The restrictive nature of a keto diet means sometimes you have to make an extra effort to find diet-friendly foods and snacks.
Most keto experts encourage you to eat nuts, as they are low-carb and have healthy, unsaturated fats.
But not all nuts make the cut for keto, therefore you have to be careful when choosing them.
What about the almonds that are ground up into nut butter? This spread contains a much higher concentration of nuts, so does it cross the carb limit that keeps you in a healthy state of ketosis? Is it even allowed in the ketogenic diet?
Well, the answer to these questions isn't exactly simple.
This guide will help you understand how this spread can be of great use in your keto journey, what brands or types you should go for, and how you can make it more palatable.
Like any other nut spread, it is a food paste that is made by grinding up nuts: in this case, almonds.
It has been deemed a great alternative to peanut butter, and as they are tree nuts, may even be suitable for some with a peanut allergy.
The paste mainly contains ground almonds and salt to taste. You can find it in two different consistencies, crunchy or smooth.
Almond spread can be made from raw almonds or roasted ones, therefore you have the freedom to choose depending on your taste.
For natural types that are made entirely from almonds, the spread also has almost the same health benefits as that of whole almonds.
However, some brands may include different types of additives in their recipe.
Here's the breakdown of nutritional facts for a single serving based on the information provided by the USDA.
Serving size: 1 tablespoon (16 g)
Calories: 98 kcal
Fat: 8.9 g
Net carbs: 1.3 g
Total carbohydrates: 3 g
Fiber: 1.7 grams
Protein: 3.4 grams
Almond spread is a gold mine when it comes to nutrients. Because of this and the rich amount of nutrients in the almonds, the spread is great for improving your heart health and lowering the risk of disease.
While the health benefits are numerous, you need to carefully check the label before you choose nut spread for your ketogenic diet, as many times additives and other ingredients might tip the balance of your diet.
Yes, if you're aware of the nutritional facts and healthy serving size, this can surely be a keto-friendly snack.
As long as you are mindful of what’s on the nutrition label, it is easy to find an acceptable almond butter for keto.
Always make a point of reading the ingredients list. High-quality, keto-friendly almond spread will not contain more ingredients besides the nuts and sometimes salt to taste.
The ingredient list of the best quality will only contain roasted or raw nuts.
Watch out for brands that contain added sugar or oils. Sometimes they add these types of ingredients to enhance the flavor and improve the consistency. This practice may blur the line a little, putting keto-friendliness under scrutiny.
To put it briefly, all commercial brands of nut spread are not necessarily keto-friendly, so you need to find the right one. Check the ingredient list and carbohydrate count.
You can also make your own by grinding up raw almonds in a food processor. You may want to roast them in the oven first for the best flavor.
Now that we've established that almond spread is okay for keto, the next question is how much nut spread is safe to eat without disturbing the delicate balance of ketosis.
Knowing that a good quality brand of almond spread (or a homemade one) contains about 1-3 grams of net carbs per tablespoon, you can easily get away with consuming around 2 tablespoons per day.
But you need to take into account that carbohydrates aren't the only decisive factor. A single serving of some brands might contain up to 190 calories, so the amount suitable for you will depend on what your calorie needs are.
Research supports that having almonds will prevent you from having hunger pangs. Hence it is an excellent meal for improving satiety, and can help with carbohydrate cravings.
Measure out your portion size so you don’t have too much.The nuts are exceptionally tasty and high in calories, so you can easily end up overeating. You must remember that too much of anything is bad for your health and your fitness goals.
One may assume almond spread is supposed to be a generic snack with not a lot of variety, but the reality is different. There are a whole lot of options out there offering all kinds of nut spreads, whether you prefer smooth or crunchy.
The main thing to keep in mind is look for a brand that has 1 or 2 ingredients only: almonds, and possibly salt.
If the ingredients list contains oil and/or sugar, you’re better off putting it back on the shelf.
If you're worried about exceeding your keto carb limits, you can always make your own nut butter. Homemade nut spread may be tastier and safest for the ketogenic diet. You can also avoid unwanted additives and preservatives.
The rise in the popularity of this nut butter has made it a mainstream food choice in the keto community. The velvety taste can complement a lot of dishes whether it's sweet or savory:
As exceptional as it may be, nut butter may not always be the answer. Some people are allergic to almonds, while others just don't like the taste. It's also good to mix it up a little. There's a wide variety you can choose from if you want to try something else:
So even though this nutty spread is excellent on the keto diet, you might still have a lot of questions about it. This section addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about the keto-approved almond snack.
Yes. The healthiest types will be made from only almonds, and perhaps salt, with no added sugars or oils. Almonds contain many nutrients including monounsaturated fats, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E.
The good caloric value per serving can boost your energy levels and it can help you with hunger pangs between meals.
Even though nut and peanut butter are almost the same in terms of nutritional value, it is fair to consider almonds spread slightly better than peanut butter.
This can be attributed to the minerals, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants in the almond spread.
Yes, eventually. It's not necessary to store nut butter in the refrigerator, but it's better if you do. Generally, a jar of almond spread can have a shelf life of up to two years if it remains sealed. Open jars stay good for about two to three months out on the shelf. You can extend this life by keeping it in the refrigerator.
You can enjoy it in several ways, besides the typical spoonful right into your mouth or with plain keto toast. On the sweet side, you can use it to make keto cookies, brownies, energy bars, and pancakes. For savory options, use it as a vegetable dip or salad dressing. It can also be added to smoothies or shakes.
For a refreshing snack, try an almond butter popsicle. This one will brighten your summer days.
If you are concerned about falling off the keto wagon, then your best bet is to either make a homemade version using just almonds and a pinch of salt, or to look for a brand that does not add extra ingredients.
Always check for additives and preservatives on the label.
There are quite a few brands out there, such as:
Depending on your taste, you can choose any one with a low carb count and no added sugars or oils.
Yum butter's superfood nut butter is great if you want the perfect blend of creamy and crunchy. Kirkland creamy almond spread is a sugar-free, oil-free butter for those of you who prefer the creamier consistency. Another great brand endorsed by many keto experts is SuperFat nut butter. The options are infinite, all you need is to choose the one that suits your taste and preference.