You decide your own diet, not the "paleo orthodoxy committee." Ask yourself a few questions:
Do you like almond butter?
Does your personal interpretation of paleo include nuts and nut butters?
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.
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:
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,
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.
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.
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.
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