TUESDAY, Oct. 7, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- It seems there's nothing nutty about regarding peanut butter as a heart-healthy food.
A study in the latest issue of the Journal of Food Sciences found commercial peanut butter contains levels of vitamin E as high as those in raw peanuts. The study says that confirms peanut butter can be as beneficial as nuts in protecting people against coronary heart disease.
American and Korean researchers tested raw peanuts, roasted peanuts and peanut butter taken from crops harvested in two separate years.
While vitamin E was lost from peanuts when they were roasted and milled for use in peanut butter, that loss was fully compensated by the addition of stabilizers and other ingredients added to peanut butter during manufacturing, the study says.
"There was a lack of information in existing data on vitamin E content in peanut butter. But we'd run so many studies on peanuts and peanut butters in the past, we had our suspicions," that vitamin E content would remain high in peanut butter, researcher Ron Eitenmiller, University of Georgia, says in a prepared statement.
He says that peanut butter's oil base and container also act as good barriers against oxygen, which reduces vitamin E content.
Previous research has linked nuts to beneficial effects on the heart. Nuts may possibly replace harmful lipids with unsaturated lipids and supply healthful micronutrients such as vitamin E to the blood. Peanut butter is among the top 10 sources of vitamin E in the American diet, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Here's where you can learn more about vitamin E.