Peanut Butter May Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

By Fabiana Santana

peanutbutter-fdf953032bb18918bca5a57b7f7f06ac511e89a6-s6-c30It may sound too good to be true, but peanut butter may save your life. A new study released in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, showed that young girls who consumed a serving of peanut butter or peanuts at least twice a week, reduced their risk of benign breast disease (BBD) in young adulthood by up to 39%. This gives parents even more of a reason to pack a peanut butter sandwich with their kid’s lunch and for us single ladies to indulge in a tablespoon or two, too.

“These findings suggest that peanut butter could help reduce the risk of breast cancer in women,” said Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, senior author and associate director for cancer prevention and control at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

The study was conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School together. Data was analyzed from over 9,000 girls and young women who participated in the long-term research study, Growing Up Today. Girls in the study, aged 9 to 15, reported dietary habits in food frequency questionnaires, and then later between the ages of 18 to 30, participants reported whether they had been diagnosed with benign breast disease that was confirmed by biopsy.

Results showed that across all categories, decreased risk of BBD was most strongly driven by peanut butter or peanut intake as a vegetable protein or fat source. Among 9 to 15 year old girls, cumulative vegetable fat intake was inversely associated with risk of BBD, with peanut butter and peanuts being the most highly consumed vegetable fat among the participants. At younger ages, vegetable fat intake from peanut butter and peanuts twice a week, had a 44% decrease in risk for BBD. And in older ages, it was the vegetable protein intake from peanut butter and peanuts that was associated with decreased risk. In addition, these results were stronger with girls who had a family history of breast cancer.

Peanuts contain more protein than any other nut and peanut butter contains about 8g of protein per serving. In addition, peanut butter contains healthy oils and many nutrients such as phytosterols, which have have been shown to reduce the risk of major diseases including cancer.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Yield: 12-16 granola squaresPeanut Butter Yogurt Parfait

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins or choice of dried fruit



  1. Preheat over to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, and peanuts.
  3. Add honey and mix to combine.
  4. Add melted peanut butter and mix until moistened.
  5. Add chocolate chips and dried fruit if desired. Fold them into the dough. If dough is dry add more peanut butter or honey (1 tablespoon at a time until moistened).
  6. Press dough in a greased (non-stick spray) 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.

Recipe credit:


Glazed Chicken and Szechuan Noodle Salad

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 2 chicken thighs and 1 cup noodle salad)

  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 ounces uncooked udon noodles (thick, fresh Japanese wheat noodles) or whole-wheat linguine
  • 1/4 cup bottled Szechuan sauce
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-cut green onions


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well. Add chicken; toss to coat.
  3. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill; cover.
  4. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well. Combine Szechuan sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, and juice in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add noodles, carrots, and green onions; toss and serve immediately with chicken.

Recipe credit: Mary Drennen, Cooking Light
JULY 2012

 Peanut Pesto

  • 1 cup Basil, packed
  • ½ cup Peanuts, toasted
  • 1 ea. zest of Lemon
  • ¼ tsp. Sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 ea. Garlic clove, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup Peanut oil


  1. Pulse all the ingredients in a blender until mostly smooth. Transfer to a covered container; will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

© 2011 The Culinary Institute of America