Written by MindMate Staff
You probably heard of the most popular of all nut butters: Peanut Butter. But, did you know that there are also other forms of nut butter, like Almond Butter, Walnut Butter or Cashew Butter?
Nut Butter does not only taste delicious, it can also be very healthy! Unlike normal butter, jellies, jams, and margarine, nut butters naturally contain healthy fats that benefit heart health, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and even reduce the risk of obesity. However, nut butters are high in fat (2 tbsp contain ca 16 g of fat). But this fat is good fat, because they contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are also known to decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Apart from that, nut butters are high in protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals, which make them a very nutritious spread. Plus, nut Butters have also been positively linked to weight loss, as you can put it on bread and crackers and remain full for a longer time so that you don’t opt for biscuits, cookies or other junk food.
Nevertheless, the key in receiving the total health benefits in nut butters (or even nuts in general) is to eat them in moderation. Two tablespoons per day, or a handful of nuts is the ideal amount according to the American Heart Association.
What, if I have a nut allergy? Don’t worry! Seed and Soy Butters are excellent alternatives! For example, Sunflower Seed Butter is high in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats. Soy Nut Butter (which tastes similar to peanut butter) is higher in protein and lower in fat than the average nut butter. You may also try tahini, sesame seed paste, which has the consistency of nut butter and is also very nutritious while being nut-free. If you have severe nut allergies, ask your doctor to test for potential soy or seed intolerances before trying these options.
When you decide to include nut butter in your diet, it is very important that you choose the one without any added sugar.
Happy Snacking :)