Is Peanut Butter Vegan? Everything You Need To Know
Whether you’re becoming vegan or just looking to incorporate more vegan foods, snacks, and supplements into your diet, it is an excellent choice! Whether you’re doing it for health reasons, ethical reasons, or any other personal or health reason, we support you!
However, it also means you have to cut out some pretty delicious foods from your diet. Some of these foods are more obviously not vegan-friendly, such as cheese, bacon, and hamburgers.
But what about peanut butter? Can vegans still enjoy this nutritious and tasty spread?
This article will go over everything you need to know about peanut butter, including its nutritional value and whether or not it is vegan-friendly. Plus, we will break down what other diets, such as the keto diet or a gluten free diet, that peanut butter can fit into. Read on to learn more!
Why Should You Eat Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is absolutely bursting with nutrients that your body needs to thrive. Here are some of the main benefits of eating peanut butter:
- Peanut butter is rich in fiber. Consuming fiber slows down digestion and in turn helps you feel fuller for longer. This sense of fullness supports healthy weight management and maintains that you only eat when you actually need to, not just when you are craving something.
- Peanut butter contains high amounts of protein. Protein helps keep the body strong, restores damaged tissue, and even aids digestion. Peanut butter has the added benefit of being a plant-based protein.
- Peanut butter will give you a healthy supply of unsaturated (and saturated) fats. Unsaturated fats are antioxidant-rich, promote better energy levels, and support immunity. They are also heart healthy and help keep cholesterol levels low.
- Peanut butter holds many essential vitamins and minerals. These include potassium, an electrolyte that promotes optimal muscle function and regulates your heartbeat; calcium, which supports strong bones; and iron, which assists red blood cells in transporting oxygen throughout the body. Peanut butter also contains vitamin E, vitamin B, zinc, biotin, and magnesium.
The best part? Even with all this, peanut butter tastes great, is very versatile, and is generally accessible/affordable! What’s not to love?
Can Vegans Eat Peanut Butter?
Whether or not a peanut butter is vegan depends entirely on its remaining list of ingredients.
Depending on your preferred type of peanut butter (no salt, salted, functional, or flavored), a high quality peanut butter should never contain “natural flavors or artificial flavors,” but may require a deeper dive to confirm it is vegan, especially if it is a flavored and/or functional peanut butter. Some supplements and supplements are not able to be derived from plants so you need to pay particularly close attention when purchasing those.
To dive in a little deeper, like we mentioned above, issues will only arise if the peanut butter in question has functional supplements or flavors. In other words, some peanut butters contain added sugars or sweeteners. And while sugar or monk fruit are vegan-friendly, some vegans choose not to eat honey, as it comes from bees and is therefore an animal by-product.
The reason honey is generally not considered vegan-friendly though it’s not necessarily animal-based is because bees make honey for bees, not for other animals, and the act of taking the honey can potentially be harmful to those bee colonies.
With all that said, be careful to check any label before buying peanut butter if you’re strictly abiding by your vegan lifestyle -- a high-quality, organic peanut butter will be able to hit all the right flavors and functions while staying vegan. Vegans will be happy to know that they can keep adding most peanut butters to their smoothies, spreading it on apple slices, and mixing it in with their oatmeal, all while maintaining their values and eating healthy!
So, now that we know peanut butter is vegan-friendly, let’s see how it fits in with other types of dietary restrictions.
Who Else Can (and Should!) Eat Peanut Butter?
By virtue of being vegan-friendly, peanut butter is also a healthy option for vegetarians and pescatarians. Since both vegetarians and pescatarians are “allowed” to eat honey, even peanut butter that contains honey as a sweetener is fine to eat. We do recommend avoiding any products that hide their ingredients behind “natural flavors or artificial flavors” even if they are diet to your lifestyle choices.
Additionally, sugar-free peanut butter offers a lot of benefits to people with diabetes. For one, regular consumption of peanut butter can actually lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. Secondly, peanut butter is predominantly made up of protein and healthy fats; plus, the already small amount of carbohydrates found in peanut butter are complex carbohydrates mostly composed of fiber, so it is unlikely to cause any sort of blood sugar spike or drop as long as additional sugars have been added, no matter the source. Finally, an important part of managing diabetes is maintaining a healthy weight, and peanut butter helps promote fullness and natural eating patterns.
People with diabetes should of course stick to peanut butters that have no added sugars. They should also note that “reduced-fat” peanut butter is not necessarily a good thing--often times these peanut butters contain more sugar than their full-fat counterparts.
Next, peanut butter is both dairy-free and gluten-free. Since peanut butter is vegan-friendly, it is naturally dairy free as well (despite having butter in the name). The ingredient list of peanuts, salt, and oil also offers no opportunity for gluten to appear. People that follow dairy free and/or gluten free diets can rest assured that most peanut butter is safe for them to eat. Like we’ve mentioned before, when additional flavors or supplements are added you must pay close attention to those ingredients.
Peanut butter is also keto-friendly. This is because peanut butters are high in fat content but low in carbs, making for the perfect keto friendly snack. The only thing to note is that the serving size for peanut butter is only 2 tablespoons (which we know can be tough since it’s so good!), so you should stick to this limit when eating peanut butter to avoid going over your daily calorie or carb goals.
Lastly, because peanut butter contains some saturated fat, many people wonder whether it is actually healthy or not. The good news is that (a) saturated fat is fine as long as you consume it in moderation and (b) peanut butter has several times more unsaturated (healthy) fat than saturated fat, making an impressive fat ratio comparable even to olive oil.
Peanut butter is also a heart healthy snack, and regular peanut butter consumption can decrease your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Now, to round up what we just learned, peanut butter is:
- Vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian friendly
- Diabetes friendly
- Dairy free
- Gluten free
- Keto friendly
- Heart healthy
Really, it seems there is no reason anyone shouldn’t be eating peanut butter. But is there anyone that should avoid eating peanut butter?
Who Cannot Eat Peanut Butter?
Any person that has a peanut allergy should of course stay away from peanut butter at all costs.
There are plenty of other nut butters available as an alternative to peanut butter, such as almond butter or more recently emerging seed butters, so people with peanut allergies do not have to feel left out and can still indulge in nut butters (unless you’re also allergic to tree nuts).
If you have any other nut allergies such as a tree nut allergy, check with your doctor to figure out whether peanut butter is safe for you, and always read the labels of your products to see if they were manufactured in facilities that also process nuts in case you need to take precautions. With that said, even when manufactured in the same facility companies that operate under good manufacturing practices (cGMP) or Global Food Safety Initiatives (GFSI) have procedures in place to minimize and prevent cross contamination.
Otherwise, peanut butter is generally a safe and nutritious spread that can benefit almost everyone!
Can Vegans Eat CBD Peanut Butter?
CBD-infused peanut butter is becoming increasingly popular because it combines the nutritional advantages of consuming peanut butter (and incredible deliciousness) with the health benefits of using CBD.
These benefits of CBD include:
- Recovery from everyday exercise and discomfort
- Supports overall mental health
- Promotes overall wellness
- Supporting more restful sleep
CBD is a naturally-occurring component mostly found within cannabis plants, and it is primarily extracted from hemp. Along with CBD, a full spectrum (full plant) hemp extract includes other plant-based compounds (other cannabinoids, terpenes, and others) that complement the natural benefits of CBD (aka, the entourage effect).
For example, our Creamy Peanut Butter features 1000 mg of full spectrum hemp extract, of which 750 mg is CBD. This means the other 250 mg is composed of a variety of other phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial plant material.
All this to say that CBD is plant-based, so it is entirely vegan. This also means that CBD peanut butter, like regular peanut butter, is vegan-friendly. So, if you want to get the most out of your peanut butter consumption, add CBD!
Peanut butter is a healthy and tasty snack, containing an impressive number of nutrients. These nutrients include fiber, protein, unsaturated fat, potassium, calcium, multiple vitamins, and iron.
As long as vegans stick to peanut butters that do not contain honey as a sweetener or animal derived supplements, they are free (and encouraged!) to eat peanut butter in moderation. Peanut butter is also heart healthy, gluten free, dairy free, and friendly to vegetarians, pescatarians, the keto diet, and people with diabetes (as long as it’s not sweetened). The only people that should avoid peanut butter, really, are people with peanut allergies!
Vegans may also enjoy CBD peanut butter, as it contains added plant-based benefits, and promotes overall holistic wellness. Our Organic Creamy CBD Peanut Butter features only the highest quality ingredients and makes for a delicious functional snack without any of the guilt!
Asking for a Friend: Is Peanut Butter Vegan? | PETA
Is peanut butter good for you? Health benefits and nutrition - medicalnewstoday.com
Ask the doctor: Why is peanut butter "healthy" if it has saturated fat? - Harvard Health
Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health Publishing