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Is peanut butter keto? Thoughts from a nutritionist

Peanut butter keto

Is peanut butter keto, you ask? Well, in short, yes it can be. However, this is only applicable if you get this nut butter in its most natural form; otherwise it can actually hinder your low-carbohydrate eating efforts.

While I have already posted an in-depth post evolving around eating peanut butter before bed, this blog post will present to you the fundamental nutritional breakdown of how peanut butter can be a great companion towards a keto diet. The concepts addressed below should hopefully answer all your questions on whether there are actually keto peanut butter brands on the market out there (in short-don’t worry, there is!).

What is peanut butter?

So, apart from the fact that you probably occasionally already indulge in this delicious creamy peanut butter snack straight from the jar at times (yes, you do) or possibly those cheeky Reese peanut butter cups, what is peanut butter? Peanut butter is also known as Archais Hypogaea, and if you follow American TV shows, you may have noticed how it really is a staple within American culture. Americans really do love peanut butter! While peanut butter does come in a jar, buying the right one should classify it as completely unprocessed. The purest of natural peanut butter spreads are actually just roasted peanuts blended together with a polyunsaturated oil substituent i.e. coconut oil, or also just 100% peanuts with peanut oil. That is how natural peanut butters come-as a creamy texture/paste of nutty goodness.

What are the best keto peanut butter brands available on the market?

Here’s my list of the 3 best keto peanut butter brands I can recommend to you.

The Protein Works Peanut Butter

The Protein Works Peanut Butter

Best features and benefits of TPW Peanut Butter Crunchy:

  • Made from 100% natural roasted peanuts.
  • Protein dense with 25.6g of protein per serving.
  • No hydrogenated oils found FULL STOP!
  • Absolutely no added sugar.
  • Supports muscle recovery and synthesis.
  • Naturally satiating and delicious!
  • Vegan friendly

I think this peanut butter product from The Protein Works is one of the best peanut butters on the market today. Why? Because firstly, it provides consumers with the access to high protein, high fat and low carbohydrate nutrients-meaning it is perfect for anyone practicing a keto diet. Secondly a majority of the low carb content is purely fibre, which should support gut health and digestive systems of those possibly struggling with the change to a keto diet. This is a great way to mix it up, indulge a little, but still be conscious of the macros that you want to achieve daily.

Do you want to know the best part of eating this? You have the option of two consistencies: crunchy and smooth. The two variations make it possible to try out different snacks and meals, while enjoying the same nutritional value.

How to take The Protein Works: Peanut Butter Crunchy

  1. Add it by blending it directly within your morning protein shake.
  2. Spread it over a light snack of fruits e.g. apple or bananas.
  3. Indulge away with a spoon!

Myprotein: All Natural Peanut Butter

Myprotein Peanut Butter

Best features and benefits of Myprotein All-Natural Peanut Butter:

  • Great value for money.
  • High fibre source.
  • Made from 100% natural roasted peanuts.
  • Extremely protein dense with 30g of protein per serving.
  • Perfect for those looking for change-it comes in three alternative flavours- smooth, crunchy and coconut.
  • Provides essential Vitamin E and magnesium.
  • No Palm Oil.

For those looking for a different take on peanut butter-this is the one! I really like the MyProtein alternative on the market as they added their own coconut variation, which is an extra creamy peanut butter option for those that do not like crunchy and coarse spreads. Also, something else worth mentioning is the roasting technique of the nuts that make MyProtein have an edge over the market. Their creamy texture is naturally sweet, without any need to add sugar.

Best thing about Myprotein nut butters? You can get other options like cashew butter, macadamia nuts and almond butter variations too. You are pretty much spoiled for choice with the nut butter ranges from this nutritionally forward empire!

How to take Myprotein All natural Peanut Butter

  1. Add a tablespoon with your morning oatmeal/porridge.
  2. Take two tablespoons on the go, right after a workout- for an immediate pick me up.

FoodSpring: Peanut Butter

Foodspring Peanut Butter

Best features and benefits of Foodspring Organic Peanut Butter:

  • High fibre source.
  • Made from 100% natural roasted peanuts.
  • Rich in macronutrients like protein, fats and has a low carbohydrate content.
  • Provides essential Vitamin E and magnesium.
  • Nutty and coarse, yet the smooth texture makes it perfect for a spread.
  • Sustainably sourced with no ecological damage during manufacture.

If you are more conscious and ethically inclined to purchase produce that is environmentally friendly, this peanut butter ticks the bill.

Foodspring have teamed up with initiatives that source the peanut crop from organic and sustainable farmers. Meaning, your peanut butter will be free from toxins that are often commonly associated with mass peanut crop farming pesticides. While you are paying a little bit more from your usual 250 gram jar, knowing it stands right for your body as well as supporting local farmers, makes this jar worth it.

Oh, and by the way, the taste is surprisingly rich and sweet, despite the spread not being as dense as the other formulas listed above. Foodspring’s formula is perfect!


How to take Foodspring Organic Peanut Butter

  1. Perfect to drizzle over a stack of protein pancakes.
  2. Light creamy consistency makes it perfectly spread over toast!

Peanut butter nutritional facts

Peanut butter nutritional facts

From a technical standpoint, peanut butters are actually a legume and not a nut, yet when you refer to the macronutrient values, it very resembles nuts nutritionally.

In just a two tablespoon portion of this nut butter there are 190 calories, with just over 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein and 8 grams of carbohydrates (2 of which is fibre). As you can see, it is easy to understand why many actually avoid peanut butter like the plague with it being so calories dense. However, if you substitute your daily macronutrients around this bad boy, you can make it work-and from a ketogenic diet perspective, the higher fat content in this with comparison to the other macros, allow it to easily classify as a low carb food source.

What is ketosis and how does keto-friendly peanut butter help?

Ketosis in short, is where the body breaks down fat instead of using the stored glucose within the body (carbohydrates). This is a metabolic state that can only be achieved when you ensure that you keep your carb allowance below 10% of your daily energy consumption. Scientifically this process allows your body to be massively efficient when it comes to burning fat stores as energy, as well as synthesising fat into ketones for an energy source utilised in the brain. [1] You can ultimately see, therefore, how having a high fat low carb content in your everyday diet, can help support weight loss in the long term. Research has shown that a ketogenic diet can sufficiently support weight loss, provided that protein intake is also monitored, as in excess that can slow down ketosis due to the possible conversion of protein into glucose via gluconeogenesis within the body. [2]
Peanut butter can support a ketogenic diet, as the lower net carb count makes it massively achievable to stick to the keto-friendly low carb goal of 20-50 grams consumed daily. More information on incorporating peanut butter within your diet will be revealed further on.

What kind of peanut butter can you have on keto?

Peanut butter ketoJust to make things clear, if you want to add peanut butter to your low carb ketogenic diet, you need to use an unsweetened peanut butter only. Major prestigious peanut butter brands that are imported from America’s peanut crop, are the kind for indulging with no mindfulness towards macronutrients. The addition of white sugar, or other forms of added sugars will jeopardise the ketogenic diet you are aiming for, as sugar and carbs within the body are treated pretty much in the same way. Meaning, you would have to wave goodbye to your keto goals unfortunately, if you do indulge in anything other than a natural peanut butter composed of only peanuts and a healthy fatty oil.

How do you use peanut butter on keto?

How to use peanut butter on ketoFor a keto meal plan, you will need to split your macronutrients with the following ratios:

  • 70% fat based
  • 20% protein based
  • And last of all, the net carbs of only 10%

Thankfully, most natural peanut butters fit the bill being that they are high fat-yay!

Of course, we need to address the elephant in the room despite peanut butter being keto friendly, and that is weight loss. Due to this great snack being high in energy, it can so easily hinder weight loss goals for anyone trying to lose weight.

Two tablespoons alone can equate to your typical average chocolate bar when calories are concerned. While yes, nutritionally it does a world full of good for your body, energy is an equilibrium that must be maintained within the body. Anything you do not use, will be stored as fat-even if it is just peanuts. It is quite important if you are striving to improve your physique and body aesthetics, macro-tracking will make this a healthy snack that you can afford to indulge in.

What are the benefits of eating peanut butter?

1. You can lose weight

Peanut butter benefitsWhile this may be quite preposterous to come to terms with, being that peanut butter has almost 100 calories in every tablespoon, your creamy peanut butter can actually help you lose weight by keeping you fuller for longer. Yes it’s true! Natural peanut butter that has no added sugars, is a great food to attain longer spans of satiety. In a study which analysed the impact of peanuts amongst other tree nut variations on body weight, showcased that it was statistically significant towards efficient weight loss overall. [3]  This was explained as a mechanistic attribute that is commonly characterised by rich nut fats and the fibre they hold, which equates to a longer time span within the gut, due to it being an insoluble fibre

2. A great energy boost for those on a keto diet

Due to peanut butter having relatively low net carbs (low GI) density, the blood sugar levels are not impacted when you eat it, meaning your energy levels will be stable and not volatile at all. It would be very common for those that eat this keto-friendly peanut spread, to have a sustained energy boost within their step-which is also great for those who are diabetic. For those that suffer with this metabolic disorder, blood glucose levels need to be stabilised to eliminate fatigue and other diabetes health related symptoms such as dizziness and low blood pressure.

3. A great source of protein

For any muscle conscious individual, peanut butter is often the go-to for any bulker. The reason being is that a 100 gram portion can provide as much as 22.5 grams of protein. This is great news for muscles looking to soak in all those nutrients for muscle synthesis! Also, being that this is a perfect alternative for plant based diets too, this often becomes a food option that is perfect to add within any goal driven diet.

Are there any cons to eating peanut butter?

While there are not many negatives to consuming a natural based peanut butter within a keto diet, some nut butters that are commercially made can contain inflammatory ingredients that can be damaging towards health in the long-term. In fact, the hydrogenated oils/trans fats that are synthetically added to emulsify the butter, can come with huge risks such as heart disease, inflammation of the gut, and even gut cancers if consumed regularly. This is why it is massively important to avoid any nut butters that have anything other than natural fats like coconut oil . By opting for higher grade brands, you can also evade all the pesticide toxins that are often used to farm peanut crop yields. [4]

Malabsorption issues

Different nuts have been noted to be oxalates, meaning that they are anti-nutrient, and can actually stop certain essential minerals from being used and synthesised within the body. For that reason, kidney stones could be a possible risk should you consume a large amount of peanuts. [4] For anyone wanting to address the appropriate level of consumption when it comes to peanuts, it is always best to address this with a medical and nutrition professional.

My final thoughts: Is peanut butter keto?

Peanut butter is fully compatible with a keto diet. However in my experience, and scientifically, it is essential that the nut butter of your selection should have no added sugars. Sugar is treated in a similar fashion to carbohydrates (as glucose for energy). A high concentration of glucose within the blood would immediately slow down the process of ketosis completely, meaning fat tissue would no longer be broken down as the primary desired source of energy and for that very reason, a keto diet would no longer be achievable. Pick your peanut butters wisely folks!

References

  1. Mawer, R., 2020. The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101#ketosis [Accessed 13 August 2021].
  2. Gunnars, K., 2019. 5 Most Common Low-Carb Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them). [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-most-common-low-carb-mistakes [Accessed 13 August 2021].
  3. Mattes, R., Kris-Etherton, P. and Foster, G., 2008. Impact of Peanuts and Tree Nuts on Body Weight and Healthy Weight Loss in Adults. The Journal of Nutrition, [online] 138(9), pp.1741S-1745S. Available at: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/138/9/1741S/4750849 [Accessed 13 August 2021].
  4. May, N., 2021. Is Peanut Butter Keto? The Best and Worst Brands. [online] Chomps. Available at: https://chomps.com/blogs/news/keto-peanut-butter [Accessed 13 August 2021].

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