Natural peanut butters are those that contain no trans fats or preservatives and are, according to their producers, “better for you” than other, non-natural peanut butters (kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?). I’ve seen some odd-looking peanuts but none that I’d ever consider unnatural
In any case, the standard issue, generic, 2 tablespoon serving of plain old peanut butter provides 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 7 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of protein and 150 milligrams of sodium. Most peanut butters contain peanuts, vegetable oil, sugar and salt. Smart Balance Omega peanut butter contains flaxseed and palm oil, salt and molasses, along with 1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
Taste is a matter of, well, taste. Some people swear by Jiffy while others will buy whatever is on sale. We can’t say one brand tastes better than the other because taste is simply too personal. Individuals with a sweet tooth will craze one brand while those who prefer more of a salty taste will prefer another. It’s really a matter of trial and error when it comes to comparing the flavors of each brand.
Far more simple to compare is the nutritional content of each brand. Not too surprisingly, there really isn’t a whole big difference is this area. A peanut is, after all, just a peanut. There are a couple of exceptions, but they are all within a close range. There really was nothing to warrant spending significantly more for one brand of natural peanut butter over another.
Most natural peanut butters provide your body with 200 calories per serving. Skippy Natural was slightly lower at 180 calories and Naturally More was surprisingly less with only 169 calories. Smucker’s Natural and Adam’s Organic both weighed in with 210 calories.
The grams of fat in each serving were equally similar. Each two tablespoon serving will generally provide you with 16 to 17 grams of fat. The only variation on that theme was, again, Naturally More which contains only 11 grams. I suppose less really is More However, if you are counting fat grams, you probably aren’t eating peanut butter anyway.
Of course, counting carbs is all the rage and where would we be to neglect them here? You get 5 to 8 grams of carbohydrates per serving of natural peanut butter. Smart Balance Natural came in lowest with only 5 grams while Naturally More had, surprisingly, more with 8 grams. All the other brands studied contained the same 6 grams, regardless.
Sodium content was a little surprising. Skippy topped the list with a whopping 150 mg. Adam’s Natural contains only 50 mg. All the rest were at 110 mg, except for Essensia, with 120 mg and Naturally More had slightly more with 130 mg.
The final criterion for comparison was protein content. Every brand had either 7 or 8 grams of protein per serving except Essensia with 9 grams and, you guessed it, Naturally More which holds the prize with 10 grams.
So, there it is. When it really comes down to it, if you are taking a closer look at your diet, there isn’t a whole lot of difference in what brand of natural peanut butter you are buying, so go for the one that’s on sale.