peanut butter banana sandwich

These days, shopping for a nut butter is eerily similar to buying a wrinkle cream; there are so many options, you’re never really sure if you’re getting the right one—or if it’s actually doing everything the jar claims.

With varieties ranging from sunflower to almond, navigating the spreads aisle gets overwhelming quickly. That’s where we come in. We had the Eat This, Not That! research team hunt out the best of the best of almond, peanut, cashew and sunflower seed butters so you can just grab and go when you’re grocery shopping. We also asked Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN of Middleberg Nutrition for some expert tips on the nutrients in these best butters and how to buy them.

But while Middleberg is a self-proclaimed mega-fan of nearly all types of seed and nut butter, she also admits that some are more healthful heavy hitters than others. She agrees with our fundamental rule: go minimalist. “The best nut butters are those that are made with the simplest ingredient: the nut,” she explains. For an Eat This, Not That!-approved spread, look for organic varieties that are made with only a little added salt, seek out jars with minimal added sugars and shun hydrogenated oils. Here are our favorites that are also RD-approved:


“Ounce for ounce, almonds are one of the most nutritious nuts,” Middleberg says. They’re a great source of riboflavin, magnesium and manganese (which, she explains, is great for the prevention of osteoporosis as well as a healthy metabolism), and also provide an impressive amount of vitamin E per serving. By choosing almond butter as your spread, you’ll also get flavonoids, compounds that are extremely useful in fighting heart disease and cancer.


A great alternative for those with tree nut allergies, sunbutter is a powerful seed-based butter. “Sunflower seeds can provide even more fiber, magnesium and vitamin E than traditional nut butters,” Middleberg says. Sun butters are also a “wonderful source of protein, vitamin E, B vitamins, folic acid and selenium,” she explains. Studies have shown that sunflower seed butter is also anti-inflammatory and preventative against cancer and heart disease.


While the classic nut butter shares some health benefits with other nut butters, there tend to be fewer healthy versions available on the market. “Peanut butters are most often processed with hydrogenated oils and sugar, so make sure you check the label carefully,” cautions Middleburg. Organic is always your best option!


With a rich, smooth texture, cashew butter is slightly lower in calcium than other varieties, but can still pack a nutritional punch. “It’s a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and copper, and shouldn’t be overlooked,” Middleberg explains. Magnesium boasts a myriad of health benefits, Middleberg continues, “such as helping your body relieve various conditions like constipation, insomnia, headaches and muscle cramps, as well as regulating the immune system and supporting brain function.” Though cashew butters tend to be harder to find—you might have to log on to find the healthiest varieties—their laundry list of health benefits make them well worth the hunt. Cashews also contain a good amount of biotin, which will help keep your locks shiny and lustrous. Try using decadent cashew butter in weight loss smoothiesand desserts to reap all the nutritional benefits and give yourself a healthful treat.



Get yours at your nearest Mopani Pharmacy today!




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