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The Worst Peanut Butter Brands You Should Never Buy

According to dietitians, these are the PB brands you'll want to closely examine.

Peanut butter is a go-to favorite snack and spread, and you really can eat it at every meal. (We won't judge!) Whether you're enjoying it in a smoothie, in an oat or yogurt bowl, topped on fruit or veggies, or in a spread or sauce, peanut butter is super versatile. And it's packed with healthy fats, so it's also good for you!

Yet, the type of peanut butter you eat does matter. You want to choose a nut butter that is good for you and low in sodium, sugars, and carbs, as well as free from any harmful ingredients. Going simple and unprocessed is the best way to enjoy it, but you can find some other good processed ones in the supermarket aisle too. Yet, they're amidst a bunch of not-so-good-for-you peanut butter brands.

So to help you make the best choice, here are the peanut butter brands you'll want to take a closer look at and specifically, the jars you'll want to avoid from these brands, as suggested by dietitians. And while you're making healthier choices, be sure to add The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now to your diet.

1

Skippy

reduced fat skippy creamy

Jar to avoid: Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

Per serving: 190 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 170 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 7 g protein

Skippy might be a classic, but this brand uses the term reduced fat to indicate that it is of greater health value than other peanut butter options on the market.

"However, manufacturers replace fat in this product with inactive and synthetic ingredients like soy and other carbohydrates to increase protein and texture," says Trista Best, MS, RD. All the while, the calorie content remains the same and other nutrients suffer.

2

Great Value

great value creamy peanut butter

Jar to avoid: Creamy Peanut Butter

Per serving: 180 calories, 15 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 120 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 7 g protein

This particular peanut butter isn't ideal from a nutrition perspective, but the flavor and texture put it as one of the worst on the market.

"The taste of peanut butter is quite fleeting and results in a bitter aftertaste," says Best. Plus, "the texture becomes [drier] and you make your way through the jar, if you get that far," she adds.

3

Peter Pan

peter pan creamy peanut butter

Jar to avoid: Creamy Peanut Butter

Per serving: 200 calories, 16 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 125 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 8 g protein

It's no secret this particular PB brand has been around for decades, but they have not made many changes to make the product healthier.

"A serving of this peanut butter has more calories than most other brands on the market; 210," says Best. And, the fat content is higher than most and the flavor is distinctively sweet, as in too sweet.

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4

Smucker's

smuckers goober

Jar to avoid: Goober Strawberry PB & J Stripes

Per serving: 220 calories, 11 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 125 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 5 g protein

This combo may be an efficient way to make a PB & J, but using this spread will certainly make you an unhealthy sandwich!

"With 21 grams of sugar coming from high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup, Smucker's is one brand to immediately knock off your shopping list," says Ilyse Schapiro MS, RD, CDN. Instead, opt for a peanut butter with no added ingredients (especially added sugar), and top it off with some mashed raspberries or sliced strawberries.

5

Peanut Butter & Co

peanut butter co dark chocolatey dreams

Jar to avoid: Dark Chocolatey Dreams

Per serving: 170 calories, 13 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 45 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 6 g protein

Flavored peanut butters often have added sugars and oils that contribute a large portion of calories, fat, and sugar. Peanut Butter & Co's "no stir" spread is another way of saying "added oils" to prevent peanut oil separation.

"And in this case, it's palm oil, which is a saturated fat that's harmful to cardiovascular health," Schapiro points.

6

Justin's

justins honey peanut butter

Jar to avoid: Honey Peanut Butter Spread

Per serving: 210 calories, 17 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 90 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 7 g protein

This is a "spread," which means this nut butter contains about 60% peanuts and 40% added and artificial ingredients. So it's not 100% peanut butter in this jar!

"In this case, this spread in particular packs in two types of sugar (organic honey and organic cane sugar) and processed oils (peanut oil and palm oil)," says Schapiro.

Also, don't be fooled by organic ingredients, as sugar and refined oils in any form won't be healthy in a nut butter.

Isadora Baum
Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy. Read more
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