When arriving in the peanut butter aisle at the supermarket, you are faced with a wall of various brands and choices. Smooth or crunchy, and different types of nuts, seeds and all sorts of other things; it isn’t just peanut butter available any longer!
With so much choice, it can feel overwhelming trying to know which one is the best, or even which ones are slightly better. How to know? It is all in the ingredients list. Check out my four tips to help you make the healthiest peanut butter choice, the next time you are at the shops!
Has there been any sugar or extra (unhealthy) fat added? The peanut butter you likely grew up with unfortunately has a load of extra things added into it, such as sugar and vegetable oils. In recent years, there are now thankfully readily available ‘natural’ peanut butters; ones that don’t have these things added to them, and are usually just the nuts, maybe with a little salt added.
Is there any emulsifiers or artificial preservatives or flavours added? Again, old-school peanut butters often have emulsifiers added in. Why? You know how when you purchase a natural peanut butter there is often a layer of oil that has separated out on the top? This is because there aren’t any emulsifiers to prevent this from occurring. Why should we avoid emulsifiers? They’ve been linked with autoimmune conditions. Some nut butters also contain artificial preservatives.
Are they rich in oleic acid? Hi-Oleic Peanuts contain a higher amount of oleic acid compared to standard peanuts. What is oleic acid? A monounsaturated fatty acid which helps reduce the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) whilst increasing the levels of HDL (good cholesterol). Hi-Oleic peanuts also contain less linoleic acid, a type of polyunsaturated fat, resulting in them lasting 8 times longer than regular peanuts (so less risk of them going rancid).
Is there a high percentage of peanuts? Natural peanut butters also tend to have higher protein and fibre content, due to the higher percentage of nuts. Pic’s range of peanut butter contains 99% peanuts, has 7.5g of fibre per 100g (making it a high fibre food), and 26.7g protein per 100g, meaning that it is more than 25% protein. These factors, along with Pic's Peanut Butter being low in sugar, moderate in salt and rich in healthier fats makes it a nutritious, as delicious choice.
So which peanut butters fit the bill? One of the best on the market at present is Pic’s Peanut Butter; all their peanut butters are made with Hi-Oleic peanuts, and the ingredients list is purely peanuts, with a little salt.
PS – I LOVE the fact that it also comes in little individual serve slugs. These make a fab on the go snack, either on their own, or squeezed out onto your favourite bread or cracker… or my personal favourite, squeezing over some banana!