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12
JAN

Nut Butter Buying Guide

Filed Under: Health Foods at 8:05 am | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND & Lead Wellness Advisor
nutbutterWhether it is chunky or smooth, salted or unsalted, creamy or regular I am big fan of peanut butter. But my love for peanut butter goes far beyond just peanuts, I actually enjoy all types of Nut butters.  There are many alternatives to peanut butter such as sunflower seed butter, almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter and many more.

When eaten in moderation these nut butters actually provide some health benefits. The first rule to follow is to not overindulge in nut butters. Although healthy, nut butters tend to be high in calories and fat so you will want to monitor your servings.  However if you are looking to gain weight then nut butters can be an excellent source of protein and fat. Another rule is to make sure that you are avoiding added sugars and salts. This can be an issue if you buy “reduced fat” or “low fat” nut butters. Often times foods labeled as reduced fat contain unwanted and unhealthy additives such as sugar.  When it comes to nut butters what benefits might you see from their addition into your diet?

Nuts are packed full of protein. Protein is important to every cell in the body.  Our body uses the protein we get from our diets to construct and repair tissues, make enzymes and hormones and build muscle, bone, cartilage, skin and blood.  Because nuts are such a protein dense foods they can also aid in the weight loss process.  Protein is one of the many foods that make you feel full.  Research showed that if you consume nuts you are likely to eat less later in the same day.

Besides being packed with protein as mentioned above most nuts contain unsaturated fats, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, fiber, Vitamin E, Plant sterols and L-Arginine all of which are thought to benefit your heart health. Vitamin E’s main function in the body is as an antioxidant savaging damaging free radicals and there is also large debate about its protective cardio-protective abilities. The body also uses Vitamin E to keep the immune system functioning at its fullest potential.  Sunflower seeds and almonds are high in Vitamin E. Other added benefits of adding nut butters to your diet include increased energy and improved bone strength.  Also certain nuts have higher mineral content then others. For example Almonds and almond butter are high in calcium, magnesiums and copper.  One last tip when it comes to purchasing nut butters is to look for organic nut butters when possible. LuckyVitamin carries a large selection of organic nut butters to add into your diet and snack routine.

 




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