A tablespoon or two of peanut butter is a better snack than a candy bar or bag of potato chips, right? Not necessarily, if you're trying to lose weight. Sure, peanut butter has protein and heart-healthy fat, but just two tablespoons also contain between 180 and 210 calories – the same found in a package of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or a snack bag of chips. Plus, if you like to spoon peanut butter from the jar, you're probably eating a lot more than a paltry two tablespoons. And don't look to reduced-fat varieties or alterna-nut butters like almond and cashew to save you, though: They pack the same caloric punch.
For all these reasons, we're pretty excited about Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter. It's the first low-cal peanut butter – only 45 calories per two tablespoons – that actually tastes good. Yes, you have to add water and stir, but some of our testers liked this, because you can customize your own consistency (we happen to like our peanut butter more like a Thai peanut sauce than a dry paste). Whatever your preference, the result is a nutty spread that's perfect for sandwiches, shakes, or eating off the spoon. What's more, Just Great Stuff has only 1.5 grams of total fat and zero saturated fat per serving – compare that to the 16 grams and 3 grams, respectively, found in normal peanut butter.
The product is brand-new, so your local Kroger's probably doesn't even have it yet, but you can find it at most natural food stores, most Whole Foods on the West Coast, and online at BettyLousInc.com. One jar of the stuff will cost you a pricey $8.50, but remember: Not losing those love handles will set you back much more. If you're tempted to try the brand's Chocolate Peanut Butter variety, be forewarned that it doesn't taste anything like Nutella and lacks the peanut-butter-flavored punch of the original. [$8.50; bettylousinc.com]