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Is peanut butter keto-friendly?

Carbs, substitutes, and more

Nut kinds of butter are common choices on the keto diet because they're high in fat and protein. This article explains whether peanut butter is keto-friendly.

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This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
We look at both sides of the argument and strive to be objective, unbiased, and honest.
Last updated on September 21, 2022, and last reviewed by an expert on July 12, 2022.
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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 butter 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.

How many carbs are in peanut butter?

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:

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.

Is peanut butter suitable for keto?

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.

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.

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.

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Suggested read: Is milk keto-friendly?

Alternatives to try

Several other nut kinds of butter 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 kinds of butter you can try:

Nonetheless, all these nut kinds of butter 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 butter are excellent alternatives since they have fewer net carbs per serving.

The bottom line

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 butter 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.

Suggested read: Are blueberries keto-friendly?

Try this today:

You can make your own nut butter at home with a food processor — and often for less money. All you need is roasted nuts and salt. Make nut butter in small batches and store it in an airtight container for up to a week.

Be sure to give it a good stir before use, because the oil may separate.

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