If I could marry one food, my heart belongs to peanut butter!
The struggle is real!
I didn’t care about the brand (e.g. Peter Pan, Jiff, Smucker’s, etc.), as long as it was tasty.
However, I found out something interesting about myself:
I did not want to look at the ingredients because part of me assumed and expected that it was acceptable, and the other part didn’t want to give it up if it was not.
So, the best solution…don’t look.
“Ignorance is bliss”. Right?
“Out of sight, out of mind”. Right?
Well, though these adages may be true, the simple truth was that I had an unhealthy vice grip on this food.
“I eat really healthy, why can’t I just have this one thing?” – my reasoning.
Although the ingredients were out of sight and mind, they were still in my body and affecting my mind!
Though this battle was subtle, I fear many of us have fought something similar in life. It is sad that such a trivial thing can reveal a deeper desire.
I wanted some sense of control. Ironically, this was a pseudo sense of control. I was actually being controlled.
Eventually, I had to look at the ingredients. I came under conviction that the only reason I hadn’t previously looked was because I didn’t want to potentially release it. Plus, I had previously told others that it was fine, and I didn’t want to be wrong and have to backtrack (PRIDE). I wanted to hold onto peanut butter like a vice. However, I also discovered something very interesting in my self-analysis.
I was pridefully addicted. I didn’t want to be wrong about my beloved, and I was addicted to…
You would never guess…sugar.
Yep, sugar is that potent.
As I gazed upon the ingredients in Jiff regular peanut butter, I notice some red flags:
- Hydrogenated vegetable oil (trans fat)
- Molasses (another form of sugar)
Yes, these were in peanut butter!
To facilitate addiction and consumption by amplifying sweetness and to increase bulk to make more at lower cost.
Sugar creates cravings for sweetness, and since regular peanut butter was my own significant source of highly processed sugar, my mind began to seek it out.
I was now faced with a crossroads. Do I ignore the findings? Cut out peanut butter? Try a different brand that is probably not tasty? Go back and correct what I had previously told others about peanut butter?
Another mistake I let myself fall into: trusting the labels that say “NATURAL”. Natural doesn’t give any credence to the product’s ingredients. Sure it can have “natural” peanuts but still contain gobs of sugar and processed fat.
STILL LOOK AT THE LABEL!!! (i.e. Jiff Natural peanut butter)
But, I found good news!
The Smucker’s Natural peanut butter met the quality requirements. It only contains peanuts.
However, the trade-off is the oil and the taste.
Smucker’s Natural peanut butter contains oil that rises to the top of the jar. This oil is healthy, so stirring is required (storing the jar upside down helps with having to stir regularly).
The taste is not as sweet and has a stronger peanut flavor.
This adjustment took some getting use to, but now I could enjoy peanut butter guilt free with no addiction— as long as I don’t eat the whole jar in one sitting.
Months later, I tried the regular Jiff peanut butter again. To my surprise, it didn’t taste like I remembered. It was super-sweet. My taste buds and palate had changed along with my addiction.
Truly, there is freedom in surrender!
Do you have a proverbial “peanut butter” (vice) in your life? What are you not willing to give up? What if this can make the biggest difference to your health?