Peanut butter is a healthy fat, you have been told. An appropriate snack for children, you have been told.

Not. So. Fast. Especially if we’re talking about the mass-produced Kraft, Skippy, Squirrel  -type brands. These bad boys are seriously processed, contain too much sugar, not to mention other confusing ingredients, such as soybean oil, corn maltodextrin, hydrogenated vegetable oil, cotton seed and rapeseed oil, mono and diglycerides. What is a diglyceride anyway, and why are you eating it?

OK, so I decided to look it up: Diglycerides are hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats, which we know are harmful to your health. The reason they’re in peanut butter and other nut butters is that they’re great emulsifiers, which helps create that nice texture.

What to do, what to do?

Find a cleaner source, of course, and start incorporating some other nut butters into your diet, such as almond, pecan or hazelnut butter. While any nut butter may contain these additives, they’re very prevalent in peanut butters. You can still find plenty of peanut butters without the junk.

Here’s a great clean nut butter brand: Nutista

They’re a San Diego-based company, but you can order their products online. Unlike store-bought nut butters, Nutista (www.nutista.com) products are not mass produced. They’re a small-batch maker who put their nuts through a very time-consuming stoneground method, 150-lb. batches at a time.

The stoneground method produces flavors and textures that store-bought types just never can. And the best part might just be that unlike many nut butters on the market, there’s NO ADDED sugar or palm oil in any of their products! Just nuts. And a little salt, for the most part.

For example, The Nut Job. The ingredients in this product include: raw cashews, sprouted almonds, dry roasted peanuts, raw pecans and Himaylan sea salt.

Or

The Steakhouse One. Ingredients here include: Blanched almonds, dry roasted peanuts, organic paprika, organic garlic, organic thyme, organic mustard, organic black pepper, organic cayenne, Himalayan sea salt.

And if you’re into less savory and more sweet, there are plenty of other options, such as The Monkey King, which has chia seeds and banana, and a new product called the Very Berry Nutista.

Of course Nutista isn’t the only good quality brand out there. Some grocery store brands also contain nuts and not much else, but sometimes even organic almond butters assumed to be healthy have all sorts of other ingredients added to it, like soy and sugar. Justin’s is one of those brands.

The main thing to remember when sourcing a good nut butter brand is that less is more. Nuts and nothing else is best.

What are your favorite healthier nut butter brands?