Ever wondered what’s the best brand of peanut butter? Here’s how to choose a healthy peanut butter and the ingredients to look out for!
Peanut butter is one of those foods I just can’t live without.
In fact, if you watch any of my Youtube videos, you’ll probably hear me mention SOMETHING about peanut butter. Whether it’s in a recipe or just the health benefits, I feel like I’m always talking about it.
Way back when, I never cared about what type of peanut butter I bought. PB was PB, right?
But when I started becoming more health-conscious, I took a good look at the ingredients and HOLY COW. I thought peanut butter was only supposed to have, you know… peanuts.
So I thought I’d go to Wal Mart and look at ALL the peanut butter for you, and show you just what healthy is supposed to look like and what kinds are the best!
What is the healthiest peanut butter?
I looked at 11 different jars of peanut butter to get an idea of what ingredients they had. A lot of them were very similar and had similar patterns in regards to the regular vs. natural kinds!
Jif peanut butter
I started with JIF and looked at their regular-style peanut butter. Sugar is the second ingredient- the higher the ingredient is on the list, the more there is inside the product.
One important ingredient to note is the hydrogenated oil. This, my friends, can equal to trans fat and has some pretty potent health effects. I won’t get into the details, although you can read more about it here. But basically, this oil is used to make the peanut butter more shelf-stable and so you don’t have to stir it.
AND- technically, companies are allowed to state “free of trans fats” on the label if the amount is below 0.5 grams. So in conclusion- stay away from any hydrogenated oils!
Next I looked at the reduced-fat version, which has even MORE ingredients, like corn syrup solids and- once again- hydrogenated oils. All of this for only 4 less grams of fat per serving.
Even the “natural” brand has added sugar. Granted, it has less ingredients, but the palm oil is used to make the peanut butter non-stir.
Hint- if the peanut butter label says “No Stir”, that means it has extra ingredients.
Great value peanut butter
Finally, after searching about 6 different kinds, I found one with just peanuts and salt- the Great Value Organic. THIS is what you’re looking for.
If you look carefully at the top of the jar, you’ll see the oil sitting right on top. This is what you want to see! It only takes a couple minutes to stir the jar. And even though the peanut butter may be runny at first, it thickens a little once you put it in the fridge.
smuckers natural peanut butter
The only other brand I saw with those ingredients was the Smuckers Natural. This is honestly my favorite brand because the texture is just AMAZING.
And just for fun, I looked at the Smuckers Goober because Allison’s asked for that a few times.
18 grams of added sugar. High fructose corn syrup. Definitely not the best choice!
Which brands of peanut butter are healthiest?
Out of all the brands I looked at here at Wal Mart, here are the only two I can recommend:
- Great Value Organic
- Smuckers Natural
Those are the ONLY TWO that had just peanuts and salt as their ingredients. That was mind-blowing to me.
That’s not to say those are the only two you should ever get. Kroger has its own natural blend that’s absolutely delicious, and other stores have their own store brand as well. But these were what was available at Wal Mart so that’s all I can report on.
Is it okay to eat peanut butter every day?
Can you tell I’m passionate about peanut butter? YES, definitely eat peanut butter every day! As with everything, watch your portion sizes. Two tablespoons equals about 200 calories, and it’s easy to go overboard if you’re putting it on a sandwich. So use a leveled measuring spoon, or a food scale to get accurate if you need to!
What’s the cheapest peanut butter?
The kicker is, the kinds with the most ingredients tend to be the cheapest. For example, the Great Value brand is close to $1.30; while the organic Great Value is almost $4.00!
For a more affordable option, visit Kroger if you have one nearby. Their natural brand, with only peanuts and salt, is only $1.79! I try to pick up a few every time I’m there.
I hope I’ve helped you understand a bit more about what ingredients should be in healthy peanut butter, and what you should buy. What’s your favorite brand of peanut butter? Leave a comment and let me know!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.