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Cheese vs Peanut butter - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on March 30, 2022
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Cheese
vs
Peanut butter

Summary

Cheese is higher in saturated fats and sodium. It is richer in zinc, phosphorus, and calcium vitamins B2, B12, D, and A. Peanut butter is higher in calories and carbs, richer in unsaturated fats, magnesium, iron, copper, and vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, E, and folate.

Peanut butter is a healthier food in this comparison since it is lower in saturated fats and salts. Foods high in salts and saturated fats increase the risks of atherosclerosis and hypertension, increasing overall risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Introduction

Cheese is one of the most consumed foods throughout the world. It is suitable for vegetarians, and some cheese can be consumed by people who follow the keto diet. Various cheeses will be discussed in the paragraphs below.

On the other hand, peanut butter is a processed form of peanut nuts and is turned into spreads. Peanut butter available in the market often contains additives, preservatives, and palm oil. They are highly nutritious and provide good macronutrients.

This article will discuss the difference between cheese and peanut butter, considering their general differences, nutritional content, and health impacts.

General differences

Their general difference is based on types and shelf life.

Types

Cheese is one of the most versatile foods around the world. Various cheeses are specific to each region, each type of climate, animal-specific, and preparation methods.

We can have cheese from cow, sheep, goat, even vegan sources, most commonly tofu cheese.

There are several types of cheese:

The list of cheeses can go long.

These cheeses are different in their preparation methods, fermentation, types of milk and animal used to make the cheese, the texture of the cheese, culinary usage.

It is essential to understand the differences between these cheeses and use them correctly in the culinary world. We know that using the wrong type of cheese in any Italian food would ruin the dish.

On the other hand, we have peanut butter which is a spread. Types differ between crunchy and smooth creamy. However, it is the same peanut butter.

Shelf life

Peanut butter has a longer shelf life compared to any cheese.

Cheese needs refrigeration. The shelf life of most cheeses is usually up to 10 days in refrigerated forms. Peanut butter available in the market usually has around one year of shelf life.

Nutritional content comparison

Calories

Peanut butter is higher in calories compared to cheese.

Carbs

Peanut butter contains 7 times higher carbs than cheese.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index of cheese is 0, whereas the glycemic index of peanut butter is 14, which is considered a low glycemic index.

Proteins

They have nearly similar amounts of proteins.

Fats

Peanut butter contains higher amounts of fats than cheese. They are both high in fats.

It is important to note that the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats in cheese is higher than in peanut butter. The fat in peanut butter is distributed as monounsaturated fats mainly.

Minerals

Cheese is richer in zinc, phosphorus, and calcium. However, cheese contains high amounts of sodium that should be considered. On the other hand, peanut butter is richer in magnesium, iron, and copper.

The chart below displays the mineral distribution of cheese and peanut butter.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +1349%
Contains more Phosphorus +35.8%
Contains more Zinc +45%
Contains more Iron +1142.9%
Contains more Magnesium +522.2%
Contains more Potassium +634.2%
Contains less Sodium -97.4%
Contains more Copper +1306.7%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 213% 6% 20% 195% 7% 86% 100% 10%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 15% 66% 120% 144% 50% 3% 69% 141%
Contains more Calcium +1349%
Contains more Phosphorus +35.8%
Contains more Zinc +45%
Contains more Iron +1142.9%
Contains more Magnesium +522.2%
Contains more Potassium +634.2%
Contains less Sodium -97.4%
Contains more Copper +1306.7%

Vitamins

Cheese is richer in vitamins B2, B12, D, and A. whereas peanut butter are richer in vitamin B1, B3, B5, B6, E, and folate.

The chart below displays the vitamin distribution of cheese and peanut butter.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Cheese
5
:
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +122.9%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +∞%
Contains more Vitamin K +700%
Contains more Vitamin E +1181.7%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +417.2%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +22123.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +177.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +568.2%
Contains more Folate +222.2%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 75% 15% 18% 0% 8% 99% 2% 25% 16% 21% 138% 6%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 182% 0% 0% 38% 45% 246% 69% 102% 66% 0% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +122.9%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +∞%
Contains more Vitamin K +700%
Contains more Vitamin E +1181.7%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +417.2%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +22123.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +177.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +568.2%
Contains more Folate +222.2%

Health impacts

Cheese has negative and positive impacts on overall health. Below, we will be discussing these effects.

Positive impacts of cheese on overall health

Different types of cheese exist, and each has a slightly different nutritional profile.

Reducing risks of osteoporosis

Since they are rich in calcium, most cheeses provide protective effects from osteoporosis. They maintain healthy bone health. (1) (2)

Digestive system

Fermented cheeses that contain lactobacillus bacteria have probiotic effects on the overall digestive system. They reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. Cheeses like mozzarella, Parmigiano reggiano. (3) (4) (5)

It is essential to mention goat cheese since it is easier to digest due to its proteins.

Cardiovascular health

Cheddar cheese, for example, contains a good source of vitamin K, which has protective functions in arteries. (6)

Swiss cheese is low in salt. It contains enzymes that reduce blood pressure, similar to ACE inhibitors. Swiss cheese is perfect for hypertensive patients.

Cancer

Consumption of calcium-rich foods reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. (8)

Negative impacts of cheese on overall health

Since cheese contains lactose, lactose intolerant people will have nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.

Individuals who take MAOI medications should not consume high amounts of cheese since it causes a hypertensive crisis. (9)

High sodium cheeses increase the risks of developing hypertension and kidney diseases. (10)

We mentioned above that calcium-rich foods decrease the risk of colorectal cancer; however, it is not the case for prostate cancer. There is an increase in developing prostate cancer with high calcium consumption. (11)

Positive impacts of peanut butter on overall health

Peanut butter is rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats. Overall, it is an excellent addition to any diet.

Antioxidants

Peanut butter contains antioxidants that reduce chronic inflammation, specifically in rheumatoid arthritis. (12) (13)

Peanut butter contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, decreasing cardiovascular diseases and cancer risks. (13)

Cardiovascular health

Peanut consumption is associated with decreased risks of cardiovascular disease development. However, some peanut butter with certain vegetable oils or additives added might cancel out these effects. (14)

Negative impacts of peanut butter on overall health

Peanut butter can trigger an anaphylactic shock in people who have a peanut allergy. In addition, aflatoxins can be present in peanuts that are not processed yet, linked with increased liver cancer risks. However, processing removes these peanuts that have gone bad in mass manufacturing. (15)

Peanut butter contains phytic acid, which impairs the absorption of certain nutrients, mostly minerals. (16)

Which is healthier when taking into consideration the health impacts?

The two main concerns regarding both these foods are the additive compounds. When it comes to cheese, it is essential to consider low salt cheeses as salt contributes to increased risks of hypertension.
It is always advised not to buy peanut butter containing hydrogenated vegetable oils such as palm oil.
Take into consideration the amount of fat and its type present in both these foods.
Cheese is lower in fats; however, it's higher in saturated fats. Peanut butter is higher in total fats, primarily unsaturated. We can consider peanut butter, devoid of hydrogenated oils, healthier as saturated fats increase LDL levels and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. (17)

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33237064/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796667/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3279064/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20838859/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21477383/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17598002/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18096922/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12869397/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738414/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30402970/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16522915/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28742266/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24345046/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11122711/
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30696374/
  16. https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2621.2002.00618.x
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459188/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: March 30, 2022

Infographic

Cheese vs Peanut butter infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Cheese Peanut butter
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Cheese Peanut butter Opinion
Net carbs 3.09g 17.31g Peanut butter
Protein 22.87g 22.21g Cheese
Fats 33.31g 51.36g Peanut butter
Carbs 3.09g 22.31g Peanut butter
Calories 404kcal 598kcal Peanut butter
Starch g 3.56g Peanut butter
Fructose 0g 0.12g Peanut butter
Sugar 0.48g 10.49g Cheese
Fiber 0g 5g Peanut butter
Calcium 710mg 49mg Cheese
Iron 0.14mg 1.74mg Peanut butter
Magnesium 27mg 168mg Peanut butter
Phosphorus 455mg 335mg Cheese
Potassium 76mg 558mg Peanut butter
Sodium 653mg 17mg Peanut butter
Zinc 3.64mg 2.51mg Cheese
Copper 0.03mg 0.422mg Peanut butter
Vitamin A 1242IU 0IU Cheese
Vitamin E 0.71mg 9.1mg Peanut butter
Vitamin D 24IU 0IU Cheese
Vitamin D 0.6µg 0µg Cheese
Vitamin C 0mg 0mg
Vitamin B1 0.029mg 0.15mg Peanut butter
Vitamin B2 0.428mg 0.192mg Cheese
Vitamin B3 0.059mg 13.112mg Peanut butter
Vitamin B5 0.41mg 1.137mg Peanut butter
Vitamin B6 0.066mg 0.441mg Peanut butter
Folate 27µg 87µg Peanut butter
Vitamin B12 1.1µg 0µg Cheese
Vitamin K 2.4µg 0.3µg Cheese
Tryptophan 0.547mg 0.231mg Cheese
Threonine 1.044mg 0.525mg Cheese
Isoleucine 1.206mg 0.616mg Cheese
Leucine 1.939mg 1.546mg Cheese
Lysine 1.025mg 0.681mg Cheese
Methionine 0.547mg 0.265mg Cheese
Phenylalanine 1.074mg 1.202mg Peanut butter
Valine 1.404mg 0.782mg Cheese
Histidine 0.547mg 0.557mg Peanut butter
Cholesterol 99mg 0mg Peanut butter
Trans Fat 0.917g 0.075g Peanut butter
Saturated Fat 18.867g 10.325g Peanut butter
Monounsaturated Fat 9.246g 25.941g Peanut butter
Polyunsaturated fat 1.421g 12.535g Peanut butter

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Cheese Peanut butter
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
35
Cheese
62
Peanut butter
Mineral Summary Score
79
Cheese
76
Peanut butter

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
137%
Cheese
133%
Peanut butter
Carbohydrates
3%
Cheese
22%
Peanut butter
Fats
154%
Cheese
237%
Peanut butter

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Peanut butter
Peanut butter contains less Sodium (difference - 636mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Peanut butter
Peanut butter is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 99mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Peanut butter
Peanut butter is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 8.542g)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Cheese
Cheese is lower in Sugar (difference - 10.01g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Cheese
Cheese is lower in glycemic index (difference - 14)
Which food is cheaper?
Cheese
Cheese is cheaper (difference - $0.8)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Cheese - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173414/nutrients
  2. Peanut butter - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172470/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.