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Sugar in Food

Sugar in Food

Sugar in Peanut Butter

Watch out for “artisan” peanut butters with too much added sugar

Big brands like Jif, Skippy, and Peter Pan add a trivial 1 or 2 grams of sugar to the 1 or 2 grams that occur naturally in the peanuts. It’s no big deal. But these days, “artisan” varieties like Peanut Butter & Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl and Sunland Natural Peanut Butter Creamy Chocolate Spread can hit 9 grams of sugar per serving—7 of them added. That’s 1½ of the six-teaspoon daily added sugar limit for women or the nine-teaspoon max for men. Some brands have enough sugar to displace a gram or two of protein.

Planters NUT•rition Banana Granola Nut and Cherry Chocolate Energy Mix Peanut Butters sound healthier. But they’ve got more sugar than fruit. And PB Crave Coco Bananas and Sunland Natural Peanut Butter Creamy Banana Spread have no fruit at all (unless you count banana extract or “natural flavor”). If you want fruit, put slices of apple, pear, or banana on your sandwich.

peanut butter

Try Laura, Smucker’s, Adams, or others with no added salt or sugar


Other relevant links: doesn’t accept any paid advertising or corporate or government funding. Any products recommended by have been vetted by our staff of nutritionists and are not advertisements by the manufacturers.

Add Your Comments


  1. William
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I just tried the new highly rated PB2, and it taste fantastic. I found it at Ingles(of all places).

    • Katherine
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 2:31 am | Permalink

      After checking for PB2 at Ralphs (Kroger), Sprouts, and Whole Foods Markets without success, I scored at WalMart! I am eager to taste it, after reading the positive comments about it in my Nutrition Action newsletter.

  2. Harvey
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Just buy crushed peanuts without any additives, it’s delicious. Fairway, Whole Foods have machines on hand to grind peanuts.

  3. kate
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Skippy and Jiff may not have excessive sugar – but do they have real peanuts? They remove the good peanut oil and substitute cottonseed oil and other emulsifiers that are terrible. They are artery clogging fake phony concoctions loaded with unnecessary bad stuff. How can you promote these products?

    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Dear Nutrition Action,

    Should we be concerned about the saturation of the fats in Jif/Skippy/PP, or is that, too, minimal enough to feel okay about? Thanks, Cindy

  5. Stephen
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Better yet, have your peanut butter fresh ground from organic peanuts at your health food store without salt or sugar. And even better than that is fresh ground almond butter.

  6. Janice
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Fresh-ground peanut putter tastes the best! You get the aroma and flavor of real peanuts!

  7. Marge
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Trader Joe unsalted crunchy ingredients: roasted peanuts. Enough said!

  8. Jeffrey
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    it would be nice to see somebody like consumers reports, etc. test the different peanut butters on the market for salt, sugar, saturated fats, replaced oils, harmful chemicals, additives, etc. it sounds like the first lier doesn’t have a chance in this business.

  9. Patrick
    Posted February 27, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    My Mom made peanut butter using peanuts with the “skins” still on and ground them in the food processor, into peanut butter. She says the skins have nutritional value. You can’t taste the difference although there are red specs in the peanut butter.

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Choco Spreads to Avoid : Nutrition Action on November 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    […] two tablespoons have only 2 grams of protein and 4 percent of a day’s calcium. What’s more, peanut butter’s saturated fat (2 to 3 grams in two tablespoons) is balanced by its cholesterol-lowering unsaturated […]

  2. By Fat in Food: Nut, Seed, and Soy on November 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    […] Sugar content of peanut butter.  See: Sugar in Peanut Butter […]

  3. […] a powdered peanut butter seems unnatural, take a look at PB2’s ingredients: roasted peanuts, sugar, and salt. The 1 gram of sugar is nothing to worry about, and PB2 is free from the added oils that […]

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