We asked a dietitian, and his answer may surprise you.
They’re toast topping favourites you’ve used religiously since childhood but how good for you, nutritionally speaking, are peanut butter and Vegemite?
Accredited practicing dietitian Joel Feren reckons when it comes to breakfast you want something that provides a number of different nutrients.
“Peanut butter is a nutritional standout as it’s got monounsaturated fats for your heart, vitamins for your digestive system, protein for your muscles and vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant, so it’s certainly a winner from every angle.”
Wondering about the high fat content in nuts? Don’t lose sleep over it says Feren, it is okay when in moderation.
“Generally speaking I say don’t go nuts on the nutty stuff,” Feren laughs. “I’d say around 1 tablespoon a day because peanut butter does contain fat. They’re heart healthy fats, but too much of anything isn’t always the best.”
So, for this expert peanut butter wins as the best all-rounder. But does this mean that Vegemite is bad for you?
“I think Vegemite cops a bit of flack mostly around its high salt content, but the good thing is that Vegemite have actually revamped a version of their product to cater for people who want less salt in their diet. So they have a product now with 25% less salt.”
“You can still be a happy little Vegemite, just not as salty,” he laughs.
The problem with salt is that it can send your blood pressure sky high. So beware if you’re susceptible. It’s not all bad for the Aussie institution.
“Vegemite is a good source of certain B vitamins, B1, folate and B6. It also has a bit of potassium in there and potassium is sort of the antagonist of sodium. So sodium makes your blood pressure go up, and potassium makes it go down.”
Feren also reminds us that most people have a small scraping of the spread so it’s not as bad as it seems.
“Research shows we generally have half a teaspoon, or 3g of Vegemite. A half teaspoon of Vegemite contributes 104mg of sodium and the general guidelines suggest 2300mg of sodium per day, so everything in context.”
Feren also suggests that Vegemite would be a good option if you’re doing heavy duty morning exercise as the toast will provide quick acting carbohydrates and the Vegemite’s sodium, when combined with water will help you to rehydrate more quickly.
If you’re looking for another ‘all-rounder’ like peanut butter, he suggests cottage cheese.
“Its low fat, high in protein and a great source of calcium.”
But overall, it’s peanut butter for the win. So go ahead and spread your nutty spreads Australia.