Knowing exactly how many calories a day you consume and finding an ideal number that works for you is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. However, for some foods, the nutritional info depends on many factors. Your favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich is one of them.
How Many Calories in an Average Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich?
The average peanut butter and jelly sandwich, that weighs 100 grams (3.5 ounces) and is made with white bread, has 439 calories, 20 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein, and 55 grams of carbohydrates with 4 grams of fiber.
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And while knowing this info is helpful and will help you determine approximately how many calories and carbs goes into your stomach, this is not an accurate way of tracking your calories.
The number of calories that your peanut butter and jelly sandwich has is probably different every day. Unless, of course, you know the exact nutritional value of the bread, peanut butter and jelly, and measure the exact amounts when assembling the sandwich.
But the number of calories does not only depend on the amounts but also the types of the bread, peanut butter, and jelly you are using.
Choosing the Bread
We usually think of the bread as the unimportant part of our sandwiches, however, it greatly affects our calorie intake. That being said, it does matter whether you will use white or whole-wheat, and even store-bought or homemade bread. Keep that in mind the next time you make yourself a PB & J sandwich.
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White bread has approximately 70 calories per slices, which contributes about 140 of the total calories of the sandwich. But keep in mind the fact that it doesn’t mean that every type of white bread has the same amount of calories. Some are healthier than others. So be sure to check the nutritional info on the package in order to calculate the exact calories.
Most of the whole-wheat bread that you find in the stores yields approximately 70 calories per slice, just like the white bread. That means that two slices of bread contribute 140 of the total calories of the PB & J sandwich.
If you are using homemade whole-wheat bread for your sandwich, know that you are consuming almost twice as many calories, since a slice of homemade bread made with whole-wheat flour has approximately 120 calories, yielding 240 of the total calories of the sandwich.
Also, keep in mind that fortified bread made with healthy nuts and seeds are slightly higher in calories, as well.
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On average, your choice of bread will contribute anywhere from 140 to 240 calories to your peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Choosing the Peanut Butter
From crunchy to creamy, high-fat and low-fat, different types of peanut butter affect the calories of your PB & J sandwich in different ways. Always check the label of the peanut butter for the exact amount.
However, please remember that one serving of a peanut butter is considered to be 2 tablespoons. And since you will probably use only 1 for your sandwich, make sure to divide the calories in two to calculate the exact amount.
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One serving of a creamy peanut butter has approximately 190 calories. That means that, if smearing the creamy kind onto your bread, you will be adding about 95 calories to it.
If you cannot measure it exactly, just imagine that one serving of peanut butter (or two tablespoons) are the same size of one golf ball. That means that you will need half a golf ball for your sandwich.
Crunchy Peanut Butter
If you are about to put a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter on top of your bread, know that you will not be making any difference in the total calorie intake since most creamy and crunchy peanut butters have approximately the same amount of calories.
Be mindful that the nutritional info varies from brand to bread, so make sure you check the label.
Choosing the Jelly
Most average PB & J sandwiches are made with the equal amount of peanut butter and jelly. That means that if using one tablespoon of peanut butter, you should most likely spread the same amount of jelly as well.
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One tablespoon of jelly, whether strawberry, blackberry, grape, or other fruit kind, has about 55 calories. Of course, this also varies from brand to brand.
Also, if using a sugar-free jelly, keep in mind that the sugar reduction usually reduces the calorie content significantly.
If your jelly is homemade, only you can know the exact nutrition content. That’s why keeping a track of the exact amount of all of the ingredients used is important. And if you are not exactly an expert in nutrition, don’t worry. There are quite a few great online calculators that can help you estimate the calorie content of your jelly.
Go for the Healthy Kind
Remember that peanut butter and jelly sandwich is not exactly a healthy lunch or snack. If you have a weight-maintaining or weight-loss goal in mind, you may need to step away from the traditional and tweak your average PB & J sandwich in order to reduce the calorie content. Check out this video for a leaner version
Although the calorie intake is important when it comes to your weight, there are also other nutritional considerations that you need to have in mind. For instance, if your white bread and whole wheat bread have the same amount of calories, it doesn’t mean that they are both equally healthy. The whole-wheat kind is much more nutritious since it is packed with vitamins and fiber.
When choosing peanut butter and jelly, you also need to be aware of the overall nutritional value as well. Many store-bought kinds use artificial ingredients that are not so friendly to your health. So it is better to opt for all-natural and organic kinds.
I hope that this article was able to help you learn how to properly calculate the calorie intake of your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Make sure to always measure the amounts well, check the nutrition label, and remember, low-in-calorie does not mean healthy by default.
Leave a comment if you have any thought. I’d love to hear from you!