Jam-packed with protein and healthy fats, nut butter can help control your appetite and food cravings throughout the day. Protein is essential for building and maintaining lean muscle mass which controls metabolism so you can effectively burn calories.
The saturated fat found in nut butters is thought to help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and keeps you satiated for hours, helping to control cravings. Plus, The combo of nutrients in nut butters may also stabilize blood sugars, which further fights cravings and provides you with more energy throughout the day.
Of course, nut butters are heavy in calories, so you may want to keep your portions in check and limit your consumption to one or two tablespoons a day.
Choosing A Nut Butter
You can get the same health benefits of nut butters by eating nuts themselves, which we highly recommend. However, sometimes nothing beats spreadable nut butter, on toast or fruits or in a yummy sandwich.
Always choose an all-natural nut butter and check the ingredient label. The only ingredients in your nut butter should be the nuts themselves — no added salt, sugar or oils, especially partially hydrogenated oil. The more exotic the nut, the more expensive the butter will be, but you always have the option of making your own with a food processor. Just blend your nuts, or combination of nuts, until smooth. The high oil content allows most nuts to blend smoothly and easily. That oil will also separate in the fridge, which is natural. Just stir and eat.
Blending Nut Butters Into Your Diet
Most nut butters are relatively close in nutritional value, varying only by a few calories or grams, yet they all have vastly different flavours. Take advantage of all the wonderful varieties out there by thinking beyond the PB&J.
- Add a tablespoon for an extra shot of protein in your post-workout smoothie
- Stir a spoonful into your morning oats until melted
- In a hurry? Smear some on a piece of whole grain toast or English muffin and go
- Nut butters are the perfect dip for celery and carrots
- For a savory dinner, mix a little peanut butter, fresh grated ginger, and garlic to create a sauce for chicken or fish.
- For a healthy dessert, slice a banana in half length wise, fill with walnut butter, roll in melted chocolate and freeze.
- Dollop some almond butter on top of whole grain grahams and top with chocolate chips.
Nut Butters By The Numbers
Here’s the scoop on the most common nut butters and their nutritional values.