Why are so many Olympians going crazy about peanut butter?
Peanut butter lovers, prepare for a major confidence boost, because you may just be eating the official food of the Olympics. Well, unofficially, anyway. Mic did a roundup of Olympic athletes who are major fans of PB, and it turns out that many Olympians have one snack of choice, and it’s peanut butter.
Olympians straight up *love* peanut butter.
From Ryan Lochte to Aly Raisman to Shalane Flanagan, many Olympic athletes absolutely adore a good dose of PB on the reg.
So what is it about peanut butter that makes it Olympic-worthy?
1. It’s filled with *good* fats.
We still tend to flinch when we heard the word “fatty food,” but our bodies NEED fats. According to Walter C. Willett, M.D., a Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, “It’s the whole package of nutrients, not just one or two, that determines how good a particular food is for health.” So while you don’t necessarily want to eat a diet loaded to the brim with saturated fats, as long as the food is balanced, it’s not too bad! Two tablespoons of peanut butter, according to Dr. Willett, has 3.3 grams of saturated fat and 12.3 grams of unsaturated fat, or about 80% unsaturated fat, making it worth keeping around. Plus, because of its high fat content, BodyBuilding.com says, it can help you feel full without more calories.
2. It has necessary protein.
According to Prevention, the peanut butter-specific balance of fiber and protein fills you up, keeping you from snacking more than you should. Protein is *so* necessary, and PB is a great way for the vegetarians and vegans among us to get enough of the nutrient. Plus, the sense of indulgence we get from eating the nutty stuff keeps us from succumbing to cravings for less healthy foods, like a giant bowl of ice cream (though ice cream every once in a while isn’t all bad)!
3. Moderation is key.
Remember how we said peanut butter is a great protein? Well, despite it being a good protein, it’s technically a fat due to the high fat content. This isn’t a reason to avoid it; if anything, it’s the opposite! It’s just a reason to pay attention to how much peanut butter you’re eating, and to make sure you’re snacking on the yummy stuff in moderation. Unless you’re trying to gain weight, in which case, eat up!