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Is Apple and Peanut Butter a Healthy Snack?

Health + Wellness
vaphotog / iStock / Getty Images

By Ansley Hill

Few snacks are more satisfying than a sweet, crisp apple paired with a savory spoonful of peanut butter.


However, some people wonder if this classic snack-time duo is as nutritious as it is delicious.

This article explores all you need to know about apples and peanut butter as a snack, including its nutrition information, recommended serving size, and potential health benefits.

A Balanced and Nutritious Snack

Apples and peanut butter are each nutrition rock stars in their own right. When paired, they create an ideal balance of nutrients that's hard to come by among today's popular snacks.

Apples provide a source of whole-food carbs and fiber, while peanut butter offers additional fiber plus a hefty dose of healthy fats and protein.

Furthermore, both contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting plant compounds.

Apple Nutrition Facts

One medium-sized apple (182 grams) provides the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 95
  • Carbs: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 4.4 grams
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 14% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI

A single apple provides approximately 17% of the RDI for fiber. This nutrient plays a vital role in promoting healthy digestive and immune function (2Trusted Source).

Apples are also well known for being a rich source of plant compounds that may play a role in reducing stress and inflammation in your body (3Trusted Source).

Peanut Butter Nutrition Facts

While peanuts are technically a legume, their nutrition profile is very similar to that of a nut. Thus, they're often lumped together with nuts.

Peanut butter, as well as other nut butters, is a great way to add a complementary boost of protein and healthy fat to more carb-heavy meals and snacks, such as apples.

More than 75% of the calories in peanut butter come from fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat.

Monounsaturated fats are probably best known for the role they play in protecting and promoting heart health (4Trusted Source).

Below is the nutrition breakdown for a 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving of peanut butter (5):

  • Calories: 188
  • Carbs: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Fat: 16 grams
  • Manganese: 29% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): 22% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 13% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 10% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 7% of the RDI

Note that not all types of peanut butter are nutritionally equivalent. Look for brands that don't contain added sugars or oils, as these additives can diminish the total nutritional value of the product.

The only thing your peanut butter should contain is peanuts, and maybe a little bit of salt.

Summary

Apples and peanut butter are both very nutritious individually. When paired, they provide a healthy balance of protein, fat, and fiber.

Health Benefits

Apples and peanut butter are more than just a tasty snack combo — they may also benefit your health.

Anti-Inflammatory Potential

Inflammation is a root cause of a variety of chronic illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes (6Trusted Source).

Apples are a rich source of flavonoids, which are chemical compounds known to have strong anti-inflammatory potential (7Trusted Source).

Multiple test-tube and animal studies have shown that flavonoids found in fruits like apples may help reduce markers of inflammation, potentially impeding the development of inflammatory diseases (8Trusted Source).

In one study, participants who replaced three servings of red meat, processed meat, or refined grains per week with three servings of nuts, such as peanuts, experienced significantly reduced blood levels of inflammatory chemicals (6Trusted Source).

Helps Balance Blood Sugar

Regularly eating whole fruits and nuts — like apples and peanut butter — may contribute to improved blood sugar control.

One large study found that a higher intake of fresh fruit was associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing diabetes. Among those who already had diabetes, fruit consumption was associated with fewer complications related to their diagnosis (7Trusted Source).

Multiple studies have also found that regular intake of nuts, including peanuts, helps maintain moderate blood sugar levels after meals (8Trusted Source).

Apples with peanut butter is an excellent snack choice for healthy blood sugar control.

Supports Digestion

Both apples and peanut butter provide lots of fiber, which helps keep your digestive tract functioning optimally.

Fiber assists with bowel regularity and supports the growth of healthy gut bacteria (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

Moreover, adequate fiber intake may help prevent and treat certain digestive disorders, such as colon cancer and acid reflux (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

It's Heart-Healthy

Research suggests that a higher intake of fruits and nuts, like apples and peanut butter, is associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

In fact, fruits and nuts may play a role in treating certain risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and inflammation (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

Additionally, both foods provide a substantial amount of fiber, which may help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels (15Trusted Source).

May Help You Lose Weight

Research indicates fruits and nuts each have their own anti-obesity effects, making apples and peanut butter a good snack option for those trying to shed a few pounds (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

Various nutritional components of fruits and nuts, such as fiber and protein, play a role in increasing feelings of fullness and could lead to a reduction in total calorie intake.

Thus, swapping out less nutrient-dense snack options for apples and peanut butter may be one good way to help you reach your weight loss goals while still feeling full and satisfied.

Summary

Apples and peanut butter can support health in a variety of ways. They may help reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels, support heart and digestive health, and promote a healthy weight.

How Much Should You Eat?

The quantity of peanut butter and apples you should eat depends entirely on your body's unique nutrient and calorie needs.

Although this combo is a very healthy snack option, it's important to maintain balance by eating a variety of different foods from each food group.

Too much of a good thing could do more harm than good. This is especially true if it's causing you to eat beyond your calorie needs. It's also an issue if you are not eating other foods to supply the nutrients that apples and peanut butter lack.

Serving Recommendation

A single serving of peanut butter is typically about 2 tablespoons (32 grams), while a serving of apple roughly translates to one small or medium-sized apple (150–180 grams).

Together, these foods provide about 283 calories, 8 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat, and 7 grams of fiber (1, 5).

For most people, one serving of each is a good place to start. It's a great midday snack to ward off hunger pangs that can creep up between lunch and dinner.

If you're very active or feel like you need something a little more substantial, you could easily increase the portion or turn it into a full meal by pairing it with a veggie-grain bowl or entrée salad.

Just be mindful and pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues so you don't inadvertently overdo it.

Summary

The amount of apples and peanut butter you should eat depends on your body's unique nutritional needs. Just make sure you're not overconsuming calories or forgetting to include a variety of other foods in your diet, too.

The Bottom Line

The apple and peanut butter combo is a classic snack that's delicious and nutritious.

Both apples and peanuts are loaded with nutrients that promote your health in a variety of ways, including reducing inflammation, promoting heart health, and controlling blood sugar levels.

The amount of this snack you should consume depends on your personal nutritional needs. It's best when incorporated into a balanced and healthy diet that contains many different kinds of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and lean proteins.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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