4

votes

Is almond butter ok on the Paleo diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 25, 2010 at 11:11 PM

Is almond butter ok on the Paleo diet or is that cheating?

Dc8ec73989c7b37c006f2031dd648a61

on July 22, 2011
at 02:00 PM

nice! will have to try this :) do you make macadamia butter too? I've always wanted to try that, or macadamia+cashew

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 23, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Justin's nut butters are pretty awesome in that regard, all natural, dairy and gluten free - justinsnutbutter.com

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on February 22, 2011
at 10:41 PM

nah. i eat almonds/almond butter all the time, even more lately since giving up other crap foods that I was eating Pre-Paleo. the results? pre-paleo --> 7 kidney stones in 8 years since Paleo --> zero kidney stones and less kidney pain overall after 6 months. I know it hasn't even been a year yet, but I do not anticipate any more stones based on how my kidney's feel now on a daily basis.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 27, 2010
at 06:17 AM

Exactly Jae, exactly.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 27, 2010
at 06:16 AM

So "cheating" and "cheat meals" are now banned from PaleoHacks ?

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 11:04 PM

ps: I roast my own raw almonds and then make the butter in my food processor. I then put it in a mason jar and only take it out for rare treats, a teaspoon at a time.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on October 26, 2010
at 09:47 PM

@pieter d, the paleo orthodoxy committee (aka POC) and its rituals are highly guarded secrets. It's a subsidiary of "Skull & Bones," don't ya know.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 26, 2010
at 09:28 PM

I removed the word cheating because it's so loaded. It's not a moral faux pas to not follow paleo to the T!

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on October 26, 2010
at 08:10 PM

who is in the paleo orthodoxy committee? Is it a secret committee? Do they have rituals? Like eating raw liver? And do they have a secret dance? ;-)

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 26, 2010
at 06:14 PM

I guess the ratio is a useful proxy, but I'd rather eat something with a poor ratio but a low n6 content, than something with an excellent ratio and a high n6 content.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 26, 2010
at 06:12 PM

@Ikco -- I agree. It boggles my mind that people get hung up over ratios in individual foods. You have to take the sum of all PUFA consumption and THEN calculate the ratio. And Eva pointed out a while back that we may not have solid evidence for the claim that the ratio is ultimately that important -- we have suggestive evidence, but far from definitive.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 26, 2010
at 06:09 PM

@Emily -- what I meant by that is that it seems to me that you are somewhat inexperienced and may benefit from a little more guidance.... @Ed, I love the "Paleo Orthodoxy Committee" phrase. Much better than the other ones I've been using.

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on October 26, 2010
at 06:00 PM

I thought nuts were considered more paleo because they are fruits. In fact, the coconut palm is related to the date palm. Main difference is their macronutrient ratios.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 26, 2010
at 05:33 PM

Cheating implies some sort of moral conundrum, which I had to conflate with the paleo diet...

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on October 26, 2010
at 05:23 PM

@Jae, I agree with your comment in its entirety

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 26, 2010
at 03:28 PM

Amount > ratio & macadamia > walnuts.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 26, 2010
at 03:27 PM

Easy. It's cheating.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 26, 2010
at 03:23 PM

People ratios means NOTHING.

023b769d82ebb31b8bf968a7a86663a6

(320)

on October 26, 2010
at 02:24 PM

I agree, and as always it all depends on your goals.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 26, 2010
at 01:11 PM

Excellent answer, Ed. But the fact that Emily is asking it leads me to make a recommendation that goes a bit beyond "you need to decide for yourself." Personally, I would be fine with eating almond butter **on occasion in small doses.** Almonds and almond butter are delicious. But because I try to avoid excess polyunsaturated fat consumption, especially of the omega-6 variety, I would not want to consume large doses of it, or often. Last tip: to most people, almond butter seems to be like crack. If it is in their house, they will eat it in large doses. Or every day. Now, you decide. =)

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 26, 2010
at 01:10 AM

doh *title, ahem

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 26, 2010
at 01:10 AM

ed, can you edit the spelling error in the tile?

187657ec9b2b8b32730f68c5602698af

(129)

on October 26, 2010
at 12:56 AM

Yeah, most seeds are not really ideal. The omega ratios are the main issue with nuts.

B4aa2df25a6bf17d22556667ff896170

(851)

on October 25, 2010
at 11:52 PM

and has an omega 6-3 ratio of 500-1

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12 Answers

14
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on October 26, 2010
at 12:42 AM

Hi Emily,

You decide your own diet, not the "paleo orthodoxy committee." Ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Do you like almond butter?

  2. Does your personal interpretation of paleo include nuts and nut butters?

  3. Does almond butter fit into your nutritional needs/goals vs. available alternatives? Example: Trader Joe's almond butter: serving size 2tbsp., 190cal, 18gm fat, 6gm carbs, 8gm protein ( http://www.thedailyplate.com/nutrition-calories/food/trader-joes ). Not bad for carbs, but consider the fatty acid content--almond oil: 17.4% omega 6 PUFA, 0% omega 3 PUFA; omega 6/omega3 = near infinity ( http://www.thepaleodiet.com/nutritional_tools/oils_table.html )

Bottom line, if you answer "yes" to these questions, and you can handle just over 3gm of omega 6 PUFA per serving, then go for it.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on October 26, 2010
at 08:10 PM

who is in the paleo orthodoxy committee? Is it a secret committee? Do they have rituals? Like eating raw liver? And do they have a secret dance? ;-)

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 26, 2010
at 06:09 PM

@Emily -- what I meant by that is that it seems to me that you are somewhat inexperienced and may benefit from a little more guidance.... @Ed, I love the "Paleo Orthodoxy Committee" phrase. Much better than the other ones I've been using.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on October 26, 2010
at 09:47 PM

@pieter d, the paleo orthodoxy committee (aka POC) and its rituals are highly guarded secrets. It's a subsidiary of "Skull & Bones," don't ya know.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on October 26, 2010
at 05:23 PM

@Jae, I agree with your comment in its entirety

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 26, 2010
at 01:11 PM

Excellent answer, Ed. But the fact that Emily is asking it leads me to make a recommendation that goes a bit beyond "you need to decide for yourself." Personally, I would be fine with eating almond butter **on occasion in small doses.** Almonds and almond butter are delicious. But because I try to avoid excess polyunsaturated fat consumption, especially of the omega-6 variety, I would not want to consume large doses of it, or often. Last tip: to most people, almond butter seems to be like crack. If it is in their house, they will eat it in large doses. Or every day. Now, you decide. =)

9
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 26, 2010
at 12:15 AM

Almond butter is technically fine, but if you are looking to optimize your health, fitness, and weightloss, lots of nuts can hinder progress.

Negatives of nut butter:

  • Processed: broken down, no chewing required, faster digestion
  • Even easier to eat than regular nuts = easy to over do it
  • sensative stomachs could be upset by large quantities
  • more omega six than omega 3, thows off balance

Positives:

  • easy source of calories, fats
  • some fiber
  • vitamines and minerals

023b769d82ebb31b8bf968a7a86663a6

(320)

on October 26, 2010
at 02:24 PM

I agree, and as always it all depends on your goals.

4
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on February 15, 2011
at 04:25 PM

raw organic almond butter should be properly prepared. truly raw almonds are hard to come by these days. all almonds sold at a retail level are pasteurized by high heat steam. then the manufacturers are legally allowed to label them as raw. personally, i live in SoCal so i happen to have easy and fairly local access to Organic Pastures. they sell raw milk products but they also offer truly raw almonds. if you don't have access to that, i would seek out another source (many companies import italian almonds that are truly raw).

also, almonds are pretty high in phytic acid and nutrient blocking components. many people have troubles with digestion. as for the PUFA content, well... if you are watching your o-6 intake, i think almonds earn a recommenation for eating based on all the other factors. besides, almonds have more MUFA than PUFA and loads of other nutrients/minerals. plus they are delicious!

here's what i recommend for the best almonds / almond butter:

-pour almonds into bowl and pour purified water until all almonds are covered/soaking

-add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir thoroughly

-cover with paper plate or paper towel

-let soak at room temperature for 24 hours (skin will begin to sorta separate a tiny bit)

-drain and rinse thoroughly

-dry in dehydrater or in the oven/toaster oven on 110-120 degrees (like a very hot day in phoenix) for 24 hours

now you will have crispy, fluffy, almost sweet flavored almonds that are still raw to make almond butter, just use your food processor. be patient. it takes a good while for the oils to be released. i do this twice a month so i promise, almonds with no added ingredients will make a great nut butter if you're patient and persistent. I have also found that adding a handful of soaked/sprouted raw pecans blends much easier and tastes amazing!

if you do almond butter like this, then i firmly believe it can be fit into a paleo style diet. the digestion troubles that some have is almost completely eliminated. they do not sit in your stomach like a brick.

if you are fairly wealthy, or just don't mind spending some serious coin on nut butters, you could check out betterthanroasted.com or wildernessfamilynaturals.com. of all nut butters, these 2 companies do it right. they soak/sprout and dehydrate. it will save you all the trouble, but the downside, in my opinion, is the cost.

hope that helps,

jack kronk

Dc8ec73989c7b37c006f2031dd648a61

on July 22, 2011
at 02:00 PM

nice! will have to try this :) do you make macadamia butter too? I've always wanted to try that, or macadamia+cashew

3
3a325ffc389f14f090ca464b95e72914

(205)

on October 26, 2010
at 12:12 AM

I always check the sugar content on anything like that. Just because the nut is paleo , doesn't mean the spread will be.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 23, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Justin's nut butters are pretty awesome in that regard, all natural, dairy and gluten free - justinsnutbutter.com

1
C8cc34513aee8eccc3dd47bc7ef4fbea

on March 10, 2012
at 07:21 PM

Pleaseeeeeez... If you are crossfitting and eating a "basic Paleo diet" almond butter is great. You can get some needed fat and calories while satisfying your hungrier. Like any food, just don't over do it.

1
2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

on October 26, 2010
at 08:13 PM

Moderation

:-)

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 11:04 PM

ps: I roast my own raw almonds and then make the butter in my food processor. I then put it in a mason jar and only take it out for rare treats, a teaspoon at a time.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:05 AM

It's fine in small amounts. Have never noticed any real problems with the phytates. I follow blood type pretty closely though.

0
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on October 23, 2011
at 07:30 PM

It depends on what your nutritional and fitness goals are.

Are you trying to gain weight (muscle mass), or are you trying to cut weight.

If you are trying to cut weight raw almond butter (Trader Joe's gluten free) may be beneficial in small amounts (table spoon) to suppress appetite.

If you are trying to gain weight (muscle mass) I've been making my own protein bars with raw almond butter and it seems to be working and it's super delicious.

The "raw almond butter protein bar" is a mix of flax seed, antioxidant trail mix, two scoops of gluten free whey protein (not for the lactose intolerant), a dash of cinnamon and coconut milk(or coconut oil if I'm feeling froggy). Super delicious and packs on lean muscle (for me at least).

*48 grams of protein *14 grams of carbohydrates *6 grams of fiber

So to circle back, I'm OK with raw Almond butter especially if you're trying to gain weight aligned with a Paleo eating lifestyle, but if your trying to cut weight you probably are better off with out anything that has "butter" in the name.

I think the bottom line is eat what you think is going to enhance the quality and longevity of your life. If you're stressing out about having almond butter and your cortisol levels are shooting through the roof every time you go through the cupboards just don't stress and have some almond butter; over-analyzing every item of food is probably not going to be good for you in the long run.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 26, 2010
at 09:18 PM

"paleo" or not, "cheating" or not, but almonds are the surest and the shortest way to kidney stones (proved by personal sad and painful n=1 experience)

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on February 22, 2011
at 10:41 PM

nah. i eat almonds/almond butter all the time, even more lately since giving up other crap foods that I was eating Pre-Paleo. the results? pre-paleo --> 7 kidney stones in 8 years since Paleo --> zero kidney stones and less kidney pain overall after 6 months. I know it hasn't even been a year yet, but I do not anticipate any more stones based on how my kidney's feel now on a daily basis.

0
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on October 26, 2010
at 06:06 PM

Don't go for the processed kinds of nut butters. Get kinds that say "natural". I tried Blue Diamond Almond Butter which has palm oil and sugar added to it and hated it. It was too thick (definitely not "creamy") and didn't taste good at all. They didn't have natural and I haven't made my own almond butter yet so maybe it was the almonds I didn't like but I doubt it.

0
5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on October 26, 2010
at 04:47 AM

The advice I gave my mum: It's a grey area so limit it whilst your still trying to get to your ideal body size/weight. Once you get there however go "nuts"!

-4
82f7429771b33801044f66192fcb9f9a

(30)

on October 25, 2010
at 11:50 PM

It is okay in moderation, but you might want to check out sunflower-seed butter. It is delicious and, as a seed, paleo. :)

187657ec9b2b8b32730f68c5602698af

(129)

on October 26, 2010
at 12:56 AM

Yeah, most seeds are not really ideal. The omega ratios are the main issue with nuts.

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on October 26, 2010
at 06:00 PM

I thought nuts were considered more paleo because they are fruits. In fact, the coconut palm is related to the date palm. Main difference is their macronutrient ratios.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 26, 2010
at 03:23 PM

People ratios means NOTHING.

B4aa2df25a6bf17d22556667ff896170

(851)

on October 25, 2010
at 11:52 PM

and has an omega 6-3 ratio of 500-1

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 27, 2010
at 06:17 AM

Exactly Jae, exactly.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 26, 2010
at 06:12 PM

@Ikco -- I agree. It boggles my mind that people get hung up over ratios in individual foods. You have to take the sum of all PUFA consumption and THEN calculate the ratio. And Eva pointed out a while back that we may not have solid evidence for the claim that the ratio is ultimately that important -- we have suggestive evidence, but far from definitive.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 26, 2010
at 03:28 PM

Amount > ratio & macadamia > walnuts.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 26, 2010
at 06:14 PM

I guess the ratio is a useful proxy, but I'd rather eat something with a poor ratio but a low n6 content, than something with an excellent ratio and a high n6 content.

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