Healthy Shopping Tip: Nut Butters
Healthy Shopping Tip: Nut Butters
November 19, 2016    POSTED IN  Grocery Shopping TipHealthy EatingNutrition Articles

Grocery shopping is no simple task and grocery shopping for healthy foods can seem nearly impossible at times.  Working with clients I see that most of the confusion lies in navigating through the grocery store and picking out the healthiest options.

Lets use peanut butter for an example.  A single item such as peanut butter comes in an array of different brands, types, and varieties.  No wonder we are confused about nutrition and most of us dread making a weekly trip to the grocery store.

Hopefully I can help clear up some of the confusion.  Lets start today by talking about nut butters:

Which type of nut butter is the healthiest? 

Trick question. Each type of nut butter, such as peanut, almond, or cashew, provides nutrients. There are slight differences in nutritional composition between each type of nut butters but in the whole scheme of things this is pretty irrelevant. We need to get away from thinking that one variety of food is superior to another. One of the healthiest things we can do for our body is eat a variety of different foods.

It is more important that you know how to pick a healthy nut butter than getting caught up in which type of nut butter is healthiest. So pick a nut butter that you like and don’t listen to what anyone says about one type of nut butter being superior to another.

We need to get away from thinking that one variety of food is superior to another. One of the healthiest things we can do for our body is eat a variety of different foods.

How to pick the healthiest nut butter:

The healthiest but butter is one that is closest to its natural state and minimally processed. Simply follow these two steps:

  1. Completely ignore the front of the jar. I know this sounds crazy but trust me. The marketing on the front of the jar is there to sell the product and that’s all. It has absolutely no relevance to the healthfulness of the product.
  2. Read the ingredient list on the back of the jar. Look for a product that contains less than three ingredients and no hydrogenated oils or sugars. I prefer to buy nut butters that have only one ingredient – peanuts, almonds, or cashews.  The fewer ingredients on the label means the closer the product is to its natural state and the healthier it is for you.

If you follow the first two steps you really don’t need to worry about anything else. Products with the fewest ingredients will naturally be the healthiest for you. However, I have found that sodium content can vary between brands of similar nut butters. Just make sure to compare labels and opt for the brands with the lowest amount of sodium.

I hope this clears up some confusion over choosing healthy nut butters. Please let me know if I didn’t answer all your questions on this topic or if there is another food you have a hard time picking at the grocery store.

With Love,

Renee

The fewer ingredients on the label means the closer the product is to its natural state and the healthier it is for you.

POSTED BY
Renee
Renee

Renee is a Registered Dietician and Nutritionist practicing in Chicago.