Nut Butter: Which Is the Healthiest for You?
Years ago, peanut butter reigned supreme when it came to picking a nut butter. However, a big part of this supremacy came from the fact that other nut butters were hard to come by. Now that other options are available, other nuts are rising up to take the throne.
But is nut butter healthy? With all the options out there, making a healthy choice requires a bit of research. Read on as we look at nut butter nutrition to see which one is the healthiest for you.
Let's start with the classic: peanut butter. The health benefits of peanut butter are a little different depending on what kind you end up picking.
Simple peanut butters are the healthier option. These are usually made with pure peanuts, though a little salt may be added for flavor. American Dream’s Just Plain Nutty Peanut Butter is a good example of this type of spread.
The most common peanut butters on the market often have added ingredients. Typically, this involves added oils in order to make these butters more spreadable. While these added oils may make for a better consistency, they also make the butter less healthy.
This added oil also adds saturated fats to the mix. In many cases, peanut butters with oil end up containing nearly twice the amount of saturated fats when compared to their oil-less counterparts. This makes a more natural peanut butter a better choice nutritionally.
Both types of peanut butters are similar when it comes to calories. They typically fall around 100 calories per tablespoon, with natural peanut butters containing slightly less.
However, both types are great when it comes to protein. Most peanut butters have around 4 grams of protein per tablespoon.
The amount of protein in peanut butter makes it a solid option for anyone who likes working out. The number of calories doesn’t help when it comes to losing weight but could be useful when it comes to building muscle mass.
As trends change, almond butter is becoming one of the top nut butters out there. Recently, it has been found to be the second most popular nut-based spread.
Though it tastes quite different, almond butter is very similar to peanut butter. Many of the nutritional facts are nearly the same. However, there are a few key differences.
Almond butter is typically lower in saturated fats than peanut butter. When comparing similar compositions, almond butter has around half the saturated fats. Even in cases where almond butter has added oils in it, it usually still has the advantage.
Almond butter also has more nutritional positives within. It contains more iron, vitamin E, and calcium than peanut butter. In this way, it can be a good source of positives.
The biggest edge peanut butter has is that it contains more protein. In addition, both butters contain a similar amount of calories.
In the end, there are some differences when it comes to almond butter vs peanut butter. However, the two are still pretty similar. Almond butter has an edge when it comes to health benefits, but not by too much.
Because of all of this, you can view almond butter as a slightly healthier version of peanut butter. This makes it a solid choice for those who are focused on nutrition.
Cashew butter is newer on the nut butter scene. However, it has a unique mix of positives and negatives that allow it to carve out a niche within the group.
The primary benefit of cashew butter is its low-calorie count. While almond and peanut butters typically have around 100 calories per tablespoon, pure cashew butter can be found with only 80 calories per tablespoon.
In addition, cashew butter is lower in sugar. This is good in general but is particularly good when it comes to weight loss.
The downside to cashew butter is that it is missing out on some of the positive features found in other butters. It doesn’t have quite as much protein as either almond or peanut butter. In addition, it is missing out on omega-3 fatty acids.
Cashew butter is also one of the butters with the highest levels of carbohydrates. This can make it a bad choice for those on a keto diet.
Despite these negatives, cashew butter is a great option for several different people. Its low-calorie content makes it a solid choice for those looking to lose weight. Meanwhile, the low sugar content makes it a healthy choice for parents looking for low-sugar snacks for their children.
However, many of these benefits only come from natural cashew butter. Some brands of cashew butter add more sugar and oils, which can reverse many of the positive features found here. Just Plain Nutty Cashew Butter may be a good choice in this regard.
Walnut butter has many nutritional similarities to many other nuts. However, it still manages to stand out in a few special ways.
The similarities include the fat, calories, and fiber content. When it comes to these factors, walnut butter is similar to peanut and almond butter.
Where walnut butter sets itself apart is in the content of omega-3 fatty acids. The biggest advantage is that walnut butter is packed with omega-3s. It has more omega-3s than almost any other nut out there.
In addition, walnut butter is relatively low in carbohydrates. This can make it a better choice for those on a keto diet.
The downside to walnut butter is that it is relatively low in protein. This is especially true when compared to peanut and almond butter.
Pecan butter is delicious and wonderfully flavorful. There is a reason that pecan pie, a tremendously decadent dessert, is made with pecans. Unfortunately, like many other delicious foods, good taste doesn’t exactly lend itself to health.
In most cases, pecan butter is higher in calories and in fat. When it comes to all nut butters, pecan butter is often the highest on the list in these regards.
In addition, pecan butter has low levels of protein. Compared to peanut butter, pecan butter can have around a third fewer grams of protein per serving.
The thing that sets pecan butter apart is its low concentration of carbs. Pecans contain fewer carbs than most other nuts out there. In many cases, they even manage to beat out walnuts, another low-carb option.
Chocolate hazelnut spreads are incredibly popular and have a history that dates back to the era of Napoleon. However, these spreads are nutritionally more similar to deserts than other nut butters. Luckily, pure hazelnut butters are now becoming an option.
In terms of nutrition, hazelnut butter is similar to peanut butter. It has around the same amount of calories, total fats, sugars, and fiber.
However, hazelnut butter has slightly less saturated fat and more vitamin E. Unfortunately, it also has much less protein.
The Right Butter for the Right Person
As you may be able to tell from this list, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to nut butter. Each type of butter has a mix of positives and negatives that may make it good for one person but bad for another.
Peanut butter is the highest in protein. It is a great choice for bodybuilders or anyone looking to pack on muscle.
Almond butter is similar to peanut butter. However, it has more nutrients and fewer fats. It is a great choice for those who like what peanut butter offers but are looking for a slightly healthier version.
Cashew butter is lower in calories and sugar. The downside is that it doesn’t contain quite as many good nutrients. Because of this, it is a nice option for those looking to lose weight and cut out sugar.
Walnut butter is full of omega-3 fatty acids and is low in carbohydrates. For these reasons, it will work well for those looking to supplement their omega-3 intake without eating fish. It is also a good pick for those on a keto diet.
Pecan butter has more calories and fat but even fewer carbs. Like walnut butter, pecan butter can end up being an option for those on a keto diet.
Finally, hazelnut butter is similar to peanut butter. It has a few additional health benefits but has less protein. Like almond butter, it can be a good choice for those who want a slightly healthier substitute for peanut butter.
The Healthiest Nut Butter
Ultimately, which nut butter is healthiest comes down to the health benefits you are looking for. Almonds and peanuts are better for your workout, but cashews are better for losing weight. Luckily, with this list, you know which options to look out for and which options will work best for you!
Make sure to check out American Dream Nut Butter for your nut butter needs!