Although peanut butter is one of the most well-known sandwich ingredients, few of us know which peanut butter brands to buy and which to avoid. Most of us have likely never thought about what makes a peanut butter brand particularly good, not just in taste but also for your body.

Certain brands of peanut butter are considered good or bad based on many factors: too much sugar, too many additives, poor taste or texture, bad manufacturing, or just too many calories. Below is a list of 13 of some of the worst peanut butter brands and why they should be avoided.

Peter Pan Creamy Original Peanut Butter

This brand of peanut butter is unusually high in calories due to the sheer amount of additives in its peanut butter. In addition to the large amount of sugar added, this brand also adds hydrogenated oil which increases the saturated fat in the product. 

Not only is hydrogenated oil made from GMO crops but it can also negatively impact your cholesterol levels if consumed in large amounts. Generally speaking, this brand of peanut butter is one of the worst when it comes to your health.

Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter

It comes as no surprise that a candy-branded peanut butter spread isn’t exactly the best option out there. Although the taste is pretty great, it has a long list of additives including extra sugar, salt, hydrogenated oil, molasses, cornstarch and monoglycerides. Many of these additives make their peanut butter stickier and thicker but overall it greatly lowers the nutritional value.

The additives in this brand of peanut butter can contain trans fats which can negatively impact your health on top of the excess sugar and salt present in the spread. It also doesn’t help that fans of Reese’s candy say their peanut butter doesn’t taste nearly as good as the candied version, meaning you’re getting a less healthy spread that doesn’t live up to taste expectations.

Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread

Yet another popular peanut butter brand that makes the list is Skippy. Although many of their peanut butter varieties are guilty of containing additives like hydrogenated oil, mono or di-glycerides, corn syrup solids, and sugar, their reduced fat spread is particularly calorie-dense on top of being full of additives.

The idea of a lower fat peanut butter is enticing to many buyers but the result is actually just a peanut butter that is filled with more carbs. Despite the amount of overall fat being lower, the tradeoff is ultimately eating more carbs which could result in high blood sugar or weight gain.

Smucker’s Reduced Fat Natural Style Creamy Peanut Butter

Once again, this reduced-fat peanut butter isn’t as healthy as the name implies. This particular spread contains maltodextrin, a popular sugar substitute made from GMO corn. Not only is this additive highly processed and made from GMO crops, but also has a high glycemic index which can spike your blood sugar.

This reduced-fat peanut butter also has a lot of salt added, raising the overall sodium content. Diabetic and insulin-resistant buyers will want to avoid this brand. Instead, go for Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter which is made from peanuts and salt with nothing added.

Jif Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread

Arguably the king of all famous peanut butter brands, Jif is not exempt from questionable ingredients in their sandwich spreads. Unlike some of the previously mentioned brands, not all of the additives in Jif’s reduced fat spread are horribly bad for you. However, the number of additives is unusually high and some of the ingredients are questionable.

Jif at least tries to make up for some of the worse additives by including a few healthier ones like vitamins and minerals. Despite their attempts to increase the nutritional value of their spreads, it doesn’t change the fact that their product still includes hydrogenated oils, mono and di-glycerides, molasses, and corn syrup solids.

Great Value Creamy Peanut Butter

This Walmart-branded peanut butter is one of the most affordable options out there, which is likely what makes it so popular. Although the low price is appealing and not everyone can afford the prices behind some of the healthier options out there, Great Value still utilizes unhealthy additives like hydrogenated oils and high amounts of salt.

Despite the great price, Great Value is not great for your health. Their products contain 17 grams of fat and 125 milligrams of sodium. Combined with the fact that they add both sugar and molasses to their product means you will ultimately get a spread that is super sugary, salty, and fatty.

Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful

Typically known for their great peanut butter products, Peanut Butter & Co. does unfortunately have a bad product in their roster too. Their White Chocolate Wonderful spread has 7 grams of sugar, equivalent to 12% of your daily recommended limit.

This particular peanut butter flavor also has palm oil and cocoa powder added to it. To top it all off, it has the lowest amount of protein out of all the products from this company, with only 6 grams of protein in it.

Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Peanut Butter

The beloved grocery store chain is usually well known for its great-tasting, healthy options at decent prices. Their creamy salted peanut butter is a singular black mark on their otherwise great roster. This particular spread is chock full of salt, with 140 milligrams per portion which equals 6% more than most other peanut butter.

Some extra salt may not sound like much but with consistent consumption, extra salt can result in short-term issues like headaches and bloating as well as long-term issues like blood pressure problems, kidney stones, and even heart failure. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s has better options available in their stores that you can easily pick up.

Smucker’s Goober Peanut Butter

Smucker’s released a series of peanut butter spreads that contain peanut butter and fruit jelly in one jar. The peanut butter and jam stripes are appealing to kids while the convenience of the jar appeals to many adults. Unfortunately, Smucker’s Goober products are filled with sugar and other unhealthy additives.

This series of spreads is particularly high in calories with 220 calories per 3 tablespoons. Each jar contains a whopping 21 grams of added sugar as a result of processed ingredients like fructose corn syrup. It also contains dextrose, monoglycerides, and preservatives like potassium sorbate. The high amount of added ingredients makes it one of the worst brands to buy.

Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter and Honey Spread

The Peter Pan brand is a repeat offender when it comes to peanut butter to avoid buying. In addition to the additives mentioned before that this brand uses, this particular product also adds extra sugar and molasses to the list, resulting in a spread that is overly sugary and sweet.

Peter Pan’s honey spread contains a whopping 7 grams of sugar, over a quarter of the recommended daily intake for adult men and women. It doesn’t help that this flavor is also lacking in protein, with only 7 grams per serving, and a higher calorie count of 200 calories per serving.

Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Spread with Honey

Yet another repeat offender offering a honey-filled peanut butter spread is Skippy. As previously mentioned, they already pack their peanut butter with additives like hydrogenated oils, corn syrup solids, and mono or di-glycerides. Much like the Peter Pan honey spread, Skippy’s honey spread is also filled with high amounts of sugar, making an already unhealthy option even more unhealthy.

This spread contains a combination of added sugar and honey. Granted, it doesn’t contain molasses like the Peter Pan variety, but the additional sugar is still troublesome. It also contains palm oil, an ingredient notorious for resulting in deforestation around the world. Not only is this flavor bad for your health, but it’s also bad for the planet.

Better’n Peanut Butter

This final peanut butter brand is a bit of an unusual one. Known for marketing their healthier peanut butter options, Better’n Peanut Butter has inadvertently created products that are actually some of the most unhealthy on the market. It’s common to find GMO products like soy lecithin in their peanut butter.

Additionally, their products contain a number of sweeteners including rice syrup, dehydrated cane juice, tapioca syrup, and vegetable glycerin. Generally speaking, although they claim to have a healthier spread on the market, their jars are just as filled with additives as the biggest name brands in the business.

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About Drizzle Me Skinny

Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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1 Comment

  1. Great article, Kate! Some peanut butters seem obvious to avoid with all the added sugar and oils (Reese’s, for example), but some of these listed are surprising. Like just because the peanut butter is reduced-fat does not equate to healthier!

    Do you have any recommendations of which peanut butters are better options? I’d love the guidance!