Is peanut butter keto?

On a sandwich, in smoothies, or straight from the jar⁠ – peanut butter is a tasty and healthy staple that’s probably in your pantry right now.

However, if you’re following the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic (keto) diet, you may wonder if peanut butter can easily fit into your meal plan.

On a ketogenic diet, carbohydrate intake is drastically reduced to about 50 grams per day or less. That can help your body get into a state called ketosis, in which you use fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.

The diet was originally developed as a treatment for epilepsy in children, but has also shown some efficacy for short-term weight loss and blood sugar control in adults (1).

Here’s how to include peanut butter on the ketogenic diet.

Peanut butter is moderately low in carbohydrates and contains fiber and healthy fats. Its composition makes peanut butter a balanced food that can be added to ketogenic diets, depending on how it is made.

This chart reviews a few different types of peanut butter and their carbohydrate content in a 2-tablespoon (32-37 gram) serving.

Some people prefer to count net carbs (total carbs without fiber) on the ketogenic diet, so we’ve also included information on net carbs (two).

Nutritional information may vary slightly between brands, but for the most part, you can include moderate amounts of smooth or crunchy peanut butter on a ketogenic diet.

However, peanut butter that contains honey or other sweet components like chocolate or fruit preserves may be high in carbohydrates from sugar to fit easily into a ketogenic diet.

Also, keep in mind that reduced-fat peanut butter contains more carbohydrates for the same serving size than regular, smooth, or crunchy peanut butter.

Summary

Regular peanut butter, whether smooth or crunchy, contains about 7 grams of total carbohydrates or 5 grams of net carbohydrates per 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving. Other varieties may be too high in carbohydrates to easily fit into a ketogenic diet.

To enjoy peanut butter on a ketogenic diet, there are two key things to keep in mind.

First, check the ingredients for added sugars. The added sugar makes the peanut butter sweeter and better for making desserts, but it can increase the amount of carbohydrates.

Also, be mindful of portion sizes, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Peanut butter is high in calories for a relatively small serving. A standard serving is 2 tablespoons (32 grams) ⁠, which may be less than you expect.

If you can’t have peanut butter or are looking for an alternative that’s even lower in carbs, almond butter is a good choice. Contains 6 grams of total carbohydrates, or 3 grams of net carbohydrates, per 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving (7).

Summary

Some peanut butters include added sugars, which increase the carb count. Unsweetened almond butter is a slightly more keto alternative to peanut butter.

Peanut butter can definitely be part of a ketogenic diet, but it’s best to stick to plain options that don’t have added flavors or sweeteners. Almond butter is also a good option and has slightly less carbs.

Also, you should keep your portion size in mind if you’re trying to lose weight. A 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving may be smaller than you expect.

Regardless, regular peanut butter in moderate amounts can easily be included in your daily carb allowance, bringing you one step closer to the perfect keto peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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