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Is Peanut Butter Keto-Friendly? Here’s How You Can Tell

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If you’re on a ketogenic diet, you’re no stranger to agonizing over the permissibility of any given food product. Indeed, this diet—designed to keep the body in a fat-burning state called ketosis—requires one to cut carbs like crazy, and often the offending macronutrient is found in the most unexpected places. Needless to say, you’ve worked hard to maintain that delicate keto balance and intend to resist the siren song coming from the jar of peanut butter in your pantry…if you really have to, that is. So, is peanut butter keto-friendly? Here’s how you can tell.

Is peanut butter keto?

You know that a classic PB&J sandwich is off the menu when following the keto diet (grape jelly is mostly sugar, after all), but what about snacking on a spoonful of peanut butter? Good news—this oh-so delicious nut butter can, in fact, be enjoyed in moderation by those on a keto diet. In order to follow a ketogenic diet, one must consume a whole lot of fat (roughly 60 to 80 percent of your caloric intake), a decent amount of protein (about 20 to 30 percent) and a negligible amount of carbs (a measly 30 grams a day, give or take). Happily, peanut butter—a protein-packed, high-fat favorite—has relatively few carbs and thus, fits the bill.

That said, you don’t have carte blanche to eat peanut butter by the spoonful, nor are all brands of the stuff created equal in the eyes of the ketogenic powers that be. Alas, you can find yourself in a sticky situation if you aren’t careful when satisfying your peanut butter cravings. One potential problem stems from the fact that many big name, store-bought peanut butter brands add sugar to their product—and if ketosis is your goal, sugar is basically kryptonite. The takeaway? The small amount of natural sugars found in peanut butter pose no threat to a ketogenic diet, but added sugars do, so your best bet is to side step this problem by closely reading the label before you buy and dip into a jar of peanut butter.

Are other nut butters keto-friendly?

The aforementioned caveat has made you wary of peanut butter (danger is lurking everywhere!) and now you’re wondering whether you might be safer with another type of nut butter instead. To be sure, added sugar is far less likely to be a problem with the almond butter you bought at a local natural food store than it is with, say, a jar of Jiffy you scored at Walmart. Still, you can encounter the issue with any type of store-bought nut butter, so you’re still going to have to scan the label before you proceed if you’re serious about achieving (or staying in) ketosis. Of course, you can always swap one hassle for another and simply make your own nut butters at home, which is actually not that hard to do and can save you money, to boot. (Pecan butter costs a pretty penny these days.)

How do other nut butters stack up against peanut butter?

If you’re still on the fence about what kind of nut butter to go with, here’s a nutrition breakdown, courtesy of the USDA, that can help you make an informed and keto-friendly decision.

  • Peanut butter: 7g net carbs and 7g protein per 2 tablespoon serving
  • Almond butter: 6g net carbs and 6g protein per 2 tablespoon serving
  • Sunflower seed butter: 7.5g net carbs and 5.5g protein per 2 tablespoon serving
  • Hazelnut butter: 6g net carbs and 5g protein per 2 tablespoon serving

Keto-friendly peanut butter options

Recap: Peanut butter is generally keto-friendly, so long as it isn’t packed with too much added sugar. Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you and rounded up some top picks for brands of peanut butter that you can eat without worry.

Amazon

1. Smucker's Natural Chunky Peanut Butter

Folks rave about the superior and oh-so fresh taste of Smucker’s natural peanut butter, which boasts satisfying crunchy bits and just the right amount of salt. Give it a stir (it separates) and treat yourself to a spoonful.

Nutritional info (per two tablespoons):

  • 16g fat
  • 7g carbohydrates
  • 8g protein
Amazon

2. Santa Cruz Organics Dark Roasted Creamy Peanut Butter

This creamy, no-stir option has a silky smooth texture and the particularly rich, deep flavor of dark roasted peanuts. Bold, delicious and ideal for those who prefer a peanut butter that makes its presence known.

Nutritional info (per two tablespoons):

  • 17g fat
  • 5g carbohydrates
  • 8g protein
Amazon

3. Peanut Butter & Co. Old Fashioned Crunchy Peanut Butter

If you’re in camp crunchy, Peanut Butter & Co.’s old fashioned spread will certainly float your boat. Best of all, this keto-friendly peanut butter is also gluten-free and vegan, so it's suitable for pretty much any special diet.

Nutritional info (per two tablespoons):

  • 16g fat
  • 7g carbohydrates
  • 8g protein
Amazon

4. Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter

Justin’s classic peanut butter is a creamy treat with no added sugar and no salt. In fact, peanuts and palm oil are the only two ingredients you’ll find on the label, and the latter is responsibly sourced, so it’s truly a guilt-free indulgence.

Nutritional info (per two tablespoons):

  • 18g fat
  • 6g carbohydrates
  • 7g protein
Amazon

5. Crazy Richard’s 100 Percent All-natural Crunchy Peanut Butter

We don’t know how crazy Richard is, but we do know that people are crazy about his peanut butter—a mouth-watering, additive-free blend of more than 540 different kinds of raw peanuts that scores high marks among health nuts (pun intended) and peanut butter connoisseurs alike.

Nutritional info (per two tablespoons):

  • 16g fat
  • 5g carbohydrates
  • 8g protein



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