Not every almond butter is healthy. Some products you can find at stores are filled with unnecessary additives, hidden ingredients, and added sugar or salt. To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll need to study the nutrition label carefully. Here are some ways to find the healthiest almond butter on the shelves.
Scan the Nutrition Label
Before making a purchase, you’ll need to check the ingredients label for suspicious additives. Ideally, you should look for almond butter made with only one ingredient—almonds. Products that feature only almonds are typically of good quality.
Unsweetened almond butter is the way to go, especially if you want to cut sugar. Unfortunately, many conventional brands contain heaps of added sugar, artificial flavorings, and other potentially harmful ingredients.
If you prefer sweetened almond butter, choose products sweetened naturally with honey, agave, or maple syrup. As for low–cal almond butter, you can look for products with zero-calorie sweeteners or even sweeten them on your own with your favorite stevia brand. However, remember that almond butter is naturally calorie-dense, so you’ll also need to be mindful of portion control.
Consider Other Nutritious Ingredients
Nowadays, you can find almond butter products supercharged with other nutrient-dense ingredients such as hemp, chia, and flax seeds. You’ll also come across some almond butter brands that feature organic goji, cacao nibs, and similar ingredients.
Overall, most almond butter reviews agree that superfoods are a great addition to your almond butter. That being said, experts recommend skipping butters that include coconut oil, as these products are high in saturated fat. If you want to get that coconut flavor, instead, try sprinkling shredded coconut on the butter.
Choose the Right Texture
Whether you’ll go with creamy almond butter, chunky, or slightly grainy, the choice is up to you. Traditional nut butters have a smooth and thick texture, while all-natural varieties tend to be grainy. To achieve a smooth look, brands usually use skinless almonds.
You’ll notice that some products are labeled halal, kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and vegan. If you have specific dietary requirements, you’ll want to look for a good almond butter with some or all of these labels.
Benefits of Almond Butter
As mentioned, almond butter is full of heart-healthy fats and it’s a good source of protein. It’s also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for preventing irregular heart rhythms. If you’re not eating enough vitamin E foods, you can also get your daily dose of this vitamin and L-arginine (beneficial for the walls in arteries) from a serving of quality almond butter.
Moreover, fresh almond butter is high in calcium, a vital nutrient for all ages, especially the elderly. In fact, elderly nutrition guidelines show that people over 50 should aim for 1,200 mg of calcium per day. In one serving of almond butter, you get around 60 mg of calcium for bone health. Besides, almond butter is good for blood sugar control and healthy weight gain.