Fresh, ground peanut butter contains one ingredient: peanuts. Eating a tbsp. of fresh, ground peanut butter is like eating a handful of peanuts -- there's really no difference. This is the healthiest way to eat peanut butter because no unnecessary ingredients have been added to it. On the other hand, regular, store-bought peanut butter contains many ingredients that are not good for you, especially if you're trying to look and feel your best.
Video of the Day
No Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenation is the process of passing heated vegetable oil through hydrogen molecules. The purpose of this is to thicken the oil. Regular peanut butter contains fully and/or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. When an oil is fully hydrogenated, it becomes a solid, like vegetable shortening. When it is partially hydrogenated, it remains a liquid but becomes much thicker. Manufacturers add these oils to their peanut butter to prevent separation and keep the peanut butter smooth.
The problem with hydrogenated oils is that they contain trans-fatty acids, which your body doesn't need. According to the American Heart Association, trans-fatty acids raise your total blood cholesterol level.
The second ingredient in most brands of peanut butter is sugar. Fresh, ground peanut butter does not contain any sugar. Manufacturers add sugar to peanut butter to make it taste sweeter. Sugar is nothing but empty calories that your body will turn into fat unless they are burned off immediately. Overconsumption of sugar also leads to hyperglycemia, which can cause symptoms of or lead to type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Other peanut butters contain salt, even natural and organic peanut butters that are sold in stores. Natural peanut butter contains no added salt. According to the American Heart Association, a high-sodium diet may contribute to heart disease because it raises your blood pressure.
Fresh, ground peanut butter is more nutritious than regular peanut butter because in every serving, you are eating 10 percent more peanuts and not the other bad ingredients. A 1-ounce serving of peanuts, which would be roughly 1-tablespoon of homemade peanut butter, contains 10 percent or more of your recommended daily intake of fiber, protein, vitamin E, folate, niacin, thiamin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and copper. Unfortunately, it also delivers 159 calories and more than 20 percent of your fat intake -- 14 grams -- based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Only 2 of those grams of fat are saturated, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database.