Can you eat peanut butter?

In this article, we will explore the question, “Can you eat peanut butter?” along with other important topics, such as the different types of peanut butter available and their health benefits.

Can you eat peanut butter?

Yes, you can eat peanut butter. It is nutrient dense food and supplies great nutritional benefits to the body when consumed. 

Different types of peanut butter exist, including homemade peanut butter, which is typically natural and plain. On the other hand, commercially produced peanut butter often contains added sweeteners and flavorings (1 and 2).

Who should not eat peanut butter?

People with peanut allergies, certain gastrointestinal disorders, or diverticulitis may need to limit or avoid peanut butter due to its high calorie and fat content (1 and 2). 

Peanut  is a common allergen, and individuals with peanut allergies should strictly avoid consuming it to prevent allergic reactions, which can range from mild symptoms to severe.

This advice is also applicable to those following specific dietary restrictions, including high-fat, low-fat, or weight loss diets (2). It’s crucial to seek personalized guidance from a dietitian or doctor and adhere to their recommendations.

What are the main types of peanut butter?

There are three main standards of peanut butter, as classified by the USDA’s grades of peanut butter (1). There are textures, types and styles.

Peanut butter textures:

Smooth: This type of peanut butter has a very fine consistency without any noticeable grainy peanut particles.

Medium: Peanut butter with a medium texture has a slightly grainy texture with easily perceptible peanut particles.

Chunky: Chunky peanut butter has a partially fine texture, with larger pieces of peanuts mixed in.

Types of peanut butter:

Stabilized: This variety is prepared using special processes and/or added ingredients that prevent oil separation.

Non Stabilized: Non stabilized peanut butter is made without any special processes or added ingredients to prevent oil separation.

Styles of peanut butter:

Regular pack: This is a stabilized type of peanut butter made from skinless peanuts. It includes added salt and suitable nutritive sweeteners.

Specialty pack: This category includes peanut butter made from unblanched peanuts. It may or may not contain added salt and/or a nutritive sweetener.

What are the fats  in peanut butter?

Eating peanuts or processed peanut products has shown to be good for your health due to their healthy fat profile. They contain more unsaturated fats than saturated fats, making them a great choice. 

Peanut oil is naturally free of trans fats, cholesterol, and low in saturated fats. It has numerous positive effects on our body, mainly because of its high oleic acid content (2). 

Research studies have highlighted the unique properties of this fatty acid and the importance of consuming it in adequate amounts. Many studies have found that including peanuts or peanut oil in your diet can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) (2). 

They can improve your blood lipid levels, reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and provide protection for your heart. If you’re looking to design a diet that lowers cholesterol and promotes heart health, incorporating peanuts, peanut butter, or peanut oil is a smart choice (2). 

Moreover, peanuts have also shown to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (2)

What are the possible health benefits of eating peanut butter?

Peanut butter offers several health benefits based on research studies. 

1. Incorporating peanuts into the diet can positively impact lipid profiles, the risk of coronary heart disease, and antioxidant capacity (2).

2. Frequent consumption of nuts and peanut butter is associated with lower LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (2). 

3. Women who consume nuts or peanut butter also have a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (2 and 3). 

4. Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and low in carbs, making it a nutritious choice (3 and 4). 

5. Additionally, it is a source of vitamins and minerals (4).

Overall, peanut butter can be a valuable addition to a balanced diet, promoting cardiovascular health and providing cholesterol-lowering effects.

What are the potential risks of peanut butter?

When it comes to eating peanut butter, two major risks to be aware of are contamination by Salmonella and Aflatoxins. These risks can significantly impact public health due to their prevalence (3).

Aflatoxins, harmful substances produced by specific fungi, pose a significant challenge when it comes to peanut butter. Unfortunately, removing them from contaminated peanut butter is extremely difficult. 

To minimize these risks, it is important to follow strict hygiene practices throughout the production process (5).

Mycotoxins, including aflatoxins, can cause both immediate and long-term health problems. Prolonged exposure to these toxins can affect the immune system, growth, and the liver (6).

To ensure the safety of consuming peanut butter, it is essential to adhere to strict food safety standards and quality control measures. These measures help protect us from potential health hazards associated with eating peanut butter (3).


In this article, we have addressed the question, ‘Can you eat peanut butter?’ Yes, you can eat peanut butter. The main types of texture in peanut butter are smooth, medium, and chunky. Peanut butter promotes cardiovascular health when included in a balanced diet.


1. USDA. United States Standards for grades of peanut butter. [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 08]. Available from:

2. Suchoszek-Łukaniuk K, Jaromin A, Korycińska M, Kozubek A. Chapter 103 – Health Benefits of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Seeds and Peanut Oil Consumption. In: Preedy VR, Watson RR, Patel VBBT-N and S in H and DP, editors. San Diego: Academic Press; 2011. p. 873–80. Available from:

3. Sithole TR, Ma Y-X, Qin Z, Wang X-D, Liu H-M. Peanut Butter Food Safety Concerns—Prevalence, Mitigation and Control of Salmonella spp., and Aflatoxins in Peanut Butter. Foods [Internet] 2022;11(13):1874. Available from:

4. Isleib TG, Pattee HE, Sanders TH, Hendrix KW, Dean LO. Compositional and sensory comparisons between normal- and high-oleic peanuts. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54(5):1759–63. Available from:

5. Linscott AJ. Food-Borne Illnesses. Clin Microbiol Newsl [Internet]. 2011;33(6):41–5. Available from:

6. Huang, T. ; International Association for Food Protection , Des Moines , USA , Food Protection Trends. Consumer storage period and temperature for peanut butter and their effects on survival of Available from: https://<ixmlns=””>Salmonella</i> and <i xmlns=””>

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