5 of the Most Healthy Peanut Butters

Food
Peanut butter in an open jar and peanuts scattered on a blue table
Look for peanut butter with a short ingredients list. Sanny11 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Peanut butter is a beloved childhood staple that is just as tasty whether you are five, 50 or 105. However, not all peanut butters have the same nutritional value. 

Unfortunately, many manufacturers include additives that are unnecessary and negatively affect the nutrition you should be getting when eating a healthy peanut butter. Below, we’ll guide you on what to look for when selecting a healthy peanut butter and provide a few recommendations.

What Type of Peanut Butter Is Healthiest?

What makes peanut butter healthy? Here are two solid indicators that you’ve selected a healthy peanut butter:

  1. Peanuts are the first ingredient. Since ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, it’s a good sign to see peanuts listed first.
  2. A short ingredients list. Some stores allow you to grind your own peanuts into peanut butter. However, in most cases, you should look for a label with just a few ingredients. A little salt is okay. Some peanut butters have natural sugar included but shouldn’t have added sugar listed. Oils are unnecessary.

A label that says “natural” can be a mixed bag, depending on your standards for good health. The FDA has a specific policy regarding manufacturers using the word “natural” on their products: Nothing synthetic or artificial, including additives, should be included in the food product that you wouldn’t expect to be there. 

You will still see ingredients like sugar and palm oil sometimes listed on some ingredient lists. Some “extra” ingredients are considered to be natural derivatives, although they are processed ingredients. Some brands claim the sugar is naturally occurring. Others say adding sugar helps prevent separation. Most say that sugar in peanut butter makes the peanut butter better suited for baking.

A brief PB PSA: Don’t be afraid of the oil you find on top of peanut butter. It’s a sign that your peanut butter is natural and has no unnecessary additives that keep it from separating. All you have to do is stir it. Refrigerating your peanut butter also helps prevent separation.

Now that you know what to look for in a healthy peanut butter, let’s get to the recommendations we have for five of the healthiest peanut butters on the market.

1. Smucker’s Organic Creamy Peanut Butter

Nutrition Snapshot:

Every two tablespoons: 180 calories

16 g fat (2 g saturated)

55 mg sodium

5 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar)

8 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts

Well-known among peanut butter brands is the name Smuckers. This organic creamy peanut butter is simple and only contains peanuts. The sodium is naturally occurring. However, Smuckers also makes a natural creamy peanut butter that contains added salt with a sodium count of 110 milligrams.

2. Crazy Richard’s Creamy Peanut Butter

Nutrition Snapshot:

Every two tablespoons: 180 calories

16 g fat (2 g saturated fat)

0 mg sodium

6 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar) 

8 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts

Crazy Richard’s Creamy Peanut Butter has been around since 1893. There’s a rumor going around that Crazy Richard’s manages to get exactly 540 peanuts into every jar of peanut butter it makes, and that’s all! If you’re looking for a pure product, this is it. No sugar. No salt. No oil.

3. MaraNatha Organic Creamy Peanut Butter

Nutrition Snapshot:

Every two tablespoons: 190 calories

16 g fat (2 g saturated)

80 mg sodium

7 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar)

8 g protein

Ingredients: Organic dry roasted peanuts, sea salt

MaraNatha uses a double-grind process to make its peanut butter extra creamy. No oils necessary. The inclusion of sea salt adds extra oomph to the flavor without being too salty.

4. Once Again Organic Creamy Salt Free Unsweetened Peanut Butter

Nutrition Snapshot:

Every two tablespoons: 190 calories

14 g fat (2 g saturated fat)

0 mg sodium

7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar)

8 g protein

Ingredients: Organic peanuts

While there is no salt, there is a little sugar. Again, the little bit of sugar is natural to the product and could be helpful for those looking for peanut butter that’s a little healthier and good for baking. 

5. Wild Friends Classic Creamy Peanut Butter

Nutrition Snapshot:

Every two tablespoons: 190 calories

16 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat)

95 mg sodium

7 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar)

8 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, sea salt

Wild Friends Classic Creamy Peanut Butter is also good for baking due to its slight sugar content. It also contains a little sea salt for taste. Another perk of this creamy peanut butter is its fiber content, which is good for gut health.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid in Peanut Butter?

The unhealthiest peanut butters add unnecessary ingredients that do nothing for nutritional value:

  • Added sugar
  • Lots of salt
  • Vegetable oil or palm oil
  • Trans fats
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