Peter Pan is the fourth most popular peanut butter in America—behind Jif, Skippy, and the store brands (of course)! But how does Peter Pan compare to these other options nutritionally? Is Peter Pan healthy?
Peter Pan peanut butter is about equally healthy as other popular brands like Jif and Skippy. Peter Pan has healthy fats and protein from peanuts, but it also has added sugar, oil, and salt. The Honey Roast flavors are particularly high in sugar, with 8g per serving.
Below, we’ll explore whether Peter Pan is good for weight loss, building muscle, low-sodium diets, and much more. I’ll also do head-to-head comparisons between Peter Pan, Jif, and Skippy!
Is Peter Pan Peanut Butter Good for You?
Here are the 11 specific questions I’ll be answering about Peter Pan peanut butter nutrition. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:
- What Ingredients Are in Peter Pan Peanut Butter?
- How Much Sugar Is in Peter Pan Peanut Butter?
- Is Peter Pan Peanut Butter Processed?
- Is Peter Pan Peanut Butter Good for Weight Loss?
- Is Peter Pan Peanut Butter Good for Building Muscle?
- Does Peter Pan Peanut Butter Have a Lot of Salt?
- Does Peter Pan Peanut Butter Raise Cholesterol?
- Does Peter Pan Have Partially Hydrogenated Oil?
- Is Peter Pan or Jif Healthier?
- Is Peter Pan or Skippy Healthier?
- Is Peter Pan Peanut Butter Vegan?
1. What Ingredients Are in Peter Pan Peanut Butter?
Let’s start by looking at some actual Peter Pan peanut butter ingredients. Below are the ingredients for several flavors of Peter Pan. I’ll share my takeaway points below the table:
|Peter Pan Flavor||Ingredients|
|Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter||Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Less Than 2% Of: Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed And Cottonseed), Salt.|
|Peter Pan Honey Roast Creamy||Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Molasses, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed And Cottonseed), Salt, Sugar, Honey.|
|Natural Peter Pan Creamy||Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Palm Oil, Salt.|
|Natural Peter Pan Honey Roast Creamy||Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Palm Oil, Organic Honey, Molasses, Salt.|
Here’s what I notice from these ingredients:
- Peter Pan Peanut Butter is mostly peanuts. Peanuts are a whole food, rich in healthy fats, a bit of protein, and some healthy vitamins and minerals. So this is a healthy foundation to build on.
- Most flavors of Peter Pan have added sugar. It’s not a lot of sugar per serving, but every flavor I checked has added sugar. This makes it more processed and higher in refined carbs than a more natural peanut butter with only peanuts and salt.
- Peter Pan Peanut Butter has added oil. Natural Peter Pan has palm oil, which is high in saturated fat, which most health orgs recommend limiting. Other flavors have a mix of hydrogenated vegetable oils. In either case, these oils are highly processed and calorically dense. Not the healthiest.
- Peter Pan Peanut Butter has added salt. If you’re trying to keep your sodium intake very low, you may need to limit your portions of Peter Pan, as it does have added salt. It has less than Skippy or Jif, though. See below for more on sodium content.
- The “Honey Roast” flavor has more sugar and molasses than honey. You’d think honey would be the main sweetener in a flavor called “Honey Roast,” but it’s actually the last ingredient. There’s a bit more honey in the Natural Honey Roast flavor, but it’s still mostly sweetened with sugar.
But overall, there are no huge surprises here. Peter Pan has pretty similar ingredients as Skippy and Jif. It’s healthy peanuts combined with a bit of processed oil and sugar. Not the best—but not the worst, either.
In the next section, let’s take a look at how much sugar Peter Pan actually has.
- Does Peter Pan Have Xylitol? Peter Pan peanut butter does not contain xylitol. This means it is generally safe for dogs to eat (in moderation).
- Does Peter Pan Peanut Butter Have Palm Oil? Natural Peter Pan has palm oil. However, most flavors of Peter Pan have a mix of hydrogenated rapeseed and cottonseed oil instead.
- Is Peter Pan Real Peanut Butter? Peter Pan peanut butter is made with real peanuts. It simply has other ingredients added, too. This is standard for peanut butter today—but it’s possible to get peanut butter made of only peanuts if you prefer. (Try this brand on Amazon.)
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2. How Much Sugar Is in Peter Pan Peanut Butter?
Most flavors of Peter Pan peanut butter have about 3 grams of total sugar per serving (two tablespoons). That is about average compared to brands like Jif and Skippy. However, the “Honey Roast” flavors of Peter Pan are much sweeter, at 8 grams of total sugar per serving.
Here is a table showing the carb and sugar content of various Peter Pan flavors:
|Peter Pan Flavor||Total Carbs||Total Sugar||Added Sugar|
|Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter||7g||3g||2g|
|Peter Pan Honey Roast Creamy||11g||8g||7g|
|Natural Peter Pan Creamy||6g||3g||1g|
|Natural Peter Pan Honey Roast Creamy||11g||8g||7g|
Most of the added sugar in Peter Pan comes from the “sugar” ingredients—but in the Honey Roast flavors, it’s actually a mix of sugar, molasses, and honey.
Personally, I think the sugar in the Honey Roast flavors is excessive. This is peanut butter, after all. If I wanted something sweet, I could pair it with jam or jelly—know what I mean?
The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 25g of sugar per day for women and 36g per day for men. But no added sugar is needed for human health. Really, the healthiest diet would likely just have natural sugar from fruit and whole foods.
So, for me, any amount of “added sugar” is a negative. And when I see over 5g of added sugar per serving—like in Peter Pan Honey Roast flavors—I usually decline.
- Does Peter Pan Natural Have Added Sugar? Peter Pan Natural does have added sugar. It’s only 1g of added sugar per serving in the Natural Creamy flavor—but Natural Honey Roast Creamy has 7g of added sugar per serving.
3. Is Peter Pan 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, Peter Pan peanut butter is not “ultra processed,” but it is somewhat processed:
- All Peter Pan flavors I checked have some kind of refined oil.
- All Peter Pan flavors I checked have added salt.
- All Peter Pan flavors I checked have added sugar.
Peter Pan peanut butter is not nearly as processed as something like Twinkies or soda. But it’s still a bit processed, no matter which flavor you buy.
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4. Is Peter Pan Peanut Butter Good for Weight Loss?
Peter Pan peanut butter is a high-calorie food, with around 100 calories per tablespoon. If eaten in moderation, it should not cause weight gain. However, large servings can add a lot of 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 so many of my snacks and meals, 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 any brand of peanut butter contains a lot of calories, almost 100 calories per tablespoon, and that includes Peter Pan.
5. Is Peter Pan Peanut Butter Good for Building Muscle?
Peter Pan peanut butter can be a good choice for building muscle, as it is high in calories and moderate in protein. Most Peter Pan flavors have 200 calories and 8g of protein per serving, both of which are slightly higher than Jif or Skippy.
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 Peter Pan is pretty similar to other peanut butter brands nutritionally. It’s not really going to be better or worse for bodybuilding or muscle gain than most other peanut butter brands.
[Related post: Popcorn and Bodybuilding: All Your Questions Answered.]
6. Does Peter Pan Peanut Butter Have a Lot of Salt?
Peter Pan peanut butter has between 120mg and 135mg of sodium per serving (two tablespoons). This is slightly less sodium than the original flavors of Skippy and Jif. However, there is no extra “low sodium” flavor of Peter Pan peanut butter.
Here is a table showing the amount of sodium in various Peter Pan flavors:
|Peter Pan Flavor||Sodium|
|Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter||125mg|
|Peter Pan Honey Roast Creamy||130mg|
|Natural Peter Pan Creamy||120mg|
|Natural Peter Pan Honey Roast Creamy||135mg|
For reference, 125mg of sodium is about the same as most salty snacks—a handful of nuts, a serving of chips, etc. Tostitos Scoops chips have 120mg of sodium in each serving (13 chips), for example.
If you’re looking for truly 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 made of only peanuts. It actually tastes great!
7. Does Peter Pan Peanut Butter Raise Cholesterol?
Peter Pan peanut butter does not have dietary cholesterol. However, depending on the flavor, Peter Pan has 3g to 4g of saturated fat per serving (2 tablespoons). 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 Peter Pan peanut butter flavors:
|Peter Pan Flavor||Cholesterol||Saturated Fat|
|Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter||0mg||3.5g|
|Peter Pan Honey Roast Creamy||0mg||3g|
|Natural Peter Pan Creamy||0mg||4g|
|Natural Peter Pan Honey Roast Creamy||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 the amount in Peter Pan in relation to that personalized medical guidance.
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8. Does Peter Pan Have Partially Hydrogenated Oil?
Peter Pan 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 Peter Pan peanut butter, whether Creamy or Extra Chunky, they use hydrogenated vegetable oil “to prevent separation.” The word “hydrogenated” is a red flag to many consumers, 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 Peter Pan and other peanut butter is fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mixed with other vegetable oils.
This means Peter Pan today does not contain trans fat. That said, some people still worry about the hydrogenated oil in Peter Pan. It’s a very processed ingredient. I wrote a bit more about it in my post about Crisco.
If you’re concerned about the hydrogenated oils in Peter Pan peanut butter, you can switch to Peter Pan Natural. Peter Pan Natural does not have hydrogenated oils. Instead it has palm oil.
9. Is Peter Pan or Jif Healthier?
Peter Pan and Jif 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.
10. Is Peter Pan or Skippy Healthier?
Peter Pan and Skippy peanut butter are about equally healthy. Skippy 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 Peter Pan versus the original, creamy flavor of Skippy:
- Sugar: Peter Pan wins (barely). Both brands have 3g of total sugars per serving. But according to the labels, Peter Pan has only 2g of “added sugar,” while Skippy has 3g. So Peter Pan may be a bit better here.
- Saturated Fat: Skippy wins (barely). Skippy has 3g of saturated fat per serving, while Peter Pan has 3.5g. Again, this is very close, so it’s not a big difference.
- Sodium: Peter Pan wins. Peter Pan only has 125mg of sodium per serving, while Skippy has 150mg. This makes Peter Pan’s original flavor the lowest in sodium when compared to Skippy and Jif.
- Calories: Skippy wins (barely). Skippy has 190 calories per serving, while Peter Pan has 200. If you’re trying to keep your calories low, then Skippy may be a slightly better choice.
- Fiber: Tie. Both Skippy and Peter Pan have 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
- Protein: Peter Pan wins (barely). Skippy 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 a bit better.
- Ingredients: Tie. Skippy and Peter Pan have the same listed ingredients. No real difference here.
Overall, Skippy and Peter Pan are very similar nutritionally. There are only very small differences. Again, for a bigger nutritional difference, consider a brand like Spread the Love, which is made of only peanuts.
11. Is Peter Pan Peanut Butter Vegan?
Peter Pan peanut butter is generally considered vegan, unless you buy one of the flavors with honey. Honey is an animal product, and therefore most vegans do not eat it.
Keep in mind that some vegans are okay with eating honey, so they may even be okay with the Honey Roast flavors of Peter Pan.
Another issue some vegans may debate: It’s possible the sugar in Peter Pan is refined using bone char from animals. Most vegans are okay with that possibility, but some may boycott such sugars, and therefore avoid Peter Pan.
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