The idea that natural peanut butter and regular kraft, jiffy, or skippy “smooth creamy” peanut butter are the same thing drives meeeee nuts!! (pun intended) Educating yourself is key to improving your health and well-being. Always reading the nutrition facts label is the best way to get started.
If you’re anything like me… peanut butter is a staple of your diet. It is just SO addicting and delicious on almost anything!! It is also a great source of protein and fats (if you are choosing the right type of peanut butter).
So what is the real difference between the Kraft Smooth and Creamy peanut butter you have been buying and the Kraft All-Natural Peanut Butter?
In this example, I use Kraft to demonstrate the difference between regular versus natural peanut butter as this is a common brand. However, the values will be similar across the board when comparing regular to natural from different brands. The added ingredients may vary. Some brands add icing sugar, different types of oils, preservatives, more sodium, etc. These values will be the same whether you are consuming smooth or crunchy peanut butters as well.
Kraft Creamy Peanut Butter (1 TBSP)
|Kraft All-Natural Peanut Butter (1TBSP)|
|90 calories||90 calories|
|Fat: 8g (1.5g saturated)||Fat: 7g (1g saturated)|
|Sodium: ~60 mg||Sodium: 0 mg|
|Carbohydrate: 4g||Carbohydrate: 3g|
|Protein: 3g||Protein: 4g|
|Sugar: 1-3g (this fluctuates depending on the brand and how much sugar is added)||Sugar: 0g|
|Ingredients: roasted peanuts, soybean oil, corn maltodextrin, sugar, hydrolyzed oil, salt, mono-and di-glycerides||
Ingredients: JUST PEANUTS!
As you can see, there is not a huge significant difference in the nutritional values. However, why would you want to consume the peanut butter with all the crap if you can avoid it? The regular creamy peanut butter has more saturated fat (the bad fat) and a lot more sodium (added salt)! Additionally, the regular peanut butter contains less protein and many more added ingredients (as you can see in the ingredient labels below), which I will go through.
High sodium is a concern for many individuals nowadays. Sodium is added in large amounts to many processed foods to enhance flavour and shelf-life. Too much sodium in our diets can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of stroke. This is the first reason why it is a better idea to choose the natural/unprocessed version of peanut butter.
Corn Maltodextrin: As I am sure you guessed, this is processed from corn. It is added as a sugar to sweeten food/beverage products. AKA this is a very processed refined sugar and would be wise to avoid.
Mono- and di-glycerides: This is a form of added fat used in many packaged food products. Food manufacturers use this processed form of fat to extend the product shelf life (longer than it naturally would be). Yet another reason to choose the natural peanut butter, you don’t have to worry about added extra fats. The natural peanut butter (along with other nut butters) is a great source of unsaturated fats, Omega-6 fatty acids.
Switching from regular peanut butter to natural peanut butter takes some getting used to. You will notice it is much less sweet and “creamy”. When I converted from Kraft PB to natural peanut butter, my favourite thing to do was add touch of honey to my PB on toast. This gives it a natural sugar boost.
I choose to make my own nut butter in the blender at home or I buy PC Blue Menu and Kraft natural almond and peanut butter (I am not very picky with the brand as long as the ingredient label contains only peanuts!). Remember to always read the label. Be an informed consumer 🙂