Today there are all kinds of nut butter lining store shelves. And while variety is great, finding the healthiest option may be confusing since each variety of nut (or seed) provides a different array of nutrients. Here’s an inside look at the most popular nut butters and the nutrients each kind provides.
One tablespoon of crunchy or smooth peanut butter provides about 94 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein. The fat is mostly from heart healthy unsaturated fat. Peanut butter also provides nutrients such as the antioxidant vitamin E, niacin, manganese, and selenium. It also contains the antioxidant resveratrol, also found in red wine.
Regular peanut butters, even the “natural” ones may have add-ins like palm oil so be sure to read the label. Reduced fat peanut butter may seem like a smarter choice, but oftentimes it contains more sugar compared to the full fat version.
One tablespoon of cashew butter provides 94 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 3 grams of protein. It also provides 18-percent of your daily recommended amount of copper, and 10-percent of the daily recommended amount of magnesium. You’ll also find smaller amounts of manganese, zinc, and phosphorus.
Always read the label as some brands add extra unsaturated fat from oil, which can increase calories, while other brands may add additional nuts to the blend, hydrogenated fat or added sugar.