Nut butters are a tasty way to help combat chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular problems, and do not raise blood sugars as many other spreads do. Nut butters have nutrients and can play a good role in a well-balanced diet. Compare nut butters for diabetes to see which ones are the best choices.
- Different nut butters offer various benefits with unique flavors and can be beneficial for your health. Peanut butter is the most well-known of all the nut butters and is still the most popular spread at leading grocery stores. The thought of peanut butter brings to mind the delicious and nostalgic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches packed in our school lunch boxes. However, jelly can be full of sugar with little nutritional value. Consider using sugar-free or all preserves instead. Choose peanut butter that is free of hydrogenated oil, added sugar and preservatives. Look for the brands with fewer ingredients listed on the label. When comparing brands, realize that reduced fat peanut butter usually contains more sugar so read the labels carefully. Keep in mind that most of the fat in peanut butter is healthy when you choose one with no hydrogenated oil. Peanut butter has the highest protein content of all the butters at 4grams per tablespoon. Many stores now have machines that grind only fresh peanuts to make the butter spread. It may seem too thick at first but is quite delicious as you get used to the rich flavor.
- Almond butter is delicious, creamy and considered to be one of the best of all the nut butters. It has a similar texture to peanut butter, but has more monounsaturated fat per serving to help promote better heart health. Almond butter usually has less sugar and no hydrogenated oil. Look for an almond butter that contains just one ingredient – almonds. It also contains vitamin E, an excellent antioxidant.
- Cashew butter, which is another option, may not always be a good choice. Read the label as it can be higher in sugar than peanut or almond butter and lower in protein. Some types of cashew butter do have slightly less fat. Consider making cashew butter yourself in a food processor to get all the benefits of this nut without the unwanted added sugar.
- Hazelnut butter is rich in taste and contains the most fiber at 2 grams per tablespoon.
- Sunflower seed butter can be a wise choice for people with allergies to tree nuts. It is also rich in fiber and nutrients such as vitamin E, niacin and magnesium that are important for people with diabetes.
- Tahini is a type of sesame seed butter that contains no sugar, which fits right into most diabetes diets. It can be used to make sauces, dressings and sandwiches. Compare the ingredients on the labels of sunflower seed butters and look for ones that do not contain high levels of salt.
- Soy butter is another option for people with peanut or tree nut allergies. It has a grainy texture and fewer oils. This can also be a great sandwich ingredient for kids with diabetes who attend a peanut-free school.
- Walnut butter is available in most health food stores. While it contains more fat and less protein then other nut butters, it is a good source of the omega-3 fatty acids that can help support heart health.
Nut butters contain essential nutrients and protein, making them one of the preferred diabetic foods. While some nut butters are considered better than others, always read the labels and look for ones with just nuts. You should purchase a grinder or food processor for home use and make your own nut butter spreads. People with diabetes are enjoying nut butters which are rich in protein, filling and won’t mess with blood sugars.