On a sandwich, in smoothies, or straight out of the jar — peanut butter is a tasty and healthy staple that’s probably in your pantry right now.
However, if you’re following the low carbohydrate, high fat ketogenic (keto) diet, you may wonder if peanut butter can fit easily into the eating plan.
On a keto diet, your carb intake is drastically lowered to roughly 50 grams per day or less. That may help your body enter a state called ketosis, where you’re using fat rather than carbs for energy.
The diet was originally developed as an epilepsy treatment for children, but it has also shown some effectiveness for short-term weight loss and blood sugar management in adults (
Here’s how to include peanut butter on the keto diet.
Peanut butter is moderately low in carbs and contains both fiber and healthy fat. Its composition makes peanut butter a balanced food that can be added to keto diets, depending on how it’s made.
This chart reviews some different types of peanut butter and their carb content in a 2-tablespoon (32–37 gram) serving.
|Smooth peanut butter (
|Crunchy peanut butter (
|Peanut butter with honey (
|Chocolate peanut butter (
|Reduced fat peanut butter (
Nutrition info may vary slightly between brands, but for the most part, you can include moderate amounts of smooth or crunchy peanut butter on a keto diet.
However, peanut butter that contains honey or other sweet components like chocolate or fruit preserves may be too high in carbs from sugar to fit easily into a keto diet.
Also, be mindful that reduced fat peanut butter contains more carbs for the same serving size than regular smooth or crunchy peanut butter.
Regular peanut butter, whether smooth or crunchy, contains about 7 grams of total carbs or 5 grams of net carbs for a 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving. Other varieties may be too high in carbs to fit easily into a keto diet.
To enjoy peanut butter on a keto diet, there are two key things to keep in mind.
First, check the ingredients for added sugars. Added sugar makes peanut butter sweeter and better for making desserts, but it can increase the carb count.
Additionally, be mindful of portion sizes, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Peanut butter has a lot of calories for a relatively small serving. A standard serving size is 2 tablespoons (32 grams) — which may be less than you expect.
If you can’t eat peanut butter or are looking for an alternative that is even lower in carbs, almond butter is a good option. It contains 6 grams of total carbs, or 3 grams net carbs, per 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving (
Some peanut butter includes added sugars, which increase carb count. Unsweetened, plain almond butter is a slightly more keto-friendly alternative to peanut butter.
Trying to “do it right” when it comes to nutrition may feel tempting, but it can backfire.
If you are preoccupied with food or your weight, feel guilt surrounding your food choices, or routinely engage in restrictive diets, consider reaching out for support. These behaviors may indicate a disordered relationship with food or an eating disorder.
Disordered eating and eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of gender identity, race, age, body size, socioeconomic status, or other identities.
They can be caused by any combination of biological, social, cultural, and environmental factors — not just by exposure to diet culture.
Feel empowered to talk with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, if you’re struggling.
You can also chat, call, or text anonymously with trained volunteers at the National Eating Disorders Association helpline for free or explore the organization’s free and low cost resources.
Peanut butter can definitely be part of a keto diet, but it’s best to stick to plain options that are free of extra flavors and sweeteners. Almond butter is a good choice, too, and it’s slightly lower in carbs.
Additionally, you should be mindful of your portion size if you’re trying to lose weight. A 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving may be smaller than you expect it to be.
Regardless, regular peanut butter in moderate amounts can be easily worked into your daily carb allotment, putting you one step closer to the perfect keto-friendly peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Just one thing
Try this today: If you are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, you can try sunflower seed butter or tahini — which is a paste made from sesame seeds — as a nut-free alternative.