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The healthiest peanut butters are free of added sugar and made with just one or two ingredients. Of course, they should taste good too. See which brands our dietitians and editors picked as the best.
Countless options of peanut butter are available on grocery store shelves today, but not all of them are created equal when it comes to their nutritional value.
Certain types are rich in unsaturated fats, protein, and fiber with minimal additives, while others are high in added sugar and ingredients that might be less nutritious.
You may wonder what the healthiest choices are when it comes to peanut butter.
This article explains how to choose a healthy peanut butter brand and lists six options that our dietitians and editors buy on a regular basis.
We considered several factors when determining which products to feature, including:
Ingredients: We chose peanut butters that contain minimal ingredients and are free of additives, preservatives, added sugar, and other sweeteners.
Nutritional content: We selected varieties of peanut butter that are free of added sugar, low in sodium, and rich in protein and heart-healthy fats.
Taste: Our dietitians and editors have taste-tested all the peanut butters included in our list. The brands were selected for their flavor and texture.
Price: We included peanut butter brands at a variety of price points to fit almost any budget.
Availability: We chose several products that are widely available at many grocery stores or online retailers.
Customer reviews: We chose peanut butters that customers have highly rated online.
Vetting: All the peanut butters on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.
Here’s a closer look at how our top natural peanut butter picks compare:
There are a few factors that can affect the nutritional value of your peanut butter, including:
Ingredients: A good rule of thumb for choosing a healthy peanut butter is to look for one with the fewest ingredients. When possible, look for options that contain just peanuts and maybe salt.
Sugar content: Ideally, try to select a peanut butter that’s free of added sugar or other sweeteners. Added sugar can contribute to heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Saturated fat content: Some brands of peanut butter may contain hydrogenated oils or palm oil to improve the product’s texture and shelf-life. While saturated fat can fit into a balanced diet, it’s recommended to limit your intake to less than 5–6% of total daily calories.
Some peanut butters — including ones with otherwise minimal ingredients — contain palm oil.
Palm oil has a neutral flavor, and its main purpose is to prevent the natural separation of oils in the product. Although palm oil isn’t a hydrogenated trans fat, there may be other concerns associated with its use and consumption.
For example, palm oil is high in saturated fat, which can increase levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.
There are also some indirect public health effects of palm oil. Clearing forests for palm oil production causes air pollution that increases instances of skin, eye, and respiratory disease among nearby populations.
It also releases greenhouse gases and destroys the habitats of at-risk species.
While peanut butters that contain palm oil can still be a part of a nutritious diet, they may come with some other health considerations when choosing which peanut butter is best for you.
Is natural peanut butter actually healthier?
Natural peanut butter tends to be more nutritious because it typically contains just peanuts and sometimes salt. It’s also often free of ingredients that you might want to limit or avoid, such as added sugar or palm oil.
Is Jif or Skippy peanut butter healthy?
Jif and Skippy peanut butter can both fit into a balanced diet. Like other brands, these peanut butters are a good source of protein, fat, and fiber. However, when possible, it’s best to opt for peanut butter varieties that contain fewer ingredients and are free of added sugar.
Some peanut butter varieties are more nutritious than others.
Look for peanut butter that contains minimal ingredients — ideally just peanuts and possibly salt — and consider skipping products that contain added sugar or hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Whichever peanut butter you choose, remember to eat it in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet that’s full of nutritious whole foods.
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