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Why Americans Are Crazy About Peanut Butter, and Is It Really Healthy?

'26.03.2022'

Source: Championat

To find out if there is any benefit in a product that is eaten in almost every Hollywood movie, offers championat.com.

Photo: Shutterstock

Peanut butter (or butter, which, in general, is one and the same thing) is not only one of the favorite treats of Americans, it can be safely called part of the culture. In the USA they consume more than 300 thousand tons of peanut butter per year - sandwiches with this delicacy are eaten at any time of the day or night, and the number of jars on the shelves is amazingly diverse. It is eaten with bread and jam (the classic version, so familiar to us from American films), with fruits, with bacon (yes, an unusual combination, but many people like it), bake cookies from it and even make hummus. Why is this product so popular in America?

What are the reasons for the popularity of peanut butter in the USA

Although the homeland of peanuts is South America, they appeared in the United States in a roundabout way - through Africa, when new products began to be brought to the continent along with slaves. During the Civil War, peanuts grew in popularity - they were put in pies, made drinks like coffee, and even used as a substitute for chocolate. The soldiers liked the new food, and after the war it began to spread throughout the states, with roasted peanuts sold at every corner. In the form of a paste, the nut began to be consumed only at the end of the XNUMXth century, when the first patent for the preparation of paste from roasted peanuts was received by the Canadian Marcellus Edson.

15 years later, in 1898, the famous physiotherapist and vegetarian John Kellogg patented his method of cooking. Peanut butter was initially considered healthy food for the rich - Kellogg (primarily known as the inventor of cornflakes) introduced it to the menu of his sanatorium. Elderly patients without teeth could not chew meat, and peanut butter became a source of protein for them. Later, Kellogg realized the commercial potential of the development and began selling butter cookers to grocery stores and high-end cafes.

At the beginning of the 1904th century, the first machine for factory production of peanuts was patented, and in 1920, peanut butter was first presented at the World's Fair in St. Louis. Around the same time, peanuts as an agricultural crop began to displace cotton (it was just suffering from the invasion of the weevil). Peanut butter went from being a food for the rich to a popular snack food, and during World War I, it was firmly established in the diet of the army. Mass production of pasta began in the XNUMXs, and manufacturers soon found a way to extend the shelf life. The popularity of pasta began to break all records when they began to add a lot of sugar to it, and during the Great Depression, high-calorie and cheap peanut butter sandwiches became generally indispensable, for many - the only food available.

The depression passed, the war too, but the peanut butter is so loved by the Americans that it has become one of the main specialties. Peanut butter consumption is growing in the US every year.

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Peanut Butter in American Culture

This product began to penetrate the culture of Americans, and in 1916 the character Mr. Peanuts was born - at first as the emblem of one of the companies, but soon he became the mascot of the entire peanut industry. You may have seen a smiling peanut in a monocle and top hat.

He was portrayed on posters during the Second World War, and later - involved in various commercials. The New Yorker magazine has published many sketches of this character. Recently, the life of Mister Peanuts was tragically cut short (a commercial showing his heroic death was timed to coincide with this event), but his place was taken by a descendant - Baby Peanuts.

Hollywood also does not stand aside - there are many films in which footage with peanut butter has become truly iconic. For example, you can remember the scene from the movie "Meet Joe Black", where the character of Brad Pitt tastes peanut butter for the first time. Or a scene from "War of the Worlds" in which the hero of Tom Cruise wants to feed his children with such sandwiches.

Why are there scenes, there are entire films. For example, not so long ago, the film "Peanut Falcon" was released - there the main character, who dreams of becoming a wrestler, takes such a nickname for himself, because he constantly eats peanut butter. Or the 1985 painting The Peanut Butter Solution, in which this product is the secret ingredient in a hair regrowth product.

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What are the benefits of peanut butter

Peanut butter is a high-calorie and satisfying food and, of course, you should not overdo it with it. But it can still be beneficial for people involved in sports, especially bodybuilders and anyone trying to increase muscle mass.

The thing is that peanuts contain a lot of protein - 24 grams per 100 grams of the product, while the protein is easily digested. Of course, they cannot replace completely meat food, but the paste from it helps to restore the body after training, maintains the health of the skin and hair.

In addition, peanut butter is a source of fatty acids that strengthen the heart muscle, lower cholesterol and have a positive effect on the nervous system. In addition, it contains a rich complex of vitamins and minerals (B1, B2, A, U, XNUMX, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron).

All in all, this oil can be a very healthy snack if used wisely. Even those who are not too into sports can easily replace regular tea with sandwiches for a sandwich with peanut butter and whole grain bread. Due to the high content of fiber and protein, such food will perfectly satisfy hunger without overeating, but it is recommended to eat no more than a tablespoon per day.

It is also worth paying attention to the composition of the paste - a natural product contains only peanuts and salt, but there should not be sugar or flavor enhancers in a healthy paste. Also, don't buy a paste that contains palm, rapeseed, cottonseed, or other vegetable oils.

According to nutritionist and nutritionist Anna Berseneva, natural peanut butter will not do harm if eaten in reasonable quantities and be sure to accompany one of the meals with a portion of fiber.

Anna: “When it comes to peanut butter, the most important thing here is quality. Because calories are different. And the calories from nuts, legumes, plant foods, and oils are actually high quality. When we talk about good peanut butter, it does not contain sugar, syrups, additional artificial flavors and additives. If it is grated peanuts, there is nothing wrong with it if used in moderation. Let's say a whole grain bread sandwich with peanuts for breakfast is perfectly acceptable. But when we use such dense, fairly fatty foods in the diet, there must be the necessary amount of fiber. That is, if we know that we prefer peanut butter on this day, one of the meals should be a green leafy salad.”

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