- Peanut butter can be healthy if you choose brands that just contain peanuts or peanuts and salt.
- But some people love to buy the store-bought variety.
- We ranked full-fat, store-bought peanut butter by calories.
- Experts we spoke with recommended avoiding "reduced-fat" options that likely contain added sugar or corn syrup.
Peanut butter, for most people, is a dietary staple. I personally eat at least one spoonful out of the jar each day. (Don't worry — I don't double dip. I'm not a monster.)
Unfortunately not everyone shares my love of peanut butter. Many people are under the assumption that peanut butter is an "unhealthy" food, and try to avoid it all costs. But they couldn't be more wrong.
"Peanut butter's 'unhealthy' reputation may come from the fact that many brands add in unnecessary ingredients during processing such as sugar, hydrogenated oils and fillers," Malina Linkas Malkani, a registered dietitian nutritionist, media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and creator of the Wholitarian Lifestyle, told INSIDER. "When peanut butter contains only peanuts and maybe a little salt, peanut butter is a great, nutrient-rich food choice that is packed with plant-based protein, heart-healthy fats, fiber and folate."
Andy Bellatti, strategic director of Dietitians For Professional Integrity, agreed and added that, when choosing a peanut butter, people should look for brands that contain "just peanuts or peanuts and salt," on the ingredients list.
Of course, people's preferences and financial situations may keep them from buying these type of options. Additionally, some people may chose foods bases solely on the calorie content. If that's the case, then this ranking might be useful.
Whatever you do though, don't chose a "reduced-fat" option over others. "The fat removed from these products is usually replaced with corn syrup, sugar, or other additives," Malkani explained. "From a health perspective, it's better to choose the full-fat peanut butter."
With that in mind, here are the most popular peanut butter brands ranked from most to least calories.
SEE ALSO: We tried the peanut butter hack that the Internet is freaking out about — and it was a complete fail
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7. Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter
Not only does Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter have the most calories of all the popular brands, but it also has the most fat at 17 grams a serving.
5. Jif Creamy Peanut Butter (TIE)
A serving of Jif's creamy variety contains 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and 3 grams of sugar — which is pretty standard fair for peanut butter. And before you ask, the crunchy variety is the same nutrition wise.
5. Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter (TIE)
Skippy has the same nutritional break down as Jif, making them tied for the fifth most caloric spread. Ultimately, choosing between the two comes to a matter of preferences. For me, it's always Skippy.
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