nut butters

The Pros and Cons of Nut Butters (Nutella Included!)

For many of us (as adults) enjoyed a brown-bagged lunch containing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or as a salty snack, packaged peanut butter crackers. Nowadays, peanut butter has competition from other nut butters each with different tastes, textures, and health benefits. Be careful which one you choose, it could contain as much sugar as six chocolate chip cookies!


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Nutella

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Calories: 200

Fat: 12 grams

Added Sugar: 21 grams

Protein: 2 grams

Ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor

Pros: Nutella is very tasty and it closely resembles a chocolate sauce. It claims it is a nut butter because it technically does contain hazelnuts.

Cons: The first listed ingredient is sugar. There is enough sugar in 2 tablespoons of Nutella to equal six chocolate cookies. Eating high amounts of sugar in general can spike blood sugar levels resulting in a sugar crash later in the day contributing to poor concentration and sleepiness.


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Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Calories: 200

Fat: 16 grams

Sugar: 1 gram

Protein: 8 grams

Ingredients: peanuts, contains 1% or less of salt.

Pros: Free from hydrogenated oil, preservatives, and artificial flavorings. You know what your getting, no hidden ingredients! Great source of protein for building and maintaining muscles.

Cons: This peanut butter is so natural and pure, it separates in the jar. If you don’t mind stirring the peanut butter every time you use it, this is a healthy choice for a nut butter!

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Jif!

Creamy Jif Peanut Butter

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Calories: 190

Fat: 16 grams

Added Sugar: 3 grams

Protein: 7 grams

Ingredients: made from roasted peanuts and sugar, contains 2% or less of: molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed and soybean), mono and diglycerides, salt.

Pros: Fair amount of protein per serving, no trans-fat.

Cons: Fully hydrogenated oil, in essence, become saturated fat in the body, which can have a negative effect on cardiovascular health. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting saturated fat to <10% of calories per day. More oils added to this peanut butter to obtain a creamy mouthfeel.


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Jif Cashew Creamy Butter

Serving Size: 33 grams (roughly 2 tablespoons)

Calories: 200

Total Fat: 18 grams

Added Sugar: 3 grams

Protein: 4 grams

Ingredients: Made from roasted cashews, sunflower oil, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed, cottonseed and soybean, contains 2% or less of: salt

Pros: Tastes good, roasted cashews are the first ingredient. Cashews are a good source of magnesium.

Cons: It’s harder to find and more expensive when compared to other nut butters. Does not contain omega 3 fatty acids which help with heart health, brain function and maintenance. Also, lower in protein when compared to peanut butter.


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I.M Healthy-Creamy Soy Nut Butter

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Calories: 190

Total Fat: 14 grams

Added Sugar: 3 grams

Protein: 7 grams

Ingredients: Roasted soybeans (Non-GMO), Naturally Pressed Soybean Oil, Granulated Can Sugar, Palm Oil, Maltodextrin (from Corn), Salt.

Pros: An safe option for children and adults with peanut/tree nut allergies.

Cons: Grainy mouthfeel if you are used to eating regular creamy peanut butter.

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