Are you picking the right nut butter?

Are you picking the right nut butter?

It takes up a whole section in the grocery store; shelves filled with nut butter of different varieties. While the large selection can be daunting, each nut butter holds its own unique flavor profile and health benefits.

Mallory Storrs, a registered dietitian at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., provides insight into the different types of nut butter and their unique qualities.

Almond Butter

Fans would describe almond butter as having a nuttier flavor compared to traditional peanut butter. This nut butter is high in vitamin E which boosts skin health and contains anti-aging agents.

Cashew Butter

This variety is naturally sweet tasting mixed with a mild nutty flavor. This iron-rich nut butter supports a healthy immune system, reduces fatigue, increases hemoglobin levels and helps transport oxygen around the body. Cashew butter has the lowest amount of fat and protein compared to its counterparts.

Peanut Butter

The original of nut butters. Do we need to say more? Peanut butter is naturally the highest in protein. It is also rich in iron and folate, an essential vitamin for producing red and white blood cells in bone marrow.

Sunflower Seed Butter

Also known as sunbutter, this option has a mild nutty flavor but isn’t exceptionally sweet tasting. It’s a great alternative for individuals with tree nut allergies. Sunflower seed butter is also a great source of protein, vitamin E and magnesium. Magnesium supports healthy sleep patterns, promotes bowel regularity and is vital for every cell in your body.

Hazelnut Butter

This is a great option if you enjoy a delicious and rich tasting nut butter. Hazelnut butter can be mixed with dark chocolate or cocoa for sweetness. This option is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, making it beneficial for skin health.

Storrs provides additional insight on how to pick the best quality nut butters.

“I would recommend choosing nut butters without added ingredients,” says Storrs. “When looking at the label, choose a product with less ingredients. Many nut butters will contain added sugars, vegetable oil or preservatives.”

No matter which option you pick, they all are a great source of minerals, vitamins and nutrients and can easily be added to your everyday diet. Keep in mind that nut butters are naturally calorically dense, meaning they are around 90 calories per tablespoon. A small amount will go a long way when spreading on toast or crackers. But the extra fiber and protein will help you feel satisfied and full.

“Nut butters are versatile and can be added to a variety of food items,” says Storrs. “It can be used as a spread on bread, tortillas and crackers. You can also try mixing it into smoothies or yogurt, using nut butter as a dip for fruits and vegetables, or you can simply eat it directly off the spoon!”

Are you trying to watch your weight? Take a free online quiz to learn more about your healthy weight range here.

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  1. Thank You.

  2. I’ve been making peanut butter at home for a few years now, it’s been super delicious and I can ensure that it only contains the ingredients I want it to have: 2 cups of roasted, unsalted peanuts that have been baked for 11-12 minutes at 300F degrees until they start to look slightly oily, 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Put all that in a food processor and blitz/process it until it’s smooth. Our original food processor took 11-12 minutes to do that…our new, more powerful one can do it 3-4 minutes.

    So worth it!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.