Peanut butter tastes ridiculously amazing, right? But right now, I’m going to give you reasons to avoid this potentially acne-causing food. That’s right, peanut butter can trigger acne. I know, it’s a bummer… but I do have a few nutty alternatives for you at the end.
Big Problem #1: Omega-6 Fatty Acids (TONS)
Peanut butter is pretty fatty. In two tablespoons, you get 16 grams of fat. 50% of that is monounsaturated, 19% saturated (no complaints there), but 31% is polyunsaturated. Excess omega-6 fats can trigger acne. In a bad way.
Bad Problem #2: Peanut Agglutinin
Peanuts contain a lectin (a kind of protein) called peanut agglutinin. In general, lectins are found in grains and legumes, and can cause a variety of digestive problems. Peanut agglutinin is no exception. That’s bad news for your skin!
Bad Problem #3: Peanut Butter’s Evil Sidekicks – Sugar and Gluten
The most insidious problem with peanut butter might not actually be peanut butter itself, but the fact that it’s almost always packing those evil sidekicks, sugar and gluten. A lot of lower-quality peanut butter (like Jif) is made with hydrogenated oils and sugar. The hydrogenated oils keep the fat from separating, and the sugar, obviously, makes it sweet (and more addictive). Hydrogenated oils are bad for acne for the same “zombie fat” reason described above in #1. And sugar is one of the top four worst foods for acne, leading to inflammation, clogged pores, producing too much sebum, and a compromised immune system.
Is Peanut Butter Really That Bad?
Let’s put it this way. It’s not the worst food you could eat for acne. Milk and dairy, vegetable oil, sugar, and gluten are worse. Stay away from “high androgen” foods. These are found in peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, corn oil, wheat germ, shellfish, organ meats (i.e. liver, sweetbreads and heart). These contain hormones that exacerbate acne. Why risk eating peanut butter when there are tasty, healthier options like almond butter and cashew butter.