|Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches go hand and hand with being a kid. Few kids grow up without at least one or two of these sandwiches packed into a lunchbox over the course of their schooling. Peanut butter is, itself, a fairly ubiquitous ingredient in American fare.|
Regardless of your philosophy on health, much of the peanut butter out their is junk, loaded with sugar, preservatives and other chemical ingredients. However, it is possible to find pure, unsweetened peanut butter out there that most will claim is healthy. But is this true?
Peanuts belong to the legume family. They are disallowed on Phase 1 for this reason, but even though legumes are allowed on Phase 2 of the diet in moderation, peanuts are still disallowed. This is because peanuts are commonly contaminated with a mycotoxin known as aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is among the more carcinogenic substances known to man. Made by the Aspergillus fungus, peanuts are susceptible to aflatoxin contamination during their storage. For this reason, peanuts or peanut ingredients are never allowed on any phase of the diet.
Fortunately for peanut butter lovers, there are some obvious, delicious and healthy alternatives to peanut butter. You can grind virtually any nut into a nut butter, and there are plenty of companies that make butters out of almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecans. Filled with nutrients and good fats, these nut butters will give you energy in a delicious package without the risk of aflatoxin contamination. Coconut butter is a personal favorite. All of these nut butters are allowed on the Phase 1 diet and make excellent, healthy snacks by themselves or spread over green apples or carrots. The ways you can enjoy them are as numerous as the ways you come up with.
Look for varieties that aren't sweetened. Remember that agave and evaporated cane juice are both fairly synonymous with sugar as far as the Phase 1 diet is concerned. Organic is preferable but usually more expensive.
Peanut butter may be a common food in America, but if you are trying to avoid mycotoxins, it is best to avoid peanut butter and any peanut products all together.