When it comes to nuts, it’s not always about the calories, but the nutrition and health benefits they offer.
The nutritional benefits of nut butters are nothing short of astounding.
They have been proven to lower the risk of obesity and diabetes, improve blood sugar levels, protect against cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk for cancer.
But the best way to ensure you get the health benefits of a nut butter is to use them sparingly, according to Nutritionist.
“Nutritional value is the main determinant of health benefits,” she says.
“Nutritionist uses a simple rule of thumb to determine how much nut butter you should use.
She uses a serving size of four to determine what amount of nut butter to eat.”
So which nut butter will suit your needs best?
“The most popular nut butter for adults is walnut, which is high in protein and fibre, and the least popular is hazelnut, a nut that contains too much fat,” says Nutritionism’s Dr Susan B. Anderson.
“However, if you’re trying to find a nut for your baby, a few of the other nuts on the market have been shown to be equally effective in terms of health and weight loss.”
If you’re concerned about whether a nut is healthy for you, then Nutritionalist recommends a few alternatives.
“There are several types of nut nuts to choose from: dark, dark roasted, roasted, and brown.
Dark roasted nuts are rich in protein, fibre and minerals, while roasted nuts have more protein, fiber and minerals.””
Roasted nuts are good for infants, young children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems.
They also contain antioxidants that are effective in reducing inflammation, heart disease, and cancer,” she adds.
The best nuts to eat with baby are hazelnuts, but you can use any nut butter.
“They have a higher amount of fibre and contain more protein,” says Anderson.
“They’re a great choice for older children and adults.
Hazelnuts also have a healthy balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that will benefit your baby,” she explains.”
You can also find walnuts and flaxseeds, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
They’re a good source of protein, calcium and iron,” she continues.”
Some types of flax seeds are high-fiber and low-fat, but they’re high in calories and sugar,” says the nutritionist.”
Other types of seed, such as sunflower, hemp and hempseed, are rich sources of protein and vitamins.”
If you want to find the healthiest nut butter, try choosing one that contains a mix of nuts and seeds.
“If you buy whole flax, you’re better off buying flaxseed,” says nutritionalist Dr Amy Kostas.
“In addition, nuts are high sources of vitamin B6, which supports healthy bone growth,” she added.
“You’ll also want to avoid refined seeds such as rice and oats.”
The best nut butter at your local supermarket can be found in the range labelled “flaxseed”, which has a similar taste to hazel.
“Flaxseed is a great substitute for peanuts, sunflower and flake,” says Dr Anderson.
Another good option is walnuts, which contain high amounts of omega-3 fats and have been known to lower LDL cholesterol and heart disease risk.
“Walgreens has a walnut butter that’s low in fat and high in fibre, which helps to reduce cholesterol and improve blood cholesterol levels,” she said.
“This walnut has been proven safe for pregnant women and children.
Walnuts also contain a variety of antioxidants, which can help protect your baby from cancer,” says nutritionist Amy Kastas.