Many people buy low-fat peanut butter in an effort to eat healthier. However, I’ve recently learned that low-fat peanut butter is created through replacing the fat with corn syrup. So, you may be getting a bit less fat, but the corn syrup is pure carbs. And since carbs don’t have the satiety of fats or protein, it’s easier to gain weight since you won’t feel as full from a given amount of food.
But, there’s no need to feel guilty about the extra fat — peanut oil is one of the good fats :). As a monounsaturated fat (just like olive oil and canola oil), it helps to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
Most regular peanut butter is made through hydrogenating the peanut oil (which makes the peanut oil semi-solid at room temperature). However, the hydrogenation process creates trans fats — the worst kind of fat. Trans fat tends to raise the bad cholesterol while not raising the good cholesterol (even saturated fat, which isn’t particularly good for you either, raises both the good and bad cholesterol).
In terms of peanut butter, choosing full-fat peanut butter would be a healthy decision. Or, if you’re up for it, full-fat natural peanut butter would be even more healthy (since, without the hydrogenation, it has no trans fat).