As more and more people are switching their diets to a more sustainable one, a lot of practices have been on the rise. Many are taking up a plant-based diet, if not making a complete switch to vegetarianism or veganism. While these trends are not new, they have definitely seen a lot of takers in recent years. The reason? Well, not only are they less harmful to the environment, but also healthier options for your health. Now, since most food items we consume have some element or the other that could either harm the environment, or can pose as a health risk, it becomes imperative to find healthier alternatives. Nut butters are such food items that have seen an increased demand recently.There are a variety of nut butters that are available like peanut, almond, cashews, macadamias, walnut, and hazelnut, to name a few. They are packed with several nutrients and are extremely beneficial for your health, says Dr Eileen Canday, head dietician and head of department, nutrition and dietetics Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital.BenefitsDr Canday lists out the benefits of nut butters:1. Weight ControlAlthough nuts are high in fat, this does not imply you should avoid them. You'll feel full and invigorated because of the high protein and fibre content. This could assist you in consuming less calories and losing weight. Nuts may also help your body burn more energy even when you're not doing anything. However, Dr Canday does point out that individuals who are overweight should keep a check on their consumption. She suggests no more than one or two tablespoons a day for a healthy individual.2. Cholesterol CheckTo begin with, Dr Canday urges one to understand the types of cholesterol. There is blood cholesterol, and dietary cholesterol. Blood cholesterol is produced by your body by metabolising food, and also depends on your levels of daily exercise. Too much blood cholesterol can cause artery hardening, which can lead to stroke and heart disease. Dietary cholesterol, studies show, are good for you on the other hand. So, when cholesterol becomes too high, consuming almonds, walnuts, and other tree nuts instead of fatty or processed foods can help, as the dietary cholesterol present in them balances it out.3. Nutrients GaloreIt's not simply the high levels of protein, fibre, and healthy fats that are beneficial to your health. Nuts also contain vitamins E and B6, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, zinc, copper, and potassium, among other minerals. Just keep an eye on the ingredients in your nut butter, whether it's peanut or otherwise, she warns. Salt, sugar, preservatives, and harmful fats have been added to some, which may do more harm than benefit, adds Dr Canday.DrawbacksPerhaps the biggest sign to watch out for is allergies. It is important to check whether one has any minor allergic reaction to nuts. A mild past reaction indicates the possibility of a severe future reaction, shares Dr Canday. She also stresses on the importance of checking for added salt and sugar in the packaged nut butters. It is important to check the ingredient list before purchasing packaged nut butters. Many of them are packed with hydrogenated fats, sugar, salt and palm oil which one should keep a check on, she says.While nut butters are an excellent option for those who follow a vegan diet, for those who are allergic to nuts, Dr Canday suggests alternatives such as soya, chickpea, sunflower seed, soy nut, tahini (sesame seed) butters.