Are Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwiches Healthy
A dietitian explains whether PB& J is healthy and offers tips for elevating this kid-friendly favorite.
Chances are youve had more than a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in your childhood or perhaps its not a staple among your cultural foods.
For many, this classic sandwich draws up nostalgic images of brown paper bag lunches and cafeteria giggles. If you have children of your own, you may also pack this classic pairing for an easy lunch.
We know PB& J is tasty, but the question remains: is it healthy?
This article covers the nutritional value of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and offers suggestions for elevating this kid-friendly favorite.
In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.
Typically, there are three main ingredients bread, peanut butter, and jelly each with different nutritional values.
Nutritional Value Of Jelly
The PB& J sandwich isnt complete without jelly or jam. Whats the difference, anyway?
Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, theres a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp .
Both jellies and jams contain pectin , which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health .
However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.
If youre buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.
Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting gut health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.
Depending on the type of bread, peanut butter, and jelly you use, a PB& J can be nutritionally balanced.
Here are some health-promoting swaps for your peanut butter and jelly sandwich:
How Do Pb& js Compare To Other Lunch Options
Even if you make your PB& J with the healthiest ingredients, you may still wonder how other lunch options stack up against the classic go-to.
A serving of Kraft’s macaroni and cheese has a similar number of calories, at 360. It has less sugar, with 9 grams, but only 10 grams of protein.
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And what about another sandwich, like a famous classic ham and cheese?
It’s a little complicated to say exactly because, like the PB& J, everyone makes their sandwich differently. A deli sandwich made with white bread, two ounces of black forest ham, a tablespoon of mayonnaise, and a slice of cheddar cheese is about 380 calories, with 4 grams of sugar and 17 grams of protein.
“No matter what meal someone’s trying to eat themselves, or their children, it should always have a healthy protein, a healthy fat and a healthy carb,” said McDonald.
If the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is made with healthier ingredients, it will check all of those boxes. The same can be said about the deli sandwich.
“You’re going to get healthy carbs from the grains. You’re going to get healthy fat and protein from the peanut butter, and you’re going to get some fruit from the jelly so you have a little bit of a balanced meal,” McDonald said.
The same can’t be said for macaroni and cheese. McDonald said she doesn’t recommend anything “boxed or packaged” with added ingredients.
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Nutritional Value Of Bread
Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.
For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option, because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ .
Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, its higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and keep you full longer .
Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word whole as part of the first ingredient in breads nutritional label .
Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan .
Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although its not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.
Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.
But keep in mind that glycemic index doesnt tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role .
How To Make A Keto Sandwich With Peanut Butter And Jelly
Obviously a keto peanut butter and jelly sandwich isnt too complicated, but I will walk you through how to make my bread mix!
Before you start on the bread, make the keto jelly recipe early enough so that it has time to chill and set. It needs to be at least 5-6 hours in advance, or to be safe, the day before.
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How Do You Measure Calories
The most common measurement used for determining the amount of calories in a food is the Calorie Unit. This unit is used by nutritionists and researchers when trying to determine how much a certain food is going to affect your body. However, different foods have different calorie counts. Many calorie counters will break down a single food and determine how many calories are in it. For example, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will have a different calorie count if you use a bread that is 100 calories, than if you use a bread that is 200 calories.
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How To Make Peanut Butter And Jelly Healthy
Ok, so now it’s time to make a healthy PB & J recipe! The process is just as simple as making regular peanut butter and jelly, and it will only take you a minute to do.
Anyway, let’s not waste any more time – get out the ingredients, and let’s make a peanut butter and jelly healthy!
STEP 1: MAKING THE PEANUT BUTTER
The first thing you’ll need to do is make the peanut butter.
So, take out a small bowl and add the powdered peanut butter, confectioners Swerve, water, and a pinch of salt to it.
Now mix everything together until a smooth, almost sauce-like consistency forms. I like my peanut butter to be on the thinner side, but if you want it to be thicker, just use less water.
STEP 2: MAKING THE PB & J SANDWICH
Once the peanut butter is good to go, spread it evenly on both slices of bread. And this is essential to do – a real PB & J always starts with putting peanut butter on both pieces of bread.
Next, spread the jelly on one of the slices of bread. And I didn’t put any measurements for the jelly because you can use as much as you want! With that said, I like to do a thin layer – roughly half a tablespoon – so it doesn’t overpower the peanut butter.
After that, put one slice of bread on the other and cut it diagonally. I’m a fan of cutting my bread diagonally, but you can cut it in half if you’re one of “those” people.
Finally, take a big bite of this delicious low calorie peanut butter and jelly and enjoy!
Keto Peanut Butter And Jelly That Kids Love Because
This Keto Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich is perfect for kids young and old, but especially for those on the Keto Diet. With my low-carb PBJ, keto kids can still enjoy this classic treat without the extra carbohydrates contained in regular bread, while avoiding all of the added sugar from processed jelly. This sandwich is key if you have a kiddo on the Keto Diet and are using it as a therapeutic treatment for epilepsy. Yes, since the Keto Diet is a medically approved treatment for seizure control, these kinds of kid-friendly treats are an indispensable part of the plan and make it even easier to adhere to.
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Other User Submitted Calorie Info Matching: Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich
Smuckers Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly Sandwich2108g26g7g
- Vitamin A 0.0 %
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich3250g0g0g
- Vitamin A 0.0 %
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich23017g33g14g
- Vitamin A 0.0 %
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich38014g56g11g
- Vitamin A 0.0 %
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich3200g0g0g
- Vitamin A 0.0 %
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich3600g0g0g
- Vitamin A 0.0 %
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich62129g72g18g
- Vitamin A 0.0 %
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich41315g62g13g
- Vitamin A 0.0 %
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich33012g45g12g
- Vitamin A 0.0 %
- Calories: 307, Fat: 17g, Carbs: 42g, Protein: 12g, Fiber: 8g
Are Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches Healthy
If you chose healthier ingredients in the right amounts, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches are absolutely be a healthy option for any meal. When I was pregnant, I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast all the time. They felt great on my stomach in the morning and supplied lots of nutrients.
I summarized the list of how to build a healthier peanut butter and jelly sandwich below and added my preferred recipe for making healthy peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I hope that helps you enjoy your upgraded healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner option!
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Does A Pb& j Really Need To Be Combined
Your peanut butter and jelly sandwich may not be the best way to get the protein and energy you need. According to a study published in the journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch or dinner tend to eat more calories than they need, even though peanut butter is high in protein and healthy fats. In the study, a group of patients ate lunch the same way every day, with a low-calorie soup followed by a sandwich made of a slice of bread, some peanut butter, jelly, and lettuce. On average, people ate 240 calories at lunch, which is nearly 60% more than they need. This is a problem because people who over-eat may become obese, which can cause diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The researchers found that people tended to eat more calories at lunch than at dinner because they wanted something sweet after a meal. They suggest that people who want to lose weight should avoid eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at lunch.
Is A Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich Worse Than A Cheeseburger
Peanut butter and jelly lovers, brace yourselves.
In the video above by DNews, we take a closer look at this classic sandwich’s nutritional benefits, and why it may be a good idea to start cutting back.
When prepared on whole wheat bread, a PB& J sandwich made with two Tbsps. of peanut butter and two Tbsps. of grape jelly adds up to a whopping 530 calories, 460 mg of sodium, 74 grams of carbs, 35 grams sugar and 20 grams of fat. A McDonald’s cheeseburger has lower nutritional numbers in all of these categories except for sodium.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the cheeseburger is actually healthier. According to the Globe and Mail, the fat in peanut butter is primarily monounsaturated fats, which can lower bad cholesterol and reduce inflammation in the body.
Cheeseburgers, on the other hand, are loaded with trans fatty acids which have been associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and coronary disease.
So what should you be eating for lunch? Watch the video above to find out. And let us know in the comments below if these findings will prevent you have having another PB& J.
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Peanut Butter And Jelly Should Fuel Your Next Adventure
It’s basically the best performance food on the planet
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In 1901, food writer Julia David Chandler announced a new recipe in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics: Try making sandwichesof three very thin layers of bread and two of filling, one of peanut paste, whatever brand you prefer, and currant or crab-apple jelly for the other. The combination is delicious.
Chandler was on to something. But it wasnt until World War II that the peanut butter and jelly sandwich became an American classic. All three ingredients were adopted by the U.S. military soldier rations included bread, Welchs Concord grape jelly, and canned peanut butter. If the PB& J is nutritious and energy-filled enough to power these soldiers, the same logic should apply your next run, workout, or hike, right? Right. Despite a rep among many as just a childhood treat, this sandwich is a legit power food.
Lets start with the taste. Sandwich is almost a misnomer. The PB& J borders on dessert: Pillowy, grainy bread cushions gooey, honeyed jelly and rich, salted-caramely peanut butter, rendering a sugar/salt/fat combo thats both comforting and nostalgic. Age-old favorites like crunchy peanut butter or slightly toasted bread add an additional taste budtriggering crunch.
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What About Fluffernutters
There’s been some talk about the healthiness of the fluffernutter, a cousin of PB& J, after a Massachusetts state senator tried to ban serving the sandwich more than once a week in schools.
The sandwich sees jelly substituted with marshmallow fluff.
Fluff has less sugar than some jellies, with 9 grams of sugar in two tablespoons, according to data complied by the USDA. But that doesn’t mean you should swap out the beloved classic for the fluffernutter.
Jelly For Your Pb & J
The concern with jelly is the sugar content. Jelly is made from the juice of the fruit, so like white bread, it lacks nutrients and fiber that was in the whole fruit.
In small quantities, jelly is fine, but you may want to consider an alternative such as jam, preserves, or fruit slices if you are having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches frequently. If you need help choosing a healthy jelly or jam alternative, click here to read Is Jelly Healthy?
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Reasons Pb& j Is The Best Sandwich Ever
Most of us grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Mom or Dad would make it for us to take to school, or it was the first meal we could make on our own. When the rest of the world is in chaos, we can always rely on the comfort of a PB& J.
Something fruity, something rich and fatty and something to spread it on. Chef and author Justin Warner calls this the law of peanut butter and jelly. The fat in peanut butter is mostly good fat, the sweetness comes from the jelly, and the bread is the vehicle that holds all this gloriousness together. The combination is basic but tasty and satisfying.
Its power packed
ESPN magazine recently called the PB& J a staple snack of the NBA. Athletes love PB& Js for all of the reasons listed here and because it provides amazing nutritional benefits. A PB& J has 15 grams of protein per serving, 13 grams of plant-based unsaturated fat and 5 grams of fiber. That keeps you full and helps build muscle. Plus 12.5 grams of sugar provides the quick release of energy that athletes need.
Its versatile & convenient
You can make it your own. A PB& J can be any combination you like. PB& B with banana or fresh strawberries, honey, chocolate chips, bacon, or even mayo or cheese if youre feeling extra adventurous.
Its fast & affordable
You can whip up a pretty impressive PB& J in the same time it takes to heat up a frozen dinner. And a PB& J will only set you back about 50 cents.
How Many Calories Are In A Pb& j Sandwich
An average-size PB& J sandwich has 760 calories and 62 grams of fat. Its made from peanut butter, which has 138 calories and 7 grams of fat per tablespoon. Its made from jelly, which has 180 calories and 10 grams of fat per tablespoon. Its also made from bread, which has 170 calories and 5 grams of fat per slice. So, you can get about seven PB& J sandwiches from the sandwich you ate.
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