Is Jif Peanut Butter considered a healthy food option?
No, Jif Peanut Butter is not considered a healthy food option as it may contain added salt and artificial ingredients, which are not beneficial for overall health when consumed in excess.
Continue reading to find out more and check your knowledge!
Ingredients to be cautious about
- Excessive amount of calories
- Saturated fat
- Artificial flavors
- Partially hydrogenated oils
- Added sugar
Possible short-term side effects
- No specific short-term side effects can be listed based on the given ingredients.
Possible long-term side effects
- Increased blood pressure
- Weight gain
- If eaten in excess:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Increased cholesterol
- Promotes bone and muscle health
- Prevents type 2 diabetes
- Prevents cardiovascular disease
- Prevents cancer
- Natural peanut butter: great source of protein
Healthy alternativesThe requested randomized HTML list is as follows:
- Almond butter
- All natural, 100% peanut butter
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Is Jif Peanut Butter considered a healthy food option?
Does Jif Peanut Butter contain added salt and artificial ingredients?
Does Jif Peanut Butter have possible long-term side effects such as increased blood pressure, diabetes, and weight gain?
Jif has a lot of “healthy” sounding product lines: Natural Jif, Simply Jif, No Sugar Added, Reduced Fat, and more… But are any of these Jif peanut butters actually healthy when you dig into the details?
Jif peanut butter is about equally healthy as other popular brands like Skippy and Peter Pan. Jif has healthy fat and protein from peanuts, but most flavors also have added sugar, oil, and salt. Natural peanut butter without sugar, oil, and salt are generally considered healthier.
Below, we’ll explore whether Jif is good for weight loss, building muscle, low-sodium diets, and much more. I’ll also address salmonella concerns, and I’ll end with in-depth comparisons between Jif, Skippy, and Peter Pan.
Is Jif Peanut Butter Good for You?
Here are the 12 specific questions I’ll be answering about Jif peanut butter nutrition. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:
- What Are the Ingredients in Jif Peanut Butter?
- How Much Sugar Is in Jif Peanut Butter?
- Is Jif Peanut Butter Processed?
- Is Jif Peanut Butter Good for Weight Loss?
- Is Jif Peanut Butter Good for Building Muscle?
- Does Jif Peanut Butter Have a Lot of Salt in It?
- Does Jif Peanut Butter Raise Cholesterol?
- Does Jif Peanut Butter Have Partially Hydrogenated Oil?
- Why Was Jif Recalled in 2022, and Is It Safe Now?
- Is Jif or Skippy Healthier?
- Is Jif or Peter Pan Healthier?
- Is Jif Peanut Butter Vegan?
1. What Are the Ingredients in Jif Peanut Butter?
Let’s start by looking at some actual Jif peanut butter ingredients. Below are the ingredients for several flavors. I’ll share my takeaway points below the table:
|Jif Peanut Butter Flavor||Ingredients|
|Creamy Peanut Butter||Roasted Peanuts And Sugar, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Molasses, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed And Soybean), Mono And Diglycerides, Salt.|
|Natural Creamy Peanut Butter||Peanuts, Sugar, Palm Oil, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Salt, Molasses.|
|No Added Sugar * Creamy Peanut Butter||Peanuts, Palm Oil, Contains 2% or Less of: Salt.|
|Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread||Peanuts, Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar, Pea Protein, Contains 2% or Less of: Salt, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed and Soybean), Mono and Diglycerides, Molasses, Magnesium Oxide, Niacinamide, Ferric Orthophosphate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid.|
|Simply Jif Peanut Butter Spread||Roasted Peanuts, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed And Soybean), Mono And Diglycerides, Molasses, Sugar, Salt.|
Here’s what I notice from these ingredients:
- Jif Peanut Butter is mostly peanuts. Peanuts are a whole plant food, rich in healthy fats, a bit of protein, and some healthy vitamins and minerals.
- Most flavors of Jif have added sugar. The only flavor without sugar is the “No Sugar Added” flavor. This makes most Jif products a bit more processed and higher in refined carbs than a more natural peanut butter with only peanuts and salt. Reduced Fat Jif also has corn syrup solids, another sweetener.
- Jif Peanut Butter has added oil. Some flavors have palm oil, which is high in saturated fat, which most health orgs recommend limiting. Other flavors have a mix of fully hydrogenated vegetable oils. In either case, these oils are highly processed and calorically dense. Not the healthiest.
- Jif Peanut Butter has added salt. If you’re trying to keep your sodium intake very low, you may need to limit your portions of Jif, as it does have added salt. See below for more details on sodium content.
- Does Jif Have Xylitol? Jif peanut butter does not contain xylitol. This means it is usually safe for dogs to eat (in moderation). Ask your veterinarian for guidance specific to your dog.
- Does Jif Peanut Butter Have Palm Oil? Several flavors of Jif contain palm oil, including the Jif Natural and No Sugar Added products. However, some flavors of Jif—including the original flavor—have other vegetable oils instead.
- Is Jif Peanut Butter Real Peanut Butter? Jif peanut butter is made with real peanuts, but it has other ingredients added, too. This is standard for peanut butter today, but it’s possible to get peanut butter made solely from peanuts, if you prefer. (Try this brand on Amazon.)
2. How Much Sugar Is in Jif Peanut Butter?
Most flavors of Jif peanut butter have about 3 grams of total sugar per serving (two tablespoons). However, some of that is natural sugar from the peanuts. The Jif flavor with the least sugar is No Sugar Added Jif, with 2g of total sugar, no added sugar.
Here is a table showing the sugar content of various Jif flavors:
|Jif Peanut Butter Flavor||Total Carbs||Total Sugar||Added Sugar|
|Creamy Peanut Butter||8g||3g||2g|
|Natural Creamy Peanut Butter||8g||4g||2g|
|No Added Sugar * Creamy Peanut Butter||7g||2g||0g|
|Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread||15g||4g||3g|
|Simply Jif Peanut Butter Spread||7g||2g||1g|
It’s interesting to note that the “No Sugar Added” variety still has 2g of total sugars. You may not normally think of peanut butter as being a source of natural sugar, but it is.
- Does Jif Natural Peanut Butter Have Sugar? Jif Natural does have added sugar. And in fact, it has a little more total sugar than the original flavor of Jif (4g vs 3g per serving).
3. Is Jif Peanut Butter Processed?
It’s generally understood today that the healthiest foods are minimally processed. When we eat food in its more natural forms, we typically get many more nutrients than if it’s been processed into flour, flakes, syrup, or oil.
The term “processed food” is a bit imprecise, though. Technically, even if you just cut a carrot in half, you’ve “processed” it. But that’s not what most people mean when they say “processed food.”
In practical terms, the easiest way to spot “processed food” today is to check the ingredients list for refined oils, sugars, flours, artificial ingredients (sweeteners, colors, additives), or high amounts of salt.
Overall, Jif peanut butter is not really “ultra processed,” as the main ingredient is peanuts, a natural plant food. That said, it is somewhat processed because:
- All Jif flavors I checked have some kind of refined oils.
- All Jif flavors I checked have added salt.
- Most Jif flavors I checked have added sugar (but not the “No Sugar Added” flavor).
- Reduced Fat Jif has corn syrup solids, another highly processed ingredient.
Jif peanut butter is not as processed as something like Twinkies or soda. But it’s still a bit processed, no matter which flavor you buy. The least processed flavor is probably “No Sugar Added” Jif. But even that flavor still has added oil and salt.
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4. Is Jif Peanut Butter Good for Weight Loss?
Jif peanut butter is a high-calorie food, with around 95 calories per tablespoon. If eaten in moderation, it should not cause weight gain. However, large servings can add many calories to your diet. In fact, peanut butter is one of the best foods to eat if you’re trying to gain weight.
Personally, I’ve gone through phases where I smeared peanut butter on many of my snacks and meals, and it did cause weight gain over the course of a few months.
But I’ve also incorporated peanut butter into healthy diets when I was maintaining or losing weight. It’s all about portion size and total calorie balance.
If you’re watching your weight, just be aware that peanut butter contains a lot of calories, almost 100 calories per tablespoon. And that can add up fast!
5. Is Jif Peanut Butter Good for Building Muscle?
Jif peanut butter can be a good choice for building muscle, as it is high in calories and moderate in protein. Most Jif flavors have 7 grams of protein per serving.
Building muscle isn’t just about protein, but that’s certainly an important factor. So here’s a table showing the protein content for various Jif flavors:
|Jif Peanut Butter Flavor||Protein|
|Creamy Peanut Butter||7g|
|Natural Creamy Peanut Butter||7g|
|No Added Sugar * Creamy Peanut Butter||8g|
|Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread||7g|
|Simply Jif Peanut Butter Spread||7g|
Peanut butter has a reputation of being high in protein. But most of the calories in peanut butter actually come from fat, not protein. That’s true across the board, from Jif to Skippy to Peter Pan, and the organic brands, too.
Still, peanuts are a bit higher in protein than most nuts. And there’s another muscle-building benefit to peanut butter: Calories!
Peanut butter is very calorically dense. If you’re trying to gain weight, it’s easy to add a few hundred calories of peanut butter to many meals by just smearing it on the top.
But again, Jif is pretty similar to other peanut butter brands nutritionally. It’s not really going to be better or worse for bodybuilding or building muscle than other peanut butter brands.
[Related post: Popcorn and Bodybuilding: All Your Questions Answered.]
6. Does Jif Peanut Butter Have a Lot of Salt in It?
Jif peanut butter has between 55mg and 190mg of sodium per serving (two tablespoons). This is similar to the amount of sodium in other salted snacks, like nuts or potato chips. The Jif product with the least sodium is the No Sugar Added flavor (55mg per serving).
Here is a table showing the amount of sodium in various Jif flavors:
|Jif Peanut Butter Flavor||Sodium|
|Creamy Peanut Butter||140mg|
|Natural Creamy Peanut Butter||80mg|
|No Added Sugar * Creamy Peanut Butter||55mg|
|Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread||190mg|
|Simply Jif Peanut Butter Spread||65mg|
If you’re looking for very low sodium peanut butter, you may want to look for a “natural” or “organic” option that is made of only peanuts.
For example, on Amazon there’s a popular brand called Spread the Love that is made of only peanuts. No added salt! Surprisingly, it still tastes great!
7. Does Jif Peanut Butter Raise Cholesterol?
Jif peanut butter does not have dietary cholesterol. However, most flavors of Jif have 3.5 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. This could potentially affect blood cholesterol levels, as saturated fat consumption is linked to higher LDL cholesterol.
Here’s a table showing the cholesterol and saturated fat content of various Jif peanut butter flavors:
|Jif Peanut Butter Flavor||Cholesterol||Saturated Fat|
|Creamy Peanut Butter||0mg||3.5g|
|Natural Creamy Peanut Butter||0mg||3.5g|
|No Added Sugar * Creamy Peanut Butter||0mg||3.5g|
|Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread||0mg||2.5g|
|Simply Jif Peanut Butter Spread||0mg||3.5g|
In recent years, there is some debate over whether saturated fat is actually so bad or not. But the current consensus among most health organizations is to limit saturated fat for reasons related to cholesterol and heart disease.
If you have high cholesterol, you may want to ask your doctor or dietitian about how much saturated fat to include in your diet. Then consider your Jif portions in relation to those personalized daily recommendations.
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8. Does Jif Peanut Butter Have Partially Hydrogenated Oil?
Jif peanut butter does not have partially hydrogenated oil or trans fat. However, it does contain fully hydrogenated oil, which is still a highly processed ingredient.
In normal Jif peanut butter, whether Creamy or Extra Chunky, they use fully hydrogenated vegetable oil “to prevent separation.” The word “hydrogenated” is viewed by some people as a red flag in ingredient lists—because partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fat.
Trans fat is known to be the worst kind of fat, even worse than saturated fat. Here is a page from the American Heart Association on why trans fat is so unhealthy.
Trans fat raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol, while lowering your HDL (good) cholesterol and increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. (source)
However, in recent years, the FDA banned partially hydrogenated oils. So, nowadays, what you get in Jif and other peanut butter is fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, sometimes mixed with other vegetable oils.
This means Jif today does not contain trans fat. That said, some people still worry about the hydrogenated oil in Jif. It’s a very processed ingredient—that’s for sure. I wrote a bit more about it in my post about Crisco.
If you’re concerned about the hydrogenated oils in Jif peanut butter, you can switch to Jif Natural. Jif Natural does not contain hydrogenated oils—it has palm oil instead.
9. Why Was Jif Recalled in 2022, and Is It Safe Now?
In the first half of 2022, there was a salmonella outbreak that led to a voluntary recall of Jif peanut butter products. In total, 21 people in 17 states got sick, with 4 hospitalizations and no deaths. As of July 27, 2022, that outbreak was declared over by the CDC. (source)
As Jif explains on their website, some water seems to have gotten into their production environment in their Memphis facility. This likely allowed bacteria to grow and cause the salmonella outbreak.
You can check out which products were affected, and potentially get a refund for any you bought, through the Jif website.
This salmonella outbreak is over now. All the potentially infected Jif products were recalled and removed from stores. You should be safe buying Jif products again now.
10. Is Jif or Skippy Healthier?
Jif and Skippy peanut butter are about equally healthy. Skippy has slightly more sugar and sodium, but Jif has slightly more saturated fat. Jif has a bit more of vitamins and minerals (iron, potassium, and niacin). They have the same amount of protein and fiber.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the original, creamy flavor of Jif versus the original, creamy flavor of Skippy:
- Sugar: Jif wins (barely). Both brands have 3g of total sugars per serving. But according to the labels, Jif has only 2g of “added sugar,” while Skippy has 3g. So Jif may be a bit better here.
- Saturated Fat: Skippy wins (barely). Skippy has 3g of saturated fat per serving, while Jif has 3.5g. Again, this is very close, so I wouldn’t put much stock in the difference.
- Sodium: Jif wins (barely). Jif only has 140mg of sodium per serving, while Skippy has 150mg. But again, it’s close—there’s not a big difference.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Jif wins. Jif has more iron than Skippy (1mg vs 0.4mg per serving); more potassium (185mg vs 94mg); and more niacin (5mg vs 3.2mg). This may be the biggest nutritional difference between the two brands.
- Calories: Tie. Both Skippy and Jif have 190 calories per serving.
- Fiber: Tie. Both Skippy and Jif have 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
- Protein: Tie. Both Skippy and Jif have 7 grams of protein per serving.
- Ingredients: Skippy wins (?). Skippy and Jif have very similar ingredients, but Jif has added molasses and mono- and diglycerides. If you’re a fan of minimal, simple ingredients—like I am—then Skippy’s ingredients may look a bit better to you.
Jif and Skippy are very similar. There are only small differences. For a bigger difference, consider a brand like Spread the Love, which is made of only peanuts. It’s surprisingly good.
11. Is Jif or Peter Pan Healthier?
Jif and Peter Pan peanut butter are about equally healthy. Jif has slightly more sugar and sodium, but Peter Pan has slightly more saturated fat and calories. They have the same amount of protein and fiber, as well as the same ingredients.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the original, creamy flavor of Jif versus the original, creamy flavor of Peter Pan:
- Sugar: Tie. Both brands have 3g of total sugars per serving, with 2g of “added sugar.”
- Saturated Fat: Tie. Both have 3.5g of saturated fat per serving.
- Sodium: Peter Pan wins. Peter Pan only has 125mg of sodium per serving, while Jif has 140mg. It’s a pretty small difference, but Peter Pan’s original flavor is the lowest in sodium when compared to Jif and Skippy.
- Calories: Jif wins (barely). Jif has 190 calories per serving, while Peter Pan has 200. If you’re trying to keep your calories low, then Jif may be a slightly better choice.
- Fiber: Tie. Both Jif and Peter Pan have 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
- Protein: Peter Pan wins (barely). Jif has 7 grams of protein per serving, but Peter Pan has 8g per serving. So if you’re looking for high protein, Peter Pan may be slightly better. But it’s not a big difference.
- Ingredients: Peter Pan wins (maybe)? Compared to Peter Pan, Jif has added molasses and mono- and diglycerides. So again, if you’re a fan of simple, minimal ingredients, then Peter Pan may be your preference.
Jif and Peter Pan are very similar nutritionally. There are only small differences. For a bigger nutritional difference, consider a brand like Spread the Love, which is made of only peanuts.
12. Is Jif Peanut Butter Vegan?
Jif peanut butter is generally considered vegan. Unless you buy a flavor with honey, there are no known animal products.
It’s possible the sugar in Jif is refined using bone char from animals, but most vegans are okay with that.
There is also the issue of the palm oil in Natural Jif and No Sugar Added Jif. Some vegans boycott palm oil due to habitat destruction for animals. Jif claims to source their palm oil responsibly and ethically, however. (source)
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