Peanut butter. One of the best things that was ever created on this Earth. It's texture, salty taste, and affordability has made peanut butter a staple in most American diets. So ,what is in peanut butter? How is it made? Well, it sounds simple, just peanuts and some butter. It's not quite as simple, but your peanut butter shouldn't contain more than a few ingredients, if anything, besides peanuts.

Peanut butter, in its simplest form, can be created by throwing roasted peanuts into a food processor and blending until it turns into a thick, creamy texture. So in reality, it would be quite easy to make your own peanut butter and adding your own amounts of salt or flavors ,if you wanted. If it's that simple, then your peanut butter shouldn't have anything bad in it. 

That's not the case with some brands of peanut butter. Some brands add oils, salt, and sugars. While that may not seem too terrible, some brands add hydrogenated oils to their peanut butter. Partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fat. The FDA requires food companies to label the amount of trans fat if it is more than 0.5 grams. If a company adds hydrogenated oils that amounts to less than 0.5 grams of trans fat, it doesn't have to show on the label. But, you are still consuming small quantities of trans fat, which is still bad for you. Who really sticks to the serving size anyways, amounting to a larger quantity of trans fat?

Recently, the FDA has required ingredients list to explicitly say if the oils are partially or fully hydrogenated. According to Berkeley Wellness, partially hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fat, are bad for you because they raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol plus other harmful effects. However, fully hydrogenated oils turn into saturated fats.

With simple ingredients, peanut butter is a treat that can act as a healthy snack or topping. So what's in your peanut butter? 


Ingredients: Roasted peanuts and sugar. Contains 2% or less of: molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed and soybean), mono and diglycerides, and salt.

Crazy Richards

Ingredient(s): Peanuts


Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil (Cottonseed, Soybean and Rapeseed Oil) to prevent separation, salt.

Nut Butter Nation 

Ingredients: Peanuts and salt


Ingredients: Dry roasted peanuts and palm oil

Peter Pan

File:Derbys Peter Pan peanut butter sample blikje, foto1.JPG

Image from WikiCommons

Ingredients: Rroasted peanuts, corn syrup solids*, soy protein concentrate*, sugar, less than 2% of: hydrogenated vegetable oils (cottonseed and rapeseed), salt, minerals (magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, iron phosphate, copper sulfate) and vitamins(niacin, vitamin b6, folic acid)

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Crunchy and Creamy No Stir Peanut Butter Spread

theimpulsivebuy on Flickr

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Powdered Sugar (Cane Sugar, Cornstarch), Sustainable Palm Oil, Sea Salt

So, all in all, it's best to look at the ingredients before choosing your peanut butter. Don't be fooled by the labels that boast about being all natural. Decide for yourself, and look at the label. If you couldn't create it in your own kitchen, would you really want it in your body?