Who didn’t grow up eating peanut butter sandwiches? While peanut butter and jelly has been a lunchbox staple for as far back as anyone can remember, the delicious sandwich spread is far from diet-friendly.
“Peanut butter in its basic or pure form is a healthy source of protein,” said Oliver Gerard Heffern, owner of glor foods. “It’s what’s added there after that can cause concern: sugars, preservatives, additives and colors.”
According Brandon May, author of The Healthy Advocate, peanut butter label claims can be be misleading. “No matter which brand, any peanut butter labeled ‘reduced fat or ‘low-fat’ should be avoided,” May said. “They typically have fillers that increase the sugar content, making them potentially more harmful to your health than a higher fat version.”
Additionally, most commercial peanut butters have oils that have been fully or partially hydrogenated, which creates trans-fat. “It isn’t peanut fat that’s a problem, it is the trans-fats in the peanut butters that contributes to poor health,” said May. “Any peanut butter labeled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ will not have hydrogenated oils, but you should always check the label to see the sugar content.”