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What Happens to Your Body When You Eat a PB&J Sandwich

Nov 27, 2020

Image: PB&J sandwich -
How does this simple sandwich affect your health?  Here from we find out.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are one of those timeless go-to's that everyone seems to love. Whether packed in school lunches or enjoyed as a midnight snack, the humble PB&J is beloved for its simplicity and convenience. But how exactly do peanut butter and jelly sandwiches affect our bodies? Is peanut butter really healthy for you? And better yet, how much PB&J is too much?
To help get some insight and some answers on just how healthy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are, we spoke to NYC-based registered dietitian Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD. Here's what happens to your body when you eat a PB&J.
1. It provides your body with important vitamins and minerals
As it turns out, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches not only taste delicious but also supply the body with many important vitamins and minerals.
"The healthiest part of the PB&J sandwich is the peanut butter," Rizzo says, "A natural peanut butter is made from just peanuts, which contain more than 30 vitamins and minerals, fiber, and healthy fats."
For instance, according to NutritionData, peanut butter is a good source of Vitamin E, which can help prevent free radical damage in the body and slow down the aging process of cells.
2. It can help prevent heart disease
Besides providing many vitamins and minerals, nut butter sandwiches also help protect your body against many diseases, including heart disease. According to Harvard Health Medical Publishing, various studies have reflected that people who include nuts or peanut butter in their diets have less of a chance of developing heart disease compared to those who don't eat nuts often.
3. It's full of fiber and protein, which can keep you fuller longer
Eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can also help put off hunger longer. "If you make your PB&J sandwich on whole-wheat bread, you'll also get some added protein and fiber from the bread," says Rizzo. "Those two nutrients together help with appetite control." For example, a PB&J sandwich made using two tablespoons of Justin's classic peanut butter, a tablespoon of Bonne Maman strawberry preserves, and two slices of Ezekiel bread has a whopping 17 grams of protein and seven grams of fiber.
4. High sugar in jelly can put you at a higher risk for disease
A downside to eating peanut butter and jelly is that because of the jelly, it has the potential to be full of harmful added sugar. "Most jelly is loaded with sugar," says Rizzo. "For instance, a normal grape jelly has about 10 grams of added sugar in just one tablespoon, and most people use more than one tablespoon in their sandwich."
Rizzo explains that the FDA Dietary Guidelines recommend having no more than 50 grams of added sugars per day, making 10 to 20 grams from one sandwich quite a bit. According to Healthline, eating too much sugar may be linked to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and depression.
To find a better pairing for your peanut butter, here are the 8 Best Strawberry Jam Brands, Ranked by Sugar Content.
How much PB&J is too much?
Like most things, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are best enjoyed in moderation. It's also important to pay attention to how much peanut butter and jelly you're using, as well as the quality of the ingredients.
Rizzo suggests sticking with one tablespoon of peanut butter, one-half to one tablespoon of jelly, and whole-wheat bread while preparing your sandwich. "Dave's Killer Bread makes thin-sliced bread, which is smaller and lower in calories," says Rizzo. "But it still has plenty of protein and fiber."
She also says that if you want to make it even healthier you can either omit the jelly or make a homemade version, "This Blueberry Chia Jam is incredibly easy to make and has very little added sugar."
3-Ingredient Blueberry Chia Jam
Are you tired of the store bought jams that are full of sugar? This 3-ingredient vegan chia blueberry jam is incredibly easy to make and only uses maple syrup as a sweetener.
If you love jam on toast but don’t want to eat all that added sugar and weird additives, this recipe is for you. It’s vegan and takes just 10-minutes to make. You’ll be surprised how simple and quick it is to make a homemade jam!
3-ingredient blueberry chia jam recipe
What are the health benefits of chia seeds?
Chia seeds are a good source of healthy plant-based fats.
On their own, chia seeds contain a ton of nutrition in a tiny package. Here’s the nutrition info for 1 tablespoon of chia seeds:
60 calories
2 grams protein
4 grams fat
5 grams carbohydrates
4 grams fiber (16% daily value)
80 milligrams calcium (8% daily value)
1 milligram iron (6% daily value)
3-ingredient blueberry chia jam recipe
Chia seeds can be used in pudding or throw them into a smoothie. Because chia seeds become gelatinous when combined with liquid, they make the perfect base for jam!
How to make Blueberry Chia Jam
This recipe is as simple as putting all the ingredients in a sauce-pan, simmering and eating. Rather than the traditional grape or strawberry jelly, I opted for seasonal blueberries here.
There are just two steps to make this recipe.
Combine chia seeds, blueberries, water and maple syrup in a sauce pan over medium heat.
Use a wooden spoon to mash the blueberries. Simmer for 7-9 minutes, and then eat!
The chia seeds combine with the mashed blueberries, water and maple syrup to create the jelly. And the best part is that it’s naturally sweetened with just a hint of pure maple syrup.
Top your morning toast with this homemade jam or drop a dollop in your oatmeal for a nice twist.
How to store Blueberry Chia Jam
To keep it simple, this recipe does not require any canning or jarring. Therefore, it will stay in an air tight container for about 5 days. Store it in the fridge and enjoy!
Blueberry Chia Jam
 Prep Time 2 minutes    Cook Time 9 minutes    Servings 4 servings    Calories 56 kcal
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Place the blueberries, chia seeds, water and maple syrup in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
While simmering, use a wooden spoon to mash the blueberries.
Cook for 7-9 minutes or until the blueberries start to break down.
Nutrition Facts - Blueberry Chia Jam
Amount Per Serving
Calories 56Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 58mg2%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 20IU0%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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