Peanut Butter Nutrition: What to Know

peanut butter

The very first recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was written down in 1901. But we have been using peanut butter for sauces, candies, and everything in between since before the 1900s. Whether you eat it with your favorite meal or on its own – come on, who hasn’t gotten stuck into a jar of peanut butter with a spoon?! – it is a great way to add a bunch of nutrients, protein, and healthy fats to your diet.

Pure peanut butter, like our all-natural peanut butter at Crazy Richard’s, is made from, well, peanuts and nothing else. The peanuts are roasted, their skins removed, and ground up to make that deliciously creamy, nutty paste that we have enjoyed since the 1800s. 

Peanut Butter Nutritional Content

Different kinds of peanut butter have different nutritional values. Even in pure peanut butter, the nutritional content varies slightly depending on whether you enjoy crunchy peanut butter or prefer it smooth. 

In a two tablespoon-serving of pure, unsalted crunchy peanut butter, you can get the following nutrients and minerals (pure, unsalted smooth peanut butter has slightly less of these):

  Amount % of Recommended Daily Value.
Calories  188




Niacin 4.4 mg




Folate  29.4mg




Magnesium 51.2mg




Iron 0.6mg




Zinc 0.9mg




Vitamin B6  0.1mg




Vitamin E 0.2mg




Calcium 14.4mg




Potassium 238mg




Copper 0.2mg




Manganese 0.6mg




Proteins 7.7g




What About all the Fat in Peanut Butter?

Depending on whether you prefer crunchy or smooth peanut butter, the total percentage of fat in a serving is between 71 and 72% for pure, unsalted peanut butter. Yes, we know that that seems like a lot of fat, which sometimes gives peanut butter a lousy reputation.    

The good news is: some of these fats are good for your body. The better news is that some of these fats are even required for your body to work correctly.

When you hear the word ‘fat,’ you might be thinking of the jiggly bits of your body – and then believe that fat in foods should be avoided at all costs. The truth is that not all fat is bad for you. Quite the opposite, really, some fats are essential sources of energy and help your body to absorb essential vitamins and minerals. 

Our body uses fat to build new cells and helps form sheaths that surround your nerves. There are different kinds of fat and how they affect your body, and some are definitely better than others. All fats consist of two chemicals: carbon and hydrogen. The difference between the fats lies in how these atoms are connected. 

Trans fat occurs during a process called hydrogenation. This process turns natural health oils into solids and to keep them from going off.  Consuming trans fat has many negative health implications, including increased levels of bad cholesterol, known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and lower amounts of good cholesterol, called high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Saturated fats are when hydrogen atoms surround the fat’s carbon atoms – the carbon atom is saturated with hydrogen. Eating saturated fat is not unhealthy in itself. The problem comes in when you eat too much of it. Large quantities of saturated fats could increase your cholesterol – both the good HDL and the bad LDL. The increase in LDL cholesterol could cause blockages in your arteries. For that reason, the general recommendation is that the amount of saturated fat you consume each day makes up less than 7% of the total calories you eat.

Good, healthy fats are unsaturated fats and include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats have fewer hydrogen atoms connected to the carbon chains and are liquid at room temperature. 

Monounsaturated fats consist of two carbon atoms connected to each other, with very little hydrogen atoms attached to it. Monounsaturated fats lower the amount of cholesterol in your blood and help build and maintain your body cells.

Polyunsaturated fats are often referred to as essential fats. They are needed for your body to function normally. These are the fats that help build your cells and cover your nerves. They help with blood clotting, inflammation, and muscle movement. 

You have probably heard about the two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Both of these hold health benefits – but they do not naturally occur in your body. Thus they are essential fats to consume, and that is how they got their name as ‘essential fats.’

So, What Kind of Fats are in Peanut Butter?

Now, the different fats that make up the total amount of fat in pure, unsalted peanut butter. 

A 2 tablespoon-serving of pure, unsalted peanut butter contains about 2.6g of saturated fat. This is about 13% of the Recommended Daily Value. The good fats in pure peanut butter include 7.9g monounsaturated fat and 4.7g polyunsaturated fat. What is more, is 26.6mg of the polyunsaturated fat contains omega-3 fatty acids and omega -6 fatty acids.

How Can Eating Peanut Butter Improve Your Health?

Heart health.

The unsaturated fats, niacin, magnesium, and vitamin E in pure peanut butter help keep your heart healthy. People who eat more peanut butter generally have lower LDL cholesterol levels – remember that is the bad cholesterol that clogs up your arteries. 

Weight loss or gain.

Peanuts and peanut butter are high in protein and can make you feel fuller for longer. Some studies have found that people who eat more peanuts maintain their weight in the long run. 

The high calorie and protein content in peanut butter makes it an excellent go-to snack to work into your diet when trying to gain muscle weight. 

Glycemic index and your blood sugar.

The glycemic index rate foods according to how they affect your blood sugar – and therefore, your insulin levels – when you eat them. Eating foods high on the glycemic index increases your blood sugar levels while foods lower on the index create a less dramatic effect. 

Generally, food that scores lower on the glycemic index takes longer to digest. That means that the sugar that it contains gets released into your body more gradually than foods digested quickly. 

Peanuts, and yes, pure peanut butter, has a GI score of only 14. That means that they keep your blood sugar and energy levels more consistent. 

How Much Peanut Butter in a Day is Healthy?

While peanut butter has a bunch of nutrients and fats that your body requires, it is still high in calories. That means you should consume it in moderation. The general recommendation is to eat around two tablespoons of peanut butter every day, roughly the size of a Ping-Pong ball. One thumb tip of peanut butter equates to about one teaspoon. 

Why Pure, Natural Peanut Butter Like Crazy Richard’s is Better

The best peanut butters are those made from just one ingredient – peanuts. It gives you a whole bunch of nutrients, good fats, and plenty of calories to keep you feeling satisfied. 

It changes its nutritional contents whenever something else gets added to or taken away from natural peanut butter. Even when the changes seem beneficial – like less fat, it often means that other products have to be added to keep it tasting delicious.

Here are a few things to look out for in your peanut butter.

Added sugar and salt.

Some peanut butters could have added sugars and salt. This is especially popular in peanut butters labeled as low fat or no fat. Sugar or other sweeteners are often added to these peanut butters to improve the flavor. Added sugar increases the number of calories per serving, while added salt increases the amount of sodium you consume.

Added oils.

Some peanut butters could contain other oils like cottonseed, grapeseed, soybean, or palm oil. Often these oils are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.

Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils keep the oil from separating and collecting at the top of your peanut butter. These oils have been chemically changed and used in peanut butter to make it super creamy and extend its shelf-life. Both hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils contain many saturated fats, and partially hydrogenated oil also has more trans fats. 

Pure peanut butter usually separates into a slightly more solid form with the natural oils gathering on top. Give it a bit of a stir, and you are ready to spread some creamy peanut butter on your whole wheat bread for a healthy lunch!

Pure, natural peanut butter not only tastes amazing – it is also good for you. It gives you plenty of nutrients and protein while keeping you feeling fuller for longer. Paired with fresh fruit or turned into a sauce for your favorite vegetables, it makes for a balanced and nutritious meal. But then, we wouldn’t blame you if you ate it right out of the jar. Go on – no one is watching!