Many of us were raised on classic PB and J sandwiches, and our parents were likely either loyal to Jif or to SKIPPY peanut butter. While both offer very similar tastes and textures, for whatever reason, families tend to choose one brand and stick with it.
But is there really any nutritional difference between Jif classic peanut butter and the SKIPPY version, or do both basically have different labels on the same jar of nut butter? In other words, is there one brand that is better for you vs. the other? Let's take a look at the ingredients and nutritional information of both brands to determine whether you should be buying one over the other.
The ingredients found in both are very similar.
Both the classic Jif vs. SKIPPY peanut butters contain real peanuts and salt.
They also contain hydrogenated vegetable oils to prevent the natural separation that you see when you enjoy natural peanut butters that are free from these oils. SKIPPY contains a blend of rapeseed, soybean, and cottonseed oils, while Jif only uses rapeseed and soybean oils. Without these ingredients, the peanut butter would resemble what you find when you open a jar of natural peanut butter – one layer of thick nut butter under a layer of liquid oil that has to be stirred before spreading.
Added sugars are also added to both – Jif uses molasses and SKIPPY uses traditional sugar.
Finally, Jif adds mono and diglycerides to their blend and are used as an emulsifier. When mono- and diglycerides enter the bloodstream, they are converted into triglycerides. Elevated triglycerides are considered to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, the FDA does consider these ingredients 'generally recognized as safe', and consuming them in small amounts does not appear to be a cause for concern.
Nutritional factors of both blends
Although there are some variations when it comes to the ingredients found in both Jif and SKIPPY, the nutrition that they both provide is very similar when it comes to certain nutrients. Both contain 190 calories, 16 grams of total fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugars, and 7 grams of protein per serving.
Jif does appear to score some points when it comes to some other nutrients where the quantities vary slightly. The Jif brand contains 10 fewer milligrams of sodium, 1 less gram of added sugar, and more calcium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, and potassium per serving when compared with SKIPPY.
Although SKIPPY comes out on top when it comes to saturated fat content (3 grams per serving of SKIPPY vs. 3.5 grams per serving of Jif)
Which is better, Jif or SKIPPY?
Both Jif and SKIPPY peanut butters are primarily made with roasted peanuts and salt, and both contain emulsifiers and added sugars (one in the form of molasses, the other in the form of table sugar).
Looking at the big picture, the variations when it comes to the nutrient content are so slight that both essentially offer very similar nutritional benefits.
Both brands certainly have their pros and cons.
Jif is made with mono and diglycerides, which may be associated with some unsavory health outcomes when consumed in large quantities. But this peanut butter also scores higher when it comes to the nutrients that it provides. Most notably, Jif provides 17 milligrams of bone-building calcium, while SKIPPY does not have any.
On the other hand, SKIPPY contains less saturated fat and still contains ample amounts of nutrients like protein.
At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference, as neither appears to be significantly "better" or "worse" than the other.
If you really want to play it safe, try skipping both classic options and try a natural version of peanut butter to avoid the emulsifiers and added sugars all together. You may be pleasantly surprised that you don't even miss the taste that these added ingredients provide when all is said and done. Check out The 20 Top Peanut Butters—Ranked! for some great options.
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