The Role of Nut Butters In Your Diet

    

     Most of us are very familiar with Peanut Butter, it was certainly a staple in my lunch box growing up, but these days there are lots of other delicious nut butter options available as well. These pleasingly creamy products made from cashew, almond,  or even macadamia nuts can be found in health food stores and also the whole food departments of your local grocery. These ground nut products can be a convenient source of hunger busting vegetable protein and mono-saturated fat for weight and health conscious individuals. It’s  important, however, that we chose nut butters that are more than just yummy, we want them to be a beneficial part of a healthy eating plan.

     What factors should be considered in chosing a nut butter? Look for products that are listed as all natural or organic. Avoid trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and high sugar or sodium content.  In natural butters the natural oils will rise to the top.  Don’t be alarmed, these are healthy unsaturated fats. Just mix them in well and enjoy in moderation. Nut butters should be treated like a condiment, being eaten by the spoonful not the cup, using no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. The calories from nut butters can add up quickly if not used in proper portion sizes.

     Try enjoying your nut butter in fun new ways. Opt for whole wheat bread or crackers when making a sandwich. Eat it on veggies like celery, carrots, or asparagus. Eat it with fruit like apples or pears. Mix a spoon full into your morning oatmeal or smoothie. Use it to make a sauce for chicken, whole wheat pasta, or veggies to give them a new twist.

Click here for your recipe for Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli and Peanuts from Eating Well.

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