What is nut butter?
Nut butter is a kind of spreadable food made by grinding nuts in a powerful blender to get a smooth paste. It is delicious, convenient to use, healthy and loaded with nutrients. They are one of the most common sandwich spread.
Nut butter offers a lot of varieties like peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter. They are a good source of good fats, proteins, dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Nut butter usually provides 80-100 calories and 6-10 grams of healthy fats in a tablespoon.
Nut butter: Benefits & Uses
These are some of the potential health benefits of nut butter.
Nutrient-rich: Nut butter is made from nuts like almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc. They are nutritious and provide an adequate amount of good fats, niacin, vitamin E, antioxidants, copper, potassium, and magnesium.
Protein-rich: Nut butter is a good source of plant-based protein and essential amino acids. Vegans and vegetarians who do not prefer dairy can consider nut butter to meet their daily protein needs.
Rich in antioxidants: Nut butter is high in antioxidants like flavonoids, polyphenols, selenium, manganese, and vitamin E that protect us from free radical damage and oxidative stress and reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart diseases.
Heart healthy: Nut butter is high in heart-friendly unsaturated fats that keep blood cholesterol levels in control and promote good cholesterol levels.
Weight management: Weight watchers and people aiming to lose weight can easily include nut butter in their diet. The high protein and dietary fibre content provide fullness within fewer calories and keep hunger cravings at bay.
Diabetic-friendly: Nut butter is safe for people with diabetes or high blood sugar levels. It has a low glycemic index and is high in fibre and good fats that help regulate blood glucose levels by improving insulin sensitivity.
Versatile to use: One can use the nut butter in multiple ways. It can be used as a sandwich spread or added to shakes, smoothies and baked goods.
Nut butter types
Nut butter is of various types. Depending on the food source, it may vary in taste, texture, nutritional value, and colour.
Peanut butter: It is made from roasted peanuts. Peanut butter is one of the most famous nut butter consumed worldwide. It is an excellent source of protein, antioxidants, fats, potassium, magnesium, niacin, and vitamin E.
Almond butter: Almond butter is made from roasted and grounded almonds. It has a nutty taste and is a good alternative for people allergic to peanuts. Almond butter is a good source of nutrients like vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants.
Walnut butter: Walnut butter is nutty and creamy in taste and texture. Being rich in omega 3 fats, walnut butter is excellent for heart and brain health.
Cashew butter: Cashew butter has a smooth, creamy taste and lower fat content than other nut butter. It can help improve heart and bone health and reduce inflammation.
Pistachio butter: It is rich in B vitamins, copper, and potassium. Pistachio butter has a unique taste, is low in calories, and is suitable for gut and heart health and blood sugar levels.
Macadamia nut butter: It is low in carbohydrates but high in fibre and micronutrients. Macadamia nut butter is considered good for heart and brain health because of its high monounsaturated fat content.
Brazil nut butter: It is made from roasted Brazil nuts and is high in fats and protein. Brazil nut butter is an excellent antioxidant source due to its high selenium content and may help minimize the risk of diabetes, inflammation and cardiovascular disorders.
Besides the primary nut source, nut butter may also contain additional ingredients like salt, sweeteners, dates, honey or added flavours.
How to choose the right nut butter for you?
These are a few tips that may help you choose the suitable nut butter.
Nut butter is of various types, for example, almond butter, peanut butter or walnut butter. They may differ in texture as some are a smooth paste, and some contain added bits of nuts to give them a crunchy taste. Choose the one you prefer.
Check the ingredient list and nutrition facts. The nut butter should have high protein and fat content but must be free from trans fats, palm oil and hydrogenated oil.
Prefer nut butter which is free from added sugar, artificial additives and preservatives.
If you are allergic to any nut or food, read the allergen warning and choose wisely.
How to use nut butter?
One can enjoy nut butter as a sandwich spread or add them to baked goods, shakes, dips, smoothies, homemade protein balls or bars.