What's Really Hiding Inside Fatso Natural Peanut Butter

If you're like most U.S. households and you eat peanut butter every day, you're probably always on the lookout for different brands of this creamy and decadent-tasting nut butter spread. There's the crunchy kind, the smooth kind, and the organic or all-natural blends (which some people aren't fans of, because the oils separate from the thick mixture). Fatso peanut butter is of the natural kind. It claims to be free of palm oil and sugar and contains plant-based fats including MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), avocado, and coconut oil.

To get even more specific, this peanut butter brand comes in three flavors, according to their website. Fatso Classic Peanut Butter is made up of peanuts, organic coconut oil, tapioca fiber (isomalto-oligosaccharide, or IMO), avocado oil, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, medium chain triglycerides oil, and natural coconut flavour. Meanwhile, Fatso Crunchy Salted Caramel Peanut Butter contains peanuts, peanut pieces, IMO, organic coconut oil, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, avocado oil, natural salted caramel flavour, MCT oil, and pink Himalayan salt. Lastly, Fatso Maple Peanut Butter has peanuts, natural maple flavour, IMO, organic coconut oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, MCT oil, and sea salt. 

The classic blend has only 1 gram of added sugar per tablespoon and no sodium, while the salted caramel and maple flavors have 35 milligrams and 30 milligrams of salt per serving, respectively. According to registered dietitian Miranda Galati, the pros of this peanut butter brand are the low sugar content, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and natural flavoring.

Fatso natural peanut butter: A closer look

When you're on the lookout for the healthiest brands of peanut butter you can eat, it's the ingredient list hiding at the back of the jar that you have to pay attention to. The fewer the ingredients, the better, per many dietitians. 

At a glance, the Fatso natural blend contains more than two ingredients, some of which are unfamiliar. IMO, for instance, is known as a dietary fiber made from short-chain carbohydrates. It's a common ingredient in beverages, nutrition bars, protein snacks, and low-calorie sweeteners. Interestingly, according to a June 2018 guidance report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), IMO is not considered a dietary fiber. The FDA ruled that IMO does not meet the scientific requirement to be labeled a fiber. Some experts say that IMO functions more as a sugar than as a dietary fiber. Although it isn't fully digested in the gastrointestinal tract, it did result in a higher glycemic response over two hours compared to the sugar substitute dextrose, according to a 2020 study in the Journal of Functional Foods. 

As for the Fatso natural blend's other ingredients, what could be of concern is MCT oil, a saturated fat. Sourced from coconut oil or palm kernel oil, MCT oil boasts health benefits like being a good source of energy, aiding weight loss, and having antimicrobial and antifungal effects, but it also comes with risks like poor heart and digestive health and fat accumulation in your liver.