Peanut butter is one of the most delicious, amazing things ever created (thank you George Washington Carver). It serves as a great substitute when you are getting a craving for something sweet, and also goes great with things like bananas, apples, and even celery. Let’s face it, peanut butter is yummy. But will you need to give it up if you’re joining in on the anti-gluten trend that is sweeting the world?
Is it really gluten-free?
If you’re wondering if you can still eat one of your beloved PB&J sandwiches, here’s everything you need to know about it, and more!
What is Peanut Butter Made Out of?
Peanut butter typically has four ingredients, although some more processed brands will usually include more:
- Oil, usually peanut or sunflower oil
As you can see, the ingredients are pretty basic. Brands like Peter Pan and Jiff, however, typically also add molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (soybean and rapeseed), mono and diglycerides.
FYI, Fully hydrogenated oils are high in trans-fat, meaning they are difficult for your body to break down into energy and result in stored fat cells. That’s the reason why processed brands are less healthy than natural peanut butter.
If you’re still wondering whether peanut butter has gluten, please read on.
What Exactlyis Gluten?
Gluten is a broad term that refers to proteins contained in various types of wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. Foods that are very high in gluten are bread, pasta, beer, and anything with flour.
There are two primary types of proteins that are categorized as gluten: gliadins and glutenins. These are part of what gives bread a spongy texture that people love.
Although this seems like a pretty straightforward description—especially when you list out the foods that you can and can’t eat, such as bread and pasta—many foods contain gluten that you might not expect. That’s why it’s always good to Google any foods that you are not sure about as you probably did to find this article (good job!).
Thankfully, these days most foods are also labeled if they have gluten or if they are gluten-free. This is due to many people discovering they have a gluten allergy, or some people even discovering that they have Celiac Disease, which is aggravated by glutens.
There are, of course, gluten-free alternatives for just about any food you can imagine. Tapioca flour is a common substitute for things like pizza, while rice flour is typically used for things like pasta or other kinds of noodles.
Benefits of Eating Gluten-Free
Other than the fact that it irritates some peoples’ digestive systems, removing gluten from your diet can have a slew of health benefits. It can help you lose weight, as well as make you pay more careful attention to what you are eating in the first place.
Although eating gluten-free by itself will not necessarily cause you to lose weight, eating less of things like bread and pasta and more lean meats and vegetables will. Think about it. Replacing your frequent pizza or pasta carb-splurge with a chicken salad will prevent you from overloading on carbohydrates unwittingly.
Although part of the gluten-free craze might be a little overblown, it has directed attention to what people are eating on a regular basis, which in itself is enough to justify all of the buzz surround the new diet.
So Does Peanut Butter Have Gluten or Not?
No, peanut butter is gluten-free. If you have gluten sensitivity, you can eat as much peanut butter as you want. That’s not to say that peanut butter is healthy though. It is high in fat, so if you are doing gluten-free in an attempt to lose weight, be careful how much you add to your PB & J sandwich on gluten-free bread.
Best Ways to Eat Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is super delicious. But there are probably some amazing ways to enjoy it that you haven’t tried yet. Here are a few ways to eat this delicious food.
Ants on a log – Spread peanut butter into the crevice of a piece of celery and then lined it with raisins. It might sound weird but it is actually super yummy.
Fluffer-nutter – A Fluff (marshmallow cream) and peanut butter sandwich is one of the most delicious ways to eat it!
Peanut butter and banana – This is a hearty and filling snack. You can even add a little honey to it to sweeten it up. Wash it down with some milk and you have yourself a yummy treat.
PB & J – Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the all-time best (of course)!
While peanut butter does not contain gluten, you should still be careful about how much of it you eat, especially if it is a processed form that contains fully hydrogenated soybean or rapeseed oils. Thanks for reading and be sure to check the labels next time you go to the grocery store.