Posted on September 22, 2014 at 14:48 PM
Today, I’m introducing a new feature—Food Finds. Every Monday, I’ll be bringing you the latest in food products that are healthier, or more flavorful, alternatives to eating smarter.
The first Food Find I’m checking out is peanut butter—one of the great staples of life but often avoided by fat- and weight-loss conscious individuals. Skippy creamy peanut butter, my personal (and America’s Test Kitchen’s) favorite, soars with 190 calories for a 2-Tablespoon serving and 16 grams of fat, with 3 grams (g) coming from saturated fat.
Let’s focus on the fat content. Sixteen grams is 25 percent of a person’s daily requirement, given a 2,000 calorie diet. While not considered “high” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which sets these daily reference values, it is getting up there. Anything 20 percent and above is high—meaning you should think twice before eating it.
When I eat a product like Skippy, I actually measure it out because it’s easy to overshoot 2 Tablespoons.
But I’ve finished my last jar of Skippy for a healthier alternative—Just Great Stuff’ Powered Organic Peanut Butter, which I found at Giant and cost less than on Amazon. The Just Great Stuff original version (also comes in chocolate) has 90 percent less fat—meaning its total fat content is 1.5 g, or 2 percent of the fat an individual needs each day, with none coming from saturated or trans fat. Saturated fat, if you didn’t know, comes from animals, and trans fat has been pumped with hydrogen and is very bad for you because it raises your bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers your good cholesterol (HDL). Avoid trans fats at all costs.
Moreover, 2 Tablespoons of the Just Great Stuff peanut butter has only 45 calories per serving, compared to Skippy’s 190. Typically, low-fat products contain lots of sugar. But The Just Great Stuff product only has 3 g of sugar, which is the same amount in the full-fat Skippy version. Keep the sugar content that in mind when you buy other low-fat products. There won’t be a daily reference value for sugar because no recommendations have been made for the total amount to eat in a day.
On taste, which is often the dealkiller when it comes to whether I’ll buy and eat a low-fat product, the Just Great Stuff peanut butter tastes great. It is smooth and creamy, but it doesn’t have that heavy creamy taste that comes with all the fat. My philosophy is that if I’m going to eat fat, I’m going to choose my fats, and the fats I personally like best are all kinds of nuts.
I’ll get crackin’ on that one soon, and fill you in why we should eat more like a bird.