If you feel guilty eating nut butter, you’re not alone. It’s delicious, but unfortunately it’s not always the lowest calorie snack going around. Fortunately, we’ve got 5 calorie-conscious ways you can add these versatile spreads to your diet.
With all the bad press that nut butters get, it’s easy to forget that these spreads are nutritional powerhouses. Whether you’re into peanuts, cashews, almonds or macadamias, nut butters are jam-packed with vitamins, protein, fibre and healthy fats. And, by carefully considering your consumption, you can make the most of these benefits without ruining your fitness goals.
Here are 5 of our favourite ways to enjoy the taste and health benefits of nut butter without loading up on calories.
Any food nut knows it’s hard to beat a good smoothie. As well as being quick and easy to make, different combinations of fruits and veggies offer endless variety to keep smoothie flavours fresh. If you’re quickly reaching for a snack after a smoothie, bulking up the protein content with nut butter is an ideal way to keep you satiated for longer. Plus, it adds great texture!
2. Protein bars
If you’re looking for the ideal post-workout snack, nut butters inject protein bars with an even bigger protein boost. Along with the right protein powder, nut butter helps make protein bars one of the best ways to satisfy hunger between meals, or speed up recovery after a gruelling gym session.
3. Breakfast oats
Protein and carbs are the ideal way to start the day, and oats deliver these in spades. Combined with peanut butter and fruit, your oatmeal or overnight oats will pack a hefty protein punch and will be more than enough to power you through to lunchtime.
4. Fresh produce
Grabbing an apple or a handful of carrot sticks is great for healthy eating, but fresh fruit and veggies can leave you hungry again in a flash. Thankfully, nut butter is here to save the day! A simple dollop of your favourite nut butter complements fibre-dense fresh produce with protein and fats to create a highly nutritious, delicious and filling snack.
Along with beans, peanut butter transforms vegetarian chilli into a protein powerhouse. Depending on your love of the humble nut, add a quarter of a cup to your chilli for a subtle nutty touch, or half a cup for a more robust nutty flavour.
Getting more out of nut butter
While moderation is key to enjoying nut butter, it’s also worth looking at the ingredient list. Avoid nut butters with added oils, sugar or other unhealthy nasties. If you’re on the fence about supermarket varieties, making your own homemade version is fun, healthy and delicious!
Nutrition isn’t always as clear cut as it seems. To learn more about healthy eating and nailing nutrition and fitness goals, get in touch with a personal trainer from Virgin Active today.