Best Natural Peanut Butter: Top 10 Choices to Buy on Amazon
Peanut butter and jelly is on the top of every kid's favorite food list for the first 5 to 10 years of their life. It's even part of the common diet among adults looking for a quick bite between shifts, on their short lunch break, or just because the ingredients are already out from making the sandwich for their kids. However, regular peanut butter and even some marketed as "natural" have some pretty unhealthy ingredients. Luckily, there is some truly natural peanut butter out there and you might be surprised as to what is actually inside them. Spoiler: it's not a whole lot. So, here is how you can find the best natural peanut butter available!
After eating unhealthy peanut butter for too long... Here are the Best Natural Peanut Butter Brands to choose from.
In the chart below, you will find our top 10 rated Best Natural Peanut Butter Brands. For a more in-depth review of each model, please click on "Read Review."
Naturally More 100% Organic Peanut Butter
4.3 out of 5
Teddie All Natural Peanut Butter, Smooth
4.3 out of 5
Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Butter
4.4 out of 5
Spread The Love NAKED Organic Peanut Butter
4.0 out of 5
Laura Scudder's Old Fashioned Natural Nutty Peanut Butter
4.3 out of 5
HomePlate Peanut Butter
4.8 out of 5
Fix & Fogg Smooth Peanut Butter
4.4 out of 5
Crazy Richard’s Creamy Peanut Butter
4.6 out of 5
Pic's Crunchy Peanut Butter
4.4 out of 5
Santa Cruz Organic, Dark Roasted Peanut Butter
4.3 out of 5
Top 10 Best Natural Peanut Butters of 2018
- Naturally More 100% Organic Peanut Butter
- Teddie All Natural Peanut Butter, Smooth
- Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Butter
- Spread The Love NAKED Organic Peanut Butter
- Laura Scudder's Old Fashioned Natural Nutty Peanut Butter
- HomePlate Peanut Butter
- Fix & Fogg Smooth Peanut Butter
- Crazy Richard’s Creamy Peanut Butter
- Picot Productions - Pic's Crunchy Peanut Butter
- Santa Cruz Organic, Dark Roasted Peanut Butter
What Is Natural Peanut Butter?
The term "natural" is thrown around a lot when it comes to marketing and branding products. Unfortunately, there are not many regulations or standards around that term. It is not like organic foods, which has a seal certified by the USDA behind it to back up the claims. However, the natural world is not a barren wasteland. For a jar to be labeled as a natural peanut butter, it has to contain 90 percent peanuts with no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives on the ingredient list. But that is pretty much it. Many natural peanut butter products still contain a bunch of stuff that you probably do not want in your body.
What Is in Natural Peanut Butter?
What does the best natural peanut butter actually have in it? Well, peanuts of course and a pinch of salt. That is it. Honestly, that is literally it. There are no oils, no sugars, and no additives. It is just peanuts and salt. Isn’t that a bit surprising?
There are a lot of "natural" peanut butter products out there and most of the time you have to struggle with that weird separation of the oils from the butter. This is because they add various oils in the butter to give it that creamy consistency and texture to make it easier to spread. You will get this issue with the best natural peanut butter as well, but it will be rare. Truly natural peanut butter does have natural oils which may separate from the butter, but it will not be as much as when other oils are added.
When looking at the nutritional value of the best natural peanut butter compared to the regular brands, there is not much difference. The biggest difference is in ingredients, as regular peanut butter will be higher in trans fat, which has been linked to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. These trans fats are contained in the various hydrogenated oils that are added, among other added ingredients as well. Nevertheless, both options give you nearly the same nutritional contents, just better overall ingredients.
Types of Peanut Butter
When comparing kinds of peanut butter and looking for the best natural peanut butter, you will come across a lot of different kinds. Each jar will differ in which ingredients they include, which will help you to determine which brands are truly the best natural peanut butter and which are just plain faking it. The two you are most likely to find include organic peanut butter and natural peanut butter.
Organic Peanut Butter
Organic foods have the advantage of having a regulated certification behind it. Usually, a USDA Organic seal is placed on the front of the product to indicate that it is in fact organic. Now, organic peanut butter can still contain sugar and other added ingredients, as long as those ingredients are also organic.
For example, organic peanut butter will often contain sugar in the form of unrefined or organic cane sugar and organic palm oil (or other added oils). While cane sugar is far better than refined sugar, it is still added sugar. And palm oil, organic or not, is high saturated fat and is also typically sourced from unsustainable resources. This can be damaging to the environment. Nevertheless, organic is typically the healthiest option and you can find products that do not contain any added ingredients as well. Just be sure to check out the label on the back.
Natural Peanut Butter
Like I said before, for a product to be labeled as natural, it needs to contain 90 percent peanuts and no artificial additives, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives. This is great because it frees you from ingredients like corn maltodextrin, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and mono- and diglycerides. These contain a lot of trans fat, which can increase your risk of health issues like heart disease and stroke. However, because the term natural does not have a whole lot of oomph behind it (also known as regulation), certain companies will find loopholes and add in extra salt, natural sugars, or palm oils. Thankfully, it is not hard to find truly natural peanut butter made from nothing but peanuts and salt.
Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Natural Peanut Butter
Since there is a lot to take in, it can be a bit confusing when you are in the store looking for the best natural peanut butter. But have no fear, because finding the best one is a bit easier when you know exactly what to look for. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you out a bit.
The label on the back will tell you everything you need to know. The nutritional value, what ingredients are included, even if it is carrying any certifications like organic or non-GMO. I understand that there are a lot of ingredients that you don't even know about. Some ingredients that you should definitely avoid include the following:
- Maltodextrin: This is a calorie sweetener made from rice, potatoes, or cornstarch and can raise blood glucose and insulin levels.
- Mono- and Diglycerides: These are food additives used to prevent the oil from separating out of the butter. These contain trans fats, which increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils: This even includes partially hydrogenated oils because they contain a lot of saturated fats and have no health benefits. These can lead to excessive weight gain and heart problems.
- Sodium and Sugar: Adding an excessive amount can lead to high blood pressure and poor heart health. Sugar can also come in the form of various syrups including molasses, brown sugar, agave, tapioca syrup, cane syrup, dextrose, and many others.
- Palm Oil: As previously stated, palm fruit oil is controversial because of its environmental impact, but it does contain some good health benefits.
There are a lot of terms and phrases that companies will use to get you to buy their product. Phrases like "Reduced Fat" may sound great but are usually filled with a bunch of unnatural chemicals to balance it out. "All-Natural" is another very common marketing gimmick that has no truth behind it whatsoever.
Remember, the best natural peanut butter will only have two items on the ingredient list: peanuts and salt. Forget all of that extra stuff like sugar and oils. Peanut butter is perfectly fine with just those two ingredients and nothing more.
Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of the types of the two kinds of peanut butter may be apparent, but it is still worth running through them. While the terms and types can often overlap, or are fake in some instances, there is a lot to take into consideration. Whether you decide to go with organic peanut butter or the natural brand, it is important to know exactly what you are getting.
Organic Peanut Butter
Organic peanut butter will usually have a seal of certification on the front or the back. Typically, it will be a USDA seal or another organic governing body that certifies that the product is in fact organic. While organic is typically better for you because it avoids the use of pesticides and artificial additives, it can still contain some extra ingredients. The most common extra ingredient is sugar. While organic products will avoid using artificial sugar, it is still added sugar that you do not need. It is a loophole that many companies take advantage of, but it is still possible to find organic peanut butter that is just peanuts and salt.
Natural Peanut Butter
True natural peanut butter is hard to find, but it is still possible. Because the term “natural” does not have a lot of regulation behind it, people often mix up "all natural" with actual natural products. All-Natural products are oftentimes loaded with unnatural and added stuff. However, a truly natural peanut butter will only contain peanuts and salt. And while it may be hard to find that, it is still possible. But the most common natural peanut butter will usually have peanuts, salt, and palm oil, which is fairly controversial. The biggest issue with the label of natural is the lack of regulation behind it.
Common Features of the Best Natural Peanut Butter
The best natural peanut butter will have a few common things. These are things that you should look for when you are in the store and overwhelmed by all of the different options that surround you. If a product does not have these key things, it is probably best to avoid it completely and keep looking.
- Contains 2 - 16 oz jars of Smooth Operator Peanut Butter,...
- Made with simple honest, Non-GMO verified ingredients and...
- 7g of protein per serving, 0g trans fat, no cholesterol, no...
- Made with love in California, USA, made in small batches,...
- All-Natural, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free,...
- No added sugar
- Proudly made in the USA using only USA grown peanuts
- Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Vegan Friendly
- No preservatives or sugars added. One more thing: Oil...
To find the best natural peanut butter, you first have to sift through all of the marketing gimmicks, loopholes, and other misleading information. This can be annoying—and you may not find the point in it—but stick it out. You will find that perfect natural peanut butter, and it will be worth it. You may find that it is a lot easier to do than you originally thought. In order to help you out a bit, we grabbed 10 of the best natural peanut butter products on Amazon and gave them a quick review. Check them out or do your own research and you are sure to find the best natural peanut butter jar for you.