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How to choose nut and seed butters

How to choose nut and seed butters

Nut and seed butters can be a nutritious toast topper. There’s such a wide range now, which are better choices?

What’s available?

You can now buy cashew, almond, Brazil, pumpkin and sesame butters – as well as peanut butter. Although many still contain added sugar and salt, it is the ‘no-added-sugar’ and ‘no-added-salt’ ranges that have grown recently. Even better, there are now products that are 100 per cent nuts. Nut butters also come with added ingredients, such as chia seed, spelt, LSA – and even chocolate.

Energy

All nuts are naturally high in energy (kJ). This makes nut and seed butter one of the higher energy bread or cracker toppings. We found the energy content per 100g of nut and seed butters ranged from 2100kJ to 3000kJ. Although the amount of energy was often determined by the type of nuts and seeds used, it was also influenced by the amount of added sugar or oils.

Fat

Fat is the main source of energy in nut and seed butters. Nuts and seeds contain mainly monounsaturated fats, some polyunsaturated fats and a small amount of naturally occurring saturated fat. Choosing foods that contain monounsaturated fats rather than foods that contain saturated or trans fats can reduce your risk of heart problems. But remember fat still contains a lot of energy. We found the fat in nut and seed butters ranged from 33-63g per 100g and the saturated fat ranged from 3.6 per 100g, up to 12.5g per 100g. We recommend choosing a nut or seed butter with 10g or less saturated fat per 100g. We also recommend choosing ones with no extra oil added.

Carbohydrate and sugar

The amount of carbohydrate differed depending on the type of nuts or seeds. Even the added sugar nut butters are generally a lot lower in carbohydrate than jams. Even so, we recommend choosing a nut or seed butter that has no added sugar.

Sodium

Although many products still have added salt, the amount can vary. We found some products that have more than 500mg sodium per 100g, while others with added salt have only 45mg per 100g. We recommend choosing a nut or seed butter that has no added salt, or has 250mg or less per 100g.

How to choose

Use this checklist to choose healthier nut and seed butters.

Note: A serving of nut or seed butter is 1 tablespoon, around 15-20g, and will give you 1 to 1.5g fibre.

Some healthier nut and seed butters we found

Pic’s Peanut Butter No Salt Crunchy

$6.50 per 380g jar
Per 100g: 2470kJ, 30.3g protein, 48.4g fat, 6.3g sat fat, 9.6g carbs, 9mg sodium; $1.71
No added salt, no added sugar, no added oil

Beautiful natural flavour. Thick and very crunchy.

Fig & Fogg Peanut Butter Smoke & Fire

$8.99 per 375g jar
Per 100g: 2427kJ, 28g protein, 45g fat, 5.4g sat fat, 18g carbs, 40mg sodium; $2.40
No added sugar, no added oil

Super tasty. Perfect balance of smoky and hot.

Mother Earth LSA Blend Natural Peanut Butter

$6.00 per 380g jar
Per 100g: 2490kJ, 26.7g protein, 47.4g fat, 5.8g sat fat, 12.8g carbs, 177mg sodium; $1.58
No added sugar, no added oil

Great nutty flavour and texture.

Ceres Organics Crunchy Peanut Butter Original

$5.69 per 300g jar
Per 100g: 2380kJ, 24.7g protein, 47.1g fat, 5.4g sat fat, 9g carbs, 194mg sodium; $1.90
No added sugar, no added oil

Great flavour. Mild peanut taste.

Pic’s Cashew Butter

$11.99 per 195g jar
Per 100g: 2470kJ, 21.2g protein, 42g fat, 7.9g sat fat, 32.6g carbs, 8mg sodium; $6.15
No added salt, no added sugar, no added oil

Delicious – really smooth and creamy.

Ceres Organics Pumpkin Seed Butter

$11.99 per 290g jar
Per 100g: 2510kJ, 26g protein, 55.6g fat, 9g sat fat, 9.2g carbs, 229mg sodium; $4.13
No added sugar

Wow – really impressed by this. Very true flavour.

Kraft The Good Nut 100% Nuts Natural Peanut Butter Crunchy

$4.79 per 325g jar
Per 100g: 2550kJ, 27.6g protein, 49.3g fat, 6.1g sat fat, 11.3g carbs, 17mg sodium; $1.47
No added salt, no added sugar, no added oil

Lovely flavours but quite runny. Good crunch. A traditional peanut butter flavour.

Sanitarium No Added Sugar or Salt Crunchy Peanut Butter

$4.70 per 500g jar
Per 100g: 2560kJ, 27g protein, 54.4g fat, 8.4g sat fat, 10g carbs, 8mg sodium; $0.94
No added salt, no added sugar

Great peanut taste. Not too sticky.




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