Meghan Tiernan (MS, RD, LDN) is a registered dietitian with a passion for helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help others learn the most nutritious way to eat, in order to achieve good health. Meghan enjoys cooking and running and believes that with just some basic knowledge, you can gain the confidence in yourself to know that you can eat well.

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Dietitian Consult

by Meghan Tiernan, MS, RD, LDN

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If you ask anyone who knows me what my favorite food is, most would answer the same thing: peanut butter. It's by far my biggest weakness, and I eat it almost every single day. Peanut butter, especially the natural kind, is a healthy food option, but just like anything else, it's not perfect. It clocks in at 190 calories and 16 grams of fat per serving (2 tablespoons). While it is "good fat" it still adds up very fast. That being said, there's still a place for it in any weight loss diet.

peanut butterPeanut butter is rich in unsaturated fats, folate, niacin, protein and fiber. In moderate amounts, it can be very beneficial in a heart healthy diet. Natural peanut butter does not contain partially hydrogenated oils, and choosing a low sodium option can make it even healthier.

Here are some ways to keep peanut butter in your weight loss diet:

- Keep it to 1 tablespoon and measure it. A single tablespoon of peanut butter is only 95 calories and can be used to make a sandwich or be a satisfying addition to crackers, fruit or anything else you're adding it to.

- Choose lower-calorie bases. To keep the calories in check for a meal or snack, try light whole wheat bread (only 45 calories a slice) or low carb wraps for a sandwich. Otherwise, try things like celery, apples or low calorie crackers (such as Special K crackers) to enjoy your peanut butter on.

- Keep it to two tablespoons a day. Either have it all at once or keep total intake of peanut butter to 2 tablespoons a day.

- Choose the natural, low sodium version, as it doesn't contain partially hydrogenated oils and has low sodium, making it a tasty and heart healthy treat.

The important thing to remember is that most foods, when consumed in moderation, can fit into any weight loss diet - including things like peanut butter and other nuts or nut butters!

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