Loading...
I went to the buffet this week and got an elbow in the ribs from this big ol' gal who was reaching for the fried...

Much ado about nut butters

KathyKolasa
1 of 2

Kathy Kolasa

Loading…

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Q: I like to try new foods and heard that nut butters are better for you than peanut butter. Is that true? — J.K., Greenville

A: There are of choices of nut butters, and many are being marketed with what I would call exaggerated claims. Many of the butters will tout their micronutrient content. They can be a good source of riboflavin, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, zinc and dietary fiber. But for most of us to stay within our calorie budget, the serving size is small, so it’s unlikely the nut butter will be the major source of these nutrients in your diet. Kathleen Ascanio, a dietetic intern who spent some time with us at ECU Family Medicine, shares the following information about Nutrition Facts for nut butters:

Nut butters are often referred to as any nut that is made into butter-like consistency that is not derived from peanuts. The most common forms of nut butters are almond, cashew, sunflower and soy (although soy is not a nut, but a legume). Nut butters have grown in popularity as a peanut butter alternative, especially for those who are allergic to peanuts.

People who are allergic to peanuts but are not usually allergic to tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, among others) can eat nut butters. People who are allergic to tree nuts and not allergic to peanuts might be able to eat peanut butter, but they probably need to avoid nut butters. If you can’t eat nuts, you might enjoy sunflower seed butter. Be sure to read the label to ensure that the product was processed in an allergen-free facility. If you are unsure if you are allergic to any foods, be sure to check with your family doctor before trying something new.

Nuts are a great snack and can be incorporated into a healthy, well-balanced diet. Nut butters can offer just as much nutrition, but in a different form. It is important to flip the jar over and read the Nutrition Facts and ingredient labels before selecting a nut butter. Some products have added oils and sugars that add unnecessary calories and little nutrition.

I compared different brands of nut butters and found that, like peanut butter, the suggested serving size is 2 tablespoons. Each nut butter had a calorie range from 190-200 calories per serving, about the same as most peanut butters. The grams of fat per serving of each brand of nut butter I looked at ranged from 15-19, again similar to the 16 grams of fat in peanut butter. The grams of protein ranges from 7-8 for nut butter, whereas peanut butter has 7 grams. The biggest difference between nut butters and peanut butter was in the amount of carbohydrates. The grams of carbohydrates in nut butters ranged from 4-8 per serving compared to the 8 grams in peanut butter. Since the butters all have about the same nutrient content, you would select a nut butter based on your taste preference and calories.

Nut butters taste like the nut they are made from. Almond butter for example, has a strong almond flavor with a grainy texture. Cashew butter has a smoother taste and texture than some of the other butters I tasted. Textures and tastes may vary depending on the brand. Some nut butters can come with added flavorings such as chocolate, which has more calories from added sugar and fat.

Nut butters can be used in various ways. Some healthy suggestions would be to pair it with fruit for a light snack, spread it on some whole-wheat toast with banana slices or put a bit in your smoothie. Nut butters can also be used in baking, just as you would use peanut butter.

Nut butters cost more than regular peanut butter. The price for nut butters I saw ranged from $4.99 to $12.99 for the same size as a $1.99 jar of store-brand peanut butter. Since the nutrient content is comparable to that of peanut butter, choose whichever works best for your budget and your preferences.

I didn’t see any nut butters at the Food Lion I visited. I bet it won’t be long until you’ll find all stores jumping on the growing popularity of nut butters and stocking them.

Professor emeritus Kathy Kolasa, a registered dietitian nutritionist and Ph.D., is an Affiliate Professor in the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. Contact her at kolasaka@ecu.edu.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

January 16, 2019

Q I form oxalate stones. The only advice I had been given was to drink lots of water and I do drink about a gallon a day. A friend told me I should pay attention to the oxalate content of food. I really like grain products but have been told they might be giving me troubles. What do I need to know?…

Kolasa, Kathy

January 13, 2019

While I have been traveling up and down North Carolina’s roads in search of local eateries, UNC Law School professor Gene Nichol has been traveling the same roads looking for something else.

I was gathering material for my book, “North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries,” and…

DGMartin

January 13, 2019

The first mistake was opening the refrigerator door. I opened it silently, but it emits a silent sound unknown to science that only cats can hear. From under the bedcovers at the other end of the house. And they do not need to walk or run to the refrigerator to inspect what I'm doing. One second,…

JimMullen

January 11, 2019

As I write this review, it’s still up in the air whether Kevin Hart will host this year’s Academy Awards. He was picked because he’s funny, he’s a performer of color, and his star was on the ascendance.

But someone dug up old comments by Hart that were homophobic. The…

Upside

January 11, 2019

ARBA — Sybil Thomas is not your average “little old lady.”

Rather than bemoaning the aging process, she has walked right up to it, looked it dead in the eye and given it an impish wink.

Thomas celebrated her 100th birthday Dec. 30, surrounded by friends and family at Hull Road…

0109-sybil2.jpg

January 09, 2019

 

Q: I don’t think my mom ever used anything other than salt, pepper, and cinnamon to flavor food. She said it was silly and expensive to a container and then use only ¼ teaspoon. I am intrigued by the possibility that some herbs might be helpful in controlling inflammation. Can…

Kolasa, Kathy

January 06, 2019

It was in 1983 that parents told leaders of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, west of New Orleans, that Father Gilbert Gauthe had molested their sons.

Dominos started falling. The bishop offered secret settlements to nine families — but one refused to remain silent.

The rest is a long,…

Terry Mattingly

January 06, 2019

What really happened to Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents born in the New World? The same Virginia Dare whom I suggested recently belonged on “The World Almanac’s” list of famous North Carolinians.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Sir Walter Raleigh’s…

DGMartin.jpg

January 06, 2019

In a year filled with heightened political vitriol, two deaths brought the nation together to remember men who represented a seemingly bygone era of U.S. politics.

George H.W. Bush was a president, vice president, congressman, CIA director and Navy pilot during World War II, where he flew 58…

YE Deaths

January 05, 2019

For to make chireseye, tak chiryes at þe feast of Seynt Iohn þe Baptist, & do awey þe stonys …

— Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). New York: for The Early…

pruncaro.jpg
128 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 13
        Next Page»   Last Page»