Nutrition in Regular Peanut Butter vs. Natural Peanut Butter

The nutrition in regular peanut butter vs. natural peanut butter is an important thing to understand if you or your kids and family are big peanut butter eaters. Peanut butter is a popular home pantry item for good reason. It is a good source of protein which is filling, it tastes good, and kids love it.

Of course, the classic way to eat peanut butter is with some jelly in a sandwich, but this versatile spread also is great with celery, on apple or in cookies or other recipes.

What is Regular Peanut Butter?

Regular peanut butter is the delicious stuff that most kids grew up with. It is made from natural peanuts, those delicious legumes that most everyone loves. However, there are some things that are added to give it that taste and consistency that we enjoy.

One of these things is sugar. There is added sugar in regular peanut butter to enhance the taste. The truth is that it isn’t needed and you can find reduced sugar varieties out there, so cutting the excess sugar is possible even with regular peanut butter.

Another are trans fats. Regular peanut butter includes these fats, which are not the ones you want a lot of. Unlike the healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which regular peanut butter also contains, trans fats can raise bad cholesterol and should be limited. The amount of trans fat in regular peanut butter is small, however.

Finally, regular peanut butter has hydrogenated oils included that give it the uniform consistency that we expect. You don’t open a jar of regular peanut butter and see oil sitting on the top, since the hydrogenated oil prevents separation that creates that oil from appearing. Hydrogenated oil is not good for you and should be very limited in your diet.

What is Natural Peanut Butter?

Natural peanut butter is made from peanuts. That’s it. Sometimes salt is added, but it is normally lower in salt than regular peanut butter. There is no added sugar or hydrogenated oil. That is a good thing.

The first thing you will notice when eating natural peanut butter is the oil in the jar. In fact, this looks quite strange in the store and when you open the jar. Rest assured that this is normal – more normal that the fact that you have not seen oil in your peanut butter jar all these years in fact. Peanuts naturally contain this oil and when the jar sits, oil raises to the top. All you need to do is stir it up a bit before spreading and all is well.

The other thing you will notice is the consistency and taste. Natural peanut butter tends to feel just a bit stiffer than regular peanut butter. As for taste, it is different, but not much. Some people find it much better and others prefer their old brand. You need to try it out to see what you think. Of course, given some time it will become normal for you, so get through a jar before you judge.

Similarities of Natural Peanut Butter vs. Regular Peanut Butter

While there are differences there are even more similarities. In fact, the amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, calories, cholesterol, and fiber in natural vs. regular peanut butter are about the same, so these are hardly factors in your decision. Brands do vary, however, so check the labels to see how your choices compare.

When it comes to calories, you should know that peanut butter is a high calorie food. If you are trying to lose weight peanut butter is a great snack for you because the protein makes you feel full, but you need to use it sparingly due to the high calorie count.

The Verdict

As you can see, natural and regular peanut butter have many similarities, but the differences in added sugar and artificial fats make natural peanut butter a healthier choice and one you should consider. When considering the nutrition in regular peanut butter vs. natural peanut butter, natural peanut butter gets the nod.

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