Is a Peanut Butter and Jelly Diet Healthy?
In this brief guide, we will answer the query “Is a Peanut Butter and Jelly Diet Healthy?” Additionally, we will explore the nutritional composition of peanut butter and jelly, as well as other ways to incorporate them in your diet.
Is a Peanut Butter and Jelly Diet Healthy?
A peanut butter and jelly diet is not a recognized diet, and eating too much peanut and jelly is not a healthy option. Peanut butter is high in fats, so it will provide a lot of energy, while jelly has a lot of simple sugars (1,2).
Can a peanut butter and jelly diet provide all the necessary nutrients?
No, peanut butter can provide you mostly fats and some proteins, while jelly is a high-dense energy food rich in simple sugars. The following table shows the nutritional composition of both peanut butter and jelly (1,2).
|Content in 1 tbsp (20 g) of jelly||Content in 2 tbsp (32 g) of peanut butter|
|Carbohydrates||10 g||7.01 g|
|Protein||0 g||8 g|
|Fat||0 g||16 g|
Regarding micronutrients, jelly provides you with negligible amounts of the minerals and vitamins from fruits; peanut butter can provide you with some vitamins like B vitamins, vitamin E, as well as some unsaturated fatty acids (1,3).
However, peanut butter and jelly will not cover your needs on other essential micronutrients like iron, selenium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin D, for instance (4).
Micronutrients are important to maintain a healthy metabolism and prevent diseases, for example, iron deficiency leads to anemia, while a low intake of calcium and vitamin D increase the risks of osteoporosis (4).
Can a peanut butter and jelly diet lead to weight gain?
Yes, a peanut butter and jelly diet could lead to weight gain because they are high caloric foods. Weight gain is induced by a positive calorie balance, in this sense, your energy intake is higher than the energy you spend (5).
How can you make peanut butter and jelly a healthier option?
You can boost the healthiness of peanut butter and jelly by selecting the best ingredients. For example, if you are going to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you can choose the following options:
- Whole grain bread: whole grain bread will provide you with dietary fiber; dietary fiber is essential for a good digestion and gastrointestinal health, it prevents infectious diseases, and also increases your satiety which helps for your weight management (6).
- Homemade peanut butter: doing your own peanut butter is the best option to control the ingredients, you could select a natural non-caloric sweetener such as stevia or monk fruit (7).
- Homemade jelly or low-sugar: the high intake of sugar can be deleterious for your health, therefore, you can buy a low-sugar jelly or make your own jelly. Making your jelly will allow you to ensure that your food has natural fruit, providing potent antioxidants that will improve your health (8).
Are there any alternatives to traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a healthier option?
Yes, you can add peanut butter and jelly to other foods like Greek yogurt, which is loaded with high-quality proteins and calcium (9). Another alternative is to add peanut butter to milk-based smoothies (10).
Besides the variety in your diet, yogurt is a good source of probiotics. Probiotics can exert biological functions on your body and enhance your health (11). You can find related information regarding probiotics here!
Smoothies are a good option to add fresh fruits into your diet. Fresh fruit is a great source of healthy compounds like vitamin C, selenium, and fiber (10). You can check for a lot of smoothie’s recipes here.
In this brief guide, we answered the query “Is a Peanut Butter and Jelly Diet Healthy?” Additionally, we explored the nutritional composition of peanut butter and jelly, as well as other ways to incorporate them in your diet.
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 1 June 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/499195/nutrients
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 1 June 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/718824/nutrients
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- Scholz-Ahrens KE, Ahrens F, Barth CA. Nutritional and health attributes of milk and milk imitations. Eur J Nutr, 2020;59(1):19–34.
- Garcia C, Remize F. Lactic acid fermentation of fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies: Innovation and health aspects. In: Ray RC, Paramithiotis S, de Carvalho Azevedo VA, Montet D, editors. Lactic Acid Bacteria in Food Biotechnology. Elsevier; 2022. p. 27–46.
- Teame T, Wang A, Xie M, Zhang Z, Yang Y, Ding Q, et al. Paraprobiotics and postbiotics of probiotic Lactobacilli, their positive effects on the host and action mechanisms: A review. Front Nutr, 2020;7:570344.