Just the thought of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is enough to bring back childhood memories and jumpstart my appetite. However, unlike my adolescence when I though peanut butter was all there was, now there is such a diverse option of nut butters to choose from that it is sometimes hard to know which one is best!
Well help has arrived! We have compiled data and looked into the macronutrient content of the most popular nut butter to give you the best and worst of the lot so you know which spread to load up those rice crackers with.
The Best of the Best:
Gold Medal: Organic Almond Butter
- Almond butter takes the top prize because it has a diverse range of benefits, taking the best from all the other butters. Like peanut butter, almond butter has a smooth creamy texture making it extremely easy to spread and mix with other ingredients, whether it’s oatmeal or greek yogurt. This gold medalist also packs more heart-healthy monsaturates (17g fats) per serving than any other butter, not to mention it is naturally low in sugar (2g per serving) and carbs with a pretty high protein content as well at 7g.
Silver Medal: Organic Walnut Butter
- Not too many people generally have a jar of walnut butter in their pantry but there is definitely good reason to change your ways! Walnut butter is considered to be the best source for vegans and vegetarians to pack in those heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Although walnut butter has more fat and less protein than almond butter, it still keeps the sugars low (1g per serving) and offers a great source of monosaturates and Omega 3s.
Bronze Medal: Organic Peanut Butter
- I’ll bet you worried there for a minute that peanut butter was going to be a villain. Have no fear, peanut butter is actually one of the greatest of the butters family. Like almond butter, it is high in protein (7g per serving) and is stuffed full of the great healthy fats that make almond butter so appealing, just a little less of it (16g per serving). Just make sure to get all-natural brands or organic because the commercial brands can put extra sugars, salt, and even hydrogenated oil! Scary!
The Worst of the Worst:
2nd from Bottom: Brand-Name Peanut Butter
- Sadly, those brands we loved as a kid like Jif and Skippy, can actually trick us into eating things that should never be mixed with natural peanut butter. Brand name PB often has extra sugars and sodium to increase “taste”, but even more terrifying, they also often are made with hydrogenated oil which is awful for your heart! Think about it, you wouldn’t shove a dollop of crisco into your PB&J so why allow it in the whole jar?!
1st from Bottom: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- I hate to burst your bubble Nutella lovers but this spread isn’t a great option when it comes to nut butters. Sure, it tastes great for a sweet treat, but that treat is packed full of extra sugar and saturated fat from the chocolate added in. With these spreads, you’re usually looking at over 20g of sugar and a whopping 3-6g saturated fat per serving, which makes these a “once in while” food at best.
Bottom of the Barrel: Coconut Butter
- Probably unexpected but it is true, coconut butter is firmly the bottom. Most coconut products, and coconut butter is one of them, are packed with saturated fat which is awful for your heart. They also do not have any real significant protein in them. Thomas Brenna, PhD says that there is no scientific data to say that coconut butter and oil actually offer any nutritional benefits to your diet. That’s the scary thing about “health” trends and why we all have to be diligent about researching the science behind the fad.