If you’re following the low carb, high fat keto diet, you’re probably always on the lookout for low carb foods that fit your needs and add variety to your meals and snacks.

It can be tough to find foods that are low enough in carbs to fit most keto diets, which are limited to about 50 grams of total carbs, or 25 grams of net carbs, each day. (Net carbs are those that remain after subtracting the indigestible fiber from the total carbs.)

While many nuts and nut butters are excellent choices for keto because they’re rich in fiber, fat, and protein and low in carbs, you may still wonder whether peanut butter is an ideal choice.

This article explains whether peanut butter is suitable for the keto diet.

celery with peanut butterShare on Pinterest
Gabriel Bucataru/Stocksy United

It’s crucial to look at net carbs when determining whether a certain food is suitable for keto.

A 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving of plain peanut butter contains (1):

  • Calories: 191
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fat: 16 grams
  • Total carbs: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Net carbs: 5 grams

While peanut butter isn’t necessarily high in carbs, a small serving size uses 20% of your daily allotment of net carbs on most keto diets.

Summary

Peanut butter contains 7 grams of total carbs and 5 grams of net carbs in just 2 tablespoons (32 grams). This makes it moderate in carbs.

A single 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving of peanut butter contains 5 grams of net carbs, so you can eat it in moderation on the keto diet as long as you carefully plan the other foods you eat.

All the same, it’s important to check the ingredient list. Some products contain added sugar or honey that significantly increases the carb count (2).

Additionally, you should be mindful of other products made with peanut butter, as desserts like candies, cakes, pies, and cookies that use this ingredient are often high in carbs (3, 4, 5, 6).

As such, it’s safest to stick with plain peanut butter that’s made with only peanuts and salt.

Finally, if you’re doing keto for weight loss, it’s a good idea to stick to a small portion size of 2 tablespoons (32 grams) and limit how often you eat peanut butter. That’s because it’s rich in calories for a fairly small serving size.

Alternatives to try

Several other nut butters are lower in carbs and higher in fiber than peanut butter. As such, they make excellent alternatives for keto.

Here are three keto-friendly nut butters you can try (7, 8, 9):

  • Almond butter: 6 grams of total carbs and 3 grams of net carbs per 2 tablespoons (32 grams)
  • Macadamia nut butter: 4 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of net carbs per 2 tablespoons (28 grams)
  • Hazelnut butter: 6 grams of total carbs and 3 grams of net carbs per 2 tablespoons (32 grams)

Nonetheless, all these nut butters are rich in calories, so you should eat them in moderation if weight loss is your goal.

Summary

Plain peanut butter fits the keto diet as long as you eat it in moderation and plan out your other foods. Almond, macadamia nut, and hazelnut butters are excellent alternatives since they have fewer net carbs per serving.

Peanut butter is moderately low in carbs, containing 7 grams of total carbs and 5 grams of net carbs per 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving.

You can enjoy it on the keto diet as long as you keep your intake in check and plan out your other food choices. Still, lower-carb nut butters like almond, macadamia nut, or hazelnut butter may be better choices.

Regardless, due to its high calorie count, you should limit how much nut butter you eat if you’re trying to lose weight.