Nutrition

Is Peanut Butter Keto? Expert Answers and Alternatives

Published on: June 26, 2019

Is Peanut Butter Keto? Expert Answers and Alternatives

A fairly common question first-time ketoers ask is whether peanut butter is keto-friendly. The short answer is yes, peanut butter is keto-friendly. The long answer is - it depends on the type and brand.

Some peanut butters have added sugar and some even have partially hydrogenated vegetable oils – both forbidden on keto. Others are sugar-free and made mostly of peanuts. It’s easy to see why you will need to be careful when choosing peanut butter for your keto diet.

Continue reading to learn more about eating peanut butter on a keto diet. We will also talk about some peanut butter alternatives, which peanut butter brands are best for keto, and what recipes you should try.


Is Peanut Butter Keto-Friendly?

Peanut butter is definitely keto-friendly. Like most nut butters, peanut butter is high in fat, low in carbs, and moderate in protein. A 20-gram serving size of natural peanut butter has the following macros (according to MyFitnessPal.com):


  • Carbs: 3g (10%)
  • Fat: 10g (74%)
  • Protein: 5g (16%)

The confusion around peanut butter on a keto diet stems mainly from two facts:


  • Peanuts are classified as legumes, and legumes are typically avoided on keto
  • Peanut butter often has added sugar

However, these features don't really make peanut butter any less keto-friendly. First, despite being a legume, peanuts are classified as nuts because their nutrient composition resembles that of tree nuts. Second, there are many peanut butters with no added sugar or sugar substitutes.


Carbs-in-Peanut-Butter-and-Other-Nutritional-Info

Carbs in peanut butter & other nutritional information

Only 10% of the calories in natural peanut butter come from net carbs, so you'll get around 3g net carbs per 2 tablespoons [1]. Peanut butters with sugar will give you 4.5g net carbs for the same serving size.

Besides being low in carbs, peanut butter is high in fat and moderate in protein — perfect on a keto diet. A 2-tablespoon serving will give you a generous 16g of fat and 8g of protein.

Other than that, peanut butter is a good source of vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper. 


Nutritional Info - Natural Peanut Butter

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 2 tbsp (32g)

Calories 200 kcal

Fat 16g

Protein 8g

Total carbs 5g

Net carbs 3g

Fiber 2g

VITAMINS

Vitamin E 3mg

Niacin 4.3mg

Vitamin B6 0.2mg

Folate 24mg

MINERALS

Magnesium 50mg

Phosphorus 115mg

Copper 0.2mg

Manganese 0.5mg


Quick and easy better alternatives for low carb peanut butter

Not everyone loves peanut butter, and some people are even allergic to peanuts. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives, some even nut-free. Check out these 4 popular substitutes for peanut butter in your keto diet:


Peanut-Butter-Alternatives

Almond butter

Almond butter is a popular nut butter on keto. It is a natural nut butter with the same amount of net carbs as peanut butter [2]. A major advantage of almond butter is that it's lower in omega-6 fatty acids than peanut butter, and excess intake of omega-6 fats has been linked to obesity and other health problems [3].


Tahini

Also known as sesame seed paste, tahini is another excellent source of protein and healthy fats. Keep in mind that tahini is on the runny side and it tends to be rather bitter on its own. However, added to dips, toasts, and smoothies, it makes everything taste better and much healthier.


Sunflower seed butter

In terms of flavor and texture, this seed butter is the closest you'll get to peanut butter. You can easily find it at most grocery stores and even make your own in a food processor.


Coconut butter

Coconut butter is a paste made from shredded coconut. It has an intense coconut-y flavor and is incredibly creamy. It's also rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).


How-Much-Peanut-Butter-Can-I-Have-on-Keto

How much peanut butter can I have on keto?

The keto diet typically limits net carbs to fewer than 50g daily. To eat within this daily carb limit, most of your meals should have fewer than 15 net carbs. A typical serving of natural peanut butter (2 tablespoons) provides around 3g net carbs. So, even if you double your intake, you'll still likely stay within your daily carb limit.

At the end of the day, how much peanut butter you can have on keto depends on whether it fits your macros. Make sure to count the carbs and other macros from peanut butter into your daily meal plan.


5 Keto-Friendly Peanut Butter Available in Your Favorite Stores

Not all peanut butters are keto-friendly. To help you make the best choice of peanut butter for your keto diet, here is a short list of the best products you should be able to find at your favorite stores.


Keto-Friendly-Peanut-Butter-Available-in-Stores

1. Trader Joe's Organic Peanut Butter (Creamy Unsalted)

A creamy organic peanut butter made with nothing but peanuts. Unlike most other natural peanut butters, the oil does not separate, and the peanut butter tastes delicious.

Buy it now on Amazon or at your local store.


2. Spread the Love NAKED Organic Peanut Butter

Made in California with dry-roasted organic peanuts, this peanut butter is also sugar-free.

Buy now on Amazon or on the Spread the Love Foods website.


3. JIF Natural Peanut Butter

If you're a fan of JIF peanut butter, their natural sugar-free peanut butter is for you. It's also cheaper than many other natural peanut butters at $2.50 for a 16-oz. jar.

Visit the JIF official website to find a store, or shop online.


4. 365 Organic Peanut Butter

This brand (found at Whole Foods) of peanut butter is always good. Choose between creamy or crunchy for just $3.99 per 16-oz jar.

Buy at Whole Foods stores.


5. Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter

A 100% natural peanut butter made with two simple ingredients: fresh-roasted peanuts and a dash of salt.

Visit Smucker's website to find a store near you, or buy online.


Delicious-Keto-Peanut-Butter-Recipes

3 Insanely Delicious Keto Peanut Butter Recipes

Peanut butter isn't just for smoothies and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Try out these 3 delicious keto-friendly recipes with peanut butter.


1. Peanut Butter Mug Cake

You only need 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of your time to make this peanut-y mug cake. The recipe yields one serving, which provides almost 300 calories, most coming from fat. You'll also get 14g of protein in a single serving – perfect if you need a pre or post-workout snack.

Get the recipe here.

 

2. Keto Chocolate Smoothie

This chocolate smoothie calls for almond butter, but you can use peanut butter instead and it will taste just as good. Peanut butter adds protein and improves the texture of keto smoothies. Make this smoothie whenever you need a quick breakfast for on the go or something to curb your mid-day slumps.

Get the recipe here.


3. Chocolate Pots

Another quick dessert option is this chocolate pots recipe. Made with our peanut butter flavored Keto Bar, it makes for a lovely dessert you can serve friends and family.

Get the recipe here.


Conclusion

Peanut butter is one of those foods that keto dieters frequently seem to question. There are many reasons why this may be the case, but rest assured that peanut butter can be keto-friendly if you go for the natural and sugar-free versions. Alternatively, you can always substitute peanut butter for other nut and seed butters. If you choose to eat peanut butter on your keto diet, go for quality brands that sell natural peanut butter and feel free to use it in your desserts and other recipes.


Takeaways

  • Peanut butter is keto-friendly as long as it's free from sugar and partially hydrogenated oils.
  • You can substitute peanut butter for almond butter, tahini, coconut butter, and other similar products.
  • Keto dieters can have two or more servings of natural peanut butter on a keto diet and still be within their daily carb limits.
  • Peanut butter is a great way to incorporate fats and protein into smoothies, keto desserts, and other recipes.

References:

  1. USDA. Full Report (All Nutrients): 45113051, HAMPTON FARMS, NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER, UPC: 081864002560. 2018 July - https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45113051
  2. USDA. Full Report (All Nutrients): 45123320, ALMOND BUTTER, UPC: 840379100013. 2018 July - https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45123320
  3. Simopoulos AP. An Increase in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty... View all references

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