut butter, dark choc topped with almond butter, in fact most fat-sugar combos -_-

    2. how do you know if a craving is real need of your body or addiction?

      i have heard that we should “listen to our bodies”

      i seems i crave for texture & temperature than taste. i like peanut butter but i don’t crave it. i am also not much of chocolate) so i’m not sure what my body is telling me.

      regards,

      1. In Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions she says chocolate cravings are magnesium deficiencies. At least I can tell that for me.

  9. to my mind, peanut butter belongs in the same category as wheat, corn and soy products, in that they’re CHEAP and therefore have been super-promoted in their processed form. the same kind of people who say they can’t give up their bread — then feel better when they go without it for two weeks — then can’t stomach it when reintroduced, are probably JUST LIKE the peanut-butter addicts.

  10. I make these awesome peanut butter and chocolate candies (very simple: chocolate layer is coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla and honey/stevia; PB layer is PB, vanilla, salt and honey – overall these are very mildly sweet). I have a square (maybe 2 x 2″) 3-4 times a week. I top it with coconut or cocoa nibs. I very rarely will buy the peanut cookie Lara bar – it’s my very favorite but pretty sweet so it’s a treat (only ingredients are peanuts, dates and salt). When I make my nut butter brownies, I use a combo of PB and almond butter (I use much more AB than PB). That is it!! I buy a good quality, no additive PB and call it a day.

    1. Please provide amounts, I would love to make this, I love peanut butter and will not give it up, just found our recently that it helps with my insomnia, if I eat some peanut butter before bed I sleep MUCH better so there has to be something good about it.

  11. I love peanut butter. Before ditching grains, one of my favorite foods was peanut butter toast with bacon. Now I sometimes eat just bacon with peanut butter spread on top, or peanut butter on carrot sticks. I like almonds but almond butter just doesn’t do it for me. Sunflower seed butter, however, is a whole other animal! At this point I eat nut butter a few times a month and don’t fret about it.

    1. I used to put peanut butter on bread, now I put it on 70% cocoa chocolate – six million times better than the store-bought “cups”. One serving a day of peanut butter is fine for me; the example Mark gave (the e-mailer) seems more psychological to me.

      It is not necessary to completely give up all foods of agriculture, just limit them, and make sure to get enough fruit, leaves, and animal fat & protein.

      1. Me Too!!! Baby steps. I switced to organic natural peanut butter and dark chocolate. Now I dip the chocolate into a tbsp or two of pb. Perhaps I will make the switch to almond butter, which I also like, but not as much as peanut butter!!

    2. That’s awesome! Bacon and peanut butter are the best! Glad someone else found it, too!

  12. Thanks for this post Mark. I’m glad to hear that making it into peanut butter makes it less toxic, because my kids love it. On a side note, my four year old just asked me what the little avatars by the comments were. I said, “They’re Groks.” He said, “Oh, I want to be a Grok.” Awesome.

  13. I too used to inhale peanut butter, but before I stumbled upon primal blueprint, I met almond butter. It was love at first scoop. Almond butter is so divine that I now have to be careful around it. I only buy it on occasion because I know how fast I will go through it. One thing that helps slow me down is making my own. It isn’t too much work is you have a decent food processor.

  14. I do love peanut butter, but to be honest, I am just as happy with the occasional almond, cashew, or (mmmmm) macadamia butter.

    1. I love peanut butter too. I’m not a real fan of almond butter but macadamia butter? NOM NOM NOM!!

      It’s been a few weeks since I’ve enjoyed peanut butter. Maybe I should take a spoonful…

      1. “That spoon, that spoon, that spoomful” – “Spoonful” Jazz/Blues standard.

        I like the version by Cream.

  15. I have made all my own nut butters for years (just really discovered and switched to primal about 5 mos ago). Now I generally only make mac nut butter (maybe with some almonds) so I have cut way down on the PB. But…I may have a small bite (maybe a small teaspoon) a few times a month. I don’t eat anything else in the legume, sugar or grain categories, so I don’t sweat this little indulgence. I love other nut butters, but there is just somethin’ bout PB….

    1. DITTO Cashew butter a small amount of agave nector on Celery. No better snack on earth.

    2. Nuh-uh…macadamia butter! Almond butter’s the last thing my tinnitus needs.

  16. I only eat too much peanut butter when there is a jar of Nutella in the house to go with it!

  17. I grew up in Eastern Europe, so I tried peanut butter for the first time when I was in my mid-twenties and immigrated. I did not like it. The fact that the jar was rolling around my new husband’s fridge for months might have had something to do with it. Then, in my attempt to go on Anabolic diet and eat lots of fat I started eating PB and got easily addicted to fresh peanut butter and celery or GS apple combination. Now I don’t eat it. I don’t like almond butter that much, but I munch on it once in a while. My child loves PB, but gives almond butter a wide berth most of the time. So, we now only have almond butter for when I feel like having a cup of tea with a bit on the side.

    I think most people might have like it so much because it brings back childhood memories, no?

  18. I have not had a problem giving up the peanut butter, but my 6 year old son on the otherhand is a different story. Although I have found that Sunflower seed butter is a great substitute. Is is just as creamy as peanut butter and has that rich, sweet taste as well. Not sure how it racks up against almond butter, but it does come from a seed and not a legume…so I figure it has to be a better alternative. Mark what say you?

    1. you may already know this, but some commercial sun-butters have a ton of white sugar, just as an FYI…if that’s something you avoid.

  19. Finally a TRUTH about peanut butter from YOU, a good source. Was having a similar debate yesterday with “metabolic healer” about peanut butter. Best NOT to eat it!

  20. I love peanut butter to the point that I have to abstain completely or else I’ll end up eating 3000 calories of it in 20 seconds. When I was “SAD HEALTHY” I ate instant oatmeal with a banana and peanut butter mixed in and it was my favorite meal. After realizing that the oats and peanuts were screwing me up pretty bad, I had to cut them out all together

  21. I’ve got to agree with the last point…
    peanut butter has always been one of my favorite foods, and I indulge in it once in a awhile… which has been a problem.

    I’ve sat down to have a spoonful (with a little dark chocolate, the world’s greatest food combo), and found myself eating half the container. It’s so damned easy to over-consume… 1500 calories in a heartbeat.

    1. +1 to that! I sink deep into this dark choc + nut butter zone and when I finally become aware of my surroundings again, I have dark choc on my clothes, around my mouth.. argh#^&*

  22. I second the almond butter! I make my own in my champion juicer. It’s super fast, tasty & peanut butter just doesn’t even compare anymore 🙂

  23. Never liked peanut butter- stuck in my throat and made me gag. Every time I ate it. And don’t get me started about peanut butter and honey- the way the honey would kind of get hard next to the peanut butter and the bread— yuk! A poor food over all- the lazy man’s sandwich.

    1. Peanut butter has always made me sick too!! I could feel it go through my entire digestive system as a lump of pain.

    1. I agree. Very good info. I like my PB, but when I REALLY think about it, it’s only cause I have read all over that it’s very good for you!Since reading about Paleo, I have been dreading the day that some1 would say that as it’s made from a legume,it’s a NO-NO. Damn! Will finish the 3 large jars I have in cupboard over the next few months and try not to buy it any longer(I’m sure I wont be longing for it, if it’s not in the house.)Here in South Africa there aren’t any commercial alternate nut butter distributors, tho’ I do remember a “farm stall” type shop out in the sticks where there’s lots of nut trees that had Almond & Cashew Nut butter, but were expensive.Add a 600km round-trip on top of that and you REALLY have to be a true-blue PALEO for that! 🙂

  24. I questioned the peanut butter and paleo lifestyle, but plead ignornace. I can’t now. Thanks for the imformative post, Mark.

    i love a cocoa powder and peanut butter whey protein shake after doing my sprints saturday morning!

    My wife and I also like a small spoon of PB to help satisfying cravings when wanting something sweet/salty. def. not addicted, pretty easy to stop after a scoop…or sometimes two. don’t think it at all had a negative effect on us in way…that we can note.

    Might be time to kick the PB just like we did w/ milk and select other dairy products. tasty sure..but perhaps time to stick [or spoon] w/ almond and other nut spreads.

  25. I love MDA, and trust Mark a lot. But this sounds like confirmation bias. He’s starting from “peanuts are bad” and then there’s some maybes to “prove” it. even the toxin is reduced if roasted. I think the usual MDA advice on a food like this (with little clearly negative) would be “it’s OK in moderation.” Seems to me organic, well roasted, “just peanut” peanutbutter, as an occasional snack, is gonna be fine. As Mark reminds us, there’s no perfect food. There are plenty that are clearly worse. gotta say, this sounds like doesn’t sound that bad, if in moderation.

    1. I think it may have been Protein Power by Drs. Eades that said that organic PB is actually worse, because the non-organic stuff typically kills more of the aflatoxins.
      Given those concerns, as well as the lectin, I simply choose the occasional almond butter/celery stick combo instead.

    2. i also have a problem that peanut butter is bad simply it taste “a little too good”.

      this sounds ascetic to me.

      by the same token, heavy cream, butter, coconut oil, chocolate & many “approved paleo snacks/desserts” all taste “a little too good”

      i just refuse to believe that one must eat bland food to be healthy. (food reward hypothesis)

      regards,

  26. Almond butter tastes bland compared to peanut butter…. AT FIRST. I found that I can’t even stand the flavor of peanut butter anymore now that I’m used to almond butter.

  27. I used to, and I miss it, not to mention the price. I eat cashew butter and almond butter now!

  28. I use peanut butter to make a spicy peanut sauce to top our thai turkey burgers a couple of times a month. I also use it to make flourless peanut butter cookies if we are sharing dessert with non primal eaters. Other than that, it’s almond butter all the way!

  29. I’m really thankful that you wrote about this! I’ve been peanut butter free since I started the Paleo diet 6 months ago and it was a major help to my body to get off of it. I would eat it for dinner consistently and would turn up healthier meals for my pb and apples. (I am underweight and trying to gain muscle.)
    I’ve got a long way to go, but the peanut butter addiction is insidious and I would confirm that there is something to your argument. Like sugar- I just have to avoid it.
    Thanks for writing about the scientific evidence it makes more sense than ever!

  30. I used to eat a few peanut butter sandwiches a week, but after going Primal I don’t really care for it anymore. I still lick the knife after I make a sandwich for my son (habit) but it’s not very tasty. Too sugary and weird. I actually prefer almond butter now. Amazing how your tastes change when you change the way you eat.

  31. By the way be weary of almond consumption (or in this case butter) due to phytic acid content.Mark has a related post about nuts and phytic acid you should definitely check out

  32. I used to be all about the peanut butter, 24/7. Breakfast, lunch, dinner… it didn’t matter what time of day it was I HAD to incorporate peanut butter in some way.

    My need to constantly surround myself with it has diminished slightly since going Primal, and even a little more since I have incorporated Bulletproof Executive guidelines as well. However, I am no perfect human being and need a ‘vice’ to help me feel balanced. I have rejected pizza, cupcakes, candy, and all of those other things that I enjoyed on a regular basis not one year ago. What I won’t give up? A couple of tablespoons of Kraft Crunchy a week. I know, I know… between that and natural peanut butter is the worst offender. I’m transitioning slowly.

    Well, that was a rant… moral of the story – I still enjoy it, and I think always will. I no longer eat half a jar for dinner, so that’s progress. The idea of not eating it ever again stresses me out though, and isn’t the whole point of being Primal to worry less about food and exercise? I just have a little bit to keep me happy and that’s that.

  33. Oh, and one more thing – if anything this post has made me so hungry for peanut butter right now, haha! I wish I still had my office jar around… Thank god lunch is around the corner!

  34. I have to admit, I do eat peanut butter occasionally with celery sticks as a snack. I’ve cut down to doing this only about once or twice a week, but I guess I’d better cut it out even more… 🙁

  35. One scoop of any butter – for me – leads to an empty jar in double time. It took me a long while to get off macadamia butter topped with cocoa nibs and cinnamon (and sometimes molasses thrown into the mix). Nut butters are my “gateway food”! Have a great weekend, everyone.

  36. I’m 100% addicted to it. I can’t keep it in the house or I will eat far too much of it. I thought I could do fine with almond butter instead, but I’ll end up over-eating that too! All nut butters are just too delicious… I get the nut butter packets if I really want it so I can have portion control.

  37. I like sunflower butter more than peanut butter.

    Almond butter is good, too as is cashew butter.

    For me Peanut Butter is not better tasting than any of these other choices.

  38. I crushed the Jif (yeah… I know… Bad Jack) prior to going primal. In the 5 months I have been primal, I think I may have had a couple tablespoons full, at most. I don’t miss it at all. In fact, the taste has changed for me. It’s not as much of a crave inducing taste any longer.

  39. Yikes! I’m now afeared of peanut butter!! Good thing I’d already switched over to almond butter.

    I find the CHUNKY almond butter rocks! (Smooth can definitely be a tad bland). If you’re on the fence w/ almond butter, GO chunky. It may change your mind.

  40. It’s funny… before the day I read about how horrible grains are on MDA my usual breakfast was between 2 and 4 pieces of multigrain toast with peanut butter and sometimes something even sweeter on top. That was one of the easiest things to cut out of my diet.

    I’ve been primal for well over a year now and honestly I still have a big Costco-sized bin of Kraft peanut butter in my pantry that is probably a year and a half old now and hasn’t been touched in over 12 months.

    Thankfully my non-primal girlfriend (who is slowly starting to believe more and more that maybe I’m on to something… even if none of this is really “my” idea) really hates peanut butter after having eaten too much of it in her childhood and deciding it was gross in her teenage years… woohoo!

  41. I eat a spoon of peanut butter with a little honey maybe twice a month. I think that it’s like any potentially-addictive substance: if you can’t keep it irregular, best to abstain. But of the things you could be addicted to, peanut butter is relatively benign.

    1. I agree with your last sentence. What’s worse – a tablespoon of peanut butter here and there, or overindulging on red wine on a regular basis? I used to do the latter, as well used to smoke… no longer. So I replaced those wildly harmful vices with the occasional peanut butter. Lesser of the other evils, in my opinion.

      1. I totally agree…I have given up almost everything quite happily and completely…grains, dairy, gluten, non-free range meat and eggs, non-organic veggies, most fruits… but three times a week I indulge in a single tablespoon of organic peanut butter. All by itself. It is like an orgasm frankly for me – I relish every bit, and eat it slowwwwly. For a cheat, I figure it is pretty minor.

  42. A tablespoon makes it in to my twice-daily protein shakes. It’s a cheap easy way to put on a few lbs.

  43. I never really did like peanut butter. Almond butter is delicious! I may sneak a teaspoon here or there. It really is satisfying in small doses.

  44. You know, I absolutely LOVE peanut butter. And I can’t seem to get myself to throw away the 1 jar I have of it. I also have almond butter, but to me, it is not the same. BUT, after reading this, I am going to throw it in the trash right now. Darn it to heck for people making such a tasty treat. 🙂

  45. We do still eat some natural peanut butter. The kids really prefer it (and they eat primal/paleo about 90% of the time) and so does the hubby so we still indulge it a bit on green apples or celery. I even let my daughter have 1 half of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich (on organic, sprouted bread) once a week. I feel like this is reasonable given all the other wonderful foods they consume. Being successful @ a primal lifestyle to me means that we pick our indulgences and respect them as such. This is one for our family!

  46. Peanut butter is the one thing that I refuse to give up. I love it! I figure it’s part of the 20% in the 80/20 balance 🙂

  47. I just do not buy the stuff anymore. its so addicting, don’t know why, but something just so tasty.

  48. Our family has switched exclusively to sunflower butter. We like the Sunbutter brand because it has several different options like crunchy, natural no-stir creamy, organic, and regular. Plus it’s a lot cheaper than other nut butters. It definitely fulfills our cravings. We even still call it “peanut butter”!

  49. Ah, very interesting. Most nut butters break me out (especially peanut butter), so I stay away altogether. My Asian mother always told me that consuming nuts has an inflammatory effect.

  50. I’ve been mostly paleo for about 8 months now.

    I’ve never been a huge fan of peanut butter, so it hasn’t been a problem. I might have a spoonful now and then, but that’s it.

    I do like to use it while I’m baking, though. It’s a tasty splurge and it’s cheaper than almond butter… I figure if I’m already making something with coconut oil, almond flour, dark chocolate chips, etc… a little peanut butter won’t hurt much.

  51. Mark, I used to be a total peanut butter junkie, but I go back and forth between Almond Butter and Peanut Butter now. I DO need to my paws on some of that Mac Nut butter though!

  52. I do love me some natural, unsweetened, chunky PB, and I’m generally wary of prohibiting anything completely. Like ice cream or marmalade, I keep it to a spoonful or so once in a great while. If I have a jones-on for a sweet bite, a teaspoon of PB with a nibble of 80+% chocolate, lingeringly and lovingly enjoyed, really satisfies the craving. I honestly cannot imagine eating a whole bowl full, though!

  53. I had a hard time letting go the sweets when I made the transition to paleo. I had such a sweet tooth and it’s amazing what you will eat when you remove everything “sweet” in your kitchen. Unfortunately, I discovered peanut butter and honey. That was dangerous after a few spoonfuls I may as well just ate a bowl of ice-cream. I have now switched to almond butter but keep it very restricted. I am very athletic but my body will gain weight very easy. Almond butter and flour can only be a once in a month splurge.

  54. The first line of this post made me laugh out loud because it is so true! Almost everyone I know adores peanut butter and I can only imagine the rest of the MDA crowd with all our self imposed (albeit WISE) restrictions. In the beginning of going primal I had to let go of some deep loyalty to my beloved peanut butter. I simply removed it from my house, replaced it with almond butter, and bring to my mind an image of mold growing over a peanut everytime I am offered something with peanut butter as an ingredient so that I can politely decline….this coming from a past Reeses addict! It has worked out really well- I never crave it as I cut it out cold turkey and my results are my prize. My two year old hardly knows peanut butter exists and talks more about almond butter because it is all we have at home.
    Nice Post! Love MDA 🙂

  55. My husband used to eat 2 or 3 (ok, sometimes 4) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in one sitting before we went primal. He vowed to never give up PB. In fact, he even threatened me with divorce should I ever take PB away from him. No joke.

    Since going primal he now says he doesn’t miss it. We do almond butter, but don’t consume it by the spoonfull and he still lives. No divorce, no mental breakdowns.

  56. I really love peanut butter, but I don’t eat it for the reasons Mark stated. I find that when it’s in the house I abuse it. I buy Trader Joe’s almond butter w/flax. It’s crunchy and good and makes a decent substitute IMO.

    1. I just had a spoonful of that for my afternoon snack. My absolute favorite!

  57. I used to be a hardcore peanut butter addict even up until a month ago when I decided to go primal again. But then I discovered almond hazelnut butter tastes infinitely more delicious!!

  58. I eat peanut butter in moderation…literally one tablespoon in the morning along with my breakfast. Its like a dessert to me and it makes me thirsty so I drink more water. I find it helps me stay satisfied much longer.

  59. I have to say, I didn’t know people actually liked peanut butter. I always found the stuff to be repulsive – I like it better than almond butter, but they’re both really dry, have a rather odd sweetness that puts me off, and they tend to stick to the roof of your mouth in an unpleasant way (perhaps I just have arachibutyrophobia?)

  60. After going primal, ditched my addiction to peanut butter and have found that I absolutely love almond butter. Funny thing, after 2 1/2 months I had a Tbsp. of PB, and broke out in hives– I have never had a reaction to PB in the past. If that isn’t proof that the stuff is bad for me, I don’t know what is!

  61. After becoming deathly allergic to peanuts and peanut butter, I tend to stick with Sunbutter. 🙂

    1. I’ve been wondering what it is about peanut butter or its usage (or a change in our genetic drift ..) that might explain the apparently skyrocketing incidences of peanut allergy.

  62. Ohhhh boy, peanut butter is my weakness! I also really enjoy almond butter, its a great substitute. But unfortunately I find myself overindulging on any kind of nut butter. Hard to control that spoon around the stuff!
    Thanks for the informative and motivating article, Mark. I was actually thinking about going without any type of nut (or in this case, legume) for a while to see if it made any progress for me.

  63. Since I no longer eat bread I don’t eat peanut butter sandwiches. They were so yummy. I’d eat them with jam (blackberry, raspberry or strawberry) or honey. Honey was always my favorite. Now, I eat peanut butter with apple slices. I eat a lot of peanut butter with the apple too. I would say that it is totally addicting. I’d like to give up peanuts as they give me indigestion and heartburn, but I don’t want to give up the peanut butter. I love it.

  64. I can’t believe I actually went through with it and just threw out my peanut butter. I feel like crying.

  65. Peanutbutter was my go to food for everything. Snack? Apple & PB. Too busy to stop for lunch? Bagel & PB, then 2 hours later, bagel & PB again because it never quite sated my hunger for long. When I went primal, almondbutter took the place of peanutbutter. Then I realized that the hundreds of calories I was taking in might be why the scale wasn’t budging. So this week, I’ve limited myself to 1 TB or a few nuts and I’m rockin’ the scale!

  66. I’ve never really been that keen on peanut butter on it’s own or on bread. I’ve generally kept a jar of crunchy peanut butter around for cooking with though – it’s great for making satay type sauces. Haven’t touched it since going primal, but I reckon I might start again until I can find a better replacement. It’s a great thickener which is something I miss given that most of what I eat now isn’t that great at soaking up sauces.

  67. What’s your take on sunflower butter? It is ok in taste (not quite peanut butter).

  68. I used to eat tons of peanut butter and loved it. I even lost my belly partly due to replacing carbs with peanut butter. But then I tried almond butter and liked it even better. I used to go through 1 jar of almond butter every 3 days. At that time, I lost my taste for peanut butter. But then I started eating more paleo/primal, and cut down on almond butter a bit. Now, peanut butter tastes good again and is a nice treat. I don’t have it often, but I certainly don’t prohibit myself from having it!

  69. I consider my diet a work in progress. It’s much better than it was, but could still be better. Peanut butter is definitely part of the could-be-better equation- and I’m not ready to give it up.

  70. I started to use Almond Butter and at first I didn’t really care for it. Now I LOVE it!!

  71. I always loved it and now I don’t have it in the house at all. I buy other nut butters, which I blend in smoothies. Anything I crave that is questionable I just don’t buy anymore. Out of sight, out of mind.

  72. i used to love peanut butter! i still miss the taste, but it really hurts my belly to eat it. i find almond butter (that i make myself) to be just right. and on a square of dark chocolate, it’s heaven!

  73. I do not enjoy peanut butter that much, even with chocolate; it makes me too thirsty.

  74. I used to miss it…but now when i tried it its just bean paste to me and i really don’t like the taste as much as I love nut butters.

  75. If I could marry a food. I would marry peanut butter and make it a proud, proud husband. I’m an actor, and while on tour once I had 4 jars of assorted types of the heaven-sent-crack (skippy super chunk and natural creamy, jif natural creamy and chunky) and, like a compulsion, I had to eat from each jar every night.. so I like the stuff a little. I haven’t owned a jar in MONTHS, though if my roommates buy it I tell them to either hide it where I can’t find it or know that I will consume it at 2am while they are sleeping. I am an addict. Since going primal I’ve switched to Almond but I love it just as much now. I sit an spoon (or finger, depending how my day has been) it into my mouth joyfully without abandon until realizing the jar is empty. What are we to do???!

  76. My very FIRST day going Primal…I went out and bought some almond butter to put on apple slices…HEAVEN! I haven’t had any peanut butter in over 2 months. I don’t have any cravings for it. I used to eat it on toast or crackers. There may be a jar kicking around even though we purged our cupboards. Now our occasional snack at night is dark chocolate and berries or some nuts. I am trying to get the hubby to kick his peanut habit….so I got him some cashews instead! 😉

  77. I only miss it when making peanut “noodles” (the spaghetti squash version) but almond butter with all the other tasty additions is delicious, too.

    It’s amazing how your taste buds can change. There are many foods I formerly disliked that I enjoy now. However, cooked red cabbage will NEVERNEVERNEVER be one of them. And,it’s very interesting what you get used and think of as good-tasting. I have a friend who says she’ll never give up oatmeal because she loves it so much. Yeah, ’cause flavorless mush is the bomb.

    “You know what else reduces peanut lectin content? Not eating peanut butter.”

    hahaha! Good one, Mark.

  78. It’s a trigger food for me. I try to avoid it entirely (don’t always succeed) because 1 tablespoon is too much and half a jar is never enough. Plus if I eat over a couple of tbs, it gives me acid reflux, especially at night.

  79. I LOVE peanut butter. When I was growing up, my favorite snack was PB & apples! We ditched the Jiff/Skippy & switched to all natural/no sugar PB. But recently my boyfriend mentioned that he notices that when he eats it (and he also LOVES it to), it reeks havoc on his body. So I’ve been wanting to try alternatives. Just this past weekend I made my own nut butters – pecan & walnut – both yummy! Our challenge with making & trying to find a nut butter we can love as much PB is this: I’m allergic almonds and macadamia nuts. My BF is allergic to hazelnuts & cashews do a number on his digestive system. It’s frustrating, but I’m thinking of trying sunflower seed butter since I’ve read that some people really like that as an alternative.

  80. Oooohhh…I forgot about peanut noodles! I used to go to this “healthy” place where you can pick your stir fry ingredients. I ALWAYS got the satay peanut odun noodles AND a smoothie. HELLOOOO sugar and carbs!!! yiiikes!

    Thank you, Mark for making me feel better about my choice to go Primal. The hubby is on board and we are having a blast and feeling great!!

  81. I love peanut butter. I can’t remember the last time I ate some, but it still calls to me from the store shelf. Even better, a thick peanut butter and honey sandwich on good sourdough bread. Lordy!

  82. I’m actually in process of making my own almond butter at this very moment! Roasting the almond meal @200 F in the oven, before I gently warm a little coconut oil to process with it. I am going to put cinammon in as well, and maybe some other chai type spices with a bit of turmeric…oh how I love Mark’s challenges ( okay, I took this post as a challenge). ;o) I have a peanut butter problem, and before going primal, I ate it as my drug of choice, especially during my pregnancies (augh!)! Now I mix it into my coconut oil fudge to help round out the sweetness with stevia, to give it a more palatable taste and feel. Will definitely use the almond butter, and other nut butters exclusively, after the last of my current pb jar runs out.

  83. I’m fine with almond butter, and even that I rarely buy. But then again I never had a peanut butter habit. I did really like its smooth creamy texture.

    I do appreciate the exhaustive analysis though. Mark really tried to make it work for all you peanut butter fanatics 🙂

  84. What aboout the spike in peanut allergies? It has tripled since 1998 and continues to be on the rise. Strange and scary, as it has the potential to kill.

  85. MMMM… there is something very appealing about peanut butter. It tastes so much better than actual peanuts!!!

    I rarely eat it… we keep sunflower butter or almond butter at the house for my son, but I rarely indulge.

    I could eat macadamia nuts by the handful though… they are like a little taste of Hawaii!

  86. If you think peanut butter is addicting, Tropical Traditions has coconut peanut butter which is beyond addicting

  87. Gave it up the week I read Primal Blueprint. Still miss it, but the macadamias, hazelnuts and almonds do a pretty good job as my once-a-week nut snack. And I eat them alone to avoid mineral binding.

  88. Yeah. Exactly. I consider peanut butter’s function to be exactly as Mark puts it: ‘it makes you eat the entire jar in one sitting.’ That’s what it does. Period.

    So I guess it has some use for underweight or otherwise very sick people (say, chemo patients) who struggle to just get enough calories in their body. It IS kinda nutrient-y and it’s not some horrible corn-transfat concoction that I understand hospitals stock for people in this condition. So in that case, sure. It has some value.

    And obviously people can eat whatever the hell they want, blah blah. It’s not my business either way. I’m not allergic to peanuts, so there’s no need for me to say anything or be insufferable about it being around, in the fridge at my parents’ or boyfriend’s or friends’ houses, etc.

    But man, *I* sure have no use for the stuff. All nuts tend to be similar trouble for me, but this stuff in particular seems to be worst of all. It’s relative toxicity probably has something to do with that.

  89. My mom used to have to hide the peanut butter jar or else I would eat it all.

    When I first went Primal I wasn’t aware that peanuts and peanut butter was a ‘no no’ so I would still be dipping my spoon and celery sticks into the jar. Fast-forward 2 years to the present day and we still keep a jar in the house for my husband and guests, but I’m never tempted to eat any of it. The reason I’d depended upon it back in the day was because it was easy to snack on and the added cheap, unhealthy fats and sugar had me brainwashed. Now that I’m no longer afraid of lots of healthy fat in my diet, I’ve discovered that a nice hunk of grass fed beef with a dab of Kerry Gold butter is way more satisfying. So I don’t miss it….Although the smell of peanut butter cookies hasn’t lost it’s lure.

    Thank you, Mark, for holding us more accountable to what we allow in our cupboards and past our lips. With knowledge comes responsibility.

  90. When I was vegan I would buy the jars of Teddy PB w/ salt and mix in copious amounts of honey. Oh my…it was so good. I ate it constantly, big spoonfuls for breakfast and snack. I was very thin at the time as well, hmmm. I’m sure there’s no association between the two, LOL. Now I don’t eat it often but I buy the stuff made with Palm oil for the kiddos and they eat it a few times a week. I don’t believe I’m doing them any harm 🙂

  91. I loved peanut butter so much I had a cookbook devoted to all things PB. I spent months scouring the web for the perfect PB cookie recipe. I found my hiking legs with a PB & honey sandwich on WW bread after a few miles into the wilderness. It was to me like manna from heaven- a rich, life giving salve that stood on a pedistal. Then came MDA. I sent the PB cookbook to the Salvation army and let the kids polish off the pounds of PB left in my cupboard, as a dip for apples. I have found my happy substitute with various nut and seed butters, but while PB was still in the house my 80/20 moments were always PB related. I wouldn’t say I overate PB, but the temptation to turn it into super-starchy baked goods (which I absolutely would overeat) keeps me from buying or making it again.

  92. I use it only in a few recipes — an asian peanut dressing/dipping sauce, a shake, and one dessert. More as a flavoring than a main ingredient.

  93. At my grocery store, it’s impossible to get almond or sunflower seed butters that don’t have sugar of some sort mixed in, and I’m not going to drive all over town looking for one special item. So I buy natural peanut butter–just peanuts–and eat it in extreme moderation. It’s nice with veggies for an occasional snack. But PB is one food I’m not addicted to–chocolate is a whole ‘nother story!

    1. Mindy,

      Do you have an Earthfare, Fresh Market or Whole Foods or even a Kroger in your city.

      I have noticed Kroger has been adding more and more healthy alternatives, you can find almond and sunflower butter now(and usually for about $1.00) cheaper then the healthy stores.

      1. It’s not availability in general that’s the problem–I can get almond butter if I make an effort. But we don’t have a central source like Whole Foods, so I was making myself crazy driving all over town going to separate stores for various foods–I had to simplify and decide that some things, like the little bit of PB I eat per month, just don’t matter. Now, nitrate-free bacon, on the other hand, is worth hunting down!

  94. Thanks for such a timely post, Mark. I’m working on getting my 13 year old daughter gluten-free. Her school lunch line is a nightmare and she hates almond butter. I finally broke down and bought her some peanut butter to take if she gets hungry and was asking myself the very same question: Exactly how bad is this? Now I feel better about it because it’s far more important to get her gluten-free.

    BTW, she loves all the other Primal choices, just not almond butter!

  95. I did the Abs Diet before I switched to primal and peanut butter is one of its core foods. But in moderation which never really worked for me. Since going primal I can enjoy a spoon (okay, sometimes two but that’s it!) of almond butter and I’m good! I recently cheated and ate a chocolatepeanut butter cookie and felt awful the next couple of days. Very bloated and just ick, not sure if that’s in my head or becaus ef the peanut butter!

  96. Weird. The only thing I miss about it is how much cheaper it is than almond butter. Otherwise, I’d say the almond butter tastes better anyway!

  97. I love almond and other nut butters. I like to eat almond butter drizzled on raw veggies. I don’t eat peanut butter at all. Thanks for the very informative post Mark!

  98. Very nice post. Thank you once again. My friends think it’s weird that I refuse to eat peanuts. People usually end up assuming I have a peanut allergy.
    When I first went paleo I wouldn’t pass up a food just because it contained the oil, but now I’m pretty strict about that. And Fungal Toxins? ewwwww!!!!!

  99. I’m about 6 weeks paleo, started when I became allergic to beef, almonds, corn and dairy (was already on the gluten-free diet for celiac disease for 10 years. I still have occasional bouts of dizziness and weakness, I’m guessing because of eating too much high-sugar fruit that keeps me out of ketosis (working on that). Sometimes I need a protein source that’s quick and doesn’t involve cooking, so I’l have some ants on a log for a quick fix. I’m certainly not eating a whole jar. I’m not ready to give it up, especially since I can’t have cocoa or red wine which give me migraines. Sorry, not yet convinced. Makes me wonder whether I shouldn’t putt my jar in the oven for an extended roasting in order to kill aspergillus, though.

  100. I thought it was only me who would sit down and eat the damned jar.

    Glad to know I’m not alone.

    This crap is addictive.

    Moving to almond butter, I think.

  101. I like peanut butter and can binge on it, but ever since I discovered any other nut butter, I’ve found my true weakness.

    Once, I made a homemade macadamia-almond nut butter. I was going to savor it because macadamias are so expensive. I tried one bite, and it was so delicious that I ate it all in one sitting.

    I haven’t made it since…

  102. I’ve been doing great on this primal thing…just started it a couple months ago, and I”m also 6 months pregnant. But I can’t let go of peanut butter! I just can’t do it. Sometimes I really crave it, and other times I just go for it when I’m hungry. And I always have to have a glass of milk with it. If I wake up hungry in the middle of the night, I want a big whopping spoonful of peanut butter and a glass of milk.
    I do love almonds, and almond butter is OK, but it’s just not peanut butter.

  103. ALMOND BUTTER!!! It is just as tasty if not better and more filling. I like to eat it with a granny smith apple every once in a while when I get that oh so familiar pb craving.

    Jen

  104. I love peanut butter, any kind of crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet concoction actually. e.g. I don’t like smooth, unsalted PB.

    I would eat almond butter instead but.. the price.

  105. I exist for peanut butter (and cheese). Nothing takes the edge off a carb craving, or a stressful day, like a few spoonfuls of peanut butter straight from the jar. I eat it every day, am smaller than I’ve been in decades as long as I avoid all the other grains, which I easily can because peanut butter takes the edge off. ENJOY!

  106. As I burn the Primal lifestyle I continually discover stuff that ain’t that good for me.

    I used to wolf down PB every day and loved the creamy natural taste–but I noticed something. Although I didn’t gain any weight, I couldn’t lose any either.

    Once I stopped (or really slowed down to a treat once in awhile, I dropped about 15 lbs) That was the only change in my primal eating. I did incease my HIIT exercise a bit, but I believe the les PB I ate the easier it was to take off the weight.

    The real problem is– you can just eat one spoonful– and before you know it the calories have added up and up and up!

    As soon as I am finished with my next 6-7 jars in storage I’m going cold turkey!

    1. It’s important to separate pbutter consumption from nut butter consumption. Nut butters are high in calories. If you were doing the same thing with another nut butter and cut it out, yeah you would lose weight… SO don’t blame that on pbutter!

  107. Organic Sunbutter works for me as a sub for peanut butter, once or twice a week on a celery stick, apple slice, or a square of very dark chocolate.

  108. I am definitely a child of 80’s Americana. So, peanut butter is in my 20%. I put a couple tablespoons in smoothies. That’s 8g of protein (!!) and since I don’t do other beans and since I’m not huge fan of nuts in general, I make room for it.

  109. I used to be heavily hooked on peanut butter years ago. Sandwiches, cookies, on bagels, with bananas — I would eat it every day, pretty much any way I could get it. That was the Kraft super-processed, sweetened and hydrogentated-oil-laden stuff though. I find it’s near impossible to OD on natural peanut butter — it’s too thick and heavy to eat more than a spoonful at a time. Now I might have a Tbsp or so of organic, natural peanut butter with some carrot sticks every now and then if I’m hungry between meals or I’ve got a sweet craving. Once a week or two maybe, if that.

  110. I haven’t touched peanut butter for a long, especially since I’m all but completely eliminated grains from my diet. I didn’t have anything to put it on!

    However, I haven’t found or tried a butter that I liked. I got almond butter from Whole Foods but I think it was already rancid.

  111. I’ve gotta say I don’t really miss the peanut butter. I’m too focused on eating better things. Like bacon…

  112. When I first went primal I cut out everything non-primal and felt great. My arthritis in my hands was gone. Then I decided to add in peanut butter again…the one thing I missed. Well, I had a horrible flare up with my hands. Cut out the peanut butter…hands better. I was so disappointed. If it’s in the house I don’t gorge, but I would want a little daily….. so it’s almond butter for us. I definitely don’t crave almond butter the same.

  113. Historically, I would always seem to have completely random cravings for grain carbs (particularly wheat-based), dairy (usually in the form of ice cream and yogurt, and especially peanut butter. Believe me when I say the cravings were intense. I would go to great lengths for just a little bit, but could never get enough once I started. Completely addicted. I had never been tested for food allergies, but on some recent bloodwork prescribed by a functional md, found out I have a peanut allergy, wheat/gluten allergy, and am lactose intolerant. I suppose the cravings were because my body was treating them sort of like nicotine… or crack (?!) I am still in the process of quitting/ detox… It’s definitely not easy!! … But my skin has already cleared up significantly and it’s been easier and easier to resist the cravings. Something to think about for all you peanut (and I mean this literally) junkies.

  114. My local market has a product called ABC (Almond Brazil, Cashew butter) which I feed my young son. He’s never had actual peanut butter.

  115. I used to love peanut butter and honey, peanut butter and tomatoes sliced with cracked pepper as a sandwich filling. No more don’t miss it at all. Now the remnants of the jars are used on my mouse traps as bait, the mice will die for it!!

  116. I like peanut butter, but there’s no way I could overeat it. It’s too dense and sticky. Bllleah.

    That said, I totally want a peanut butter and honey sandwich right now. Dammit, Mark!

  117. Historically, I would always seem to have completely random cravings for grain carbs (particularly wheat-based), dairy (usually in the form of ice cream and yogurt, and especially peanut butter. Believe me when I say the cravings were intense. I would go to great lengths for just a little bit, but could never get enough once I started. Completely addicted. I had never been tested for food allergies, but on some recent bloodwork prescribed by a functional md, found out I have a peanut allergy, wheat/gluten allergy, and am lactose intolerant. I suppose the cravings were because my body was treating them sort of like nicotine… or crack (?!) I am still in the process of quitting/ detox… It’s definitely not easy!! … But my skin has already significantly cleared up and it’s been easier and easier to resist the cravings. I’m feeling less ‘icky’ overall. Something to. Consider for all the (and I mean this literally) peanut junkies out there.

  118. I could be totally and completely addicted to peanut butter if I let myself…it’s like crack to me so I absolutely don’t buy it. I love most other nut butters but only in moderation…I could be just a spoonful away from rehab with those too. BTW…have you tried Mee Nut Butter???? Watch out…so delish!

  119. I noticed that if I consumed more than 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (organic, only one ingredient- organic peanuts) I go through stomach discomfort… generally summed up as “feeling like crap.” My thoughts? “Man, I should stop eating peanut butter, I always feel crappy after eating it.” Anyway, I did and now this article just confirms my belief. Good bye and fair well peanut butter! It’s been real!

  120. If I don’t touch it, I’m ok. But just one bite and its all over! Almond butter is not as good, but it still tastes pretty tasty with my celery!

  121. My favorite part of the Primal day, most assuredly, is breakfast. Don’t get me wrong: I loved my cereal. I was something of a cereal junkie. But the allure of eggs and bacon several times a week made me turn away from the cereal aisle and never look back.

    That said, there were plenty of times pre-Primal (and a few post-Primal) where I’d find myself either eating a carby breakfast, or eating nothing at all. My body isn’t ready for fasting yet, particularly refraining from protein. I get headaches, minor shakes, and a little anxiety. (Given my personality, admitting even a little anxiety means it’s a problem.)

    If I’m prepared, no problem at all: I like to make sure I have a hard-boiled egg or two ready to pop into my mouth, and I’m all set. But if I’m caught unprepared, I’ve found that nothing kills those protein-deficiency symptoms quicker or more effectively than a tablespoon and that jar of PB.

  122. Peanut butter gives me headaches 🙁 What a fickle friend…

  123. I do take a spoonful as a quick breakfast sometimes. The red flag for me is when I’m flummoxed by something, it “calls” me. That’s my addict button. Can’t keep it out of the house because hubby eats it with celery every day.

  124. Gotta love the almond butter. I buy freshly made almond butter at my local supermarket, and it is addictive. It is easy for me to eat 500 calories worth in one sitting. I’ve restricted myself to buying 8oz when I go grocery shopping.

    I only stop eating it because it is over. Control is hard.

  125. I gave up peanut butter and sadly all nut butters because of calories. It is amazing to me that so many here consider eating peanut butter. I have to carefully watch the nuts I eat, I really can’t have more then one ounce per day. I do count calories which I know isn’t something most here do but if I don’t I gain. The only way I can lose weight is to eat very strictly primal, very low carbs (less then 70/day) and very low sugars (under 40g/ day). In addition i need to stay within a reasonable calorie range. It amazes me to see so many eating nuts….and peanut butter no less! I guess I’m jealous!

  126. of all the Paleo “don’ts”, peanut butter is the one I keep creeping back to.
    That’s when I’m grateful to be 80/20, and if you haven’t ever tried peanut butter on fresh crisp cooked bacon, I am so sorry! When we were kids my dad would fry bacon, toast bread in the grease, and make Elvis like sandwiches(decades before that was made public), peanut butter, bacon and bacon grilled bread. Maybe once a year but we all loved it!

  127. i cannot claim to be fully primal. i am MAYBE primal “lite”. i eat all natural meats and plants because they are what i prefer and i like what they do for my health and physique, but i do not follow a primal program to the letter. so peanut butter…yes, once a week, a tablespoon of it on a sour green apple sets me right. but that’s about it. and NEVER with bread (that’s a recipe for some serious BLOAT)

  128. While I truly love the taste of peanut butter, there are endless possibilities with making nut butter combinations. I always, always make my own nut butter. With the exception of walnuts, I lightly roast all nuts in coconut oil (which is a step I choose, and isn’t necessary)on the stove, put in food processor, and process away! Salt, a tablespoon and coconut oil, and some vanilla or almond extract are optional, delicious add-ins.
    Some concoctions I’ve whipped up, pun intended:
    Pistachio-Almond Butter
    Pecan-Walnut Butter
    Walnut-Almond Butter
    Pistachio-Walnut Butter
    Pecan-Almond Butter
    Pecan-Peanut Butter
    Pistachio-Peanut Butter
    Macadamia Butter

    As you can see, there are a myriad of possibilities. I haven’t tried all permutations from the aforementioned nuts, nor have I included Brazil nuts, hazel nuts, or cashews.
    I agree with Mark, if you must have peanut butter, or nut butters in general, make your own! It’s easy, fun, and delicious.

  129. I eat it. I also eat other nut butters — raw almond butter is addictive! That’s the one I find myself scraping the sides of the jar juuust one more time before putting it in the fridge. Mix it with coconut butter…

    Macadamia nut butter: yay or nay? Anyone tried? I’m tempted, but it’s expensive, and I’m afraid it’ll be a waste of money if I hate it.

  130. I think peanut butter’s allure comes mainly from the feelings of nostalgia and comfort it elicits. Many of us grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on wonderbread, made with love by our mothers. Macadamia butter tastes even better to me now, especially without the bread, drizzled on whole strawberries

  131. Up till I went Primal I ate PB every day! Almond butter tastes nothing like PB to me but the sweetness of Sunflower Seed Butter has completely replaced my need for PB so that’s what I have every day and I haven’t looked back 🙂

  132. I love it but have given it up. I used to get one here that was 100% roasted organic (or so they said) nuts and it was just divine. Then I made my opwn in the food processor. Now I make sunflower butter and cashew butter and macadamia butter – they’re good but nothing matches that peanut taste. A very occasional indulgence for me now.

  133. A sample cure for peanut butter love:
    Buy a bag of raw peanuts
    Throw them in the food processor until it looks like peanut butter.
    Taste it.

    We did that by accident and it was horrible. To me, it tasted like raw green bean butter. I have a hard time with the taste of peanut butter and raw green beans now.

    1. But you’re not supposed to eat raw peanuts. Peanuts are a legume. It would be like doing that with chickpeas or a bean or split peas. Of course you wouldn’t like it.

  134. I was never that much into peanut butter, but when I do want something similar on a banana or in my whey protein shake, I use almond butter. It’s smooth, tasty, and it does the trick. Thanks for another great post Mark!

  135. I like ALL the butters! I eat peanut butter mixed with coconut cream, a dash of salt and a bit of honey, whipped together into something like a pudding.

  136. Hi Mark, I am a peanutbutter fanatic, if it’s their i’ll eat it, so for me the only Solution is, don’t the dam stuff!

  137. Cashew butter is amazing, and is closer to peanut butter in taste and consistency than almond butter. I dip apples in it for a snack.

    As far as Nuttella goes I’ve seen an organic version made with dark chocolate at Whole Foods.

  138. For me, this is one of those things where you make a conscious decision about cost versus benefit. Nut butters other than peanut butter are expensive by at least 2 to 1 if not 3 to 1 compared to peanut butter. For me, that’s the decision between buying extra vegetables for a stir fry or something that i’m going to dip my apples in for dessert. If Mark came out and said, “you have to eat grass fed beef or you aren’t primal”…he would have a lot less primal followers because of the ridiculous price of grass fed beef. This obviously is not the same thing exactly, but its one of those things that come back to disposable income. If you have a larger family and don’t make a ton of money, getting your kids to eat apples and peanut butter is light years better than the ice cream and candy bars they may have been eating. Just my 2 cents.

  139. I definitely have to admit to sometimes putting a spoonful of organic, creamy peanut butter to my green smoothies. Of course the kind I use has NOTHING in it but peanuts – no oil, sugar, salt, etc. As much as I love cashew and almond butter, nothing comes close to the taste of peanut butter. Its just not the same. Still, I don’t eat it in excess.

  140. yeah I eat it…about 2tb in a smoothie about twice a week. I grind it fresh at my health food store and I don’t feel one big guilty about it. There are ALOT of foods that I no longer eat but this is one that has to stay for the flavor principle. I don’t know that I could tolerate the smoothie without it!

  141. For a long time I’ve known I cannot have peanut butter in my house. Every time I do, I eat the entire jar (wheather large or small jar) in one sitting. At my engagement shower a few months ago, 4 of my college friends included a jar of peanut butter in their gag gift for me. The next day after one of the jars was devoured, I threw away the other 3 before they could come to the same fate. I tend to over indulge a little with almond butter too, though not nearly to the extent of peanut butter, so that’s something I know we can buy from time to time.

  142. In this part of Europe, peanut butter is an exotic food eaten by few. In the old days (before 1989), no shop was stocking it.

    Despite this, we eliminated the mighty Canadians in the World Ice Hockey Championship yesterday! :-)))

  143. Despite growing up on Skippy (I had a smooth peanut butter on balloon bread–no jelly, I was a pb purist–sandwich every day after school for years), I’m OK without pb now. I ate Adams stir-your-own for years as a “healthy” adult so I weaned myself off the hydogenated sweetened crap. But yeah, formerly? spoon+jar=it’s all over

    Now I occasionally buy the grind-your-own unsalted roasted almond butter. If I had a food processor I would probably make my own using soaked nuts (per a recent MDA post), but I don’t think I eat it often enough to be a problem. Two squares of 90% dark chocolate and roasted almond butter take care of any latent Reese’s cravings!

    Also, my boyfriend is not paleo (except at my house!) but through self-experimentation (he learned that from me) he figured out that cutting out chocolate and peanut butter stopped his seasonal allergies in their tracks, and he still eats bread!

    If you still have seasonal allergies while pb paleo, it might be worth cutting out the pb to see if that lessens your allergic load (i.e. if you cut out the dietary allergens, sometimes your body can then handle the environmental allergens like pollen, etc.)

  144. I use to use Trader Joe’s Organic Peanut butter as my cheat and I ate it every day and a lot of it. I had to give it up because it became a problem for me (overeating). Then a month later I discovered Mark’s Daily Apple and never even thought about going back to Peanut butter. Very happy that addiction is gone… if I could just stop overeating chocolate I’d be good!

  145. I sometimes eat peanut butter with soy/vegetable oil when I crave it or when it’s the only substantial source of fat I’m able to easily get my hands on. With no address or money it’s difficult to eat primal all the time without starving so sometimes I have to make compromises and consume sub-optimal charity food. I’ve even been eating bread and bagels lately.

  146. More and more the Primal food selection seems to be expanding. Good or bad? I felt more comfortable when I thought things like cashews and peanuts were totally off limits. Now it’s once in a while?

    I think I’d rather just continue to leave them out of the equation altogether.

  147. “since peanut butter is often used in these studies as a high-reward, obesogenic comfort food that rats and mice will readily and consistently overeat.”

    Ah! Many years ago I moved in to a house with a mouse problem. I was advised to use peanut butter in the traps. It worked like a magic charm. Now I know why!

    1. Pb2 is gritty. It does not mix well with my daily peanut butter recipe. Never tried peanut flour. Almond flour is far superior.

      1. Can’t believe somebody has actually replied! I’ve only just looked back after all this time. Peanut flour I reckon is probably the best to use, out of peanut products. It has been roasted, a lot of fat removed and is versatile.

        I used to melt butter or coconut oil and mix in with peanut flour with a little bit of salt and stevia or any other decent sweetener and sometimes some crushed macas or cashews. Better than peanut butter from a jar. Is a great substitute for flour (if you require it in anyway) works great with salmon patties for example. Gives a loveley taste makes great sauces too. I hardly use it now but still have some on hand.

  148. I think Barney Butter is the most incredible nut butter…it happens to be made from almonds, but tastes even better than peanut butter. Tastes like Skippy or Jiff. YUM!

  149. I’m not really a fan of peanut butter, and once I go natural style it is definitely more of an ingredient than something I would put on my toast.

    (I did used to take finger-fulls as a kid, but I think that was more sugar-calories-fuel-easy reward system than any sort of palate discrimination.)

    I think I have a total of three recipe types that use peanut butter; throw-the-packet-out ramen broth, oriental meat-marinades, and the other has a strong tomato component. I might be able to deal with my tomato-nut recipe using a different nut if it has a strong flavor, cheap price, and stores well. The ramen broth can go mustard-based no problem, and hopefully the nostalgia will eventually go away.

  150. I was never big on peanut butter until I had the “real” stuff – no sugar, no salt, just peanuts. Wow! For me, almond butter is just OK and actually kind of ruins the taste of a good, healthy smoothie, whereas peanut butter enhances one.

    I did read a study several years ago that addressed how peanut butter and just the smell of buttered popcorn can influence women’s moods (think oysters as an aphrodisiac.)

  151. I never had the taste for peanuts and peanut butter. They were good as a treat depending how they were prepared. the thing I miss most is peanut sauce, but I found and excellent recipe for satay chicken with almond butter sauce that I like even better! Sure your ahead if you choose peanut butter over cake or twinkies, but if you really want to live optimally peanut butter is something you can cut out. I admit I’m speaking from an ex smoker’s point of view. Compared to quitting a 15 year cigarette addiction peanut butter is nothing. I also used to brew beer and go to tastings…..I will be giving up beer after Memorial day. What makes this easy for me is the remarkable changes in my attitude, energy, and general feeling of well being in the last month of moving in a primal direction. For the almond butter enthusiasts I really like the Kettle brand, natural almond butter. It even comes in a BPA free plastic jar!

  152. Thanks Mark, great post! My son was diagnosed with peanut allergy at the age of one but during a hospital managed ‘challenge’ at age two he seemed to have outgrown it. The advice from our immunologist was to expose him regularly to peanuts in some form to ensure the allergy does not reappear. So, my question Mark, is this: Given that he must have it, what is the best form, in your opinion? We are currently giving peanut butter made from roasted organic nuts, with no salt added. ari 🙂

  153. I never ate peanut butter regularly except briefly on the Zone in 1996. Read years ago that it contains lectins so avoided. Last year I discovered the Justin’s single packet nut butters and so decided to buy a pb packet to have as part of a Warrior meal and well…. sure, it’s tasty. I like the chocolate pb packets best. Fortunately hard to justify because the Justin’s brand uses palm oil which is bad. So, every once in a while I have a choccy pb packet, feeds my inner child.

    1. why is palm oil bad? i thought it was supposed to be good (lot’s of MCT).

      regards,

  154. Eat what you like but consider with your eyes closed the ramifications it’s having on your insides and the things you can’t see.

    If you are feeling better when you aren’t eating and feeling hungover after you’ve eaten it. Most likely it’s not the best choice.

    But everyone has got to treat themselves. If you don’t you are doomed to failure. Remember it’s a “blue print” and even building schematics get changed during construction do to unseen obstacles. It takes time to change but you don’t stop because there is a wall! Push through and ditch the habits over time. Your body will thank you!

  155. Great article. I think I eat way too much peanut butter. It’s also quite high in calories. Before you know it you have eaten hundreds of calories. Hopefully reading this information will cause me to eat less of it.

  156. I bought raw almond butter and its amazing! ! Way tastier than regular roasted almondbutter.

  157. Grew up on the stuff but stopped eating it for a few years. I read about the lectins a few years ago and determined to go clean…but got crazy pregnancy cravings and gained a gazillion pounds from 2am indulging. The constant craving bugged me so I over-ate until I was sick of it….clean pantry again and I won’t consider buying it. There’s no such thing as just one bite.
    Next pregnancy: I’ll cope with nightime cravings with a tsp of cod liver oil and wash it down with raw milk, if it’s the right season. Or coconut oil and a hard boiled egg.

  158. I love peanut butter on apples…that’s the only time I eat it though, but fairly regularly so. I bought some almond butter, but just didn’t like it, and I don’t think my body did either, even though I can eat almonds just fine. It wasn’t organic, maybe that’s why. Maybe it would help to make my own nut butter, but I really don’t want to buy a food processor.

    In any case, I’ve only been primal for 2 weeks, figure I can ease in slowly for all the edge cases. I’m pretty committed in general to my good health. 🙂

  159. I used to love peanut butter but had to give it up even before going primal. Peanuts are very high in androgen hormones which is a problem for those who get acne breakouts. Whenever I would eat PB an acne breakout would always follow. So, I switched to almond butter and no problem. I use almond butter in primal recipes I make from elanaspantry.com, otherwise I just prefer eating whole almonds as a snack.

  160. I like peanut butter but have it rarely. Get the good stuff, only salt is added.

    What I do eat a lot of are “skin on” spanish peanuts. They are tasty and serve as a midnite snack. I prefer the spanish peanut form since the skin on the peanut is loaded w/ resveratrol and I don’t like red wine.

  161. What about tahini ? It’s made from sesame and I consider it quite healthy. It’s not extremely tasty, especially since I buy a non-roasted version, but when taken with something else, it’s acceptable.

  162. Mark, I think you forgot one more good thing about peanuts – but not commercial peanut butter – is their skins have the highest amount of proanthocyanidins than any other food source per dry weight.

    It has always leaved me to wonder, what does Jiffy do with all those glorious cranberry red coloured skins after they strip all their peanuts clean?

  163. Try a mix of almonds, cashews and macadamia’s.
    Blend the almonds and cashews first then slowly add macadamia’s until you get you preferred consistency.

  164. Only found out recently that I’m only allergic to peanuts, rather than all nuts in general. Absolutely loving trying out all these new flavours. Favourite has to be pistachios and cashews. Yum!

  165. My family all transitioned to the TJ’s sunflower seed butter very easily. So, if you are not an almond butter fan (which I am not) you might find the sunflower seed butter more to your liking.

  166. I like peanut butter, but I don’t have it very often. I only like the whole nuts if they are still in the shell (There is just something about having to work for it that makes them that much better) but I really prefer almonds or pistachios or cashews over peanuts.

  167. how about powdered peanut butter from bell plantation or betty lous great stuff. it is organic Organic Peanuts, Organic Coconut Sugar*, Sea Salt. and only 4 grams carbs.

  168. I definitely was addicted to peanut butter, it’s so hard to stop eating once you start! I started buying individual packets instead of a jar which yes, is more expensive, but worth the forced portion control. The portion control of the packets really forced me to cut back and decrease my peanut butter binges. Over time I just stopped eating it and found that I didn’t miss it all. If your seriously addicted, give the packets a try.

  169. I used to ADORE peanut butter. . .in fact, a PB&J was my preferred meal or snack any time of the day (or a bowl of rice chex, but I digress).

    Now, I’m perfectly happy with raw almond butter. . . but I’m still trying to get my kids to not pine after peanut butter. I just found a chocolate sunflower seed almond butter. . . it’s delicious, but does have sugar. 🙁

  170. I never thought of it as an addiction until reading this. Just last week I sat down with half a jar of chunky and a spoon, it never stood a chance. I’m just starting to change my eating habits due to a long list of medical reasons. Thanks for the information

  171. I’ll be honest here…I’m not giving up my peanut butter. I eat the best kind of peanut butter you can find and 1 or 2 tablespoons of it a day. I ccan do the no grains or dairy, but peanut butter is my breakfast every day with a scoop of a high quality protein powder. Most negative aspects of peanut butter are speculation and lack of self control. Peanuts are also very good for you despite what you wrote most of which is…speculation or due to people’s lack of self-control with the stuff making it no different then any other tasty food. I will continue enjoying the stuff. Sorry.

  172. Once again, Mark, great, thought-provoking post! I always enjoy reading your ideas, even if I don’t always totally agree – Peanut butter… we keep a jar of Teddie’s Brand on hand to load the mouse traps. And another jar to occasionally treat ourselves with. Thanks to all for great snack ideas…

  173. It could also be that your body is craving/needing a nutrient in the peanut butter, and not the peanut butter itself. : )

  174. I guess no more nuts on my salad; maybe just a tablespoon of pine nuts.

  175. Oh my gosh! My kids eat so much peanut butter! Have I been stunting their growth!? ::Freakout::

    1. Peanut butter is one of the staples of childhood food in America. So if your kids are stunted, then probably all American kids are stunted. Considering that we produce pretty much the biggest kids in the world, I think this is unlikely. Just keep them away from that sugary stuff like Jif and Peter Pan. In fact, if you want your kids to eat less peanut butter, just start buying the grind-to-order kind like what’s available at Whole Foods and other natural grocery stores. They’ll probably hate it, because it’s not smooth, sweet, and creamy like the industrially produced brands.

  176. I think the con of “it’s too tasty” applies to all nut butters. Once I start eating any of them, I don’t ever want to stop. I actually feel this way about most food, so…

  177. What about brands like crazy richards where the ingredients are just, “peanuts”

    No added oils or salt or sugar

  178. I used to be addicted to peanut butter. Then I made myself by only the light version because it really tastes weird comparatively. That worked for me. I wanted it less and less.

  179. I gave up peanut butter almost 2 years ago. What I missed most was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and I used to eat them on a regular basis. When I was asked by friends that routinely asked me “What do you miss most in your new diet?” I would always answer, “PB and J sandwiches”. So, about a month ago, my husband was eating some peanut butter (the best kind of course) and I thought I would just give it a taste test. I tried it and realized that I no longer like Peanut Butter. So, for all the addicts out there, just give it up for 2 years, maybe less, and then give it another try. You might find that you too no longer like it and can then give up the emotional addiction as well.

  180. I’ve gone totally primal and I look and feel great. my card intake is consistently 50g a day or less. Once a week or so I will have a granny smith apple with like 2-3 tablespoons of whole foods brand peanut butter with crushed pieces of dark chocolate. I chop up the apple put in the peanut butter and the chocolate and heat the whole thing up a little… its a mouth-gasm!

  181. I don’t see how eating peanut butter would be a problem for most people in terms of over-indulging. I’ve read about studies how great the “peanut butter diet” is for losing or maintaining weight: eating just a little peanut butter (or any other nuts, for that matter) produces satiety (feeling of fullness) for quite a long time, resulting in less eating overall. Peanut butter has been called “the poor man’s protein” with more plant protein than any other legume or nut. Peanut butter has been used as a very cheap, effective emergency food for starving children in Africa. Most studies show nut eaters have less heart disease and diabetes, but I haven’t seen studies that distinguish peanut butter eaters from those how eat other nuts, to see if peanut butter itself is not so good compared to other nuts in health impact. But since peanuts are overwhelmingly the most consumed nut, it would seem that the benefits accrued to nuts would be due in great part because of, not despite, peanuts. It would be great to see studies that isolate peanut butter eaters specifically, and perhaps there are some out there that I’m not aware of.

  182. I make my own pb from locally grown peanuts and have 2 tablespoons daily. I can’t imagine that this is a terrible thing to do.

  183. Peanut butter was a major contribution to my weigh gain over the years. First thing when I got home from work it was the jar of peanut butter, a big spoon and a diet soda.

    Three weeks ago I made the switch to the paleo diet cold turkey…gave up grains, chips, pasta, sugar, all types of soda/juices, milk and processed foods. In 3 weeks I have lost 17 pounds and this includes one individual pack of Justin’s Natural PB (32g) with a small organic banana 4 to 5 times a week.

    I may consider giving it up in the future but that one small indulgence is getting me through the rest.

  184. I’m a peace corps volunteer in africa. It’s so hard to be primal here and i probably eat too much crappy peanut butter. I miss almond and grass-fed butter, steaks, macadamia nuts, and weirdly, veggies like asparagus and brussels sprouts that can’t be found here. Still, i feel guilty complaining when there are malnourished kids around the corner who would love to have my peanut butter…

  185. my grandmother would eat 8 to 10 tablespoons full of peanut butter since she was a little girl,she is 93 now and still loves her peanut butter…..

  186. I eat a few spoonfuls and that’s it. I recently read a recipe of Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream, and decided to make a simplified version which has no flour, cheese and sugar, so it’s basically heavy cream, shredded coconut, peanut butter and ginger and cayenne to taste. 😀 Most of the time I abstain for financial reasons, peanut butter is not as widespread in Europe therefore costs more than my usual foods.

  187. Marantha brand peanut butter is not to be trusted.. i refrigerate mine and it literally feels like fudge. that CANNOT be good!
    sure as hell tastes good but makes me feel like crap after eating two or three servings!

  188. I’m currently eating almond butter instead but I do still have both. For me cost is a bit of an issue… peanut butter (even the good organic stuff) is very cheap for the nutrition you get. I also have issues stomaching the healthier alternatives. For me it’s a good stepping stone towards healthier nutrition.

  189. I am not a big fan of peanut butter but do eat them now and then just out of pure cravings ( women and cravings, don’t ask!) but going on paleo recently meant I was desperate to get my hands on any kind of dips for veg and fruits etc
    got my hands on a few small packets of justins almond butter ( they are great for portion control or travelling ) tried it smeared on a few pieces of left over coconut flour pancakes,it was delicious! never going back to peanut butter again!

  190. 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbs (3 sugar, 2 fiber, 3?) in a 2 tablespoon serving and it tastes so good. I understand the part about wanting to eat the whole jar as an issue and that there may/may not be some other things wrong, but it will definitely remain one of my few vices!

    For all of you that say you used to like peanut butter but now don’t: I don’t believe you.

  191. Wow I never knew how bad peanut butter was for. I clearly love the fact where you suggested that peanut butter is too tasty. I see myself over-eating many times due to the fact that I just can’t stop eating.

    Btw I am a new reader to this blog and I am loving every post. I think very soon I am gonna go primal!

  192. I have eaten a peanut butter sandwich with the proper whole wheat bread everyday for the last 5 months and have lost 40 pounds. From 190 to a fit 150. Of course I incorporate plenty of exercise and eat healthy the rest of the day. I also eat peanut butter once a day, 3 table spoons. So I eat it in moderation. I watch my fat intake the rest of the day and try not to eat more than 65 grams of fat a day. Nonetheless, though, I eat it every. Single. day. and have seen phenominal results.

  193. I literally only discovered the stuff about a week ago after my lady went on this silly “chemical breakdown diet” and bought lots of stuff such for it. I had a fingerful of it. “Hmm” I thought. Then I cracked a spoon from the draw, and had a little spoonful. That was it. Since them I’ve been having a few spoonfuls every other day, and the pot is about half empty since 2 weeks ago. But I’m afraid I’m getting addicted. I’m tempted to eat more right now. In fact I had a big spoonful 5 minutes ago after my lunch. I consider myself a healthy person. I do 60 minutes of cardio 3-4 days a week along with 30 mins of resistance training. Fairly balanced diet (I stay away from all that bad sugar and chocolate, pizza, processed food etc.) I suppose my case isn’t as bad as others’ but I want the pot to be empty so I never have to have a spoonful again. Especially when half the pot contains about 1000 calories and 100g of fat. I suppose the protein can help after coming back from the gym though…

  194. I love PB, I don’t eat it in industrial quantities, maybe once or twice a week with an apple but I also enjoy almond butter. Good thing I don’t have an addiction to it though. I can stop at two tb, thankfully.

  195. my god, you’re all mad.
    i dont see any animals worrying about certain microscopic fungi they ingest, a fungi that is EVERYWHERE. eat healthyand excercise, eat what you’re SUPPOSED to eat, grains are natural?

  196. srry, that was insensitive me, whether i agree or not I should not have been so negative towards you, sorry about that

  197. I do eat peanut butter (the “natural” kind, with nothing but peanut). Is it THAT bad?

    As a student, my budget is limited (and I spend so much on veggies already), and peanut butter is a relatively cheap source of energy.

    Any suggestions?

  198. Has anyone here ever tried making their own? That way, you avoid any chemicals, sugars and other nasties. Having said that, once you are aware of what peanuts can do to your system, an occasional ‘treat’ of peanuts/peanut butter becomes less appealing. I love them, and have enjoyed my own home-made PB, but now I’ve started on Paleo/Primal don’t want to take the risk.

  199. I just recently heard about the negative effects of peanut butter, and while I was highly disappointed, I was not too concern. Don’t get me wrong, after reading this helpful article I will approach peanuts/peanut butter with even more prudence than before, but nevertheless, it is moderation ultimately which yields the most benefits in any decision. Economics and education are the 2 most relevant factors (i believe) to dictate what goes into our bodies. Ultimately, even purified water can hurt us or kill us, if consumed in excess. So I will enjoy away peanut butter, pork, beef, beer, etc and I shall approach it with the same awareness as raw veggies, fruits or any other healthy habit…

  200. Peanut Butter is definitely my guilty pleasure. I can’t resist it! I actually enjoy the taste of almond butter, though, as well. I mean, yes, it’s not PB but it’s still good. Almond butter has a plainer taste to it, whereas PB is just REALLY sweet. My taste buds have grown accustom to almond butter, but I still can NOT seem to shake my peanut butter habit. For some reason, we always have it stocked in the house. (Probably my husband buying it!) I can’t help getting up to go look for some, even if I think its not there. Actually, I’ve tried coconut butter, and it’s delicious to me. I love coconut anything, but thats just me. The thing is, Almond Butter is just SO expensive at the grocery store. My kids LOVE PB&J, and I try to buy almond butter as a sub for their sandwiches, but it gets sort of pricey at times!

  201. I can eat pounds and pounds of smoked wild salmon (and I probably would keep eating as long as it was in front of me). Incidentally, this is also how I keep the O3:O6 ratio where it needs to be (after all the peanut butter I eat!)

  202. Americans eat over 700 million pounds of peanut butter; we do this because it helps replenishing some of the needed nutrients. Peanut butter has very good sources of polystutrated and monosturated fats. It can also help you lose weight by eating a spoonful of peanut butter it can curb your appetite. Peanut butter is also packed with nutrition that we lack in such as zinc, potassium, copper, and magnesium.

  203. What Mark says in this blog about peanut butter is true. I haven’t purchased peanut butter in two decades due to the reasons he has listed here. Additionally, I recommend to my patients to do the same. That said, I have tasted it here and there and my oh my it is good!

  204. I do not like almond butter AT ALL. It’s just too bland and thick. But I LOVE sunflower seed butter. Trader Joe’s has a one-pound container for $5. It’s creamy and rich! Despite at one point having a full-blown Whole Foods 365 brand peanut butter addiction a few years ago, I can’t even eat peanut butter anymore. Consuming too much peanut butter slowed my digestion to a halt. It got the point where I was expelling waste that literally looked just like peanut butter. It was unsettling, and a wake up call that maybe regular peanut butter consumption is a bad idea. But since I’ve found the reasonably-priced sunbutter, I don’t even want to go back, and my digestion is back to normal. It’s must closer to peanut butter in taste than almond or cashew butter.

  205. I think if you can have peanut butter in moderation, there really isn’t a big issue. I mean c’mon, there are worse things out there. It should be used as a treat instead of a habitual thing.

  206. Hey everyone! So there’s an organic nut butter out there called “Nuttzo”, anybody else heard of it? It is a 7 nut/seed blend that even is infused with dark chocolate. However, the first ingredient is … Drum Roll … Peanuts!!

    So my question to you Mark or any of you primals is … Is this safe to eat? It claims it has a healthy amount of ALA omega 3 fatty acids as a disclaimer.

    I would love to hear your guys’ thoughts!

    To eat.. Or not to eat. Cheers!

  207. D: No peanut butter? For real?

    This is going to have to be my one regular non-Primal indulgence. Grok can’t take my precious peanut butter, haha! 😛

  208. Two years ago, started having a breakfast of green tea with a bowl of oatmeal, buckwheat or 10 grain hot cereal for breakfast, with a generous scoop of peanut butter, and added cinnamon, turmeric, pepper, olive oil, raisins and berries, and some almond or soy milk. Currently weigh about 33 pounds less than two years ago and have maintained that weight. Also eat peanut butter during the day on sandwiches, snack on walnuts and pistachios..

    About a year and a half ago, I read an article on a triple play way of cutting body fat, where there were three classes of foods that eaten together were 10 times more effective at reducing body fat that each one separately. Peanuts were one type, oatmeal was in a second group, green tea was in the third group. Turns out the morning bowl of hot cereal combined the major fat blasting foods in the right proportions.

    I also do interval training using a soccer ball, or martial arts, or walking up and down hills, which do doubt is responsible for some of the weight loss and control.

    My old weight (220) was due, in part, to eating peanut butter out of the jar on a spoon, and a just before bedtime peanut butter sandwich. Stopped eating PB out of the jar, and cut down on the late night PB sandwiches.

    Your article is a bit scary to someone who eats a lot of the stuff. Maybe I should reduce the PB substantially. Some health experts say eat all the nuts and seeds you want. My total LDL/HDL is about 170, which may not be especially good.

  209. Well, peanut butter contains a lot of zinc and protein. Try it a couple of hours before an exam or some deadline, better than chocolate, you will be working non-stop for hours. All that zinc.

    I think if it is organic and from toasted peanuts, small amounts of peanut butter once a week should be ok. Chewing it carefully before swallowing will reduce its carbs load. Keeping it in the fridge will reduce mold as well.

    No nuts should be consumed in large quantities, Too moldy.

  210. aflatoxin is generally only a problem in high humidity areas like south africa and the like. in canada, the states and uk, peanuts below our standard (higher potential for contamination) are actually shipped to other poor countries. i don’t think aflatoxin is a huge worry here, especially if youre grinding it up yourself into a tasty pasty!

  211. I absolutely LOVE peanut butter, and have no control once the jar is open – which isn’t a good thing for me or my kids. So we stick with cashew butter and mac nut butter, on an occasional basis.

  212. I prefer sunflower butter now; used to love peanut butter but felt the potential for bingeing was indeed more enhanced than other foods. Also, my body doesn’t handle peanut butter (or most nuts and nut based foods) well. Enjoyed reading your article!!

  213. Wholemeal bread, 100% almond spread, slices of banana and a very small drizzle of honey…. PERFECT!

    Teach your kids from an early age!

    Thanks for the article.

  214. I do put peanuts in my homemade lara bars and a little dairy dairy free chocolate but I keep these in the freezer for treats (i.e. once a week) so I think that kind of cheat is acceptable especially if it keeps me away from a bigger cheat.

  215. I buy peanut butter to bait mouse traps with. It’s perfect for that. But, probably almond butter would catch mice too, and I would feel better about eating the rest of the jar.

  216. I eat tons of organic peanut butter. I go through about a jar every 3 days or so. I put it on apples, and hence go through about 9 or more apples a day. I cut the apples into slices and put the peanut butter on them. I’m thoroughly addicted to this. Been doing it every day for probably the last 4 months. I don’t know how many jars of peanut butter that adds up to lol..

  217. Unless there is a serious allergy involved, it is insane to suggest that peanut butter be completely eliminated from the diet. Use common sense, moderation, etc. In other words, be human. All or nothing is a false choice.

  218. I go through a bottle of peanut butter per week. Good stuff. What you wrote is interesting speculation but it doesn’t contain any compelling evidence to avoid peanut butter. You can similarly critique just about any food. Vegetables contain pesticide residue and we all know how bad that stuff is for you. Even organic veggies can’t escape it. There’s practically no absolutely safe or healthy food out there now.

    1. Agreed. I normally agree with Mark’s arguments, but his reasoning why peanut butter should be avoided is not persuasive. I enjoy Smart Balance Peanut Butter with omega 3 from flax oil. Not only is this cheaper and easier to find than most almond butters, but it also has a better omega 3:6 ratio. I see no reason to choose almond butter over omega 3 peanut butter.

  219. I’ve been gradually trying to avoid processed foods and eat healthier. I’m a vegetarian who typically eats a natural peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast. Though I eat it regularly, I don’t find myself craving or over-eating it. I’m currently looking for eggs from pastured chickens as I will not eat them otherwise. Pretty sure in comparison to your regular repliers, my diet is pretty darn awful. For example, I eat Post Raisin Brand with almond milk. I don’t have a nearby source where I can get good dairy or meat products (and I really cannot afford them currently). I really like beans of all varieties and will make various soups or stews with beans, vegetables and spices. Anyway, I’m probably a hopeless case in your eyes, but thought I’d post anyway. Though it is naïve, I have to think in comparison to all the processed foods that have umpteen ingredients I’ve never heard of that eating peanut butter, which only has one ingredient, daily but not in excess cannot comparatively be that bad for me. Oh and I eat cheeseless pizzas with xtra sauce and a lot of veggies on them. (You’re probably doing a face palm now.) Cheers!

  220. I came across your article today while doing weight-loss research. It started while reading a comment from Jim Karas who slated peanut butter as being a forbidden food to eat.
    I’ll be honest, I had the iLap Band surgically done on 3/1/13; while preparing to have this surgery, the doctor told me to load up on proteins because proteins help heal the body faster after the surgical work has been done. I have gained 2 pounds since then with no other news to report! The surgeon and Dietician have been at odds as to why I have been not losing the weight post-op the Lapband and folding of my stomach. During a recent dietician visit, I professed the LOVE and consumption for Silk Jiff PB. I eat it practically EVERY day; not only do I eat multiple pre-packed containers on a daily basis, I have even gone to the “whipped” version that states it has 100 less calories per serving–that just makes me think that I can eat more!! Subconsciously, maybe I turned addict because the PB goes down smooth and it never gets hung in the band area; it is a trusty food of sorts!
    I AM ADDICTED TO SILK JIFF PB! I can’t stop and this worries me. I eat one cup, and then I jump right into the next! The smooth, creamy, sweet/salty combo draws me in every time.
    Now after reading the woes of PB from various standpoints of those who are struggling in losing weight, the answer is quite clear- STOP EATING THE STUFF! I am so sad…really, it’s like losing a best friend and not knowing who will be your new best buddy. But since the proof is in the pudding…I mean peanut butter…I better take the hint and leave the contemptuous habit in my past if I want to be slim and trim!

  221. fresh grind almond butter at whole foods is way better than jarred almond butter. don’t know why but that stuff is rank… i agree ive tossed that shit too.

    OR grind your own in a food processor at home. takes some time but it’s sooo good!

  222. Peanut butter is an issue for me too. I enjoy it as a protein pairing with carbs for a snack (i.e.. peanut butter and apple, or banana, etc.). It actually makes me feel not hungry and since I’m trying to go more primal with my diet, I have been feeling kind of weak and hungry. Granted it has been two days but I am not looking to go VLC or be in ketosis. I’ve had kidney stone issues in the past, have thyroid issues and have no interest in possibly screwing things up further. So I am trying to keep carbs at 120-150. Problem is I need a protein pairing to prevent insulin spike. Anyway, I can’t do almond butter, it’s gross and I am sometimes sensitive to almonds. I also have a major sunflower allergy and my son has a cashew allergy so as you see, my nut butter substitutes are not great.

  223. wow I have been eating peanutbutter from childhood,
    I’m a NYer so peanutbutter & marshmellow is a way of life lol
    how ever I live in Australia now and got away from some of my oldies, but I still like peanutbutter. as far as being hook on it? no
    the only things you get hook on is the things you want to. I have stopped a few things that I found were not good for me and walk away from them, but only when I found they were not what I needed. I like my peanut butter but I don’t eat a lot of it. and no one has been able to show me that it is not good for me so I keep eating it and yes I still have my NY ACC after beening here for 13 years. thanks have a great life.

  224. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks I don’t care if I never get back! For its root root root for the Dodgers if they don’t win its ashame,for its 1-2-3 strikes you’re out at the old ballgame!
    I enjoy a bag of peanuts at the baseball game.It is part of the National pastime!

  225. i read, i understand, i take to heart your statements on PB.

    but what about cultures that rely on peanuts fairly heavily for taste and protein–like the Thai and other southeast Asian cultures, as well some African cultures?
    I believe their heart disease rates are very low–probably for many reasons–but peanuts don’t have an effect here?
    I wonder about what might need to be COMBINED with PB to cause atherosclerosis? perhaps PB in the right combination of foods doesn’t have so many negative effects, and in fact could be a positive food? i do think that peanuts is always cooked in these cultures–perhaps the way peanuts are cooked and used matters..?
    anyway, interesting topic..i actually prefer cashew butter and even almond butter over PB, so i’m not too drowned by its exclusion from my food life. but it interesting to understand plant and animal effects on their consumers.

  226. My conclusion from reading this article is: don’t eat peanut butter because it’s good for you!

  227. I don’t love peanut butter, but I do switch between almond butter and natural peanut butter as the almond butter is over twice as expensive. I also switched to gluten-free oat bread and rice pasta as a realistic starting point instead of ditching pasta and bread altogether.

    I continue to eat beans as I do not and will never eat meat in the future (personal choice). I avoid all dairy products from the regular grocery stores and have pretty much eliminated soy and wheat from my diet. Currently I am eating 4 eggs a day (a “free-range” Amish farm is the best I can get right now…looking for pasture-raised ones) usually with veggies sautéed in butter. I drink almond milk and as a rule do not eat cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, etc.

    As an example, I used to eat peanut butter and jelly on wheat bread. Now I eat this open-face with one slice of gluten-free bread, preserves made with pure cane sugar instead of corn syrup and almond or natural peanut butter.

    I don’t eat any fast food, but still do eat pizza about once a week or two.

    I realize this is likely considered a terrible diet from your perspective, but my goal is to include paleoesque features into a vegetarian diet by eliminating most processed foods and all fast/junk foods. Were it not for the occasional pizza with light cheese and daily eggs, I would be eating mostly a vegan diet (btw I do not care for their ideology).

    I also drink Green Goodness and 100% carrot juice from Bolthouse farms and supplement with a multi-vitamin, B12, C, calcium/magnesium and iron.

    As I’m going for an individual hybrid diet please feel free to throw any critique or suggestions at me you would like to. Anything will be welcome (short of eating meat).

    Namaste

  228. Not eating peanut butter was fairly easy for me.
    “Oh what? There’s a million other nut butters in the world! Variety, yay!”
    There’s this great brand where I live called ‘Nuts To You Nut Butter’
    and they make cashew butters, macadamia butters, almond butters, combo nut butters (almond/cashew, macadamia/almond etc)…

    I love love love it. I have an apple with nut butter smothered all over the slices almost every day.

  229. I use P/B to bait my mouse traps,my mentor said it was George Washington Carvers revenge against white people.I love me some Cheezy Poofs!

  230. No added sugar or salt peanut butter is what I buy now.

    Regularly on bread ,sometimes dipped in coffee or tea.

    My pain from statin drugs has dissappeared!

  231. I think that peanut butter is a gray area food, under Paleo. Is it a legume? Yes. Can peanuts be eaten raw? Yes. Is this something that a primitive culture would have eaten if given the chance? Probably. Peanuts are a ground nut that can be dug out with bare hands, sticks, rocks, or any other primitive digging tools. A knowledgeable primitive culture would most likely have soaked the nuts in salt water and roasted them in a fire pit in order to remove the antinutrients if they had to survive on them for any extended period of time. As for myself, I seem to be ok healthwise eating natural peanut butter as an indulgence (2 tablespoons worth) on a couple pieces of dark chocolate, within the 80/20 principle.

  232. I love peanut butter and will eat it from a spoon, drizzled with honey. Best combination ever. Good thing I can’t eat more than a spoon at a time. I don’t know why, but it’s a lot like meat. Very tasty and satisfying but it makes me feel “done” with it after a small amount.

  233. You all do know that almonds (though peanuts are a bit higher) also contain aflatoxins; along with many other everyday foods such as:

    “Aflatoxins are detected occasionally in milk, cheese, corn, peanuts, cottonseed, nuts, almonds, figs, spices, and a variety of other foods and feeds . Milk, eggs, and meat products are sometimes contaminated because of the animal consumption of aflatoxin-contaminated feed . However, the commodities with the highest risk of aflatoxin contamination are corn, peanuts, and cottonseed.”
    http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/aflatoxin/aflatoxin.html

    Also, vitamin C is “thought” to naturalize the fungi…

  234. I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t eat candy, don’t eat carbs in anything other than small amounts. I’m 64 years old and maintain 11% bodyfat…as I have since I first did Atkins in the seventies.
    Primal eating was an easy transition for me…with the exception of peanut butter. I still eat Jif (gasp) once per week and I eat a lot of it….about 1/4 of a small jar.
    I’ve tried cashew butter but find that it is entirely too tasty and would cause me to eat the entire jar throughout the day. Almond butter doesn’t do a thing for me.
    To me, life is too short to give up some foods and for me that food is peanut butter.

  235. I was just looking for the skinny on Peanut Butter & came across your article. I’m not a subscriber but I thought I’d comment. I’m not addicted to Peanut Butter or any other food for that matter. I do adher to a pretty nutritionally sound diet. In the morning I mix up a smoothie consisting at times of, you guessed it, Peanut Butter. Once in a great while I indulge in a tablespoon. I will continue to educate myself & make changes in my nutritional choices. I look forward to what those will be & in the meantime I’ll enjoy Peanut Butter.
    Thanks for the info. God Bless!

  236. I don’t understand this. Almond butter is ok for paleo but peanuts butter isn’t ? Almonds have lectins and afloxins as well. Why is almond butter ok?

  237. Thanks for the tips on peanut butter. I use to make peanut butter, on wheat bread with banana as a power meal before going to the gym. Now I will use just banana, avocado on wheat bread. Thanks again.

    Rudy

  238. I just had a shrimp spring roll from Trader Joes that came with peanut sauce. I feel horribly guilty! the peanut sauce was amazing… good thing I don’t eat peanut butter on a normal basis, this just happened to be included….

  239. I once also thought Maranatha almond butter tasted rancid..till I added in my own amount of sea salt and that did the trick!! I highly recommend adding it in! I used to be quite dependent on PB for my apples and bananas, but almond and sunbutter taste waaaaay better with those fruits so it was an easy switch! Every now and then I will have a little PB but not overdo it.

  240. Wow lots of comments. People around here are nuts for the stuff. Will anyone even read this? (For Mark – feel free to skip this comment, it’s really not important, but my compulsion to communicate some minutiae is currently in control).
    I wanted to come back to this post because I’m eating some peanut butter now and don’t think I’ve yet stated my opinion here on peanuts: they are primal even if they are technically a legume and may be harmful. Grok would have eaten them. (Grok probably would have eaten anything that tasted good.) They don’t require processing and are suitable for long term storage if they aren’t infected with the fungus.
    I don’t eat a lot of peanut butter or peanuts or even nuts in general anymore. There are times that I have eaten loads of PB, including the industrial death paste, but usually that was before I knew better or when there wasn’t better food available for what I needed (mainly protein). I have succumbed to pure temptation on occasion. I used to eat large amounts of peanut-based trail mix as a staple and got a significant amount of my protein that way. One of the good things about that was that I was eating a fairly high-fat diet as a result before I knew anything about high-fat diets, even if I was getting huge amounts of omega 6.
    Besides all the well-known reasons to limit peanut butter intake I don’t eat a lot of it or nuts anymore and rarely buy any because I find them tough to digest sometimes and I usually prefer other foods. When I had seriously worrisome digestion before they’d practically go through me unaltered, or at least a good portion would. I might as well have chewed them up and spit them out but I kept eating them hoping things would improve, which didn’t happen until much research and many changes later – different story though. I need to make sure I’m not stuffing myself with other foods when I eat nuts or not eat anything for a while after eating them so that I don’t force them through my digestive tract too fast and I find that it’s best not to mix them with most other foods. I seem to be able to handle them alright with some other plant food or a little bit of cheese, again if I give myself enough time to let peristalsis happen at its own pace, and I think I digest nuts best by themselves.
    I eat nuts and nut butter now occasionally as a snack/filler or small meal and for some variety in my diet, especially when I want some minerals, otherwise I generally lean towards meat/fish and vegetables as my basics (as most of us probably do). I like refrigerated nut butter with a natural sweetener mixed in as a treat now and then, which is how I’m consuming the peanut butter now: in a bowl mixed with maple syrup. Often when I do this I’ll keep scooping away until pretty much all of a sudden it doesn’t taste that palatable or seems too sweet and I don’t want any more for a while and almost get a gag reflex if I try to force more in. I also prefer nuts at night. They seem to be a relaxing food when I don’t really need to eat and just feel like munching, particularly pecans, which in large, filling amounts I’ve found quite sedating. I don’t know what it is about them. Maybe magnesium plays a role.

  241. I really can’t understand the ‘omw i could totally eat a jar’ comments. Sorry folks 🙂
    But I do keep some peanut butter – because it cooks up amazingly with chillis. Yep, Asian food addict here.
    Occasional white rice and soy sauce (proper brewed stuff, not that horrible travesty made with HVP) are the other ‘cheat’ items allowed in my food supply.

    This primal thing is more complicated than it looks – surely Grok ate a few primitive grains and legumes?

    Primal has made a huge difference already (just over 1 month primal). Less belly fat (I was on meds that promote abdominal lard), more energy, calmer nerves, and a better tolerance for stress/disrupted routine. Not that that’s to be sought, but when one is a teacher with +- 300 scripts to mark in 1 week, lack of sleep happens. And a high sat fat, high meat, high veg diet has kept me coping *much* better>

  242. I just ate some peanut butter because I ran out of my cashew butter which is amazing trader joes started selling their salted cashew butter in the ingredients all it is is almonds and cashews its so creamy and good lower fat content than almond butttwr as well but today is the only and last day I stick a couple of teaspoons into that peanut butter jar. I havent had peanut butter since I started eating primal which is about 5 months now. Oh well no ones perfect.I highly recommend cashew butter though. Its so good

  243. I’ve made my own peanutbutter and I just tried making some almond butter and both take me around 20 minutes in total to make. Almond butter tastes pretty damn good but so does peanutbutter…and raw peanuts cost about $1.5/kg here whereas raw almonds cost $12/kg….so yeah…I’m trying to gain muscle mass so adding 2 tablespoons of each a day would be very beneficial, but peanuts are sooo much cheaper than almonds

  244. I’m primal and I still eat peanut butter well a special kind which its called Hawai’is North Shore Macadamia nut coconut peanut butter the ingredients include: peanuts macadamia nuts coconut honey and thats it is it unhealthy because I love it so much plus its made from Hawaii.

  245. I am super bummed to learn these horrible things about peanut butter. Nothing makes me feel more energized in the mornings than apples and peanut butter :/

    1. Check the Abraham-Hicks videos. If one thinks a food is bad for us, and continues to dwell on the negativity of it all, it will indeed seem “bad.” Thoughts are very powerful.

  246. Thank you for this interesting post! My man is addicted to this stuff and I am a little worried. He doesn’t seem to have a negative side effects. But that doesn’t mean anything I guess. While I never cared much for this stuff, lately even I have started to dip the spoon into jar. I definitely have a stronger will-power though and will try to stay away from it…;) One of my worries also is the high phytic acid content which can be troublesome for an appropriate intake of important minerals. What do you think about that?

  247. I have hashimotos and was strictly instructed not to eat nuts for obvious food sensitivity reasons. I was good and listened but craved peanuts and peanut butter the whole time. After a few months of gelatin and gut healing I indulge in a tablespoon of organic roasted peanut butter (no salt – add my own pink himilayan crystal salt) once a week or every two weeks. I don’t touch eggs at all or any grains or gluten containing foods and stay away from dairy too except for some organic dark chocolate. I exercise 4 times a week, have fixed my sleeping, am losing weight and digestion is improving… have to live at least a little once a week. It can be a mental reward for over coming a chronic illness. peanut butter is my therapy 😛

  248. Forgive me for commenting on such a dated post. I’ve been primal for the best half of 4 years. Almond butter was used and enjoyed splendidly in my house from the beginning. Just fine. Even better than. no problem. I even preferred it over PB. like many other readers. Then all the sudden, coming home from an intense workout and scavenging through the fridge, I find no almond butter, but there’s a jar of organic Peanut Butter. So I say what the heck and have at it. Next thing I know, 4 weeks later and I’m shoveling Down PB at a Jar a week. One whole jar of Pb to myself. Weekly for the last month. Maybe longer. This stuff is madly addictive to me and I’ve never experienced any kind of food addiction before this and have had no issues cutting out sweets, grains, Whatever. But this PB. Just a heads up to anyone Who may stumble onto this as I Did, I am now as of the last week, lately finding myself feeling bloated, stuffed up and less than great. I’m certain it’s the PB. Don’t do It. Lol. or do, and suffer the qualms.

  249. Peanut butter is one of the best sources of inositol, besides melons, oranges and grapefruit.

  250. Peanut butter gots to be the devil!!!:-D 😀 😛 Lol!! It gots to be! I’m a vegan, but that peanut butter. That peanut butter is like dope!! I don’t drink or nothin, its jus the freakin peanut butter!!!!!!! Be careful!!!

  251. I love toast with butter..then Peanutbutter on it..Afterwards I have stomach pain so bad it feels like someone is punching my gut from the inside out..

  252. This is my first time to your site – very educational. I do like peanut butter and eat it occasionally with apple slices, which is a good thing, right? An apple a day ……
    I will try a different nut butter since I now have been enlightened. I am 70 and have achy joints – may be arthritis from those pesky lectins in certain nuts, legumes, wheat, nightshade veggies, etc. Living longer is no fun if you are not in good health and have aches and pains. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  253. What about high-oleic peanut varieties and high-oleic peanut oil?

  254. A gene has recently been discovered that makes some hate cilantro
    Peanut butter works with nothing but peanuts.
    I know this coz I make my own.
    Most palm Oil aids destruction of Indonesian rainforest – and home of endangered orang-utan
    Ps- Earth CAN NOT support 6 billion meat eaters- esp. Not grass fed unless you fancy moving to Mars to make room for them.
    GO VEGAN

  255. For those who do…
    Pacific Beach makes an Organic, Valencia Peanut Butter, which they state to be Aflotoxin free (as is the nature of Valencias) . Enjoy!… if you dare 🙂

  256. where does this dude get his molybdenum from? his steroids?? no mention of copper in the peanuts, and encourages you to drink red wine lmao

  257. How about Jungle Peanuts that are aflatoxin free??? Do they also contain lectins???

  258. Strict aip for three years with lots of additional restrictions and no good intros. Man I miss pb! Just curious about pb products like pb2 powder where the peanuts are roasted then the oil pressed out and fats removed… Would that significantly lower the pufta rating? Ingredients are peanuts only, add water. I might be willing to risk a minor flare to try it if there was reasonable theory the process reduces pufta etc. I am less reactive to beans than even sprouted seeds or nuts like almonds.

  259. As I hav p.b. addiction, made switch to powdered version which contains can sugar and salt. Not a bad substitute. Is this form easier to digest for the older citizen?

  260. I know I’m late to the party, but it’s not the peanut butter I have a problem with not being able to stop eating, during one weekend I tend to eat an entire jar of almond butter, with unrefined raw cane sugar and palm oil.
    But, if all of that kills most of the toxin in peanut butter, then I might not have to worry so much about it when making peanut butter cookies, AT LEAST for one last time before entirely giving up the legume, as I tend to consume the almond butter before I get to turn it into cookies, or even bread, which I’d only use bread for French Toast, for cheese sandwiches I’d use Tortilla Wraps, I’ve dropped the dang corn tortillas, they aren’t healthy as they too contain this dang toxin. However I can’t find a recipes that uses the whole 12 or 16 oz of the butter, so I don’t have to worry about making them twice or thrice, yet, I also don’t want to eat a lot of cookies in one sitting, but I will be making them for me alone, as everybody else in my family goes and buys and eats more processed foods than I’ve been. I’ve also dropped Nightshade potato chips, and I can’t have Onions nor Garlic as I suffer from FODMAPS, so far I’m fine with the other fodmaps, other than that might explain why broccoli would pose a problem sometimes. And, I would give the butter to my family, but there’s already two jars in the pantry by a brand that I don’t trust. I’d buy peanut butter cookies, but with all the brown rice flour and syrup, I’d worry about the arsenic. I don’t much buy cookies anymore, it’s all still so full of junk and cheap ingredients that don’t do any health favors.
    I do, however, eat legume pasta, once in awhile… and 1 ready-made Evol Baked Chicken Enchilada, and the hot chicken enchilada every 2 weeks… crap, that has corn in it… anyway, I also eat hot dogs, Oscar Mayer’s Selects brand, still pretty bad! I’d buy AppleGate’s Grass-fed dogs, but there’s only 6 in a package, and to heck with it, next time I just might grab those instead, it would be better for every one anyway. I just wish my local Giant Eagle store carried them longer than they did, perhaps one day they’ll get them back and it’ll be 8 inside, not 6.

  261. I have eaten store bought peanut butter for roughly 50 years, and I’m still here. Turned 60 last November, went for my yearly physical, and my doctor tells me I have the body of a 40 year old. I do not have any G.I. problems nor any colon problems, even though colon cancer runs on my mothers side of the family. I have gotten a clean bill of colon health after my last colonoscopy. No heart problems, high blood pressure, or any other malady at this time.I will continue to eat peanut butter regularly.