Are All Peanut Butters Made Equal?
Calling all serious peanut butter lovers - this blog is for you! I am a self-confessed peanut butter lover and the monkeys have followed suit (#mummysboys). This is of course not without good reason! Peanut butter is a very nutritious and versatile product. Made, by in large, from peanuts it is packed full of protein, good fats and fibre. In particular peanuts provide an important source of your essential fatty acids. However a question I get frequently asked is are all peanut butters made equal? Here I share the low down on this and what are some of my top choices in the market at the moment. A quick look in the supermarket aisle and you will find quite a large range of different peanut butter brands at varying prices. As a general rule of thumb with peanut butter you do get what you pay for - that is, the higher quality peanut butters will cost a little bit more - but trust me when I say it is worth it! They basically have more of the good stuff (the peanuts) with very little (if anything) else added. Here are some pointers to look out for when it comes to choosing your peanut butter delight. Peanuts Always go straight to the ingredients list. This will tell you pretty much all you need to know about what exactly is in the jar. The best brands will keep it really simple and have 99% or 100% peanuts. You can be rest assured that you are getting the whole peanut package when it says 100% peanuts and nothing else! Sugar This one is a little bit trickier as peanuts themselves contain sugar. This is why I impress on you to look at the ingredients list first not the nutrition information panel (the numbers) as it may confuse you with this one. They actually contain approximately 4.2g sugar per 100g. Remember 'sugar' as a nutrient is not bad (I literally spoke about this on The Cafe last week interview here for you). It is added sugar here that you want to watch out for - this is just not necessary in peanut butter. If it says 'sugar' in the ingredients list it will mean it contains added sugar and these I would stay away from. Sodium Again be careful just looking at the nutrition information panel as peanuts do contain sodium (about 6mg/100g). However, some brands will also add salt (a source of sodium) to the product. In some cases as you can see above the sodium amount is extremely high (close to 500mg/100g). A lot of brands like Pics Peanut Butter, Ceres Organic and Mother Earth will offer a 'no-salt' or a 'salt-reduced' option, these I would go for not the 'original' options. Checking that nutrition information panel will help as anything with a high amount of sodium chances are it is added and if this is the case the ingredients list will state 'salt' in it. Top Choices So just what is the best better butter on the market? I have to say I am a Pics Peanut Butter lover. Those that have had Pics will know and understand. Just quietly I have not been paid or sponsored to write this post at all - it is my honest opinion! Pics uses a particular peanut that is a hi oleic nut.Hi oleci nuts contain a higher amount of oleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid) compared to standard peanuts. This provides extra nutritional value and taste as well! Moreover Pics Peanut Butter has no sugar what so ever in fact it is 100% peanuts! They have a 'no-salt' option, though even their original option has less salt than most. The back story of Pics is really worth reading (check it out here). Price wise there is not a lot of difference among the top brands ranging between $5.00 (on special) to $7.00 approximately at your local supermarkets. Close runner ups are Mother Earth (99.5% peanuts), Ceres Organic (organic nuts but not hi oleic) and The Nut Brothers (slightly more salt). Recipe Ideas Over on my blog you will find some great recipe ideas using peanut butter including a creamy peanut butter smoothie recipe and if you have not already checked out my latest muffin creation - my peanut and blueberry muffins which are gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free you will want to. Though I still think straight out of the jar is pretty good....so do the boys! Happy Peanut Butter Eating! xxx Dr Julie Bhosale