Expert Advice, Healthy Eating

Nut Butters 101: The Different Types and Their Health Benefits

July 23, 2021

From peanut and almond to pistachio and hazelnut, we’re nuts for nut butter! Read on to learn about the different types of nut butter and their unique health benefits.

It’s true that nut butters are high in fat, but don’t worry – it’s the good kind! Nuts and seeds are packed with healthy fats, including omega-3 and monounsaturated fat. Nuts are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including folate, niacin, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, and vitamins E and B6.

Health Benefits of Nuts

Because they’re so rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, nuts bring a multitude of health benefits to the table. Omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats help to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar, boost your metabolism and keep you fuller for longer periods of time, which can also help you lose weight.

Folate helps your body produce and maintain new cells and DNA and is an essential nutrient for women who are pregnant or nursing. Niacin helps regulate cholesterol, magnesium supports muscle health, zinc reduces inflammation, and copper and potassium are important minerals in the blood. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that keeps your hair shiny, your nails strong, and your skin glowing. Vitamin B6, pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin that promotes brain health and reduces the symptoms of PMS, nausea, and depression. It is also believed to reduce the risk of eye and heart disease and even some forms of cancer!

Types of Nut Butter

There are as many types of nut butter available as there are varieties of nuts, and each one brings a unique texture and flavor profile to the plate (pun intended). There is no one kind of nut butter that’s better than the rest, but you should always opt for natural nut butters when given the choice. They’re typically lower in sugar and contain fewer preservatives and additives than their processed counterparts.

The charts below compare a few popular types of nut butter in their protein:

Tired of Peanut Butter

At least here in the US, people love peanut butter, we eat it all the time, and we really enjoy the flavor. But maybe you’re looking for a new nut butter because you’ve gotten bored with it. As you can see from our two charts, peanut butter has one of the highest protein contents, but it’s also much higher in fat than other nuts. If you’re looking for something, a little different Hazel Nut or Pistachio has a good deal of protein without as much fat. What type of nut butter is the most interesting can depend a lot on your goals or flavor preferences.

How to Eat Nut Butter

Nut butters make an excellent sweet or savory topping for anything from waffles, pancakes, and toast to fruits, yogurt, ice cream, and cakes. They’re also great for vegan and vegetarian dishes – cashew butter is a key ingredient for a great plant-based cheese sauce dupe! Peanut and almond butter can be used in many East Asian dishes, especially Thai cuisine. The possibilities are endless! Let us know your favorite nut butter recipes in the comments below.

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