From peanut to cashew to almond butter, there are all kinds of yummy nut butters on the market, but raw nut butters have a leg up on all the roasted varieties that you may want to consider. Raw nut butters have so many health benefits and though roasted varieties aren’t the worst thing you could eat, they’re nutritionally inferior to raw nut butters for a few reasons. Check out some of these reasons to choose raw nut butters over roasted ones and pick up a jar or two this week. You can usually find them online much cheaper than in stores through numerous websites as well.
1. Less Acidic
Raw nut butters are usually carefully processed and some are even soaked and sprouted, which makes them less acidic by nature. All cooked foods, especially roasted nuts and oils, are highly acidic to the body. They can contribute to inflammation and even be hard to digest because they’re more acidic. Nuts and seeds contain delicate oils and fats that should optimally never be heated.
2. Easier to Digest
Because many raw nut butters are soaked and sprouted before processing, they’re much easier to digest too. All raw foods enhance enzyme production in the body that helps digest our food, while cooked food actually depletes these enzymes.
3. Milder in Taste
Most raw nut butters are much milder in taste. I find this preferable since they’re slightly sweeter and pair well with other foods much better without being overwhelmingly strong in taste. Raw almond butter and cashew butter are two great examples of raw nut butters that taste a bit sweeter than roasted varieties.
4. Less Ingredients
Look at the ingredients on most roasted nut butters. You’ll likely see some type of oil - usually palm oil, along with salt and some type of sugar like evaporated cane syrup or juice, evaporated cane sugar, or coconut sugar. The less ingredients in your nut butter, the better. Think about it - you wouldn’t eat a handful of almonds and add oil, salt, and sugar to them, would you? Then why choose nut butter that have the added ingredients in them? Raw nut butters usually contain just the nuts, which is the only ingredient they should contain since they’re already so calorie dense.
5. Less Likely to Cause Weight Gain
While all nut butters can cause you to gain weight if you overeat them, raw varieties in small servings are less likely to cause weight gain than roasted ones will. Raw foods are much more friendly to the metabolism since they can be used for immediate energy and don’t require as much digestion as cooked foods.
6. Higher Quality
Quality nut butters are not made by companies like Jif and Skippy. Even more "natural" companies like Justin’s use additional salt and sugar in their nut butters. My favorite brands of raw nut butters are Artisana, Dastony, Foods Alive, and Maranatha (avoid their roasted varieties). These companies are certified organic and also completely vegan.
7. Less Addictive
Foods that combine sugar, salt, and fat in one product are extremely addicting and can trigger overeating. Since most roasted nut butters have added salt, sugar, and fat from some type of source, they’re very easy to overdo. Raw nut butters usually just contain the nuts themselves so you may not be as likely to keep eating them when you’ve had enough. Limit all nut butters to two tablespoons a day no matter what type you choose, unless you’re trying to gain weight.
Try raw nut butters such as almond, cashew, coconut, and walnut or pecan butter to see which ones you enjoy the most. All peanut butter is sold roasted since peanuts are often contaminated with mold and have to be cooked for safety purposes (which is one reason they’re best to avoid anyway.) Have you ever had raw nut butter?