What Are the Different Types of Sugar Free Peanut Butter?

Lainie Petersen

Sugar free peanut butter comes in a variety of forms. Some is blended with other foodstuffs, such as coconut, to add sweetness. Others are sold as natural peanut butter, which have few, if any, additives. Like regular peanut butter, sugar free peanut butter is often sold in both crunchy and creamy textures. Some manufacturers of dietary foods have also created peanut spreads that are significantly lower in calories than both standard and sugar free peanut butter, but may include artificial sweeteners as well.

A jar of sugar free peanut butter.
A jar of sugar free peanut butter.

Many commercial peanut butters include sugar in order to create a sweeter, more appealing peanut butter. As many people are concerned about reducing their sugar consumption, many food companies also manufacture sugar free peanut butter. Often, this peanut butter is not actually marketed as a sugarless product, but is instead called natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter is often made by simply grinding whole peanuts until they form a butter, which is packed into jars. As peanuts already have some natural sweetness, many people find this product quite palatable and may even come to prefer it over regular peanut butters.

Sugar-free peanut butters are often marketed as "natural" peanut butter.
Sugar-free peanut butters are often marketed as "natural" peanut butter.

One unique characteristic of natural, sugar free peanut butter is that the peanut oil typically separates from the peanut butter as it sits in the jar. This results in a pool of oil at the top of the peanut butter that must be stirred back in before the peanut butter can be consumed. As some people don't like the need to stir peanut butter before using it, some peanut butter companies have developed processes for creating a no-stir natural peanut butter. In some cases, this process may require the use of trans fats, though other companies have come up with a process that adds other oils to the peanut butter to make it spreadable without any need for stirring the oil back into the spread.

Peanut butter lovers often separate themselves into crunchy and creamy camps. Sugar free peanut butter typically is available with small chunks of crunchy peanuts or blended into a completely smooth, creamy texture. Typically, companies that manufacture peanut butter will offer both types under the same brand.

Other variations on sugar free peanut butter include peanut butters that are blended with sweet ingredients such as coconut as well as lower lower calorie peanut spreads. In the latter case, a peanut butter-like spread may be made from peanuts, artificial sweeteners, and other stabilizing ingredients. Such products allow people to enjoy a sweet peanut spread without the calories that are normally found in even sugar free varieties.

Natural peanut butter contains only ground up peanuts.
Natural peanut butter contains only ground up peanuts.

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