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Confession… One of my favorite meals is still a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’m 44, and I still adore a PB&J. My guess is that there are a few of you out there who agree with me. A PB&J can be very healthy or very unhealthy depending on your ingredients.

I had a crazy conversation on Facebook a few months ago about peanut butter. There was a meme going around about making sure you didn’t give your dog peanut butter with sugar alcohols in it. I stated that I was amazed that anyone would actually buy and eat peanut butter with sugar alcohols.

My comment stirred a number of replies all of which argued that sugar was killing people, so we didn’t want peanut butter with sugar in it. They had missed my point.

I don’t want peanut butter with sugar in it either, but I don’t want to replace it with peanut butter containing sugar alcohols. Their responses were based on the assumption that peanut butter had to be highly processed and contain sugar, which I whole-heartedly reject.

My peanut butter has two ingredients: roasted peanuts and sea salt.

Another handful of responses suggested that you had to get highly-processed peanut butter with sugar in it if you were on a tight budget–a premise I also reject.

All of the grocery stores where I shop have a store brand natural peanut butter, ranging from 10 to 24 cents more than the sugar-filled processed alternative. I buy roughly 50 jars of peanut butter a year, so even at the highest difference that’s roughly $12 per year.

So for $12 a year, I’m improving my health and enjoying my favorite meal. Seems like a no-brainer to me!

By the way, those “regular” peanut butters also contain fully hydrogenated vegetable oils which contribute to high cholesterol, leading to heart disease, so again…. I think the $12 a year is worth the investment.

Happy Eating!

Tanya

Author, speaker, and health coach in Tennessee

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