Eating nut butter as part of your daily diet can be a great way to ingest healthy protein quickly and easily. Slather some on a sliced banana or a piece of whole wheat bread and you’re good to go! Nut butter contains protein and fiber, as well as vitamin E and healthy fat, which makes it a perfect addition to breakfast, lunch or a snack. The serving size is 2 tablespoons, but you may find that 1 tablespoon is all you need (or not!).
What’s important is that you choose an all-natural nut butter and one with minimal ingredients. That can be confusing as the grocery store shelves offer many varieties.
Let me simplify this for you: Your nut butter should contain only nuts. And maybe a little salt. There is no need for added oils and sugars.
Many varieties of nut butter contain palm oil and added sugars. There is absolutely no reason to add oil to nut butter. Firstly, nuts contain oil naturally, so why add more? Secondly palm oil is an oil we should avoid in all products, mainly because the production of it is ruining our forests. If you haven’t seen Leonardo DiCaprio present this issue in the documentary “Before The Flood”, watch it and you’ll see what I mean.
As for sugar, believe me when I say we get enough sugar in other foods we consume without even realizing it (think barbecue sauce, ketchup, yogurt, bread, almond milk, etc.) so there is absolutely no reason to consume added syrups and sugars in your nut butter. Nut butter in its natural state is rich and delicious . And when you eat it, you may end up adding some fruit on top like bananas or berries, or a dollop of jam which will offer you the added sweetness you may be looking for.
So when you choose a nut butter, peruse the ingredient list and if it contains oil, sugar or syrups, put it back on the shelf and choose one that contains only nuts. And maybe a little salt.
Here is a list of seemingly healthy nut butters and the additives they contain. Take a pass on these:
Jif and Skippy Natural: Kudos to them for offering a “natural” version that does not contain hydrogenated oils like their regular versions, but both of these Natural varieties contain sugar and palm oil. Hint: If a jar of peanut butter calls itself a “spread”, it contains unneeded ingredients.
Justin’s: palm oil
Earth Balance: palm oil and agave syrup
Marantha No Stir: palm oil and sugar
365 Brand Organic Peanut Butter: palm oil, sugar
Stick to varieties that contain ONLY NUTS and maybe a little salt. Here are some to try!
Marantha Raw Almond and Peanut Butter
Kirkland’ Organic Peanut Butter
Trader Joe’s Almond Butter and Peanut Butter
Grind your own nut butter at Whole Foods!