Ah, peanut butter. Could healthy fats and protein come in a dreamier spread? There’s no doubt that PB is delish AF, but can you eat it if you’re on a ketogenic diet? Here’s the lowdown on peanut butter and keto.

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Peanut butter is super nutritious.

Yes, it’s high in calories, but that doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy. Your bod needs nutrient-dense, high fat foods for many important functions. So, don’t judge a food simply on the number of calories it has. It’s also a good source of magnesium, which can be lacking in very low carb diets.

Here are the deets for a 2-tablespoon (tbsp) serving of peanut butter:

  • Calories: 204
  • Fat: 16.4 grams (g)
  • Protein: 7.2 g
  • Carbs: 7.14 g
  • Fiber: 1.54 g
  • Vitamin E: 19 percent of the daily value (DV)
  • Niacin: 27 percent of the DV
  • Magnesium: 13 percent of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 9 percent of the DV
  • Manganese: 23 percent of the DV

Just keep in mind that a serving of PB contains about 7 g of total carbs and 5.6 g of net carbs (that’s total carbs minus fiber). That isn’t considered “high carb,” but it might take up a considerable portion of your daily carbs.

You’ll typically keep your carb intake below 50 g per day on a keto diet. This helps you reach and maintain ketosis, a metabolic state where your bod burns fat for fuel.

Generally, peanut butter can fit into very low carb diets (like the keto diet). But the type of peanut butter can affect its carb content.

Some types of PB are very high in added sugar. Sugar’s a carb, so that would make them a no-go for peeps on keto diets. Flavored PB may have several teaspoons of added sugar per serving and can be much higher in total carbs than plain PB.

Technically, you could eat these flavored peanut butters on a keto diet as long as you stay within your daily carb goal. But chances are, you prob don’t want to use up half of your total daily carb allotment on a few tablespoons of PB!

Sticking to natural, unsweetened peanut butter is a great option, especially if you’re on a very low carb diet. It contains fewer carbs than sweetened varieties, but still has lots of protein and healthy fats.

If you’re on the keto diet, choosing natural, unsweetened PB is the way to go.

Natural PB should only contain peanuts and salt. These products don’t contain added sugars, oils, or other ingredients.

Here are a few good choices for natural PB:

  • Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter: 5 g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving
  • Santa Cruz Organics Creamy Light Roasted Peanut Butter: 2 g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving
  • Smucker’s Natural Chunky Peanut Butter: 4 g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving
  • Adam’s Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter: 4 g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving

Remember, when you’re shopping for PB, steer clear of flavored and sweetened PB like chocolate, cinnamon, maple, or honey flavors.

Also, keep in mind that peanut butter candies, cakes, and granola bars are high in added sugar. Just because a peanut butter cup has PB in it, doesn’t mean it can fit into your keto diet. Always check the nutrition label if you’re not sure if a product is right for you.

If you’re not a PB lover, there are plenty of other nuts and seeds to enjoy on a keto diet.

Plus, other nuts and seeds are lower in carbs than peanuts (which are technically considered a legume).

Here are a few other nut and seed butters that can fit into your keto diet plan:

  • Almond butter: 3 g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving
  • Pecan butter: 1 g net carb per 2-tbsp serving
  • Walnut butter: 4 g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving
  • Sunflower butter: 2 g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving
  • Pumpkin seed butter: 2 g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving

Try pairing nut and seed butters with lower carb, keto-friendly options like celery or adding them to keto-friendly recipes like energy balls.

If you’re a peanut butter lover following a keto diet, don’t panic. You don’t have to give up your fav creamy spread.

However, you do have to watch your portion sizes and be on the lookout for ingredients like added sugar if you want to keep your carb intake under 50 g per day.