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The 16 Best Nut Butters for Weight Loss

From sunbutter to almond butter to the conventional peanut butter, we found which spreads are healthiest.

With varieties ranging from sunflower to almond, navigating the spreads aisle gets overwhelming quickly. That's where we come in. We had the Eat This, Not That! research team hunt out the best of the best of almond, peanut, cashew, and sunflower seed butters so you can just grab and go when you're grocery shopping. We also asked Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN of Middleberg Nutrition for some expert tips on the nutrients in these best nut butter jars and how to buy them.

But while Middleberg is a self-proclaimed mega-fan of nearly all types of seed and nut butter, she also admits that some are more healthful heavy hitters than others. She agrees with our fundamental rule: go minimalist. "The best nut butters are those that are made with the simplest ingredient: the nut," she explains. For an Eat This, Not That!-approved spread, look for organic varieties that are made with only a little added salt, seek out jars with minimal added sugars and shun hydrogenated oils. Here are our favorites that are also RD-approved:

Almond Butters

"Ounce for ounce, almonds are one of the most nutritious nuts," Middleberg says. They're a great source of riboflavin, magnesium, and manganese (which, she explains, is great for the prevention of osteoporosis as well as a healthy metabolism), and also provide an impressive amount of vitamin E per serving. By choosing almond butter as your spread, you'll also get flavonoids, compounds that are extremely useful in fighting heart disease and cancer.

Eat This: Justin's Classic Almond Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 190
Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Carbs 7 g
Protein 7 g
Fiber 3 g
Sugar 2 g

Justin's is all about being natural. The brand's almond butter is made with dry-roasted almonds and a bit of sustainably-sourced palm fruit oil, which lends the spread its creamy texture. If you're occasionally in need of a sweeter treat, Justin's should be your go-to. Justin's also makes all-natural peanut butter cups that will make you question everything you thought you knew about the PB-chocolate combo. And its high protein content is why we named it one of our favorite high-protein snacks for weight loss.

Eat This: Blue Mountain Organics Almond Butter, California Sprouted, 2 Tbsp
Calories 180
Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Carbs 6 g
Protein 7 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugar 2 g

This Virginia-based company offers varieties like European (made from unpasteurized almonds) and California almond butter that both include impressive amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and fiber, as well as monounsaturated "good" fat.

Eat This: Dastony 100% Organic Stone-Ground Raw Almond Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 177
Fat 17 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Carbs 6 g
Protein 7 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 0 g

Just like its sister cashew butter, Dastony's organic almond butter is carefully stone-ground to preserve as many good-for-you vitamins and minerals as possible. It's also independently certified as organic by the organization Oregon Tilth, so you know it's legitimate.

Eat This: Barney Butter Bare Almond Butter, 2 Tbsp

Calories 180
Fat 18 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Carbs 6 g
Protein 7 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugar 1 g

This bare-bones almond butter includes nothing but blanched and roasted almonds and a bit of palm fruit oil. Barney, a company dedicated to perfecting the art of almond butter, also offers other varieties of trendy butter, like Raw + Chia and Honey + Flax.

Sun Butters

A great alternative for those with tree nut allergies, sun butter is a powerful seed-based butter. "Sunflower seeds can provide even more fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E than traditional nut butters," Middleberg says. Sun butters are also a "wonderful source of protein, vitamin E, B vitamins, folic acid, and selenium," she says.

Eat This: MaraNatha Sunflower Seed Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 180
Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Carbs 8 g
Protein 9 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugar less than 1 g

We love MaraNatha sun butter because it's made with just roasted sunflower seed kernels and sea salt. For a more adventurous spread, or for those days you just want something a little more indulgent, try MaraNatha's All Natural No-Stir Coconut Almond Butter. You'll only be adding 10 calories and three grams of sugar to your day— a pretty clean cheat, if you ask us.

Eat This: SunButter Organic Sunflower Spread, 2 Tbsp
Calories 220
Fat 20 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Carbs 5 g
Protein 6 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 1 g

While some products have added sugars, SunButter's Organic Sunflower Spread has nothing but 100% organic roasted sunflower seeds. This creamy spread is packed with vitamin E, among other great nutrients, making it worth the caloric punch.

Eat This: Swanson Organic Sunflower Seed Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 220
Fat 20 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Carbs 5 g
Protein 6 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 1 g

Made with nothing but roasted sunflower seeds, Swanson Organic has no additives—not even salt. And while two tablespoons pack a fairly high 220 calories, there's a great amount of copper and magnesium in each serving, too.

Eat This: Once Again Organic Sunflower Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 170
Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Carbs 8 g
Protein 5 g
Fiber 3 g
Sugar 3 g

Once Again's organic product is a standard sun butter with a not-so-sinful touch of sweetness. Made with sunflower seeds, organic sugar cane, and salt, this sun butter is just as low in calories as the totally sugar-free stuff and tastes a bit more indulgent. Or, to satisfy your sweet tooth without expanding your waistline, reach for one of these low-sugar snacks that only tastes sinful.

Peanut Butters

While the classic nut butter shares some health benefits with other nut butters, there tend to be fewer healthy versions available on the market. "Peanut butters are most often processed with hydrogenated oils and sugar, so make sure you check the label carefully," says Middleburg. Organic is always your best option!

Eat This: Smucker's Natural Chunky Peanut Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 200
Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Carbs 6 g
Protein 8 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 1 g

When you think of Smucker's, all-natural may not be your first thought. But, contrary to popular belief, their line of natural peanut butters are top-notch. The Chunky and Creamy varieties are made with just peanuts and a hint of salt, while a sweeter version also includes honey.

Eat This: Once Again Organic Creamy Peanut Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 210
Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Carbs 6 g
Protein 9 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 2 g

Made with just organic peanuts and salt, Once Again's creamy peanut butter is pure and simple. If crunchy is more your vibe, never fear: Once Again also makes a chunky peanut butter with the same wholesome ingredients.

Eat This: Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 170
Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Carbs 7 g
Protein 7 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 2 g

Big Spoon's peanut butter is made with a few more ingredients than some others, but it's still chock-full of ground peanuts. Even if you're a PB-purist, you won't mind the addition of honey and coconut oil in this version. The added ingredients add to the spread's rich texture and taste without a spike in fat or sugar content. The North Carolina-based company also makes a variety of blended butters, such as Peanut Pecan, if you're in the mood to mix it up.

Eat This: Wild Friends Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 170
Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Carbs 9 g
Protein 7 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 4 g

Wild Friends' products are perfect for those who need a little bit more than just nuts and salt. The Cinnamon Raisin variety packs a ton of flavor into each little jar thanks to organic agave, raisins, and cinnamon. Even better, Wild Friends nut butters come in single-serve packages, which are perfect for taking to work or keeping in your handbag.

Cashew Butters

With a rich, smooth texture, cashew butter is slightly lower in calcium than other varieties, but can still pack a nutritional punch. "It's a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and copper, and shouldn't be overlooked," Middleberg says. Magnesium boasts a myriad of health benefits, Middleberg says, "such as helping your body relieve various conditions like constipation, insomnia, headaches, and muscle cramps, as well as regulating the immune system and supporting brain function." Though cashew butters tend to be harder to find—you might have to log on to find the healthiest varieties—their laundry list of health benefits make them well worth the hunt. Cashews also contain a good amount of biotin, which will help keep your locks shiny and lustrous. Try using decadent cashew butter in weight loss smoothies and desserts to reap all the nutritional benefits and give yourself a healthful treat.

Eat This: Artisina Organics Cashew Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 180
Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Carbs 10 g
Protein 6 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 2 g

Artisina's cashew butter is made from the only purest of ingredients: Cashews. It's packed with iron, essential vitamins and none of the bad stuff, making it ideal for an energy-boosting afternoon snack. And to mix it up, reach for some of these other energy-boosting foods when you feel the 3 p.m. slump approaching.

Eat This: Brad's Organic Cashew Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 180
Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Carbs 7 g
Protein 6 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 2 g

This certified-organic cashew butter is made with 100% organic cashews and absolutely no preservatives. Even better, it has zero trans-fats or cholesterol and can be found in most health food stores.

Eat This: Dastony 100% Stone Ground Organic Cashew Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 180
Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Carbs 8 g
Protein 5 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 0 g

In order to preserve as many of the living nutrients as possible, Dastony opts for stone-grinding instead of heavy metal blades to make its smooth, silky butter. The company also offers less common nut butters like Brazil and hazelnut for those looking to stray from the norm.

Eat This: Rejuvenate Foods Organic Cashew Butter, 2 Tbsp
Calories 154
Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 2.2 g
Carbs 8 g
Protein 5 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 1 g

Rejuvenate Foods' Cashew Butter promises to use 100% organic, raw cashews, and nothing else, making this cashew butter an ideal source of plant-based protein that's also low-carb. You'll have to order it offline because it's not available in your average grocery store, but the extra step is well worth the effort with these nutritional stats.

Eat This, Not That! Editors
Inspired by The New York Times best-selling book series, Eat This, Not That! is a brand that's comprised of an award-winning team of journalists and board-certified experts, doctors, nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians who work together to bring you accurate, timely, informative, and actionable content on food, nutrition, dieting, weight loss, health, wellness, and more. Read more