It's an interesting issue. If you are a paleo eater, you know the deal: nuts are cool in moderation, but peanuts are not a nut. They are a legume, and legumes are out. The best reasoning I ever heard for that rule is that when it comes to the stuff that legumes do well -- like contain protein -- they are beaten hands-down by animal protein, and the stuff they do badly, like expose you to gut-irritating lectins, makes them mostly not worth the hassle.
Mark Sisson has dealt with the peanut-butter issue really well. You should read that article. But I thought I would add a thought (or two).
And that thought is this: like most on-the-edge of paleo items, you need to chart your own course. Paleo isn't a religion. Figure out what works for you. For me, the occasional rice and beans don't do me a whole lot of harm, but eat 'em too much and the old "beans, beans" rhyme/song seems unduly apt. Peanut butter seems a little weirder. I ate a number of *jars* of it while hiking in California this summer because it was easy to throw in a backpack, with a spoon, and almond butter was not very available where I was. It was, seemingly, no big deal.
But I am not sure that vacation, with its amazingly relaxed vibe, is the best test. Real life has a few more stressors, and stressors affect digestion. And sure enough, when I decided to dive back into some peanut butter recently -- Whole Foods in-store grind, to be exact -- it was fine for a few days, but, as I ate some *daily*, my skin got a little blotchier and a few zits popped up.
And really, what is a surer proof that there has been a dietary derail than the emergence of the dreaded zitstorm?
So I think, for me anyway, Mark Sisson nailed it: a little peanut butter here and there isn't the end of the world, but I will do better not making it a frequent staple.
Now where is that jar of almond butter? I think it missed me....
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