How many calories in a pb&j on white bread

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First there was chunky and creamy. Then there was reduced-fat. Then, low-sodium. And now there’s powdered peanut butter—and it boasts WAY less (like 85 percent less!) fat and calories than traditional spreads. But what is it?

What is powdered peanut butter?

Peanut butter powder is basically just dry roasted peanuts with the oils pressed out, then ground into a powder, says Elizabeth Shaw, R.D.N. To eat it, just add water. Simple enough.

How does it compare to regular peanut butter?

Here’s the nutritional breakdown for a standard two-tablespoon serving of powdered peanut butter:

  • Calories: 45
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Fat: 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Sugars: 1 grams

Compare that to what you’d get from a standard two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter:

  • Calories: 191
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fat: 16 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Sugars: 3 grams

The protein counts are pretty comparable, as well as the fiber and sugars. But powdered peanut butter has 85 percent less fat than its regular peanut butter counterpart—making it a great alternative for those looking to save a few calories but still enjoy that decadent taste, according to Shaw.

“Powdered peanut butter lets you eat it more frequently without overdoing it on fat,” says Lindsay Martin, R.D., a registered dietician at Hilton Head Health weight-loss resort.

Otherwise, powdered peanut butter really isn’t that different from the regular stuff. It’s still rich in protein, folate, niacin, and vitamin E.

The catch with fat

That’s not to say that all of traditional peanut butter’s fats are bad. Peanut butter is rich in healthy unsaturated fats, which boost satiety to help you eat less later—perhaps explaining why in one International Journal of Obesity study, people who regularly ate peanut butter and other unsaturated fats lost an average of nine pounds over an 18-month span.

The problem with regular peanut butter is that a lot of people tend to overeat it: “Just taking the knife and going to town like most people do can lead to consuming too many calories and grams of fat,” says Martin.

Shaw notes, however, that because the powdered variety is significantly lower in fat than the real deal, you will not be as satiated after eating the same two-tablespoon equivalent. “Be sure to plan your meals wisely and balance out your plate to make sure you don’t over indulge later,” she says.

Where to buy it

You can nab it at most supermarkets, and even Amazon. Here are some brands that Shaw recommends:

PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter ($5, target.com)

This is the brand that Shaw buys for herself—and it’s one of the most affordable options out there.

Tru Nut Original Flavor ($8, amazon.com)

Shaw says the plus here is that it’s pretty low in sodium compared to other brands, but it does still contain a small amount of added sugar.

Organic PBFit Chocolate Peanut Butter Powder ($19, amazon.com)

Nutella-lovers, rejoice. This dessert-friendly option makes for a fun, decadent alternative to your normal peanut butter powder. “Typically, these have lower sugars than a thick hazelnut-style spread,” says Shaw.

The best way to prepare it:

This really depends on personal preference: “I use one tablespoon water to two tablespoons powdered peanut butter and spread it on toast,” says Shaw.

You can also incorporate it into your everyday cooking. Martin uses her favorite brand, PB2, in peanut dressings, oatmeal, and as a traditional spread.

“I use peanut butter powder on the reg for Pad Thai and other savory dishes, and also as a swap in my baking,” says Shaw.

Shaw says it’s best to enjoy powdered peanut butter with another healthy fat, since it’s so low in fat. “For instance, when using it in a stir fry, I use olive oil or sesame oil to make sure I am getting enough satiety from the meal,” says Shaw. “In a traditional peanut butter sandwich, I’ll make sure I pair the meal with a half cup of full-fat yogurt or milk.”

What to look for on the label:

The ingredients are generally pretty simple for powdered peanut butter—usually peanuts and salt. But make sure you don’t see a lot of added sugars. Most varieties have about a gram of added sugar to give it a sweet taste, but anything more than that won’t really be doing you any nutritional favors.

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