Can you eat peanut butter on keto?
In this brief guide, we will address the query “ can you eat peanut butter on keto?”. We will also discuss the questions about what keto is, how keto works, what are the positive effects of keto dieting and peanut butter, and what are the potential risks of keto diets and peanut butter.
Can you eat peanut butter on keto?
Yes, you can eat peanut butter on keto. Keto diets usually cut the carbs in foods whilst feeding on fatty foods. Peanut butter is equally high in fats with low carbohydrate levels. This makes peanut butter a dish to be considered for keto diets (1,2,3).
What are the health benefits of peanut butter?
Peanuts are a source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which is beneficial for your health because they are associated with the following health benefits (3):
- Reduction of low-density-lipoprotein, which migrate triacylglycerols to arteries and form atheromas, responsible for increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
- Neuroprotective effect against neurological aging degeneration.
- Peanuts also contain fiber, which is related with a good gastrointestinal health, alleviating constipation, as well as the prevention of gastrointestinal infectious diseases and colon cancer.
- Peanuts are source of B vitamins and vitamin E; B vitamins are essential for an optimal metabolism and cognitive development, while vitamin # boosts your immune system and could prevent skin cancer.
- Other bioactive compounds in peanuts, like phytosterols, are useful to regulate your cholesterol blood levels, reducing your risks of cardiovascular diseases.
What is a keto diet?
A ketogenic diet popularly called keto is the term for a low carb and high-fat diet. The diet largely depends on fat for energy other than the almighty carbs.
The caloric breakdown of the ketogenic diet ranges from 60 to 80 percent of calories from fat, 20 to 30 percent from proteins and the remaining calories from carbs (1,2).
The amount of carbs equivalence is usually slightly higher than 20 to 50 grams of carbs daily. The main goal is to get more calories from fat and proteins and less from carbohydrates. The keto diet is a short term diet geared towards weight loss (1,2).
How does the keto diet work?
On keto dieting, once fewer carbohydrates are consumed with more fat and proteins, the body is likely to depend on fats and proteins for calories in the absence of carbs (1,2).
On a day of keto dieting, one consumes less than 50 grams of carbs, this is insufficient for the body’s requirement. In about 3 to 4 days, the body will deplete all the carbohydrate energy sources (glycogen) (1,2).
After the glycogen stores are depleted, your body starts to utilize stored fats and proteins for energy leading to weight loss (1,2).
However, it is important to not let your body use muscle proteins as an energy source, so it is crucial to eat a proper amount of protein (1,2).
What are the health benefits of a keto diet?
Most commonly people engage in keto diets to help lose weight, however, they can also assist in the pursuit of certain health benefits. In some situations, keto diets assist in the following (1,2):
- Managing certain health conditions such as epilepsy due to a decrease in brain activity.
- Assisting people with heart disease; when people have increased cardiovascular risk due to obesity, losing weight with a keto diet can help reduce the cardiovascular risks. .
- Keto diet could help to regulate glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes.
What are the potential risks of keto?
Although keto diets may be intended for good by checking obesity, it is most likely to have some negative impact on the individuals. Some negative consequences of the keto diet include (1,2):
- Nutrient deficiency: Discriminating against certain foods like vegetables, fruits, and grains among others in the name of cutting off carbs in diets may lead to the risk of deficiencies in some micronutrients including selenium, magnesium and phosphorus, vitamins B and C.
- Selenium, magnesium, and vitamin C are potent antioxidants for your body, essential to have a strong immune system (4).
- Liver problems: By consuming so much fat, the liver is overly burdened with metabolizing fats and may worsen existing liver conditions.
- Kidney problems: The kidneys are also overburdened during keto as more proteins are consumed and must be metabolized.
- Constipation: Eliminating fibrous foods like grains and legumes in the keto diet may lead to constipation.
What is the nutrient profile of peanut butter?
The nutrient flavor of peanut butter differs based on the ingredients used in its preparation.
The plain or natural peanut butter produced from only peanuts and optionally salt has its nutritional profile as two (2) tablespoons serving to contain approximately 18 grams of fats, 9 grams of proteins, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of sugars (5).
However, flavored peanut butter that may have added sugar cane or honey will differ in its nutrient amounts with significantly higher carbohydrates, especially in sugars (3).
Therefore, you should be aware and look for the sugar content in the peanut butters, especially if they are from a commercial brand (6).
How to identify keto-friendly peanut butter in the market?
To identify if the peanut butter is keto-friendly, you should go to the back of the package and check the nutrition facts. If the product provides you with more than 1 gram of sugar per portion (usually 2 tablespoons), it is not a keto-friendly peanut butter (1,2,6).
If you need more information regarding how to read food labels, you are on luck! We have an article explaining all you need to know about food labels, just click here.
What are the potential health concerns of eating peanut butter on keto?
Usually, it is safe to eat peanut butter on keto because peanut butter is an excellent source of high fat needed by the body. However, there are some potential health risks such as peanut allergy (3).
Peanut allergy is a common allergic reaction to food, and it could cause from uncomfortable symptoms such as eczema or abdominal inflammation, to severe symptoms like anaphylaxis (3).
If you have an allergy to peanuts, you should avoid peanut butter and look for an alternative.
On the other hand, if you are on a keto diet for weight loss, you should moderate your intake of peanut butter. Peanut butter is an energy-dense food, and if you eat a lot of it, you will probably struggle to achieve your weight management goals (1,2,3).
What other nuts and butter can you eat on keto?
Many nuts and their butter are high in fats, protein, fiber and low in carbs and they are perfect for keto. Aside from peanut butter, some excellent alternatives for ketos include (7,8,9):
- Almond butter: Per two tablespoons (32 grams) of almond nut, there are 6 grams of total carbs and 3 grams of net carbs
- Macadamia nut butter: Per two tablespoons (28 grams) of macadamia nut butter, there are 4 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of net carbs
- Hazelnut butter: Per two tablespoons (32 grams) of hazelnut nut butter, there are 6 grams of total carbs and 3 grams of net carbs.
What foods besides nuts can you indulge in on keto?
Some other healthy high fats and protein foods to be considered in the keto diet include beef, fish, meats, poultry, seeds, avocados, tofu, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, lard, butter, cocoa butter and others (10).
Sometimes it is believed that you should cut away all fruits, but you can actually include low-glycaemic and low-sugar fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries (10).
Similarly, most vegetables are well accepted in a keto diet because they contain mainly water, with exception of carrots and beetroot which have high content of sugars (10).
What foods should be cut off in keto diets?
The keto diets demand low carbs and high fats, thus all foods that contain high amounts of carbohydrates should be cut off and replaced by high fats and protein foods. Some foods to avoid on keto include sugars, soda, pastries, white bread, and white rice among others (1,2,10).
In this brief guide, we addressed the query “ can you eat peanut butter on keto?”. We also discussed the questions about what keto is, how keto works, what are the positive effects of keto dieting and peanut butter, and what are the potential risks of keto diets and peanut butter.
- Dowis K, Banga S. The potential health benefits of the ketogenic diet: A narrative review. Nutrients, 2021;13(5):1654.
- Basolo A, Magno S, Santini F, Ceccarini G. Ketogenic diet and weight loss: Is there an effect on energy expenditure? Nutrients, 2022;14(9):1814.
- Bonku R, Yu J. Health aspects of peanuts as an outcome of its chemical composition. Food Sci Hum Wellness, 2020;9(1):21–30.
- Godswill AG, Somtochukwu IV, Ikechukwu AO, Kate EC. Health benefits of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and their associated deficiency diseases: A systematic review. International Journal of Food Sciences, 2020;3(1):1–32.
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 20 June 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/718824/nutrients
- Temple NJ, Fraser J. Food labels: a critical assessment. Nutrition, 2014;30(3):257–60.
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 20 June 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/455210/nutrients
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 20 June 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1997051/nutrients
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 20 June 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1503223/nutrients
- Antonio Paoli A, Mancin L, Caprio M, Monti E, Narici MV, Cenci L, et al. Effects of 30 days of ketogenic diet on body composition, muscle strength, muscle area, metabolism, and performance in semi-professional soccer players. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2021;18(1):62.