All good foods have some minor side effects. Peanut butter is no exception. Your favourite healthy peanut butter may cause acne in some cases.
Peanut butter is one of the most liked snack items in our diet. It is healthy and packed with protein, vitamin B3, vitamin E, magnesium and folate. It also contains resveratrol.
Benefits of peanut butter doesn't stop here as it contains an antioxidant called coumarin which is good for acne. So, why does it cause Acne?
Let's first analyse peanut butter better so we can understand the answer to why?
Peanut butter is food spread. It is a paste made from ground dry-roasted peanuts. To modify its taste and texture salt, sweetness and emulsifiers are added in commercial peanut butter.
Peanut butter is served as a spread on bread toast crackers and other snack items. The United States is a big consumer as well as a large exporter of Peanut Butter.
Peanut butter is protein rich but it's low in the essential amino acid methionine as compared to animal proteins. This is a good sign as scientists have found that it increases life expectancy.(1)
It is also low in carbs and high in healthy fats. So it is a high calorie. food that needs to be consumed rationally.
If it is so healthy then…
Quality and purity of peanut butter varies from one commercial brand to another brand. You can also make it at home without adding any harmful chemicals.
So all these different varieties will react differently to different kinds of skins. We will explore it from the point of view of acne. Other health benefits and side effects are out of the scope of this article.
Let us closely look at some of the natural components and added ingredients of peanut butter to find the culprits that might give rise to acne.
There are a number of possibilities in which peanut butter can cause acne.
Peanut butter contains unhealthy 31% of its total fat as polyunsaturated fats, the other 50% monounsaturated and 19% saturated fat are good.(2)
The polyunsaturated fats of Omega-6 type fatty acids cause inflammation.
As long as the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 remains in balance below 4:1, omega-6 fatty acids are good, but as the proportion increases significantly, they start inflammation.
This is not a real problem of peanut butter itself, but some of the commercial brands are made with hydrogenated oil.
Hydrogenated oils affect acne in two different ways. One, hydrogenated oil is Omega 6 rich so it increases Omega-6 content. The reason Omega-6 is not good for acne already explained
Two, Hydrogenated oil added with sugar makes peanut butter addictive. Most of the time you add peanut butter spread in bread and other gluten rich foods so even if the original brand of your peanut butter has no added sugar, it gets from the bread.
Peanut butter can be addictive. You may end up eating too much if it is delicious.
This is a serious consideration as people have consumed half of the jar in one sitting.
But even if you eat 1 or 2 tablespoons daily it will add up to excess Omega-6 fatty acids. That is bad as we have already seen above.
Control is the key here.
Peanut butter contains agglutinin - a kind of protein which can cause digestive problems.(3)
In simple terms this protein can cause leaky gut, autoimmune diseases and inflammation.
It is the inflammation part of this protein that will have an impact on acne particularly if you have an oily skin. If you get them then you can treat acne with home remedies.
It may not hurt everyone but is a potential cause of increasing inflammation in some people
So, if you have an oily skin then your probabilities of getting acne increases as a result of consumption of peanut butter.