I am a huge fan of Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter. In the process of deciding if it was allowable on my own autoimmune friendly diet, I did research into whether it was Whole30 compliant. I wanted to share my findings here on the blog.
Is Trader Joe’s mixed nut butter whole30 compliant? As with official Whole30 approved nut butter brands, Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter is allowed on the Whole30 as long as you limit the amount you eat each day. The majority of the nuts in the ingredients list, like almonds, fall into the occasional fat category on Whole30.
To help with the question of how much Mixed Nut Butter you can eat on the Whole30, I looked up the guidance from the Whole30 as well as their recommendations on the individual nuts in the ingredients. I also wanted to give my own review of the Trader Joes Mixed Nut Butter and recipe/pairing suggestions for it.
Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter Whole30 Approved? A Whole30 Moderator Weighs In
Below are the ingredients in Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter. As you can see from the individual ingredients they are allowed in varying amounts on Whole30:
- Almonds – listed as an occasional Whole30 fat source (Whole30 Shopping list for Omnivores)
- Cashews – listed as a best Whole30 fat source (Whole30 Shopping list for Omnivores)
- Walnuts – listed as a fat source to limit on Whole30 (Whole30 Shopping list for Omnivores)
- Brazil Nuts – listed as an occasional Whole30 fat source (Whole30 Shopping list for Omnivores)
- Hazelnuts – listed as a best Whole30 fat source (Whole30 Shopping list for Omnivores)
- Pecans – listed as an occasional Whole30 fat source (Whole30 Shopping list for Omnivores)
- Sea Salt – listed as allowed on Whole30 (official can I have
I was also able to find a Whole30 forum moderator’s response, specifically about Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter. Her opinion was:
This is fine. Peanut butter is made from peanuts. Nut butters made from other nuts are compliant as long as all the ingredients are compliant.Whole30 Forums
As you can see from the ingredient list above, all the ingredients are Whole30 compliant, although some recommended more than others.
However, she also went on to give some warning about how much nut butter to eat as part of your daily routine.
Nut Butter on Whole30
All the advice from official Whole30 source or moderators I was able to find across the web all emphasized that nut butters should be eaten in moderation.
One thing the creators of the Whole30 have often emphasized is foods that are often described as having “no brakes” or the more racy acronym SWYPO. The concept is that with certain foods once you start eating them, it becomes very easy to overindulge.
If you have been on the Whole30 or another grain free diet like Paleo or SCD for a while, you have probably had the experience of starting to eat an allowed treat like sweet cut fruit only to realize seemingly without realizing it that you look down and it is gone.
How much Nut Butter is OK on Whole30?
Although better than baked goods or Whole30 recreations/unhealthy snack replacements that are outright banned on the diet, nut butter falls slightly into this gray area.
I’ve seen recommendations mentioning that you should eat no more
Other guidance for those who are having trouble controlling themselves with nuts and nut butters on Whole30 is to limit yourself to only using them as cooking ingredients. For example using them to thicken sauces, add to Salads or dishes to add crunch and texture, etc.
A Deeper Look at the Ingredients
Below we go through each of the ingredients in the TJs Mixed Nut butter and give more background on guidance from the Whole30 moderators or literature about each one.
Almonds on Whole30
Almonds are allowed on the Whole30 in moderation. For example in the official “Can I Have…” Whole30 list in response to the similar question of whether you can have almond milk while on the Whole30 their response is “we’d rather you just eat the almonds once in a while!”
Cashews on Whole30
Listed as a “best” fat source on the Whole30 shopping list, Cashews have been cleared by the moderators of the Whole30 forum, as long as they are eaten in moderation.
Walnuts on Whole30
Walnuts are listed as a fat to limit on the Whole30 shopping list. According to one of the moderators of the Whole30 forum, “You can eat walnuts occasionally without a problem, but they are not a best choice for regular consumption because they skew your fatty acid balance in the direction of omega6s.”
Brazil Nuts on Whole30
Brazil Nuts are allowed as an occasional fat source according to the Whole30 shopping list, on par with almonds in the amount that should be eaten per day.
Hazelnuts on Whole30
Hazelnuts are listed as a “best” fat source on the Whole30 shopping list. A
Pecans on Whole30
Pecans are listed as an “occasional” fat source on the Whole30 Omnivores Shopping list, to be eaten at about the same frequency as almonds (which is not particularly frequently).
My Review of Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter
In terms of the nut
I even tried ordering other mixed nut butters on Amazon since they had organic ingredients and the Trader Joe’s recipe in my opinion was far superior.
There is a deep rich element to the flavor, almost with hints of chocolate (or possibly hazelnut chocolate due to the hazelnuts). Yes that part is fairly subtle and I’ll admit my partner who is not on one of these diets did not agree at all with the comparison to chocolate, but the TJs Mixed Nut Butter is pretty delicious.
I think they found a great balance between the sweetness of the cashews and the deep flavors of the hazelnuts and walnuts and pecans, as well as the compliment of the sea salt.
That said, given that all of these nuts are roasted and there is sea salt as one of the ingredients, it is also quite addictive and easy to overeat if you aren’t careful (see section above).
Whole30 Friendly Pairing Suggestions for Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter
As a treat that feels decadent, I enjoy drizzling the Trader Joe’s Nut butter over sweet fruit like bananas, pineapple, orange slices or even strawberries.
It makes a great substitute in my opinion for a fruit dipped chocolate fondue (and certainly healthier). Again, you do need to limit the number of pieces of fruit and the amount of nut butter but within those limits it can feel like a real treat on those days that you are morning the loss of eating unhealthy traditional deserts.
Is Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter paleo? Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut butter would be considered Paleo as the ingredients are just allowed tree nuts and sea salt. For those following Loren Cordain’s strict version of the Paleo Diet that does not allow any added salt, you would have to look instead for a salt free nut butter.
Is Trader Joe’s bacon whole30 approved? The majority of Trader Joe’s bacon contains sugar and therefore is not Whole30 approved. Examples with sugar are their Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon, Black Forest Bacon and Bacon Ends
Is Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter Keto? Trader Joes Mixed Nut Butter can be eaten on a Keto diet as it is a blend of tree nuts and has no added sugar. It is roughly on par with almond butter in terms of carbs per serving. It is mostly almonds with some higher carb cashews
Is Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter SCD legal? Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter is SCD Legal as it is a blend of almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans and sea salt. Based on the reintroduction stages of SCD, you should wait until stage 2 where some healing has taken place to reintroduce all nut butters into your diet.