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Hail the humble PB&J sandwich!

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Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

The humble peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich can be quite a pick-me-up. But don’t take our word for it. Ask almost any NBA player.

Baxter Holmes wrote about PB&J sandwiches for ESPN The Magazine in 2017, calling them “the NBA’s secret addiction.”

Holmes, whose story won a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for food writing, found Milwaukee Bucks players enjoying a pregame buffet that included smooth and crunchy peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, five kinds of jelly and three kinds of bread. Not to mention PB&J-flavored oatmeal, waffles, pancakes and recovery shakes.

Tuesday, April 2, is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day.

Everyone knows just how they like their PB&J. As with many things, choose wisely.

A PB&J sandwich with two tablespoons of peanut butter, one tablespoon of jelly and two slices of white bread has 376 calories, 13 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of dietary fiber. Whole wheat bread adds protein and triples the dietary fiber, nutrition writer Sandi Busch says.

That sandwich also has 16 grams of sugar, almost a single day’s serving, and 18 grams of fat, about a quarter of what you should consume in a day.

The good news is that there is no cholesterol in that PB&J sandwich and most of the fat consists of healthy unsaturated fats that lower cholesterol. Peanut butter and the sandwich bread provide protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron and zinc.

For those seeking a healthier approach, try this simple combination: sourdough bread, organic peanut butter and low-sugar jelly. It was suggested to an NBA player who needed to reduce the sugar in his diet.

Published: Monday, April 1, 2019