(health) We're all nuts for nut butters... but which ones give you the healthiest bang for your Wholefoods buck?

I'm aware that having too many nut butters to choose from is an ultimate #firstworldproblem - but for those us of partial to a bit of Pip & Nut at snack time I think it is actually VERY interesting to know which kernels deliver the most protein, least fat and biggest vitamin and mineral boosts to our diet.

We've come a long way since crunchy or smooth Sun-Pat were our only options.

Here Sally Norton, NHS weight loss consultant surgeon, UK health expert and founder of  www.vavistalife.com explains why she thinks nuts are the nuts and gives us the low-down on the best butters for the job, whether that's packing in the protein or upping your anti-oxidants.

We've come a long way since crunchy or smooth Sun-Pat were our only nut butter options

We've come a long way since crunchy or smooth Sun-Pat were our only nut butter options

Dr. Norton says: "While nuts may contain a seemingly high amount of calories and fat – they can play a role (in the right portions) in a well-balanced, healthy diet. Most of the fat in nuts is the healthy unsaturated type, plus they are a fabulously well-rounded source of protein, vitamins  E and B group, minerals including copper, zinc and magnesium and fibre.

"They are a great on-the-go snack with a low glycaemic index to help you feel fuller for longer and help suppress appetite. You can easily make your own nut butter, just by blitzing nuts (pre-roast for a few minutes if you like) in a food processor until the natural oils are released to form a buttery texture. But if you go for shop-bought, check the label to find one that has no hidden nasties like sugar or palm oil."

PEANUT

(not a true nut, but a legume, included here as it is conventionally grouped with other tree nuts to consumers)

Pros: A good source of protein; highest folic acid content (useful during pregnancy) as well as being high in healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E.

Cons: Some brands still have added sugar.

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CASHEW

Pros: Highest in zinc, copper and iron – naturally sweeter than many other nut butters.

Cons: Less protein than other nuts.

Pip & Nut have released their own Nut Butter Cookbook

Pip & Nut have released their own Nut Butter Cookbook

ALMOND

Pros: One of the lowest in calories and the highest in protein, fibre and calcium.

Cons: Relatively few, although some brands can have a bitter aftertaste.

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BRAZIL

Pros: Good for men, as 1-2 nuts delivers your recommended daily intake of the mineral selenium, which may help protect against prostate cancer and heart disease.

Cons: The most expensive option when it comes to nut butters.

Naughty but nice: Not all hazelnut butters are created equal

Naughty but nice: Not all hazelnut butters are created equal

WALNUT

Pros: One of the few vegetarian sources of the omega-3 fatty acid, ALA, some of which can be converted to long chain omega 3 known to be involved in heart health.

Cons: Bitter aftertaste, slightly lower protein and slightly higher in fat than some other nut butters.

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HAZELNUT

Pros: One of the lowest percentages of saturated fat (along with pine nuts and almonds); highest proanthocyanidins (PACs) content of all nut butters. The antioxidant capabilities of PACs are likely to be 20 times more potent than vitamin C and 50 times more potent than Vitamin E.

Cons: Often found to be coupled with chocolate spreads so read the label carefully!