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If you love peanut butter but suffer from peanut allergies, sunflower seed butter is a tempting and tasty alternative. Made from sunflower seed kernels, sunflower seed butter is sold mostly in health food stores or other health-oriented venues. Sunflower seed butter serves as a healthy sandwich spread or peanut butter substitute in cooking.
Low Saturated Fat
Sunflower seed butter contains a large amount of fat, 16 grams per 2-teaspoon serving, about the same as peanut butter. But the good news is that all but 2 grams is unsaturated fat rather than saturated fat. The American Heart Association says that saturated fat is the single highest cause of elevated cholesterol levels 2.
Clarified Butter & Cholesterol
Sunflower seed butter is fairly low in sodium, with 120 milligrams of sodium per serving. This equals around 5 percent of the daily recommended maximum sodium intake of 2,300 milligrams per day. Excess sodium intake causes fluid retention as well as high blood pressure, medically termed hypertension. Hypertension often leads to heart disease.
- Sunflower seed butter is fairly low in sodium, with 120 milligrams of sodium per serving.
- This equals around 5 percent of the daily recommended maximum sodium intake of 2,300 milligrams per day.
Sunflower seed butter contains no cholesterol. In most people, dietary intake contributes only around 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body, while 75 percent is manufactured in the liver, according to the American Heart Association 2. Watching your dietary intake of cholesterol and limiting it to 300 milligrams per day or less is helpful if you have high cholesterol levels; for most people, dietary measures lowers cholesterol levels. explains.
- Sunflower seed butter contains no cholesterol.
- Watching your dietary intake of cholesterol and limiting it to 300 milligrams per day or less is helpful if you have high cholesterol levels; for most people, dietary measures lowers cholesterol levels.
Vitamins in Butter
Sunflower seed butter serves as an excellent non-animal source of protein, with 7 g per serving, or around 14 percent of your daily recommended protein intake.
Vitamins and Minerals
Like many nuts and seeds, sunflower seeds contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals necessary to keep your body functioning. The water-soluble B-complex vitamins and vitamin C along with fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E are all found in sunflower seeds along with vitamin K. Sunflower seeds supply minerals such as:
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- MedlinePlus; Protein in Diet; July 2009
- American Heart Association; About Cholesterol; April 2011
- Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, toasted, without salt. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.
- Defeat Diabetes Foundation. Nuts and Seeds: Energy and Nutrient-Dense Foods.
- Kaczmarczyk MM, Miller MJ, Freund GG. The health benefits of dietary fiber: Beyond the usual suspects of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. Metabolism. 2012;61(8):1058-1066. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2012.01.017
- Yang J, Wang HP, Zhou L, Xu CF. Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: A meta analysis. World J Gastroenterol. 2012;18(48):7378-7383. doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i48.7378
- Anderson J, Baird P, Davis RH, et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutrition Reviews. 2009;67(4)188-205. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x
- Lattimer JM, Haub MD. Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health. Nutrients. 2010;2(12):1266-1289. doi:10.3390/nu2121266
- Kunzmann AT, Coleman HG, Huang WY, Kitahara CM, Cantwell MM, Berndt SI. Dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal cancer and incident and recurrent adenoma in the prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer screening trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102(4):881–890. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.113282
- Vitamin E. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Updated February 28, 2020
- Antioxidants: In Depth. National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Updated November 2013
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Cross Reactivity of Seed Allergens.
- Manatakis DK, Acheimastos V, Antonopoulou MI, Balalis D, Korkolis DP. Gastrointestinal seed bezoars: A systematic review of case reports and case series. Cureus. 2019;11(5):e4686. Published 2019 May 17. doi:10.7759/cureus.4686
- Manne JR, Rangu VM, Motapothula UM, Hall MC. A crunching colon: Rectal bezoar caused by pumpkin seed consumption. Clin Med Res. 2012;10(2):75-7. doi:10.3121/cmr.2011.1016
- Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, dry roasted, with salt added. USDA FoodData Central. April 1, 2014.
- National Sunflower Association. Frequently asked questions.
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.