Through the years and decades, we have seen the rise and fall of various strategies in losing and managing weight. Health and figure conscious people have adopted many of these diet and weight loss programs in the hope of keeping the excess poundage off for better health. Examples of diets that have had gained so many following are Atkins, low carb diet, cleansing diet, and so on. Recently, however, the diet plan that has captured so many fans (and a few critics) is the Keto or Ketogenic diet. Keto Diet in a nutshell puts the body in a ketosis state by burning the fats to fuel energy instead of sugar and carbs. Since keto relies more on a fat-based diet to fuel the body and transform to ketones, naturally there are specific food groups that it avoids such as foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. Followers who have committed to this diet are then are always on the lookout for foods that not only rich in good fats but with less carb but also packed with excellent macro and micronutrients. The latest word is nut butter or specifically almond butter. So, is almond butter good for the keto diet? Let’s try to find out.
Keto In A Nutshell
The concept of Keto is to use fats to power up the body instead of carbs and sugar which only causes inflammation. Burning fats for energy, thus putting the body in a ketosis state is also good as experts say it also improves the individual’s cognitive state as the liver produces ketones from the fats.
Consumption of fats, such as those high in saturated, monounsaturated, and fats from both animal and plant-based are encouraged, but food high in carbs and sugar are avoided or at least reduced. It can be quite tricky for beginners as some foods, even healthy ones have high carb content. So some types of veggies are allowed, some are not and even certain types of fruits, nuts are discouraged. But obviously, foods packed with trans fat, sugar, and highly processed varieties are a big no-no. So do almond butter cut?
The Lowdown on Almond butter
Peanut butter is one type of food allowed in a Keto diet, it is rich in good fats but low in carbs. But better nut butter is becoming the rage now because they provide more micronutrients, which is ideal for the keto diet.
While not all nuts are good as some have high carb content, almond turns out has more than satisfactory benefits – making it good to incorporate in a keto diet. Because the keto diet needs food with good macro levels too, almonds or almond butter then is suitable. Not to mention almonds have high good fat content. Aside from these, almond butter, when free from unhealthy additives provide the necessary antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Because one low point of the keto diet is the reduction of certain types of nutrients that provide the added nutritional value that allows the body to function optimally.
Benefits Of Almond Butter
Aside from being suitable for the keto diet, here are some of the good stuff that one can get from almond butter.
1. Lowers cholesterol
Like other good nut butter made from other types of nuts such as macadamia and brazil nuts, almond butter can help lower cholesterol specifically the bad type such as LDL and triglycerides. We all know how these two increases the risk of cardiovascular disease developing. Almond butter also has a certain type of compound that stops the LDL from oxidizing. This compound is called polyphenol. So when you consume almond butter and even incorporate it in the keto diet, it helps increase the good cholesterol called HDL while decreasing LDL
2. Good source of minerals and vitamins
Like many nuts and pure nut butter, one can get a good amount of vitamins and minerals from a tablespoon of almond butter. It has calcium, greatly benefitting the bones and teeth, iron for the formation of red blood cells, and other good minerals like biotin, zinc, magnesium, niacin, copper, and potassium. Likewise, almond is a good source of Vitamin E, which helps strengthen the arteries and reduces the risk of plaque forming. Vitamin E also promotes healthier skin as it protects the skin from harmful UV rays and other pollutants that can age and dull the skin. Moreover, Vitamin E helps strengthen the eyes and even reduce the risk of cataracts from developing.
3. Helps in weight management
Since almond butter has high fiber, it then contributes to weight management as it curbs hunger pangs – making one feel fuller with just one to two tablespoons. This makes it extremely perfect then for those who are on a diet, specifically the keto diet.
Other benefits of eating almond butter and other nut butter includes reducing insulin resistance, improving the condition of the nervous system, and helping prevent certain types of cancer from developing.
Choosing the right type of almond nut butter for the keto diet
Although nut butter is good, not all are ideal for the keto diet. Why? Because some commercial types of almond butter have additives that can only prevent you from making your keto diet from working optimally. So when choosing almond butter, try to read the label and ingredients. While almond butter is generally good, some types are best left not consumed if they contain the following:
- Artificial flavors
- Soybean oil
- Palm oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
However, if you want to have pure, unadulterated almond butter, making your own is highly recommended too. Just roast them to soften, put them in a food processor, add a bit of sea salt and natural sweeteners like cinnamon and keto-friendly oils like coconut oil to smoothen the texture. It often takes about less than 30 minutes to mix and blend to achieve a creamy consistency.
Likewise, when consuming almond butter, don’t overdo it since while it still contains good cholesterol, excessive eating could still increase your calories. Almond butter also has carb content, too much may sabotage your keto diet. Thus, eat moderately, like most diets.
How To Enjoy Your Almond Butter
Almond butter can be enjoyed in any form. You can eat it as is (make sure not more than 1 tablespoon), add to smoothies, mix with salad dressing, mix with sauces, bake an almond butter bar or add to fat bombs.