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Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to Choose a Healthy Nut Butter




Have you ever shopped at your local food store and had a hard deciding which brand of nut butter to choose from since there were simply too many choices? And how do you know which ones are healthy? I know the feeling. Over the years as my diet has improved, I have had much experience with nut butters. Here is what I have found out:

1) Most brands of nut butters have processed the nuts so much that there is little nutrition left.

2) Most brands add too many extra additives and fillers, like sweeteners, salt, oils, trans fats, etc. that render the nut butter unhealthy.

3) Many brands of nut butters on the stores’ shelves are actually rancid (when a nut or seed goes bad an tastes awful) and are not really fit for consumption. If the nut butter tastes bad in any way, don’t eat it and return it.

4) Many brands prefer to roast their nut and seed butters so as to prevent or delay the onset of rancidity.

5) Peanut butter is not really that healthy since it is roasted, usually has many additives, and is high in aflatoxins (a fungal toxin for humans and animals).

6) When you see the typical layer of oil on the top of the nut butter it means that the nut butter has been sitting for a long time and possibly oil has been added to the nut butter. Oil is a cheap filler and adding oil is a way of increasing profits. Look for brands with no oil layer.

7) The highest quality nut butters are raw (not heated above 118 degrees), slow, low temperature ground, have no extra ingredients (just the original high quality nuts or seeds), are freshly made, and are found in the refrigerated section of the store.

8) The absolute highest quality, meaning the most nutrition and taste, nut butters are made with sprouted nuts or seeds. Sprouting insures that the nutrition of the nut or seed is released and is easier to digest since the enzyme inhibitors are washed out.

The highest quality nut and seed butter brands are Blue Mountain Organics, Rejuvenative Foods, and Artisana. Blue Mountain Organics is my favorite brand since there 100% organic, raw nut and seed butters are the freshest, with no additives and no oil floating on top, and they have sprouted and unsprouted nut butters. Sprouted nut butters are the best! Unfortunately, there are only a few brands that can be labeled as top quality since most of the other brands employ many of the questionable practices I mentioned above. So, I highly recommend that you try the three above brands to taste and feel the difference that a high quality, truly healthy, nutritionally dense, and tasty nut and seed butter can make!

Links:
Aflatoxins: Occurrence and Health Risks


Jungle Peanuts are low in Aflatoxin:

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1 comments:

zinnat said...

Our chocolates are made with simple, pure ingredients, healthy, delicious. We blend superior raw, organic ingredients and never contain gluten, dairy, soy or processed sugar. Our chocolates are all handcrafted in small batches in Bend, Oregon.
http://www.jemraw.com/product-category/specialty-nut-butters/

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