Love it, Like it, Hate it: “Natural” Nut & Seed Butters

The peanut butter aisle used to be simple: Crunchy or Creamy.  Now there’s a variety of nut and seed butters to choose from – many with the claim of “natural” –  making even tougher to figure out what’s best, so today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on the best and worst of “natural” nut & seed butters.

 

Nut & Seed Butters: What to look for on labels:

  • Sugar: Look for brands with little or no added sugar (or honey, cane syrup, etc) in ingredient list
  • Nut-free: More & more varieties are allergen-friendly:  go peanut-free with almond butter, for example, or entirely nut-free with a seed butter like SunButter or Beyond the Equator 5 Seed Butter

 

 

LOVE IT!

 

COnutButter Pure Sea Salt Almond Butter (LOCAL)

  • Per 2 tbsp: 160 calories, 15 grams fat, 5 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 5 grams protein
  • Ingredients: Roasted almonds, organic cold-pressed coconut oil, sea salt
  • Locally at Langenstein’s, Nesbit’s Market, Robert Fresh Market, Dorignac’s, Breaux Mart & more

 

Beyond the Equator 5 Seed Butter - unsweetened (LOCAL)

  • Per 2 tbsp: 200 calories, 17 grams fat, 5 grams carb, 2 grams fiber, <1 gram sugar, 8 grams protein
  • Ingredients: Sunflower seeds, chia seed, flax seed, hemp hearts, pumpkin seed, salt
  • Peanut-Free, Tree Nut-Free, Soy-Free
    • Locally at Langenstein’s, Nesbit’s Market, Robert Fresh Market, Zara’s, Breaux Mart & more

 

SunButter Organic – no sugar added

  • Per 2 tbsp: 210 calories, 18 grams fat, 5 grams carb, 3 grams fiber, <1 gram sugar, 7 grams protein
  • Ingredients: Sunflower seeds and salt
  • Peanut-Free, Tree Nut-Free, Soy-Free

 

Smucker’s Natural

  • Per 2 tbsp: 190 calories, 16 grams fat, 7 grams carb, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 8 grams protein
  • Peanuts; less than 1% salt

 

Rx Nut Butter Packets

  • Per pack: 190 calories, 7 grams carb, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 9 grams protein
  • Portion controlled; no sugar added, sweetened with dates
  • Ingredients include almonds or peanuts, egg whites, dates, coconut oil

 

Organic Cashew Butter, Walnut Butter, and/or Almond Butter – any variety without added sugar

 

 

 

LIKE IT!

 

Powdered PB2 – unflavored

  • Per 2 tbsp: 50 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 4 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams sugar, 5 grams protein
  • 3 ingredients: defatted peanuts, sugar, salt.
  • 75% fewer calories than regular nut butter – easy to blend into smoothies

 

Natural nut butters (e.g. Simply Jif, Natural Jif peanut butter or almond, Natural Peter Pan

  • Nearly all are a blend of nuts, sugar, oil, salt – but small amounts of sugar and salt.

 

 

 

HATE IT!

 

Natural Jif | Honey

  • Per 2 tbsp: 190 calories, 15 grams fat, 10 grams carb, 2 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 7 grams protein
  • Peanuts, palm oil, salt, molasses, honey

 

Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter | better than Nutella, but not nearly as good as “love” and “like” options

  • Per 2 tbsp: 180 calories, 14 grams fat, 12 grams carb, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
  • Dry roasted hazelnuts and almonds, cane sugar, cocoa, cocoa butter

 

Better’n Peanut Butter | low sodium

  • Per 2 tbsp: 100 calories, 2 grams fat, 13 rams carb, 2 grams fiber, 2 gram sugar
  • Rice syrup is 2nd ingredient after defatted peanut flour, along with tapioca syrup and cane sugar

 

 

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Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune!   Follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD - and check out her weekly podcast; just search ‘Molly Kimball’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.

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