How to Reduce the Fat in Nut Butter

healthiest nut butter

Most nut butters have roughly 190 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving.  They sell “reduced fat” peanut butter, but if you read the Nutrition Facts label, you’ll see that it’s higher in sugar, still contains 190 calories, and has unnatural additives.  You can make your own slightly reduced-calorie and lower-fat peanut butter in just a few seconds.  Simply buy the organic or natural kind (the kind you have to stir, which is the least processed and healthiest type), then pour off the oil sitting on top before stirring.  Like this:

healthiest nut butters

Simply removing this oil will save about 240 calories and 28 grams of fat — which means each serving of nut butter will have 20 fewer calories and 2-3 fewer grams of fat.  [I should note that this fat is unsaturated and heart-healthy, so it's not bad, it's just caloric.  So this tip is most relevant to those watching their calorie intake.]  This doesn’t seem like much of a change in calories, but small changes can really add up over time.

And…save the oil you remove to use for a stir-fry, salad dressing, or any Asian-style dish.  It’ll have a nutty taste and can withstand a high cooking temperature, so it’s perfect for your next meal!

reduced fat peanut butter

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  1. Love this idea. I can’t say I will remember to save the strained oil, though…What do you think of the machine at whole foods that grinds the peanuts fresh?

    • The PB from that machine is delish! It will eventually separate too, as the nutty part sinks and the oil rises. So you could use the same trick, or just buy a little at a time. Honey roasted rules!

  2. In Health Magazine, you recommended to lose weight buy natural peanut butter and drain off the oil to eliminate 20 – 30 calories per serving. Literally, this is NUTS. The oil in nuts is very good for our health. It is heart healthy oil. I think you still belong to the “Bad Fat” theory. We need a LOT of fat in our diet every day. I eat raw hemp seeds, raw tahini, raw walnuts, raw almonds and try hard to find raw unroasted peanut butter because this is a good source of essential fatty acids. Peanuts don’t have Omega 3 – but the oil in peanut butter is GOOD for us. Instead of advising folks to drain off the oil – you should instead tell people not to eat processed Laura Scudder and Skippy brand supermarket type peanut butter. It is cut with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cottonseed oil and poor quality hydrogenated soybean oil. In addition to eating about 3-4 tablespoons of nuts a day, I like avocadoes and take borage oil – evening primose oil supplements. I’ve been doing this for years. I’m 57 years old and I don’t have ANY wrinkles and no face pumped full of Botox! I don’t have “crinkly” neck or arms – my skin is very supple and youthful – I credit this to eating a lot of FAT from nuts, olives, hemp seed and raw peanut butter WITH the oil intact.

    • Hi Colleen, thanks for your thoughts. I am a big fan of unsaturated fats from plant foods, and agree that fat this is a great source of nutrients to include in our diets, as well as something that offers MUCH more value than the artificial types of additives you mentioned here. However, most Americans are overweight and need to pay attention to calorie intake. So my suggestion is to slightly reduce the calorie content of the peanut butter and use the remaining oil for a healthy fat addition in a separate meal.

    • Sorry, peanuts are not nuts they are legumes i.e. from the pea family, they also grow underground beneath the soil, unlike nuts which grow above ground.

      • You are right that peanuts are technically legumes and not tree nuts. But nutritionally, peanuts are more similar to tree nuts than beans. Some other examples of how foods cross over into other food groups that better suit their nutritional profile: tomatoes (a fruit that’s more similar to a vegetable), avocado (a fruit that is more like a dietary fat), and a white potato (a vegetable that’s more like a grain/serving of starch). For this reason I talk about peanuts as “nuts.”

  3. Supermaster says:

    Now you just have a jar of dried-mud consistency peanut grit. Break a knife getting it out of the jar only to find that you can’t spread it on your bread. Then once you chew through it your digestive tract can writhe in agony while it tries to sludge it out the other end.

    Most Americans need to worry about walking 1 hour per day rather than ruining their peanut butter.

    • This post is not claiming that removing a tiny bit of the oil from your peanut butter is the best way to lose weight, it’s just a post about how small changes can add up over time. In this case, most of the oil remains, and the nut butter is still plenty stir-able.

      I agree that getting active and making better food choices (whole, unprocessed foods) is the way Americans should approach weight loss. But given that most people aren’t doing this, I believe in providing small, practical tips that reduce calories without the use of processed “light” or reduced-fat foods.

  4. Peanut oil might be heart healthy, but it is high in omega-6 and 9s which increase inflation in the body. Also of there are more omega-6 abs 9s than omega-3s present in the body, the omega-6 and 9s will convert the omega-3s to 6s abs 9s.