Nut Butter

Nut Butter is a great alternative to peanut butter that can be a healthy snack, without the refined sugars and fillers.

Best Healthy Nut Butter

#1 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Kirkland Signature Mixed Nut Butter
  • A Delicious Blend of Almonds, Cashews, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia Seeds. & Flax Seeds
  • This Amazing Nut Butter Blend is Great For Dipping Fruits & Vegetables
  • 7 Grams of Protein Per Serving!
#2 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Barney Butter Almond Butter, Bare Smooth, 10 Ounce Jar, No Added Sugar or Salt, Skin-Free Almonds, No Stir, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Keto, Paleo, Vegan
  • SCRUMPTIOUSLY SMOOTH: Contains a 10-ounce jar of classic, smooth and spreadable Barney Bare Smooth Almond Butter with NO added sugar or salt. We blanch fresh almonds in small batches to remove gritty skins for an ultra-smooth, creamy texture
  • SKIN FREE, CALIFORNIA ALMONDS: Premium California almonds, sourced from our neighbor farmers in the heart of what we call “Almond Alley” California. Ultra-smooth, no stir, grit-free almond nut butter
  • HEALTHY FATS: Almonds are an excellent source of healthy fats which are an essential part of a balanced diet​. Blanching ensures your body absorbs the nutritional benefits of almonds
  • ALLERGEN FRIENDLY: Manufactured in a peanut free facility, gluten free, soy free, dairy free and egg free
  • FITS YOUR HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: Clean eating plant based protein that's certified non-GMO, Paleo Friendly, Keto, Vegan and Kosher
#3 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Squirrel's Nut Butter All Natural Anti Chafe Salve, Stick Applicator, 1.7 oz
  • THE ATHLETE’S SOLUTION: Squirrel's Nut Butter is an athlete tested salve shown to prevent chafing and blisters – this 1.7 oz stick makes for waterproof and mess free application, so you can put all your energy into elevating your fitness level
  • ALL NATURAL REMEDY: Child safe and never tested on animals – our salve is born from coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax and vitamin E oil to give you the most natural prevention and alleviation for even the most sensitive skin
  • REMARKABLE COMFORT: Whether you’re cycling trails, climbing cliffs, hiking canyons, or running coasts, avoid the hang ups– apply the Anti Chafe Stick on thighs, neck, arms, and where skin is rubbed
  • MULTI PURPOSE SALVE FOR EVERYONE: Awarded "Best in Category" by UltraRunning Magazine
  • POST RACE: Use Squirrel’s Nut Butter salve before showering to sooth skin
#4 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
American Dream Nut Butter – Gluten-Free Turtle Cheesecake Almond Butter
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: Calling all cheesecake lovers! Featuring hints of sweet caramel, brown sugar and rich, creamy cheesecake. We top it off with crushed graham crackers, caramel sauce, roasted pecans, and loads of mini chocolate chips. Swirled together to create that mouthwatering caramel-chocolate flavor that every true dessert lover craves.
  • FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED: We handcraft our nut butters in our Indiana kitchen in small batches, always ensuring freshness.
  • 100% GLUTEN FREE: We hand-top our nut butters with premium gluten free toppings from leading manufacturers.
  • HIGH PROTEIN: Our grass-fed whey protein is gluten-free, lactose-free and sweetened naturally with Stevia. No artificial sweeteners, no thickeners or gums, just pure protein and natural flavors.
  • LOW SUGAR: All of our butter bases are lightly sweetened naturally with Stevia. Certain toppings may contain added sugar which is the source of the trace amount of added sugars found on the label.
#5 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
RX Nut Butter Almond Butter, Protein Snack, Lunch Snacks, Vanilla, 10oz Jar (1 Jar)
777 Reviews
RX Nut Butter Almond Butter, Protein Snack, Lunch Snacks, Vanilla, 10oz Jar (1 Jar)
  • Combining tasty, simple ingredients in a smooth, satisfying texture, this almond butter snack is nutritious and tastes great
  • Made with five simple ingredients, this creamy almond butter snack will satisfy your sweet and salty cravings
  • Good source of protein (9g protein, 10% daily value); Gluten free; Contains almond and egg ingredients
  • Tastes great with fruit, toast, smoothies, protein shakes, or straight from the jar; Simply spread on your favorite snacks and enjoy
  • Includes one, 10oz jar of RX Nut Butter Vanilla almond butter
#6 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Natural Power Fuel Smooth Nut Butter by NuttZo | 7 Nuts & Seeds Blend, Paleo, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Kosher | Peanut-Free, 1g Sugar, 6g Protein | 12oz Jar
  • UPGRADE YOUR ALMOND BUTTER: NuttZo Natural Power Fuel Nut Butter offers a smooth, tasty blend of seven nuts and seeds including cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds.
  • CLEAN EATING MADE SIMPLE: No added sugar, no palm oil, 6g of protein, and non-GMO ingredients.
  • PERFECT FOR EVERY EATING STYLE: This natural, crunchy nut butter is keto-friendly, gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan, and Kosher.
  • PLANT-BASED SNACKING: Add to smoothies for a protein punch, drizzle on your favorite pancakes or desserts, spread on fruit, crackers and veggies, or enjoy by the spoonful–however you like, snack on!
  • UPSIDE DOWN JAR: Because NuttZo nut butters do not contain preservatives, stabilizers, palm oils or artificial ingredients, this product is more susceptible to ingredient separation, making the oils appear to have settled on top. This is perfectly normal. Use one beater in a hand-mixer or a butter knife to stab and stir into a creamy butter (this may take patience and some muscles with a knife). Refrigerate or store in cupboard lid-side-up once opened and stirred.
#7 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Nuts ‘N More Toffee Crunch Peanut Butter Spread, Added Protein All Natural Snack, Low Carb, Low Sugar, High Protein Flavored Nut Butter (15 oz Jar)
9,956 Reviews
Nuts ‘N More Toffee Crunch Peanut Butter Spread, Added Protein All Natural Snack, Low Carb, Low Sugar, High Protein Flavored Nut Butter (15 oz Jar)
  • TOFFEE CRUNCH PEANUT SPREAD, It's crunch time! Indulgently delicious toffee butter crunch bits infuse our signature peanut butter. Destined to become one of your sure favorites. Loaded with 9 grams of protein plus flax for omega 3's. 98% lactose free.
  • SO MANY WAYS TO ‘N JOY, So good you’ll want to eat it right off the spoon. A delicious guilt-free treat, spread it on fruit, add to smoothies, pancakes, protein shakes, breakfast oatmeal, cookie recipes, energy bars or protein balls. Be creative!
  • SAY GOODBYE TO THE CRAVING, Say hello to a delicious way to eat healthier. Tell your sweet tooth its payback time with a convenient high protein snack, health supplement, dessert or meal replacement. Crush hunger with great taste that’s good for you!
  • WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION, we’ve pumped up the protein to almost double that of ordinary peanut butter using only high-quality isolate whey protein from happy cows. We boosted the antioxidants, essential fats and fiber, and banned all fillers and binders.
  • INDULGENTLY DELICIOUS, You deserve MORE! We put the fun back into healthy eating with MORE fabulous flavors. So now you can look forward to living a balanced healthy lifestyle. MORE protein. MORE flavors. MORE delicious. What more can you ask for?
#8 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
MaraNatha Creamy Almond Butter No Sugar Added, Unsalted, 12 oz Jar
  • Includes one 12 oz jar of MaraNatha Creamy Almond Butter, No Salt or Sugar Added
  • Gluten Free
  • Kosher
  • Non GMO
  • Refrigerate after opening
#9 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
American Dream Nut Butter – Gluten-Free Dunk A Spoon Cashew Butter
162 Reviews
American Dream Nut Butter – Gluten-Free Dunk A Spoon Cashew Butter
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: Decadent vanilla frosting flavored cashew butter hand-topped with crushed gluten-free vanilla cookies and rainbow nonpareils.
  • FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED: We handcraft our nut butters in our Indiana kitchen in small batches, always ensuring freshness.
  • 100% GLUTEN FREE: We hand-top our nut butters with premium gluten free toppings from leading manufacturers.
  • HIGH PROTEIN: Our grass-fed whey protein is gluten-free, lactose-free and sweetened naturally with Stevia. No artificial sweeteners, no thickeners or gums, just pure protein and natural flavors.
  • LOW SUGAR: All of our butter bases are lightly sweetened naturally with Stevia. Certain toppings may contain added sugar which is the source of the trace amount of added sugars found on the label.
Sale#10 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
CLIF Nut Butter Bar - Chocolate Peanut Butter - Filled Energy Bars - Non-GMO - USDA Organic - Plant-Based - Low Glycemic - 1.76 oz. (5 Pack)
702 Reviews
CLIF Nut Butter Bar - Chocolate Peanut Butter - Filled Energy Bars - Non-GMO - USDA Organic - Plant-Based - Low Glycemic - 1.76 oz. (5 Pack)
  • DELICIOUS TASTE: Chocolate organic snack bar meets dreamy, creamy peanut butter filling (packaging may vary)
  • NUT BUTTER FILLED: Filled with delicious, craveable nut butter with a balanced mix of satisfying nutrients
  • QUALITY INGREDIENTS: Made with great-tasting, wholesome ingredients that provide plant-based energy like organic oats and real peanut butter
  • ORGANIC AND NON-GMO: CLIF Nut Butter Bars are USDA organic, made non-GMO ingredients, and have no artificial flavors or high-fructose corn syrup
  • PLANT-BASED PROTEIN: Each bar has 7g of plant-based protein and is low glycemic to help you power through your busy day
#11 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
American Dream Nut Butter – Gluten-Free Thicka Than a Snicka Peanut Butter
205 Reviews
American Dream Nut Butter – Gluten-Free Thicka Than a Snicka Peanut Butter
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: Nougat and caramel flavored peanut butter topped with chopped peanuts, luxurious caramel sauce and mini chocolate chips.
  • FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED: We handcraft our nut butters in our Indiana kitchen in small batches, always ensuring freshness.
  • AMERICAN-MADE: We start with American grown and harvested peanuts, roasting and grinding them to peak perfection, then delicately flavor our drippy, drizzly peanut butter.
  • 100% GLUTEN FREE: We hand-top our nut butters with premium gluten free toppings from leading manufacturers.
  • HIGH PROTEIN: Our grass-fed whey protein is gluten-free, lactose-free and sweetened naturally with Stevia. No artificial sweeteners, no thickeners or gums, just pure protein and natural flavors.
#13 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
RX Nut Butter Peanut Butter, Protein Snack, Lunch Snacks, Honey Cinnamon (2 Jars)
2,988 Reviews
RX Nut Butter Peanut Butter, Protein Snack, Lunch Snacks, Honey Cinnamon (2 Jars)
  • Combining tasty, simple ingredients in a smooth, satisfying texture, this peanut butter snack is nutritious and tastes great
  • Made with a few simple ingredients, this creamy peanut butter snack will satisfy your sweet and salty cravings without any of the bad stuff
  • Good source of protein (9g protein, 13% daily value); Gluten free; Contains egg and peanut ingredients
  • Tastes great with fruit, toast, smoothies, protein shakes, or straight from the jar
  • Includes 1, 1.25lb case containing 2, 10oz jars of RX Nut Butter Honey Cinnamon peanut butter
#14 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Crazy Go Nuts Walnut Butter - Plain w/ Sea Salt - Healthy Snacks, Keto, Vegan, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Superfood - Natural, Non-GMO, ALA, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Good Fats and Antioxidants - 9.25 oz (1-Pack)
  • PLAIN WALNUT BUTTER W/SEA SALT - A slightly salty nut butter spread with only two ingredients: walnuts and sea salt. No flavorings. Thick and smooth texture like peanut butter, but light fluffy when stirred thoroughly. Not as dense or as runny as most other nut butters. 2 net carbs per serving (2 Tbsp.)
  • ALL-NATURAL - These walnut snacks contain no added colors, or preservatives, no corn-syrup, and no flavorings. We are a walnut snack company that prides itself on simple, recognizable ingredients without sacrificing great taste!
  • OTHER FLAVORS - Our delicious walnut butters are also available in Banana, Oatmeal Cookie, Maple, Plain w/sea salt, Chocolate Brownie, Coconut, and Chocolate Espresso
  • WALNUTS - English walnuts are known for their extraordinary benefits, thanks to their high omega-3 ALA and antioxidant content! For more info, visit our friends at California Walnuts
  • CALIFORNIA SOURCED - Proudly made with 100% California walnuts of the most recent crop. All of our walnut snacks are made in our own manufacturing facility in California. We don’t process any other nuts besides coconut (for our coconut flavored walnut products)
#15 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Big Spoon Roasters Carrot Cake Almond Butter With Sea Salt - Keto Friendly, Low Sugar Almond Butter - Crunchy Almond Butter w/Bee-Friendly Almonds - Gourmet, Vegan Almond Nut Butter - 13 Ounces
1,233 Reviews
Big Spoon Roasters Carrot Cake Almond Butter With Sea Salt - Keto Friendly, Low Sugar Almond Butter - Crunchy Almond Butter w/Bee-Friendly Almonds - Gourmet, Vegan Almond Nut Butter - 13 Ounces
  • FRESH, NATURAL, ALMOND & WALNUT BUTTER: Every jar of Big Spoon Roasters Almond & Walnut Butter offers world-class ingredients, our unique coarse-ground texture, and an innovative culinary flavor profile.
  • CERTIFIED POLLINATOR FRIENDLY ALMONDS: Our almond butters are made exclusively with Non-GMO Verified, bee-friendly, PPO free, steam-pasteurized, heirloom Mission variety almonds sourced from a responsible farm in California. Our Carrot Cake Almond & Walnut Butter also contains no refined sugar and no palm oil.
  • CARROT CAKE IN A JAR: Made with lightly toasted English walnuts, heirloom Mission almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, maple syrup, and Jacobsen Sea Salt, Carrot Cake Almond & Walnut Butter is like decadent, spreadable carrot cake in a jar, but it's vegan, has no refined sugar, and contains only heart-healthy fats. We recommend adding this nut butter to creamy overnight oats made with tart yogurt and topped with carrot shreds for the full carrot-cake experience.
  • WORLD-CLASS INGREDIENTS: We take great pride in using only all-natural, artisan ingredients. Everything in our nut butter is right there on the label - you won’t find anything you don’t recognize. We don’t use additives or preservatives, hydrogenated oils, palm oil, binders, “flavors,” or fillers. Every batch is gluten free, soy free, dairy free, egg free, paleo-friendly, and Non-GMO Verified.
  • RESPONSIBLE AND ETHICAL: We source only ethically and responsibly produced ingredients, and we operate a Living Wage Certified, cruelty-free facility. Our cleaning products are not tested on animals, and we operate with an ongoing goal of zero waste. We care about health, happiness, and the well-being of our planet, and we support a different local hunger relief organization every month through our Community Blend program.
#16 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
ChocZero Keto Cookie Butter Spread - No Sugar Added, Gluten Free, Low Carb Speculoos, Biscuit, Keto Friendly, Nut Butter Alternative, Dessert Hummus, Naturally Sweetened with Monk Fruit (1 jar, 12 oz)
  • Keto friendly peanut butter and nut butter alternative dessert spread that's perfect for your low sugar lifestyle: ChocZero is the New Standard in Sweet when it comes to better-for-you treats. By using a low glycemic diabetic sugar substitute called monk fruit we’re able to create a low carb cookie butter that tastes like the premium Belgian spice cookies without all the crumbs.
  • Our keto spreads are a fun way to bring exciting new flavors into your healthy lifestyle. We make our cookie spread to have a smooth, buttery texture so you can enjoy the taste of low carb windmill cookies without having to bake them. It's the best keto dessert topping! Tastes like shortbread in a jar just like cookie dough or dessert hummus. You can also use it as a dessert topping or lick off the spoon.
  • Gluten free cookies: we’ve created a wholesome creamy and gingerbread inspired spread that’s full of flavor and free from common allergens like soy and gluten.
  • Premium ingredients: each jar of speculoos cookie butter is full of real cream, roasted hazelnuts, and almond flour with a hint of cinnamon. Here’s a tasty keto-friendly spread that you can feel good about eating in sandwiches or on ice cream.
  • No sugar alcohols: unlike other sugar free pantry staple companies, we sweeten exclusively with monk fruit. You won’t find sugar alcohols like sorbitol or malitol in our spreads, and that means you won’t be left with an aftertaste.
#17 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Justin's Classic Almond Butter, Only Two Ingredients, No Stir, Gluten-free, Non-GMO, Keto-friendly, Responsibly Sourced, 16 Ounce Jar, Pack of 1
  • Organic Honey, Certified Gluten Free, NON GMO Project Verified, Kosher
  • 6g Protein, 4g Sugar, 3g Fiber, 0g Trans Fats, 100 percentage delicious
  • MEET THE FAMILY : Try our 6 other delicious flavors: Classic, Chocolate Hazelnut, Cinnamon, Maple, Coconut and Vanilla Almond Butter
  • The product contains almonds and produced on equipment that also processes other tree nuts, peanuts
#18 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
NuttZo Coconut Almond Keto Mixed Nut and Seed Butter | 7 Nuts & Seeds Blend, Keto-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Kosher | No Added Sugar or Oil, 2g Net Carbs | 12oz Jar
1,835 Reviews
NuttZo Coconut Almond Keto Mixed Nut and Seed Butter | 7 Nuts & Seeds Blend, Keto-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Kosher | No Added Sugar or Oil, 2g Net Carbs | 12oz Jar
  • KETO-LICIOUS NUT & SEED BUTTER: Upgrade your Keto almond butter organic spread with NuttZo Keto Nut Butter. If you already love our gourmet spreads that started a whole nut butter revolution and turned health food upside down, then you’ll be absolutely obsessed with this nutritious special blend of seven nuts and seeds including coconuts, brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, flax seeds and chia seeds.
  • NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS: Available in original and chocolate flavors, NuttZo Organic Keto Butter is the ultimate mixed nut and seed butter for a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle. Elevate keto snacks with a dab, scoop, or smear. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself eating this two-net-carbohydrate treat by the spoonful!
  • POWER FUEL FOR ACTIVE LIFESTYLES: Life is nuts, so we made NuttZo! Our plant-based fit butter is a versatile protein food to blend into your workout and fitness routine or just for healthy snacks at home and on the go. Add to smoothies for monster energy, drizzle on your favorite pancakes or desserts, spread on fruit, crackers and veggies, make a trail butter sandwich or just savor the eatnuttzo life by the spoonful. However you like, snack on!
  • CLEAN EATING & PEANUT FREE: This keto butter is a dream combo of organic coconut butter, macadamia nut spread, pumpkin seed butter, flax seeds organic butter, brazil nut butter, hazelnut spread and chia seed butter. There are no peanuts, but if you crave that organic peanut butter creamy spread, we’ve got you covered with NuttZo Peanut Pro Smooth, our natural peanut butter organic alternative for sugar free peanut butter lovers.
  • KETO BUTTER: We call it that because we added coconut and macadamia nut butter to the unique blend of nuts and seeds to create an ideal fat to carb ratio for those following a keto diet. This natural vegan butter and crunchy peanut butter alternative is also paleo friendly, gluten free and Kosher, with no added sugar, no palm oil, 4g of protein and non-GMO ingredients.
#19 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Keto Nut Butter Fat Bomb, Crunchy - Macadamia Low Carb Nut Butter Blend, Keto Almond Butter with MCT Oil, Cashews (10oz)
  • Stir well before each use: This product will naturally separate For a consistent spoonful each time, stir well. The salt will naturally settle.
  • Crunchy, sweet & salty keto nut butter - A perfect snack for anyone following a low carb or ketogenic diet. Use it in your favorite fat bomb recipe. Eat our nut butter straight out of the jar, add it to smoothies or with full fat yogurt. Eat it with celery or drizzle it over a square of dark chocolate for a delicious keto friendly dessert. Made locally in Oregon, we hand grind our nuts to achieve the perfect consistency.
  • Macadamia Nuts: These ultra low carb are nutrient dense super nuts which is why they're the primary ingredient in our formula.
  • Storage Suggestions: For a thicker consistency pop it in the fridge for a few minutes (we don't recommend storing it in the fridge for long periods of time because it gets too thick), for a thinner consistency store this product in a dark, cool cupboard.
#20 Real Supplements Rated Best in 2020
Fastachi Mixed Nut Butter (10oz) | All-Natural | Sea Salt | Hand Roasted | Power Fuel Crunchy Nut Butter | 7 Nuts & Seeds Blend |Non-GMO | Gluten-Free | Vegan | Low-carb and Paleo-friendly
9 Reviews
Fastachi Mixed Nut Butter (10oz) | All-Natural | Sea Salt | Hand Roasted | Power Fuel Crunchy Nut Butter | 7 Nuts & Seeds Blend |Non-GMO | Gluten-Free | Vegan | Low-carb and Paleo-friendly
  • MIX OF PERFECTION: Fastachi offers a crunchy, nutritious blend of seven nuts and seeds, including roasted hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, peanuts, cashews, and salted pecans and raw walnuts.
  • ALL-NATURAL NUT BUTTER: This is a sugar-free nut butter that does not contain palm oils, partially hydrogenated oils, or other “stabilizers” found in other products. But you should also know that the natural oils will separate from the nuts. So it’s recommended to give your nut butter a good stir before using.
  • ENJOY EVERY BITE: You can eat the nut butter with a spoon, spread on breakfast, snacks, fruits, crackers and veggies, or add to your favorite fat bomb, recipe, smoothies for a protein punch, drizzle on your favorite pancakes or desserts. Regardless of with what you eat it, the taste will be incredible.
  • VEGANS WILL LOVE IT: Like other butter we offer, the mix nut butter comes with no sugar, no palm oil, and non-GMO ingredients. It’s also gluten free, Paleo and Keto friendly, and is considered a Kosher food.
  • FUEL TO PERFORM: Our mixed nut butter is formulated with key nutrients to support optimal physical and mental performance. It’s also a low GI distress risk food, which means you can use it as a pre-exercise fueling option.

Going Nuts — For Nut and Seed Butters, That Is

From cashew to pistachio and sesame to sunflower, seed and nut butters have become popular products that dietitians continue to recommend and that people enjoy—and for good reasons. Seed and nut butters contain healthful nutrients, come in several varieties, and can be used as a smooth, nutritious sandwich spread.

Unlike jams, jellies, butter, and margarine, seed and nut butters naturally contain healthful fats that benefit heart health, reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and even lower the risk of obesity despite their high fat content—2 T of a seed or nut butter contain, on average, 16 g of fat.

“Each variety offers something a little different, and all are beneficial in their own way,” says Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, a sports nutrition counselor, food coach, and author. “None of the nuts in them can be labeled bad for your health, and something positive can be said about every single one of them. I think they’re actually one of the best diet foods around because you can put it on bread or crackers, and they’re really satiating. It stays with you so you’re not looking around for cookies or some other empty-calorie junk food.”

Bad Rap for Fat Content
Nut and seed butters may contain a significant amount of fat per serving, but it’s the types of fat that benefit heart health. The butters tend to be rich in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs). Both are known to decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Improved control of LDL cholesterol can reduce cardiovascular complications by 20% to 50%.”1

“Thirty-five percent of your diet can come from fat if it’s the healthy kind,” explains Ruth Frechman, MA, RDN, CPT, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You’re much better off eating nut butter sandwiches vs. something like a prime rib steak. A prime rib steak can have a lot more calories than even a few tablespoons of nut butter and lack all the MUFAs.”

The type of fat, in addition to the fiber and protein found in nuts, leads to greater satiation, Clark says. One or 2 T of almond butter will keep people feeling fuller longer than a handful of pretzels will, which could explain why nuts, despite their fat content, have been shown to lower obesity rates.

In a study from the Harvard School of Public Health that examined 51,188 women, researchers found that regular nut consumption was associated with a slightly lower risk of weight gain and obesity.2 In a meta-analysis published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that, on average, weight and waist measurements changed little among people who consumed a normal vs. a nut-supplemented diet.3 These findings support evidence that nuts and nut butters can be a healthful addition to an individual’s diet, even among people trying to lose weight.

While research regarding the benefits of seeds is lacking, since they have a comparable, nutrient-rich profile as nuts, they should provide similar benefits. Seeds such as flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame are rich in essential fatty acids that the body can’t create and must be obtained through diet alone. Like most nuts, they also generally are high in fiber and protein, making seeds a satiating snack.

Eat in Moderation
The key to gleaning the health benefits from nut and seed butters is to eat them in moderation. “The MyPlate guidelines recommend eating 4 oz of nuts or seeds per week, so you can incorporate nut butters into your diet every single day. Just stick to a couple of tablespoons,” Frechman says.

Dietitians can suggest clients choose natural nut or seed butter varieties to avoid the unnecessary added sugars and trans fat. Manufacturers add trans fat, or hydrogenated oil, to keep the oil from separating during storage, explains Nicole Morrissey, MS, RD, LD, director of nutrition services and diabetes education at South Haven Health System in Michigan. To keep the oil from separating during storage and avoid having to stir the nut or seed butter before serving, recommend clients store the jars upside down when not in use, she says.

While the Nutrition Facts label may list 0 g of trans fat, read the ingredient list. “Products containing less than 0.5 g of trans fat per serving aren’t required to disclose their amounts on food labels,” Morrissey explains.

A wide selection of nut and seed butters lines supermarket shelves. Here, Today’s Dietitian discusses the health benefits of some of the most popular varieties that RDs can share with clients and patients.

Peanut Butter
For many people, peanut butter was and still is an emblem of youth. But because of the increasing prevalence of peanut allergies among children, parents have had to find alternatives.

Of course, if allergies aren’t an issue, there are health benefits that can come from eating peanut butter. A study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found that peanuts themselves can increase metabolic rate. When subjects consumed 505 kcal (+/- 118 kcal) of peanuts daily for 19 weeks, their resting metabolic rate increased by 11%, and that was without exercise.4

“There are three principal mechanisms that have been identified for explaining the lack of influence of peanut butter consumption on body weight,” says Richard D. Mattes, MPH, PhD, RD, a professor of nutrition science at Purdue University. “One is a high satiety value, so you offset somewhere around two-thirds of the energy of the nuts or nut butter just by spontaneously eating less at other times of the day. For whole nuts, a second [mechanism] is that we don’t chew them especially well, so we lose 5% to 15% of the energy just in the stool. And then there are multiple studies that report there seems to be a rise in resting energy expenditure rate from daily consumption. The mechanism in that isn’t entirely clear, but it’s intriguing.”

Peanuts also contain one of the highest amounts of protein per serving among nuts and seeds—although it should be noted that despite their name, peanuts technically are classified as a legume as opposed to a nut. However, common usage throws them into the latter category and, according to the USDA, peanuts account for 67% of total nut consumption. When comparing peanuts with the other 33%, the 7 g of protein they contain in a 2-T serving puts peanut butter at the top of the nut butter scoreboard.

Walnut Butter
Despite the healthful benefits of peanuts and peanut butter, some RDs favor walnut butter. “At the top of my list for nut butters would be walnut butter because it contains the greatest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids,” says McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN, a health and wellness coach at Health to You in Nashville, Tennessee. “These are important in our daily diets, and most of us eating the standard American diet lack omega-3s.” Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that make them an important nutritional recommendation for patients suffering from inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Not only do walnuts contain omega-3s, they’re also abundant in polyphenols, or antioxidant compounds. A recent study published in Food & Function found that walnuts, when compared with nine other types of nuts, were loaded with the highest number of polyphenols.5 That’s good news for both walnut lovers and people and patients trying to lower heart disease risk. Polyphenols have been shown to decrease blood cholesterol, improve blood flow, and reduce inflammation.

Although walnut butter isn’t always conveniently found in stores, it’s not difficult to make at home, though people may wonder why they should go to the trouble of making it when the nut itself suffices. Turning walnuts into a butterlike consistency makes it easier to turn them into a healthful, ready-to-go meal. People can spread walnut butter on thinly sliced apples or whole grain bread, giving them a layer of manganese and plant-based protein. They also can add a tablespoon or two to a fruit smoothie recipe for breakfast.

Almond Butter
Almond butter has grown in popularity as one of the most nutrient-dense tree nuts eaten today. “One ounce of almonds contains about 50% of the daily value of vitamin E, which studies show can possibly reduce the risk of heart disease, and the antioxidant works to support healthy skin and hair,” Frechman says. Almond butter also contains a significant amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron, all packed into a 2-T serving.

The butter may be particularly beneficial for clients at risk of high cholesterol. Researchers at the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center of St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto found that adding almonds to patients’ diets can significantly reduce coronary heart disease risk factors, which they link to the MUFAs, protein, and fiber that almonds contain.6 “Almond butter is highest in fiber and lowest in saturated fat,” Morrissey says, noting that even the most healthful of nut butters contain saturated fat, which should be limited in the diet. “Calorically speaking, all fats offer the same number of calories per gram, so portion control still should be emphasized.”

Nonetheless, she explains that fats provide flavor and satiety and are essential to good health. “For those that enjoy nut butters, I think there’s something to be said about learning the fact that satisfaction from food can come in small portions,” she says, adding that of all the nut butters, the almond variety serves the most noteworthy nutrition.

Pistachio Butter
Pistachio butter has been found to positively impact blood glucose levels. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming 56 g (approximately 2 oz) of pistachios along with high-carbohydrate foods significantly reduced postprandial glycemic response.7 For diabetes patients, pistachio butter could help reduce blood glucose spikes.

Pistachios also have been shown to benefit cardiovascular health. A research review published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found pistachio consumption to be associated with decreased LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and with increased HDL cholesterol, all important for lowering heart disease risk.

Compared with other nuts, pistachios are significantly high in lutein, an antioxidant typically found in leafy greens. Lutein is known to protect against free radical oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is important for reducing inflammation and arterial plaque buildup. Suggest to dip apple slices into pistachio butter for an excellent source of copper and vitamin B6 (20% Daily Value), manganese, phosphorus, and thiamin.

Sesame Tahini
Sesame tahini is a seed butter made from lightly toasted, hulled sesame seeds, which contain unsaturated fat and healthful doses of magnesium and iron. Sesame seeds also contain sesamin and sesamol, two unique lignans shown to lower cholesterol.

In a study published in Nutrition Research, researchers asked subjects to consume 40 g (about 1 1/2 oz) of ground toasted sesame seeds per day. By four weeks, average total cholesterol was 6.4% lower than baseline levels, and LDL cholesterol was 9.5% lower than baseline levels. Patients were then asked to resume their normal diets without the sesame supplementation. Four weeks later, the subjects’ cholesterol levels returned to baseline levels.8

These LDL cholesterol–lowering lignans also have been shown to have possible anticancerous effects. Lignans are phytochemicals similar in structure to estrogen, which enable them to bind to estrogen receptors. This gives lignans the qualities that can protect against hormone-related cancers.9

As demonstrated in the study, eating sesame seeds provides healthful nutrients, but the outer layer of the seeds is difficult for the body to absorb. Crushing and grinding the seeds, however, allows the body to absorb the nutrients more easily. This process also yields a paste that can create an ingredient for sauces (see Maple Tahini Blueberry Oatmeal recipe below).

Creamy Goodness
All nut butters are versatile and add creaminess, heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein that often aren’t found in regular cream sauces and recipes, RDs say. Eat them in moderation, as they can serve as a healthful way to add richness to any dish or a satisfying snack on their own.


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