This is no doubt prudent advice. The takeaway isn’t that peanut butter is superior to other nut butters — or that you should be spooning it onto everything you eat. “Too much is too much,” Mattes says. Rather, if you’ve eschewed peanut butter in favor of other types of nuts or nut butters because you figured those were healthier, the existing evidence suggests good old peanut butter is just as good for you as the pricey alternatives.
What this makes me think of, Markham, is that just like most fads- and nut butters fall into that category, the wholesale embracing of any one food (kale or coconut oil or any other thing) is just that- too much is too much. There is no one size fits all, no perfect food for all, none of this. The genuinely hard work, which seems so difficult for folks to grasp, is to take the time to understand the genuinely unique needs of their own particular body. That takes into account age, activity level, idiosyncratic health issues or needs- a vast array of considerations which drive what kinds of foods (the worlds’ real medicines) that we need. That’s hard work, but it pays off mightily in the long run. I happen to love almond butter, but I also eat walnuts on my salad and down scads of almonds for snacks. As an athlete, and someone who has beaten the battle of the Big Bulge now for thirty years this year, these products provide much-needed protein, are easily stocked in my car to keep me from driving into a Wendy’s or Micky Ds, and they are, as you write, satiating. They also pack well on long hiking trips. But not for everyone, and certainly not in the amounts that I eat them. Perhaps what saddens me the most is our unwillingness to do the real sleuthing work to discover our own particular needs as opposed to chasing down The Next Big Thing as an easy way to either lose weight or …whatever. No easy fixes. What works for me doesn’t work for the next guy. But it sure sells a lot of nut butters. And kale. And coconut oil. And. And. And. Thanks, good piece.