Do you read nutrition labels before you add products to your shopping cart? If you are striving to live a healthier lifestyle, it’s a good idea to add this simple practice into your routine!
Many products are marketed as healthy and natural, but upon closer inspection actually contain hidden ingredients and fillers. Even when shopping your local health food store aisles – products that are in fact organic may still contain organic cane sugar, organic canola oil, organic vegetable oil, and more.
With that in mind, here are 4 questions you need to ask when shopping for nut butter if you are looking for the purest, healthy, and fresh option on the market!
1. Does it contain sugar?
Many brands of conventional nut butter include added refined sugar! Keep in mind that refined sugar can be hidden as “high fructose corn syrup”,” dextrose”, “fructose”, “glucose” and more. The easiest way to ensure that your nut butter contains no added sugar is to look for a single-ingredient option. Almond butter should contain only almonds! Don’t be fooled by the front of the jar – be sure to read the actual ingredients list.
2. Does it contain added oils?
Hydrogenated vegetable oil, soybean oil, cotton seed, and rapeseed oil are all commonly found in conventional peanut butter. Hydrogenated oils contain trans fats, which have been shown to increase LDL cholesterol while reducing HDL cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol are risk factors for heart disease.
3. Is it organic?
Conventionally grown nuts that are sprayed with pesticides can readily absorb pesticides due to their high oil content. In addition, nuts may be sprayed once picked and shelled to help prevent mould and fungus. Opting for organic nuts and organic nut butter is the best way to avoid any potentially harmful pesticides and fungicides!
4. What is the roasting process?
Are the nuts dry roasted or oil-roasted? Peanut, sunflower, vegetable, and canola oil are frequently used for oil-roasted nuts. Once again, these hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils contain unhealthy trans-fats. For a heart-healthy choice, opt for dry roasted nuts instead!
If the nut butter claims “no-stir” on the packaging – this is likely because there is added hydrogenated oils such as rapeseed, or palm oil. Instead, a natural nut butter should separate with a thin layer of oil on the surface over time.
In addition, it's a good idea to opt for glass packaging over plastic – as glass can be recycled and reused again and again.
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