Kidney Diet Tips

Peanut Butter in a Kidney Diet Meal Plan

What food is found in three out of four American households, loved by children and adults alike, a great source of protein, and also surprisingly kidney-friendly? The answer is peanut butter. And…November is National Peanut Butter month!

Peanut Butter in the Kidney Diet

Although it may be higher in potassium and phosphorus compared to other protein foods, peanut butter can be an excellent substitute for meat. This is good news for vegetarians, people who do not like meat, or those who are trying to reduce their intake of animal protein. Peanut butter may also be a low cost alternative to animal proteins.

Nutrients in Peanut Butter

Peanut butter contains several beneficial nutrients. A sensible 2 tablespoon portion of creamy peanut butter has 190 calories, 7 grams of protein and almost 2 grams of fiber. Potassium content is 180 mg and phosphorus is 100 mg. Crunchy peanut butter is slightly higher with 240 mg potassium and 107 mg phosphorus. Sodium varies from 5 mg for unsalted peanut butter, 65 mg for reduced-sodium, and 150 mg for salted peanut butter. (Nutrient values are from the USDA Nutrient database which averages several varieties of peanut butter.) To pick the healthiest option, look for peanut butter made with just peanuts. Some peanut butter brands contain sugar, salt or oil.

How does peanut butter compare to meat? On average, an ounce of meat or poultry contains 7 grams of protein, 100 mg potassium and 65 mg phosphorus.

Is Peanut Butter Healthy?

Pure peanut butter, either smooth or crunchy, is a healthy food. Peanuts are heart healthy. In fact, studies suggest that peanuts lower cholesterol, especially LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) 2. Other nutrients that are plentiful in peanuts and peanut butter are vitamin E, folate, and zinc.

Unhealthy exceptions include peanut butters made with hydrogenated oils and those with added sugars or corn syrup. Fortunately, many peanut butter manufacturers have reformulated products to remove trans-fat from hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. It’s best to compare labels and select peanut butter with the fewest ingredients.

Eating Peanut Butter

Peanut butter can be eaten in a sandwich or paired with an apple or celery, to create a satisfying meal or healthy snack. If the increased amount of phosphorus is a concern, ask your dietitian or doctor if a phosphorus binder is needed with a peanut butter meal or snack.

DaVita’s Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich is a twist on the traditional preparation of the classic peanut butter sandwich. Additional recipes include Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins and Peanut Butter and Jelly Celery Logs.


  1. USDA Food Composition Database; Accessed 11/8/18.
  2. The Peanut Institute. Accessed 11/8/18.
  3. What’s in a jar of peanut butter? M. Spano RDN; Accessed 11/8/18.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Sue Yager, MS, RDN, LDN

Sue Yager, MS, RDN, LDN

Sue works as a dietitian in Carpentersville and Marengo in Illinois She has been a dietitian for the past 15 years. The last eight have been in kidney care. In her spare time, Sue enjoys reading and riding her bike.