Beware peanut butter lovers. You may have heard that traces of flame retardant and carcinogens have been found in some peanut butter brands, but those aren’t actually responsible for the risk involved in some PB purchases. Since these traces are not enough to do you any damage, the real issue lies with the commonplace ingredients you’ve never looked twice at.
So take a closer peek at this shopping list staple before you pair it with jelly, add it to smoothies, or dip fruit into it. We’ve laid out the biggest risk factors for you to keep in mind next time you hit the peanut butter aisle, along with the 16 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Eat Peanut Butter.
Some brands add xylitol to their peanut butter, so be sure to check nutrition labels before throwing any old jar into your cart. Like many sugar alcohols, this sweetener has laxative-like effects in high doses thanks to its low digestion intolerance, and it can also cause not-so-sweet bloating.
The Trans Fat
The ingredients list on the back of your peanut butter jar shouldn’t include much more than peanuts. Look out for brands that are adding mono and diglycerides or hydrogenated vegetable oil to their spreads. Adding these ingredients adds trans fat to your body, which will show itself through inflammation and high cholesterol.
We’ve already got you keeping an eye out for artificial sweeteners, but you should be avoiding the real thing as well. Sugar can raise blood glucose and insulin levels, and it wiggles its way into almost everything you eat. So why would you want to consume extra every time you whip up a peanut butter banana sammy or slather celery with your favorite spread?
These additives may not seem that harmful, but you’d be surprised at how quickly they can add up over the course of the day. You’d be much better off sticking with the best peanut butter brands on the market, which will only contain two ingredients: peanuts and salt. But if the last thing you want to do is check the label on every single PB variation in the store, we’ve made things a little easier for you — We Tested 10 Peanut Butters, And This Is The Best, trust us.