Do you know the difference between partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated peanut butter and which one is better? Let’s find out.
When we look for easier, vegan, healthier, and tastier protein-rich options for any time of the meal, peanut butter is the first option that comes to our minds. Not only protein, but peanut butter is also a good source of copper, which is very helpful to strengthen bones, immune function, and blood vessels. But the peanut butter which you eat every day thinking that it is a healthy option for you, is it actually healthy?
What is hydrogenation?
To understand the difference between partially-hydrogenated or hydrogenated peanut butter- Which one to choose? we first have to develop an understanding of bad and good fats.
Switching to a healthy diet plan doesn’t mean that you should avoid eating fats, instead, you should choose your fats wisely. Fats help in the development of a variety of hormones and immune functions.
Unsaturated fats are known as “Good fats,” which are actually good for your body, these are also known as omega-3-fats. These types of fats are generally extracted from plant and fish oil. Also, flaxseeds, nuts, olive oil, canola oil, and avocados are good sources of good fats. It helps to increase the level of good cholesterol in the blood i.e., HDL cholesterol and decreases the bad cholesterol i.e.; LDL Cholesterol.
Another type of fats is “Bad fats,” which are generally derived from animals and are present in hamburgers, baloney, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, whole milk, cheese, palm oil, and coconut oil.
Now the question here is what are hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oil? Hydrogenated oils1 is a common ingredient in many processed foods. Hydrogenated oil is used to increase the shelf-life of food products. Oils extracted from plants are typically liquid at room temperature, so to get a more solid form of it, hydrogen molecules are added to change the stability, texture, shelf life, and final product. But the bad things are that hydrogenated oils produce trans-fat, which is a type of unsaturated fat that can harm your health. Trans-fat can increase the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body and decrease the level of HDH (good) cholesterol, hence increasing the risk of heart disease. Fried food, crackers, potato chips, packaged snacks, microwave popcorn, coffee creamers, and baked goods are good examples of hydrogenated oils. Let’s come back to our major question choose partially-hydrogenated or hydrogenated peanut butter?
Partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated peanut butter
Adding hydrogenated oil to peanut butter is an important step to increase shelf life. Hydrogenated oils come in 2 forms, fully and partially hydrogenated. According to FDA, fully hydrogenated oils are better for consumption than partially hydrogenated oils as they do not contain trans fats. But we cannot say that they are completely good for you, but yes, they are less dangerous for your heart as compared to partially hydrogenated.
If you want to gain a healthy weight then adding peanut butter to your diet is an important option for you. But do always look for the ingredients at the back. As in 2006, the FDA requires that all nutrition facts labels must list the content of trans fatty acids. If the food contains 500mg of trans fat per serving then listing is not required. Hence, it is very important to inspect the ingredients. In commercial peanut butter, hydrogenated oil is used as a stabilizer, but is important to mention it in the ingredient list even if the primary ingredient is peanut. I would suggest you avoid peanut butter containing, partially hydrogenated oils in it.
Peanut butter is an amazing source of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Consumption of peanut butter can contribute to improving cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of disease. Also, it is an excellent source of plant protein. So, now you know the difference between partially-hydrogenated or hydrogenated peanut butter.
Benefits of peanut butter
Peanut butter is a rich source of Vitamin E, Niacin (B3), Manganese, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium. Let’s discuss the benefits of peanut butter in detail
- Peanut butter is very helpful in weight management and it helps in healthy weight gain.
- It is a high source of protein and is a good replacement for meat if you want to switch to a plant-based diet.
- Peanut butter contains potassium, which is a fluid balancing electrolyte in the body. It is a heart-friendly element that is found in high quantities in peanut butter.
- Peanuts and peanut butter are both high in dietary fiber.