Peanut Butter Exposed

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is good for you, right? Not necessarily. Peanut butter is full of healthy fats and protein, but most kinds have added sugars, oils, and salt.

I love peanut butter. LOVE it. I’d live off the stuff if I wouldn’t die from malnutrition. I eat peanut butter like it’s going out of style, and I’d marry it if I could.

But, a few months ago, I realized that almost all the peanut butters at the store, even all natural and organic brands, have more ingredients than just peanuts. Desperate to get to the bottom of peanut butter’s dirty little secret, I did some digging to find out which kinds are healthiest and which ones won’t break the bank.

I went to Meijer today, and took notes over all 11 different brands of peanut butters labeled “all natural” or “organic.” I probably looked like a crazy person standing in the aisle for a good 15 minutes with a little notebook writing down all the brands, prices, and ingredients, but it was worth it to find out which peanut butter is best for eating clean.

I graded each peanut butter on two criteria for a healthiness score: number of ingredients and NuVal score. (The NuVal System measures the nutritional quality of foods and scores them from 0 to 100). The fewer ingredients, the higher the grade. The higher the NuVal score, the higher the grade. I weighted the grade for ingredients twice as much as the NuVal Score since clean eating is all about eating whole foods.

For example, Skippy Natural Peanut Butter has four ingredients, earning it a 70%. It has a NuVal score of 16/100, or 16%. To calculate Skippy’s final grade, I added 2(0.7) + 0.16 = 1.56, and then divided 1.56/3 = 0.52 or 52%.

Below is a list (from highest to lowest healthiness score) of the 11 kinds of natural or organic peanut butter I found at Meijer. Just a reminder that these prices are based on Meijer’s regular pricing and might be different depending on stores or sales.

And finally, the results you’ve been waiting for!

83% Krema Natural Peanut Butter

  • 1 Ingredient (peanuts)
  • NuVal Score: 49
  • Price: $3.49

75% Meijer Natural Peanut Butter

  • 1 Ingredient (roasted peanuts)
  • NuVal Score: 24
  • Price: $2.99

67% Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter

  • 2 Ingredients (peanuts, salt)
  • NuVal Score: 22
  • Price: $3.29

54% Planter’s Natural Peanut Butter

  • 4 Ingredients (roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt)
  • NuVal Score: 23
  • Price: $2.69

54% MaraNatha Organic Peanut Butter

  • 4 Ingredients (dry roasted organic peanuts, organic palm oil, organic unrefined cane sugar, sea salt)
  • NuVal Score: 23
  • Price: $5.99

53% Peter Pan 100% Natural Peanut Butter

  • 4 Ingredients (roasted peanuts, sugar, fractionated palm oil, salt)
  • NuVal Score: 18
  • Price: $2.79

53% Meijer Organic Peanut Butter

  • 4 Ingredients (dry roasted organic peanuts, organic palm oil, organic pure cane sugar, sea salt)
  • NuVal Score: 18
  • Price: $3.99

52% Skippy Natural Peanut Butter

  • 4 Ingredients (roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt)
  • NuVal Score: 16
  • Price: $3.19

48% Smart Balance All Natural Rich Roast Peanut Butter

  • 5 Ingredients (peanuts, dried cane syrup, natural oil blend, salt, molasses)
  • NuVal Score: 25
  • Price: $3.49

47% Jif Natural Peanut Butter

  • 5 Ingredients (peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt, molasses)
  • NuVal Score: 20
  • Price: $2.99

41% Simply Jif Peanut Butter

  • 6 Ingredients (peanuts, fully hydrogenated vegetable oil, mono & diglycerides, molasses, sugar, salt)
  • NuVal Score: 23
  • Price: $2.99

To sum up, if you’re looking for the healthiest peanut butter for clean eating, Krema takes the cake! Scoring 83%, this peanut butter knocks the others out of the water. Simply Jif is the least healthy on this list.

If you’re looking for the lowest price on natural peanut butter, Planter’s is for you! It only beats the others by a few quarters, but it can add up. Avoid MaraNatha if you’re on a budget; $5.99 a jar is a bit pricey.

Now that you’ve got the real facts, you can make a wise choice about your peanut butter. The lesson of the story is, always read the ingredients label. I can’t stress that enough. And now that I’ve got you craving peanut butter, go have a spoonful or two!

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3 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Exposed

  1. I, too am a PB whore. But I only buy it from health food shops online where I know I’m getting 100% peanuts. I love it, but the only downside is trying to stir 1kg of peanut butter that has been on a shelf for so long it’s like concrete at the bottom!!! haha, Sore arms ahoy! 😀 x

  2. It is very hard to stir! It’s worth the sore arms for how tasty it is! Something I read is to turn the jar upside down for a few days before you plan to open and eat it. I tried it, and it’s still kind of hard to stir, but it definitely helps!

  3. Pingback: Granola Bars Exposed | The Slender Grapefruit

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