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Peanut butter is one of the tastiest and easiest snacks to indulge in on a low-carb diet, like the ketogenic diet. It’s also a staple ingredient in making low-carb desserts and fat bombs. Various options of peanut butter are available on grocery store shelves today, but not all of them are created equal.
There are peanut butter brands that have bad fats, artificial sweeteners, and unwanted preservatives, and there are those with natural sweeteners, sometimes even none, and good fats.
If you are wondering if you can eat peanut butter on keto, we discussed that in another article. Here, we share with you the three types of peanut butter you can have on keto, how many carbs they have, and which variant we recommend the most!
Conventional Peanut Butter
Conventional nut butters are the ones you usually find in stores, which are either crunchy and chunky or smooth and creamy. In crunchy peanut butter, some coarsely-ground peanut fragments are included to give extra texture.
Meanwhile, the peanuts in smooth peanut butter are ground uniformly, creating a creamy texture. Regardless of type, peanut butter should always contain at least 90% peanuts, according to FDA regulations.
Two tablespoons of conventional peanut butter usually have 180-200 calories and 16 grams of fat. Unlike natural and freshly ground peanut butter, it’s made with unhealthy hydrogenated vegetable oils.
To hydrogenate something means to add hydrogen to it. The reason this is done is to make foods more spreadable and to add to their shelf-life. It’s a type of trans fat that can increase cholesterol levels and cause inflammation. Remember that a high-fat diet doesn’t give you a free pass to consume as many bad fats as you want!
Like other peanut butter variants, it has 7g of protein per serve that can aid in muscle repair and building. It has a little added sugar, so it is higher in carbs, containing about 8g per two tablespoons and 6g of net carbs.
In other words, it is keto-friendly as long as you don’t exceed your limit of 2 tablespoons a day. However, you need to rethink the quality of fats in this kind of peanut butter as it may impose health risks in the long run, such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Freshly Ground Peanut Butter
Freshly ground peanut butter is usually chunky, sometimes smooth, and can be bought in stores or made at home. Its key feature is its freshness and the absence of additives and sweeteners. Most of the time, it has added salt to make it taste a little less sweet.
All types of peanut butter contain 90% peanuts, but what makes freshly ground nut butter special is, it usually has little to no sweeteners and it is guaranteed fresh. Like natural peanut butter, its oil is usually not stabilized so it is not emulsified into the product and therefore requires mixing before serving.
On average, two tablespoons of freshly ground peanut butter has 165 to 200 calories. About 140 calories are provided by fat, which is 14 to 18 grams per serving. Freshly ground peanut butter’s fat content is 80% monosaturated and polyunsaturated, which can lower triglyceride and blood cholesterol levels and increase the good cholesterol!
Carb-wise, freshly ground peanut butter provides about 6g of carb per 2 tablespoons, which is not bad for keto.
This peanut butter variant has about 9g of protein depending on how you make it or the brand you use. Fresh ground peanut butter contains 16 percent of the recommended amount of protein intake based on a typical 2,000-calorie-per-day diet.
Freshly ground peanut butter is keto-friendly, as long as you only have 2-3 tablespoons a day, and depending on your daily carb limit. It can also supply your body with good fats to keep you in ketosis for extra fuel!
Natural Peanut Butter
Natural peanut butter is usually found in the healthy section of your local supermarket. It’s almost the same in terms of the nutrition content of freshly ground peanut butter, except for any additional ingredients. These can include sweeteners and sometimes salt.
Natural peanut butter also requires stirring because it isn’t homogenized. It only has the natural fats from the peanuts.
A typical serving of natural peanut butter is about two tablespoons, with an average of 6g of total carb and 4g of net carbs.
Natural peanut butter can be keto-friendly when consumed in moderation. 2-3 tablespoons won’t kick you out of ketosis and will give you the fat you need for more energy and mental clarity.
It has 200 calories, 7g of protein, and 16g of total fat. Remember that the nutritional content of natural peanut butter depends on the brand or how it is made. Some can contain natural sugar, while others don’t. Natural peanut butter can also contain vitamin D and minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium.
Natural and Freshly Ground Peanut Butter Recipe
If you want to ensure that the peanut butter you’re eating is freshly made and has no additives, then why not make one your own? This recipe by KetoVale has only 2 grams of net carbs per 2 tbsp! So, feel free to indulge in 3-5 tablespoons a day, depending on your carb limit.
Prepare the following:
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 lb raw peanuts, shelled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp erythritol
- ½ tsp sea salt.
What Kind of Peanut Butter Can I Eat on Keto?
Peanut butter is generally a keto-approved treat that you can use for making peanut butter keto balls, smoothies, and other snacks. It has a good amount of protein, a high fat content, and a low amount of carbs, so any type of peanut butter is good for you as long as you don’t go beyond your limit.
Whether it’s the conventional one, an all-natural type, or the freshly ground peanut butter, 2-3 tablespoons will not knock you out of ketosis. But if you want less sugar, preservatives, and bad fats, we recommend buying natural peanut butter or freshly ground peanut butter. Or better still, make it yourself at home and add it to your keto snacks!