National Peanut Butter and Jelly day is not the only time we enjoy peanut butter

What Food is in 90% of US Households? Peanut Butter!

This post was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. This site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, but you read the blog here.

NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY DAY IS NOT THE ONLY TIME WE ENJOY PEANUT BUTTER

This morning I smeared chunky peanut butter and wild blueberry preserves on a toasted whole wheat English muffin for my breakfast. Like many Americans, I make some version of this popular sandwich many times throughout the year. One reason that’s possible is because the main ingredient is something 90 percent of us always have in our kitchens.

Other little known facts about pb&j are that the average child will eat 1,500 of them before he/she graduates from high school, although adults consume more of them than school kids. And for a whopping 96 percent of all pb&j sandwiches made, the chunky or creamy is spread on the bread before the jam, jelly or preserves.

Since today is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, I’d like to honor this infamous combination between two slices of bread by sharing the top reasons why I think it’s so good.

Great Taste!

Millions of Americans like the taste of peanuts and anything made with them. Some of us even think they make candy taste better since four of the top 10 candy bars made in the US contain peanuts or peanut butter. That taste is also found in ice cream, cookies, ready-to-eat cereals, granola bars, pretzel snacks, smoothies, sauces, and dressings to name just a few of the most popular pairings.

Totally Convenient

Easy to use and easy to store are what make peanut butter a household staple. It can be made into a sandwich by a 3 year old if you’re willing to put up with a little mess or used as a ready-to-go dip for fruit slices. An unopened jar has a shelf life of 9-12 months, and an opened jar can be on the shelf for 3 months. If you put an opened jar of peanut butter in the refrigerator you can use for up to 6 months.

Always Affordable

No matter what your budget, a jar of peanut butter will be a good investment. The average price of a pound of creamy was $2.23 as of November 2011. There are 14 servings (2 tablespoons) in a pound of peanut butter, which comes to $0.16 per serving. You can’t find a less expensive way to replace meat or other sources of protein on a sandwich.

Nutritional Winner

Though not really a nut (peanuts are a legume, like beans and lentils), peanuts have more protein than any nut by weight. They also contain over 30 other essential nutrients and phytonutrients and have a higher antioxidant capacity than grapes, green tea, and tomatoes according to the National Peanut Board. A 2 tablespoon serving of creamy peanut butter has 190 calories, of which 150 calories come from the fat. Fortunately, most of that fat is made up of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and is completely cholesterol free.

What are your reasons for loving peanut butter?

Follow these rules to avoid overeating when ordering off restaurant menus.

Save Calories When Ordering Off Restaurant Menus

FOLLOW THESE RULES TO SAVE CALORIES AND AVOID OVEREATING WHEN ORDERING OFF RESTAURANT MENUS

Who doesn’t enjoy the convenience of sitting down in a restaurant and ordering whatever we want off the menu? Apparently most of us do since one third of our meals are eaten away from home.

I covered the downside of splurging over the holidays in a previous blog, but dining out provides an opportunity to over eat all year round. The price we pay is not just rung up at the register. We give up a significant measure of control over the source of the food, how it’s prepared and how much is served to us. And that’s not good.

The only recourse is to follow some rules when you place your order to regain control over what arrives on your plate. It takes a lot more self-control to avoid eating half your meal once it’s served than to simply order wisely so the excess food is not in front of you.

These rules do not replace the need for you to order the foods that fit best into your day of eating. And they don’t ask you to give up all of the foods you love! Instead they give you some additional ways to reduce the chance of splurging when eating out, and that’s a good thing.

CALORIE-SAVING RULES FOR ORDERING OFF RESTAURANT MENUS

BREAKFAST

  • Custom Omelet Rule – Order only 2 eggs, not the customary 3, and only with vegetable add-ins.
  • Breakfast Meats or Eggs Rule – Since side orders of breakfast meats are large, skip the eggs if you really want bacon, sausage or ham.
  • Buttered Toast or Fried Potatoes Rule – Request one or the other with that omelet, egg or breakfast meat order, not both.
  • Pancakes or Toast Rule – No contest, if you’re not ordering pancakes as your breakfast, don’t add them to an egg order.

LUNCH

  • Cheese or Meat Rule – Think Kosher and try not to combine cheese with meat on sandwiches, pizza or burgers. Let sliced tomatoes, onions or mushrooms take its place.
  • 50% Burger or Fries Rule – Split one or the other, but don’t eat a full order of both.
  • No More Than One Fried Food Rule – If you must order something fried, don’t have anything else in your meal fried. That means the traditional “fish and chips” is out.
  • Wet or Dry Salad Rule – The bigger the salad, the more dressing it takes to wet it down. If you’re having an entree salad, be prepared to use just lemon juice, no calorie dressing or wet vegetables to partially moisten it.

DINNER

  • Cocktail or Carbs Rule – For each alcoholic drink you order, be prepared to eliminate a serving of carbohydrate in the form of bread, pasta, rice, potatoes or dessert.
  • Appetizer or Dessert Rule – If your add something to the beginning of your meal, don’t also add something at the end. Sharing is the only other option.
  • Bread & Butter or Dessert Rule – Like an appetizer or a cocktail, you can’t afford to add the extra calories from a basket of bread to the front end of a meal then order dessert on the tail end, too. Check the quality of the bread and the dessert menu to guide your decision.
  • Double Green Vegetable, No White Starch Rule – A double order of any sautéed vegetable will contain fewer calories than a dressed baked potato, creamy mashed potato, rice pilaf, risotto or pasta in sauce.
  • Vegetable-Only Salad Rule – A first course salad picks up a lot of extra calories for every non-vegetable item tossed into it, like dried fruit, nuts, cheese, croutons and bacon. Make sure your salads are made from garden vegetables only.

Find more helpful hints here:

Is Overeating at Christmas Just one More Way to Splurge?