Chicago Health | Homepage
EatingWell: Which type of peanut butter is best?

EatingWell: Which type of peanut butter is best?

Photo: PiccoloNamek, Wikimedia Commons


By Lisa D’Agrosa, M.S., R.D., EatingWell.com

Picking healthy foods at the grocery store can be pretty confusing. There are thousands of different products to choose from. It can even be mind-bending to figure out which peanut butter is the best choice.

Should you go with natural peanut butter or the reduced-fat version — officially called a “peanut-butter spread” because it has fewer peanuts? We compared the two head to head to find out. And the winner is…

Natural peanut butter! Yes, the full-fat peanut butter is actually healthier, so the next time you’re standing in the aisle at the store, go all-natural. As Joyce Hendley originally reported for EatingWell, here’s why:

1. Fat and calories: Reduced-fat peanut butter spreads do have less fat (12 grams for each 2-tablespoon serving). Compare that to 16 grams of fat with standard natural peanut butter. But it’s a tradeoff not worth making. The fat in peanuts is primarily the heart-healthy, monounsaturated type, and reducing this healthy fat doesn’t even save you a lot of calories. A 2-tablespoon serving is about 200 calories for the reduced-fat spread, as well for natural peanut butter.

2. Added carbs, sugar and salt: The fat that would be in the reduced-fat peanut butter spread is replaced with ingredients like corn syrup solids, sugar and molasses (read: even more sugar), plus starchy fillers. Those add-ins boost the spread’s sugar content to 4 grams and its total carbs to 15 grams. Compare that with natural PB, which has just 1 g sugars and 6 g carbs.

There’s also about twice as much sodium in the reduced-fat stuff: 220 mg vs. 105 mg in natural peanut butter.

3. Flavor. Reduced-fat peanut spreads don’t contain as many peanuts as the natural stuff, which by law must contain at least 90 percent peanuts. Reduced-fat spreads hover around 60 percent peanuts (which is why they’re not called nut butters, but spreads). That means less peanut flavor, and more additives like hydrogenated oils, sugars (in all their guises) and salt.

MAKING OR BUYING NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER

Natural peanut butters are made with just peanuts and sometimes a little salt. You can make your own healthy natural peanut butter in a food processor at home. Or do the deed while you’re out shopping. Many stores now have peanut butter machines already filled with peanuts you can grind yourself.

Peanut butter you make yourself has the same nutrition as store-bought natural peanut butters since it contains the same ingredients.
(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)

(c) 2015 EATING WELL, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC

 

Similar Articles

Fighting Obesity With Calorie Counts and Community Efforts

Fighting Obesity With Calorie Counts and Community Efforts

By Kevin Sterne A federal regulation that would have given consumers a better idea of their

Food as Medicine

Food as Medicine

How what you eat affects your mood By Nancy Maes “You are what you eat” may seem

Gut Relief

Gut Relief

Low-FODMAP diet may help those with stomach ills By Victoria Shanta Retelny, RDN Let’s face it, when

Make your diet more nutrient-dense

Make your diet more nutrient-dense

Environmental Nutrition By Matthew Kadey, M.S., R.D., Environmental Nutrition Newsletter There is only so much food you

Quick tips for gluten-free eating

Quick tips for gluten-free eating

By EatingWell Going gluten-free can feel difficult -- especially at first -- but it doesn't have

Articles By Category

Family Health

In The Know

CH Lifestyle

May 2017
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
April 30, 2017 May 1, 2017 May 2, 2017 May 3, 2017 May 4, 2017 May 5, 2017 May 6, 2017
May 7, 2017 May 8, 2017 May 9, 2017 May 10, 2017 May 11, 2017 May 12, 2017 May 13, 2017
May 14, 2017 May 15, 2017 May 16, 2017 May 17, 2017 May 18, 2017 May 19, 2017 May 20, 2017
May 21, 2017 May 22, 2017 May 23, 2017 May 24, 2017 May 25, 2017 May 26, 2017 May 27, 2017
May 28, 2017 May 29, 2017 May 30, 2017 May 31, 2017 June 1, 2017 June 2, 2017 June 3, 2017

Categories

Recent Comments

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE
Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE

Archives