In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can peanut butter cause constipation?” and provide information on what exactly constipation is, whether peanut butter can be taken for constipation, why it is related to constipation, substitutes to them as well as its side effects.
Can peanut butter cause constipation?
No, peanut butter does not cause constipation. Peanut butter contains fiber added to them. Lack of fiber and water in the diet results in constipation. However, peanut butter does not cause these issues.
Apart from this, individuals who have peanut butter intolerance can experience a bit of constipation if peanut butter is consumed regularly. In such cases, almond or cashew butter can be used.
What exactly is constipation?
Constipation refers to improper bowel movements and commonly affects around 15 to 20 percent of people each year.
Improper bowel movements are further characterized by straining to defecate, hard stools, and incomplete bowel movements.
Why is peanut butter good for constipation?
Peanut butter is good for constipation because it has insoluble and soluble fiber present in them. This can improve the frequency of bowel movements.
2 tbsp of peanut butter can have 3 grams of fiber. The recommended amount of fiber per day is around 25-30 grams. Peanut butter can meet at least 10 percent of this requirement.
Why is peanut butter associated with constipation?
- All kinds of peanut butter do not contain fiber. Certain varieties of peanut butter are highly processed making them devoid of fiber. Such butter can contain high fat and calories because of added sugars and hydrogenated oils.
For instance, some peanut butter can contain only 1 gram of fiber compared to the usual 3 grams. As a result, look at the nutrition labels of peanut butter before buying them.
- Low water intake can be another cause of constipation. Fiber has to be accompanied by water for it to be effective. Low water intake is associated with abdominal cramping, bloating, and difficulty in passing stools.
Although water intake can vary based on one’s physical activity, diet, climate, and lifestyle, it is generally recommended to consume 2-3 liters of water.
- Some individuals suffer from peanut intolerance. Some of the symptoms associated with peanut intolerance can include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and cramps. However, some individuals tend to experience constipation after taking in peanuts.
- Certain additives or preservatives added to highly processed peanut butter varieties can also cause constipation.
What are some substitutes for peanut butter?
If you are unable to tolerate peanut butter, there are other substitutes available. Other kinds of nut butter like cashew butter or almond butter can be consumed. Individuals with nut allergies can go for soy butter.
What are some side effects of eating too much peanut butter?
- Stomach aches can be one of the most common side effects. This is because peanut butter can contain salicylates and amines. Excess consumption of peanut butter can cause indigestion in people who are sensitive to these compounds.
- Unflavored varieties of peanut butter are fine but the ones that are highly flavored can shoot up your blood sugar levels. Check the ingredients list of the butter before buying them.
- Weight gain is another common side effect. 2 tbsp of peanut butter can contain at least 190 calories. If you end up eating too much peanut butter, you can end up gaining weight.
This can further increase the size of your waistline. Peanut butter contains fats too but they are healthier fats. Still, it is important to consume them in moderation.
- Some studies have associated the consumption of peanut butter with acne. Acne breakout because of peanut butter consumption was commonly seen in people who were sensitive to certain plant-based compounds.
For instance, lectin is a plant-based compound found in legumes, peanuts, and beans which can contribute to inflammation or acne formation in some people.
What has to be kept in mind while buying peanut butter?
- Do not go for low-fat peanut butter. This is because low-fat peanut butter does not automatically make the peanut butter healthy.
Instead of fat, manufacturers can add a lot of other unhealthy ingredients. Plus, peanut butter does not taste good without enough fat. The fat present in peanut butter is healthy as it is monounsaturated.
- Do not go for flavored peanut butter as it is loaded with sugar. Besides, there can be the addition of corn syrup and other preservatives to make the peanut butter sweeter.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can peanut butter cause constipation?” and provided information on what exactly constipation is, whether peanut butter can be taken for constipation, why it is related to constipation, substitutes to them as well as its side effects.