Shopping Guide

The 36 Top Peanut Butters — Ranked!

Like a lot of people I know, my friend Michael has been working really hard in the gym, trying to find his abs, and stoke rapid weight loss, to no avail. He recently asked me to join him for a workout, to see if I could help him with his mission.

“I don’t get it,” he complained as we were taking a quick rest between sets. “I’m doing cardio, lifting weights, and working my abs every day. And I’m in's
not seeing anything. It’s like my belly is a desert. Nothing will grow there.” After our workout, he spent an extra few minutes doing sit ups, then joined me at the gym café for lunch. He ordered the “Muscle Up Peanut Butter Smoothie.”

“So, what do you think?” Michael asked me. “Do I need to change the way I train my abs?”

“No dude,” I told him, pointing to his smoothie. “You need to change the way you’re training your taste buds.” See, peanut butter ought to be a healthy food, packed with protein, fiber and monounsaturated fats, plus plenty of fat-burning folate. But most commercial peanut butters, including those used by gyms, are packed with sugar and fillers, and have more sugar than they do fiber. As a result, they cause fat storage--not fat burning. To help you find the brand that will keep your tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth with confidence, the team at Eat This, Not That! took the 30 top peanut butters in America into our food lab, and analyzed the ingredients, ranking each brand by health. Here’s our definitive list. And to get your stomach supertight, don’t miss these 30 Foods That Melt Love Handles!

FIRST...THE WORST

A really good peanut butter should have just two ingredients: peanuts (duh) and a pinch of salt. But today’s manufacturers—even the “all-natural” brands advertising themselves as healthy—pack their PBs with additives you simply don’t need. “Peanut butters are most often processed with hydrogenated oils and sugar, so make sure you check the label carefully,” cautions Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN of Middleberg Nutrition. Here’s a look inside each jar.

12
Peanut Butter & Co.
Smooth Operator + Crunch Time

2 Tbsp serving: 180 calories, 15 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Dried Cane Syrup, Palm Fruit Oil, Salt

Peanuts are naturally filled with oils—and studies have found that the monounsaturated fats found in foods like nuts and olive oil are protective of brain health and function. So why does Peanut Butter & Co. add palm fruit oil to their crunchy and smooth blends? It helps with oil separation, stabilizing the mix. A better Q is, why do they add dried cane syrup? That’s code for sugar. Still, this is by far the best of the worst—read on. And blast even more fat with these 50 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds—Fast!

11
Earth Balance Peanut Butter
With Flax Seed, Crunchy

2 Tbsp serving: 200 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Flaxseed, Peanut Oil, Agave Syrup, Palm Fruit Oil, Salt

Earth Balance, one of the first brands to bring “healthy” PBs into the mainstream, gets much love for including all-natural sugars, and fiber-filling flaxseed. But we can’t fully recommend a brand that includes sugar at all. That’s jelly’s job!

10
Earth Balance Peanut Butter
With Flax Seed, Creamy

2 Tbsp serving: 200 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Flaxseed, Peanut Oil, Agave Syrup, Palm Fruit Oil, Salt

Like the crunchy variety, but with a bit more saturated fat.

9
SimplyJif Creamy

2 Tbsp serving: 180 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Contains 2% or less of: Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (soybean and rapeseed), Mono and Diglycerides, Molasses, Sugar, Salt

Choosey moms, don’t choose Jif! Advertised as a healthier option compared to regular Jif, this has the same unhealthy ingredients, just rearranged. At least it has less sodium.

8
Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts and Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Molasses, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (soybean and rapeseed), Mono and Diglycerides, Salt.

The #1 peanut butter in America is made with Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils, extremely hard, wax-like fats made by forcing as much hydrogen as possible onto the carbon backbone of fat molecules. To obtain a manageable consistency, food manufactures often blend the hard fat with unhydrogenated liquid fats. Remember that next time you’re making Junior’s sandwich or want some high protein snacks.

7
Jif Creamy Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts and Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Molasses, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (soybean and rapeseed), Mono and Diglycerides, Salt.

All the oily grossness of crunchy Jif, but with 25% more salt per serving.

6
Skippy Regular Peanut
Butter, Creamy

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 7 g protein

**Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Cottonseed, Soybean and Rapeseed Oil) To Prevent Separation, Salt.

The battle between Skippy and Jif isn’t a war at all—they’re both made with the same sugars and oils. Yet somehow, Skippy has more saturated fat. A study published in the journal Diabetes found that while unsaturated fat can help reduce abdominal fat, saturated fat can increase waist size. Saturated fats, like the kind you’ll find in baked goods and red meat, “turn on” certain genes that increase the storage of fat in the belly, researchers say. Not all fats are bad—click here for the 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss!

5
Jif Creamy Reduced
Fat Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 200 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar, Pea Protein, Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (soybean and rapeseed), Mono and Diglycerides, Molasses, Magnesium Oxide, Niacinamide, Ferric Orthophosphate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride

Two words you never want to see on your food: “Reduced Fat.” When manufacturers take something out, they put something back in. In this case, that’s two kinds of sugar, a ton of Frankenstein additives, including corn syrup, the liquid sweetener and food thickener made by allowing enzymes to break corn starches into smaller sugars. It provides no nutritional value other than calories.

4
Smucker's Natural
Peanut Butter Reduced Fat

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 115 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Reduced Fat Ground Peanuts, Salt.

Be afraid of any peanut butter whose first ingredient is not peanuts. Maltodextrin is a caloric sweetener and flavor enhancer made from rice, potatoes or, more commonly, cornstarch. Through treatment with enzymes and acids, it can be converted into a fiber and thickening agent. Like other sugars, it has the potential to raise blood glucose and insulin levels.

3
Skippy Natural
Peanut Butter, Creamy

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (3 .5 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Palm Oil Salt

Don’t be fooled by the “Natural” label—it just means the sugar inside is real sugar. That doesn’t make it any less unnecessary.

2
Peter Pan Crunchy

2 Tbsp serving: 200 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Less than 2% of: Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (cottonseed and rapeseed), Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil

It’s unfortunate that the cheaper brands of peanut butter are always the worst, nutritionally. That’s the case here, as one serving of this #3 brand has more calories than anything from Jif or Skippy.

And the #1 Worst Peanut Butter is…
Peter Pan Creamy Original

2 Tbsp serving: 210 calories, 17 g fat (3 g saturated fat,) 140 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, less than 2% of: Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (cottonseed and rapeseed), Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil

Four oils, sugar and salt compete for space in what should be a jar of simply nuts, blended. One serving has more fat and sodium than a small order of McDonald’s French Fries. If Peter Pan ate this, he’d be too fat to fly.

AND NOW...THE BEST

As we said, the best brands have two ingredients: nuts and a touch of salt. Let’s see which brands passed that test.

8
Nuts ‘n More
Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 183 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 22 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Natural Sweetener (Birch Xylitol), Organic Flax, Peanut Flour, Natural Extract, Sea Salt

We’re breaking our own rule here, allowing a peanut butter with more than two ingredients rank as one of the best. That’s because we like the low fat count, super-low sodium count, the fiber added by the flax, and are generally OK with xylitol. It’s a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in strawberries, mushrooms and other fruits and vegetables, most commonly extracted from the pulp of a birch tree. Unlike real sugar, sugar alcohols don’t encourage cavity-causing bacteria. They do have a laxative effect, though, so heavy ingestion might cause intestinal discomfort or gas.

7
MaraNatha No Stir Natural
Peanut Butter Creamy or Crunchy

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 70 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Organic Dry Roasted Peanuts, Organic Palm Oil, Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar, Sea Salt

Although it adds oils and sugars, we like this brand’s low sodium count—and the fact that parents might appreciate the fact that you don’t have to stir.

6
Teddie Smooth Old Fashioned
All Natural Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 125 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, Salt

Generally, smooth varieties has more sodium, because there’s less peanuts to take us space. If you’re gonna go Teddie, go crunchy.

5
Teddie Super Chunky
Old-Fashioned Natural Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, salt

Give this one a bear hug: It has 25% less sodium than crunchy, and just as much protein.

4
Justin’s Classic
Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Dry roasted peanuts, Palm oil

Justin Gold took his PB from Farmer’s Market to bodegas everywhere, and it’s caught on for good reason: It’s creamy and addictive, but with a super-low sodium count.

3
Smucker’s Natural
Peanut Butter Chunky

2 Tbsp serving: 200 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 105 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, contains 1% of less of salt

Ironically, the company behind the sugariest jellies produces the best mainstream PB on the market. Made with just peanuts—and no hydrogenated oils—this is peanut better.

2
MaraNatha Organic
Peanut Butter Creamy or Crunchy

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated), 0 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Organic Dry Roasted Peanuts

Salt-free, this would be our #1 pick for the best peanut butter in the universe...if it weren’t a touch flavor-free and expensive. (Pro tip: spread it on a roll and add chia seeds.) Nutritionally, it’s a winner. But we bet more of you will actually buy our #1 pick.

And the #1 Best Peanut Butter is
Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter Creamy

2 Tbsp serving: 200 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 90 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, contains 1% of less of salt

The salt-free MaraNatha has far less sodium. The Teddie has slightly less calories. But unlike those, the Smucker’s can be found in your local supermarket, no matter where you shop, so it ranks #1 on our list. Made with no hydrogenated oils, this is the best mainstream brand of peanut butter on the market. Spread some on your morning toast, and don’t miss these 50 Best Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss—Ranked!.

Buy it now!

SWEETENED PEANUT BUTTERS

Oh, how far we’ve come since Goober Grape. Peanut butter companies are now adding toffee, dark chocolate and other sweets to their blends. Find out where your favorite rates here—we’ve ranked them from worst to best! And now that you know what to eat, keep the fat burn going with these essential 55 Best-Ever Ways to Boost Your Metabolism!

13
Goober Grape

3 Tbsp serving: 240 calories, 13 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 26 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 21 g sugar, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Ground Roated Peanuts, Grape Juice, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Vegetable Monoglycerides (from Palm Oil), Pectin, Salt, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Citrate

Nostalgia is often the gateway drug to bad choices; don’t inflict them on your kids. And don’t be fooled by the cute, talking cartoon peanut on the label: One serving of Goober Grape has as much sugar as half a can of Coke.

12
Peanut Butter & Co
White Chocolate Wonderful

2 Tbsp serving: 180 calories, 14 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 6 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Dried Cane Syrup, Cocoa Butter, Vanilla, Palm Fruit Oil, Lecithin (from sunflowers), Salt

For a dessert spread, this is one of the healthiest, but don’t think it’s a substitute for peanut butter. Unless you’re skipping the jam.

11
Smucker’s Natural Peanut
Butter with Honey Creamy

2 Tbsp serving: 210 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 25 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 6 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Sugar, Honey, Honey Crystals, Salt

Our #1 peanut butter on the market—Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter—gets “a touch of honey” here, but also an unhealthy overdose of sugar and honey crystals. At least it’s made with no hydrogenated oils.

10
Wild Friends Sugar
Cookie Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 17 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Evaporated Cane Sugar, Coconut, Vanilla, Sea Salt

The clever cooks at Wild Friends made sugar cookies sound healthy, blending coconut into peanut spread. If it weren’t so fatty, we’d eat more.

9
Jif Natural Creamy Peanut
Butter With Honey

2 Tbsp serving: 180 calories, 14 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium 10 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Peanut Butter Spread (peanuts, sugar, palm oil, contains 2% or less of: salt, molasses), Honey

Oh, Jif: If you have honey, why add sugar?

8
Peanut Butter & Co.
Dark Chocolate Dreams

2 Tbsp serving: 170 calories, 13 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 35 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 6 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Dried Cane Syrup, Cocoa, Cocoa Butter, Palm Fruit Oil, Vanilla, Lecithin (From Sunflowers), Salt

“Better than Nutella.” That’s the best we can say for this bestseller. It has no hydrogenated oil, no HFCS and a nice touch of protein. If it had slightly less sugar, we’d name this one of our faves.

7
Justin’s Organic
Peanut Butter With Honey

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Dry Roasted Peanuts, Organic Honey Powder (organic evaporated cane sugar, organic honey), Palm Oil, Sea Salt

Justin’s has made an art out of healthful sweets—their peanut butter cups rated high on our list of the 52 Top Candies—Ranked. This Organic Peanut Butter With Honey rates high, also, with a decent sugar count.

6
Wild Friends Pumpkin
Spice Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp Serving: 190 calories, 17 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Evaporated Cane Sugar, Pumpkin Spice Blend, Peanut Oil, Sea Salt.

We’re into the PS trend if it means more PBs like this.

5
Wild Friends
Gingerbread Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 190 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 8 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Evaporated Cane Sugar, Molasses, Gingerbread Spice Blend, Vanilla, Roasted Peanut Oil, Sea salt.

Just in time for the holidays—and with less sugar than any cookie you’ll find at the Christmas party.

4
Nuts ‘N More
Chocolate Peanut

2 Tbsp serving: 185 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 46 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 12 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Whey Protein Isolate, Organic Flax, Cocoa, Natural Sweetener (xylitol), Natural Extract

We like the flax for added Omega 3’s but we’re staying for the chocolate.

3
Nuts ‘n More White
Chocolate Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 192 calories, 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 18 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 12 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Whey Protein Isolate, White Chocolate Chips (cane sugar, cocoa butter, Non-Fat Dry Milk, Lecithin, Natural Extract)

Nuts ‘n More is the kind of brand you’d find at GNC, so we’re not surprised it has more protein than any PB—although we wish it was plant-based, to reduce the bloat caused by whey.

2
Nuts ‘n More
Toffee Crunch

2 Tbsp serving: 180 cal, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 46 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 12 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Whey Protein Isolate, Organic Flax, Natural Sweetener (Xylitol), Natural Extract, Sunflower Lecithin

Satisfy your desire for Ben & Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch for only 1 gram of sugar.

And the #1 Best Sweetened PB is…
BuffBake Chocolate Chip
Protein Peanut Spread

2 Tbsp serving: 200 calories, 14 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 11 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Whey Protein, Coconut Palm Sugar, Dark Chocolate Chips, Unsweetened Cocoa, Coconut Oil, Chia Seed, Flax Seed.

With less fat and sugar—and way more protein—than any Skippy or Jif, this is one cookie-like spread we’d spread on our Ezekiel bread every day.

Buy it now!

POWDERED PEANUT BUTTERS

The new wave of powdered peanut butters smashes out the fat calories, leaving a dry powder that you reconstitute with water. Eat This, Not That! approves of them, although for half the price, you can buy a natural peanut butter that’s nature’s made perfectly.

3
PB2 Chocolate Peanut Butter Powder

2 Tbsp serving: 45 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 70 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 4 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, cocoa powder, sugar, salt

Our take on this one is, if you want chocolate, have chocolate. But it’s great in smoothies!

2
BetterBody Foods PBFit Powder

2 Tbsp serving: 55 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 70 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 5 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Sugar and Salt

With 10 more calories than PB2, this comes in second place in a two man race.

1
PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp serving: 45 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 94 mg sodium, 5 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 5 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Salt

The winner, almost by default. PB2 is the first mainstream brand into the powdered PB space. We like it for baking and smoothies, but for sandwiches, will stick to Smucker’s.

Buy it now!


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