Nut (and seed) butters can be a great choice to implement into your meals and snacks. Not all nut and seed butters are created equally though – some are healthier than others.
Some of the healthiest nut (and seed) butters include almond butter, walnut butter, and flaxseed butter, among a few others.
We’ll detail six of the healthiest nut and seed butters in this article (and explain why they’re the healthiest)!
What makes nut butter healthy?
Most types of nut butter are considered healthy because it’s rich in unsaturated fats (“healthy” fats) as well as being a good source of nutrients like protein and fiber.
To be considered the healthiest, nut butter should be free of added sugars and ideally doesn’t contain added oils (some nut butters have refined oils added such as rapeseed oil).
Adding sugar to nut butter negates some of its health benefits. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy some Nutella every once in a while – but try to keep your added sugar in check for optimal health!
While we can’t definitively say which nut butter is THE healthiest (it’s a subjective term, and nutrition isn’t black and white!), we’ve compiled a list of six of the healthiest nut butters – along with the reason why we think they belong on the list!
6 of the healthiest nut butters
Flaxseed butter is very high in fiber with nine grams per serving. Fiber is an important nutrient for digestive health, and it can even support healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Not only is flaxseed butter high in fiber, but it’s naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats can help fight inflammation and have many other proven health benefits.
Flaxseed butter isn’t as easy to find as some of the other types of nut and seed butters – but you can easily find a DIY recipe and make it yourself!
Chia seed butter
Like flaxseed butter, chia seed butter is both high in fiber (ten grams per two-tablespoon serving) and hard to find, but it definitely belongs on our list! Chia seeds are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids (along with flaxseeds), making them a great source of omega-3s for vegans. Otherwise, the best sources come from fish.
Pumpkin seed butter
Pumpkin seed butter is low in net carbs (total carbs minus fiber), making it keto-friendly. It’s also rich in iron, a nutrient important for building hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body.
If you’re on a vegan diet, iron is especially important to get through your diet since most of the richest sources are from animal sources.
Much easier to find than the other nut and seed butters on our list so far, almond butter is a popular alternative to peanut butter that is Paleo-friendly (peanuts are a legume, which isn’t allowed on Paleo).
Almond butter is rich in healthy fats, a good source of fiber, and naturally rich in protein. It’s also keto-friendly because it’s low in net carbs.
Mixed nut butter
Mixed nut butter is a happy medium that contains a lot of the nuts and seeds on our list so far. Almonds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds are all ingredients in mixed nut butter (Kirkland brand), making it rich in protein, fiber, and low in net carbs.
Walnuts are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, making them some of the healthiest nuts you can eat. Walnut butter is free of net carbs and is a good source of protein (5 grams per serving).
Nutritional comparison of the healthiest nut butters
|Serving size: 2 tbsp.||Calories||Total fat (saturated)||Total carbs||Net carbs (fiber)||Total sugars (incl. added)||Protein|
|Flaxseed butter||190||13 g (1.5 g)||9 g||0 g (9 g)||0 g||8 g|
|Chia seed butter||164||14 g (0 g)||12 g||2 g (10 g)||0 g||2 g|
|Pumpkin seed butter||180||14 g (4 g)||4 g||1 g (3 g)||1 g (0 g)||9 g|
|Almond butter||190||17 g (2 g)||7 g||3 g (4 g)||1 g (0 g)||7 g|
|Mixed nut butter||200||16 g (4 g)||8 g||4 g (4 g)||1 g (0 g)||7 g|
|Walnut butter||200||19 g (2 g)||4 g||2 g (2 g)||1 g (0 g)||5 g|
Other healthy alternatives to almond butter include mixed nut butter, walnut butter, and flaxseed butter, among a few others.
Nut butters are generally anti-inflammatory and contain healthy unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help fight inflammation.
Not all nut butters are healthy – some contain a lot of added sugar and added refined oils. To choose a healthy nut butter, opt for those without added sugars or added refined oils.