Why Choose nut butters?
Nut Butter can be an excellent addition to your diet because nuts are often
A good source of lean, plant-based protein
A good source of fiber
Rich in healthy fats!
However, not all nut butter is created equally because some hidden ingredients can sneak in our products that we want to avoid if possible.
Which Type of Nut Butter to choose?
Honestly, it’s really up to you and your taste preferences and needs! Each type of nut has a little bit different nutritional composition. Here are a list of the health benefits of some of the most common types of nut butters you’ll find.
Almond Butter – Excellent source of manganese and vitamin E; good source of magnesium, copper, phosphorous and fiber.
Cashew Butter – Excellent source of copper; good source of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous, and zinc.
Peanut Butter – Excellent source of manganese; good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin E, and niacin (Vitamin B3).
Sunflower Butter – Excellent source of vitamins B1 and B6; copper, magnesium, selenium, and a good source of fiber, folate, iron, and zinc.
*Keep in mind that macadamia nuts contain higher amounts of saturated fat, which is a type of fat we want to limit in our diet (most American adults eat too much saturated fat). Perhaps choose this nut every once in a while, instead of frequently/daily/weekly.
Dietitian criteria for selecting nut butters:
1. No Added Sugar – Some nut butter brands add sugar to – no surprise here – make it taste better! Most Americans eat too much added sugar. Added sugar is not needed in nut butter – choose brands with no added sugars most of the time. Look at the ingredients list and be on the lookout for ingredients like “sugar, maple syrup, etc.”
2. Low sodium – Some nut butters add salt. Some salt is fine, but choose brands with lower (or no) salt added most of the time.
3. No added hydrogenated oils – If you see hydrogenated oils on the ingredients list, this means there is trans-fat. Trans fat is a “man-made” fat that was created to increase the self-life of foods (aka make them last longer before going bad). Trans fats can increase total blood cholesterol, bad “LDL” cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also lowers good “HDL” cholesterol. This is why you should limit these fats whenever possible as they can significantly and negatively affect health (not to mention they are completely unnecessary in nut butter).
4. Avoid unneeded, added saturated fats – All nuts naturally contain some saturated fat, don’t worry about that. But, some nut butters add coconut or palm oil which are unneeded and contain a high amount of saturated fat.
Ideally, the ingredients list for your nut butters will be: nuts (i.e. peanuts), and maybe salt.
Dietitian Approved Nut Butters I recommend (not sponsored):
Here are a few examples of brands of Nut Butters that I have come across that meet the dietitian approved criteria listed above!
Kirkland Signature Peanut Butter
2. Kirkland Signature Almond Butter
3. Crazy Richards Peanut Butter
4. Sun Butter No Sugar Added Sunflower Butter
5. Trader Joes Mixed Nut Butter
5. Simply Balanced Cashew Butter
6. Adams 100% All Natural Peanut Butter (or crunchy)
Check out these other helpful articles to help you grocery shop!
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