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Try These Healthier Alternatives to Peanut Butter

By Paul Rothbart

Peanut butter is one of the most popular foods there is. The classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a children's lunch staple that is also loved by many adults. You can spread it on toast, a bagel, or an English muffin. Peanut can be used in many sweet and savory dishes and it is 50 percent of the delicious Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Packed with protein, peanut in its purest form is very healthy. You have to read labels though. Many manufacturers add sugar, trans fats, and vegetable oils. These ingredients are all unhealthy and make peanut butter a less attractive choice. You can buy natural peanut butter or try one of these healthier substitutes.


Tahini is a spread made from ground-up sesame seeds. Although not a nut butter, it is a tasty substitute for peanut butter. Sesame seeds are high in protein and fiber and low in calories. Tahini contains a good amount of both manganese and phosphorus which are important for bone health.

Almond Butter

If you like the taste of almonds, almond butter is a good substitute. With a texture similar to peanut butter it can be used in most of the same ways. Almond butter has less protein, but more vitamins, minerals, and fiber overall than peanut butter. Most of its fat content is monounsaturated and very good for heart health and controlling blood sugar levels.

Cashew Butter

Yet another nut that can be ground into a peanut butter alternative is the cashew. Cashew butter is also high in monounsaturated fats as well as Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Either baked or raw cashews can be used to make cashew butter. The raw variety is healthier. 

Pecan Butter

Pecans are very tasty and healthy nuts that can also be ground into butter. They contain more antioxidants than any other nut. These plant compounds fight free radicals that can cause oxidative stress and damage cells. This can lead to chronic diseases like cancer. Pecan butter also contains 19 different vitamins and minerals, making it one of the healthiest peanut butter substitutes you can choose.

Walnut Butter

As nuts go, walnuts are one of the healthiest. Walnut butter has a good flavor and the distinction of having more omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut butter. Omega-3s reduce inflammation, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. They are also good for brain health and slow cognitive decline, helping to prevent dementia and Alzheimer's.

Peanut butter is tasty, versatile, and contains nutrition. Unless you buy a completely natural brand, it may have unhealthy additives. Try one of these substitutes for great taste and lots of health benefits.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Owings Mills, Md.

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