You know that peanut butter is high in calories, but that it also contains protein, fiber, and other nutrients to help our bodies – so it’s a great portion controlled food to add to your meal plan. So you go to the store and browse the peanut butter aisle, and see a reduced fat version. Well great! That must be even healthier, since it obviously has less fat…right?
Wrong! This is a very common misconception and a sneaky marketing trick by certain manufacturers. Low fat peanut butter varieties do typically contain a few less grams of fat, but the manufacturer adds more sugar to replace this – resulting in almost identical calories per serving. In addition, most of the fat found naturally in peanut butter is composed of the heart healthy monounsaturated kind, so there’s no need to reduce it by just a few grams.
At the store, try looking for natural varieties of peanut butter. These varieties are usually made out of just peanuts (and salt, depending on the type), so their ingredients won’t contain added oils or sugar. For example, Teddie’s All Natural Unsalted Smooth Peanut Butter only contains 1 ingredient – roasted peanuts. Or try making your own peanut butter – just grind nuts in a food processor until they form a chunky or creamy paste.
And just keep in mind, the fat/sugar switch is a trick used a lot by other food manufacturers too – including those who produce reduced fat versions of cookies, ice cream, and lots of snack products. The next time “reduced fat” entices you, be sure to compare labels to the original product see if what you’re eating is actually healthier.