If I pour off as much as possible of the oil that sits at the top of my jar of natural peanut butter, how much fat is left in the remaining product?
A lot. The oil is 100% fat, the peanut butter is about 80% fat. If the oil rises to the top, then at least you may be consuming peanut butter that isn’t made from hydrogenated oils.
When you hydrogenate oils, you make the fat even more saturated, so it has an even greater impact on raising your blood cholesterol levels and causing the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
Does this mean you should never eat peanut butter? Not necessarily. If your cholesterol level is generally low (below 150 mg/dl) and your risk of heart disease is also low, then an occasional peanut butter ‘treat’ may be fine.
Growing children need more calories, and peanut butter is one way to provide them (as long as your child isn’t overweight). For most people, though, it’s better to avoid peanut butter because it is so high in fat.