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3 Problems with peanut butter — And a comparison of peanut butter vs almond butter

by Mike Geary, aka – The Nutrition Watchdog
Certified Nutrition Specialist, Best-Selling Author

Ahh, good old american peanut butter… if you’re like me, you fondly remember eating a ton of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches growing up, washed down with a glass of milk (or chocolate milk when we were in grade school) ….

But is peanut butter actually healthy, or are there potential health problems associated with eating it too often?

Well, first of all, peanuts are a legume, and not a tree nut, and legumes tend to have more antinutrients overall than tree nuts.  This can be bad in some cases, but not all.

But the REAL problems with peanuts and peanut butter are…

1.  Peanuts have a higher lectin content than most tree nuts, and lectins can be harsh on your gut health, particularly if you already have IBS, leaky gut, or other gut disorders.  Peanuts also contain aflatoxin, which is a toxin that can have various negative health effects if you consume it too often.

2.  Peanuts have a poor ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, possibly making inflammation in your body worse if you already get too much omega-6s.

3.  Peanut butter often contains the additives of high fructose corn syrup AND deadly hydrogenated oils (aka, trans fats), which you already know are 2 of the most deadly additives in our food supply.

So, what are the best alternative nut butters that I use for my family and recommend to my clients?

Instead of peanut butter, I always get either almond butter, cashew butter, or pecan butter… sometimes I get all 3, and mix them together!  Unfortunately, cashew butter and pecan butter are nearly impossible to find at most American grocery stores… so the easiest choice available to find in most places that’s healthier than peanut butter is almond butter.

Almond butter is Paleo-friendly, whereas peanut butter is a legume, and legumes are generally recommended to be avoided or reduced on a Paleo Diet.

One of my favorite mid-day snacks that I NEVER get tired of is apple slices dipped in almond butter…. Mmm, sooooo good!  And it’s chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to nourish your body.

Unfortunately, some people have a hard time finding good almond butter, or if they do find it at a specialty store, it’s ridiculously priced at almost $30 per jar in some places…yikes!

I recently talked to one of my contacts that’s an employee at ThriveMarket, and they let me know that they are now offering a Free jar of Justin’s Almond Butter  (which is my favorite brand!) for any new customers of ThriveMarket in the US.  (Note, if you’re already an existing customer of Thrive, I believe you can still get a free jar of almond butter on orders over $50, or at least a significant discount)

This natural Justin’s Almond Butter is free of harmful sweeteners or hydrogenated oils, and only contains TWO ingredients… almonds and sustainably sourced red palm fruit oil, which is actually almost just as healthy as coconut oil!

Don’t miss out on your Free jar of Justin’s Almond Butter! (for US based readers only at this point in time)

If you don’t know what ThriveMarket is, it’s basically a wholesale priced health food shopping club that’s 25-50% lower prices on healthy foods compared to most organic or specialty grocery stores.  Plus, all orders of groceries over $50 are free shipping, so it saves you gas money and time by not having to drive to the grocery store as frequently.  My wife and I have been using ThriveMarket for over a year now, and we’ve been continually impressed by their increasing variety of health foods, and the incredible prices!

We’ve even found new items like Paleo coconut flakes cereal, Paleo wraps, tons of great organic coffee and tea brands, lots of unique jerkies, chocolates, and of my favorite discoveries yet… maca maple cashews…OMG, these things are sooooo incredibly tasty!

Ok, I have to run now, but don’t miss out on your free jar of almond butter courtesy of ThriveMarket!


About The Watchdog

Mike Geary has been a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for over 15 years now. He has been studying nutrition and exercise for almost 25 years, ever since being a young teenager. Mike is originally from Pennsylvania, but has fallen in love with mountain life and now resides in the picturesque mountains of Utah. Mike is an avid adventurist and when he’s not spending his time skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or paddleboarding on the lake, he has enjoyed skydiving, whitewater rafting, piloting an Italian fighter plane (seriously), scuba diving, heli-skiing, and traveling all around the world, enjoying learning about different cultures. At the age of 40, Mike now feels healthier, stronger, and more energetic than when he was 20... All because of a healthy lifestyle and great nutrition!

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  1. Any nut butter, including (particularly) almond butter can also contain aflatoxin, and the biggest risk is in small-scale home or store grinding of unscreened (bulk) nuts. (In fact, aflatoxin and related mycotoxins can be found in many kinds of foods depending on growing and storage conditions.) Peanuts are somewhat more susceptible, but many of the major US brands (including “natural” types have extremely low levels because of careful and consistent testing procedures. Not saying people shouldn’t choose almond butter; just saying check your facts and how you spin them.

  2. Is the first time that I learned peanuts are legumes nor nuts.

  3. If I am not mistaken, cashews are also very high in lectin. I am not sure that is a great alternantive for peanut butter.

  4. im in Cyprus,,we only just discovered olive oil butter[kerrygold],,forget cashew or almond butter till next centurion.[I know I know]

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