Who doesn’t love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Some people think, fattening, when it comes to peanut butter, but in moderation peanut butter is one of the perfect foods we have for energy and health. In this day of natural vs. preservative filled foods, the big question is which is better? When it comes to peanut butter natural is the way to go.
Several big companies have created their version of the natural peanut butter. Smart Balance, Smuckers, and Skippy are three major brands that have created natural peanut butters, and we are going to put them to the test.
First, let’s define what natural peanut butter actually is. If you walk into a natural food store, you will find a grinder full of peanuts. Natural peanut butter is just that, ground up peanuts. The taste is very pea nutty, and the consistency is a little heavy. But those of you who are skeptical, that is okay because Smuckers, Skippy, and Smart Balance have created natural peanut butters that are comparable in nutrition and tastes a little more American style.
Peanuts and thus natural peanut butter have many nutritional values. Two tablespoons of peanut butter are only 190 calories, 8 grams of protein, and about 18 grams of fat. This sounds like a lot of fat. It is about 25% of your daily fat intake. This is the type of fat you should eat. Then the 75% left for the day could be the meat at dinner, snacks, and some at breakfast. Peanut butter is also a good source of calcium, potassium, and folate; Peanut butter has zero cholesterol.
Comparing Skippy Natural, Smart Balance, and Smuckers Natural this humble writer found based on taste, spread ability, nutrition, and cost. Skippy natural tastes the best. It tastes like Skippy yet it is more natural. It spreads the best, and cost the least, $2.57. But, there is sugar and palm oil in it. Now, the fat content is less but for overall health the palm oil and sugar make it the least natural. The sugar makes you want to keep eating more and more. This is good for our tastes and minds but not for the fat areas on our bodies.
Smart Balance Omega Chunky tastes a little like fish, because of the flax seed oil. Natural wise it is in the right direction, but there is molasses and oils that aren’t necessary. Cost is mid-range $2.95 for 1pound. Smuckers is the favorite, because it tastes good and pea nutty. It is only peanuts and salt. That is all you need, especially if you are adding jelly. The cost is $2.97 for 1 pound. The most expensive, but worth the extra few cents. Your body won’t have to work as hard processing the oil and sugar. The only downside is Smuckers recommends refrigerating after opening. The peanut butter gets very hard and difficult to spread. I just put it in a cool place and leave it out and have never had a problem.
You might think peanut butter is fattening but in the realm of a whole day it is a very good necessary fat. The benefits out weigh the fat content. Remember it is mostly the good fat and not the harmful one. You may not think that the added extra sugar makes that much of a difference, but over time sugar can be very damaging. It cakes onto the arteries and limits blood flow. Too much sugar has been said to lead to premature aging. When it comes to natural vs. sugar and preservatives this writer always chooses natural to live a healthier, longer life.