How​ ​much​ ​is​ ​too​ ​much​ ​peanut​ ​butter?

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What happens when I’m starving, there is no food in the house, and I’m too lazy to get groceries?

I go to the kitchen, grab a large spoon, head to the pantry for the peanut butter jar…and go to town on that sucker.

There are a lot of great things about peanut butter. Obviously it’s delicious, but it’s also an inexpensive way to get protein and healthy fats. The key is moderation.

Nutrition facts on peanut butter jars say one serving is about 2 tbsp, which holds roughly 200 calories, 15g of fat, and 8 grams of protein. When I’m being good, I stick to 1 tbsp so I don’t eat most of my daily fat servings in one sitting. (Recommended servings of fat per day is 20-30% of your daily calories.)

In terms of brand, I usually go with Justin’s All Natural Almond Butter (especially the honey kind!), mostly because I can pronounce all the ingredients on the label. If we can’t pronounce the ingredients in our foods, we probably don’t want them in our bodies.

Also worth noting when you’re choosing your peanut butter…“Reduced Fat” does not mean healthy. Reduced Fat versions of peanut butter typically have the same amount of calories as the full-fat versions, plus extra sugar (carbs) that the producers have to add to make up for the missing fat taste.

There are so many brands of nut butter nowadays and some grocery stores even let you make your own! We just have to keep an eye on the labels.

What’s your favorite kind of nut butter? What do you like to eat it with (or do you eat in spoonfuls like me)?

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How often should we be eating?

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Everyone eats different amounts at different times during the day. It all depends on our bodies and our schedules.

I like small meals with small snacks sprinkled in between, but my husband is the total opposite. He might not eat anything all day and then he’ll have a giant dinner. Maybe you’re a teacher on your feet all day and barely have time to eat until school gets out. Maybe you’re traveling for work and you are eating throughout the day as you meet with clients. Does the difference matter?

For a long time I was telling my husband that it wasn’t healthy to just do one big meal per day, and that he should really be eating small meals over the course of the day. But he has been living like this since college and is a fit, healthy man. So what gives?

I did my research regarding the “eat many small meals” theory because I started to wonder about the reasoning behind it. Turns out, it’s (mostly) crap.

If I was given a basket of food to eat for the day, it wouldn’t make much difference if I ate it all at once or spread it out over the day because I am consuming the same amount of calories and nutrients.

However, nutritionists still do suggest eating small meals over the day in place of 1-3 larger meals because irregular eating patterns and skipped meals can lead overeating or even binge eating.

If you’re interested, here are the studies I read that support this idea:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56254

http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/6_meals_a_day#1