Peanut butter packs a punch of dietary fibre and protein, and is an ideal food to add to your daily diet. Eat it on toast or add it to your smoothie, to get a nutritional boost.

Peanut butter has become a favourite in many Indian households. Healthy and tasty, this delivers a healthy daily dose of protein, apart from being a rich source of dietary fibre and good fats.

Indeed, a peanut-butter sandwich is a popular pre-workout snack. Alternatively, you can add this tasty food to a smoothie, or have a spoonful on a roti. Go for about a tablespoon a day, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, or double that amount if you are active.

But remember that moderation is essential.

Regular peanut butter

Market brands of peanut butter have added sugar, stabilizers and preservatives. Many brands come with a classic, old-fashioned flavor with creamy, crunchy, chunky, and honey roast variations. All these brands contain about 3g of sugar per 2 tablespoons of serving.

They also contain salt and hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are unhealthy trans fats. Even if they claim to be ‘free of cholesterol and trans fat,’ they still contain marginal amounts.

Nutrition: 2 tablespoons generally provides about 180 to 210 calories derived from 8 g of carbs, 7 to 8 g of protein, and 16 g of fats. Of the good fats, 50% is monosaturated, 30% polyunsaturated, and 20% is saturated.

Low-fat peanut butter

In the low fat category, the natural fats in peanut butter are often replaced with more sugar. They have corn syrup, molasses, and other starchy fillers, which don’t really save you many calories.

Also, you don’t derive the benefits of real peanut fats. Added flavorings means more additives, and a compromise on the authentic taste of peanuts.

All natural or organic peanut butter

Natural peanut butter is the best available option in the market, as it is relatively unprocessed. Check the label for low sodium and sugar content.

Almond butter
Another player in the market offering some competition to peanut butter is almond butter. It is often touted as a healthier and more nutritious alternative to peanut butter.

However, when compared, both almond butter and peanut butter are equally heart healthy. Almonds offer 25mg of vitamin E, as compared to 10mg per serving of peanuts. Peanut-butter also contains more selenium, which is a good antioxidant.