The world of nut and seed butters is so much bigger than just plain ol’ peanut butter. As a matter of fact, basically any nut or seed can be ground into a sticky and satisfying “butter” to snack on. And despite the not-so-healthy name, nut and seed butters definitely fall into the good snack category, especially for guys looking for a protein boost. Yet, choosing the right type isn’t quite as simple as opting for your favorite variety of nut. Some have more protein than others, and many include unnecessary additives.

Before purchasing any nut butter, flip it over and read the ingredients first. The purest and healthiest of nut butters contain one simple food: nuts. Any other ingredients, like salt, honey, sugar or oil, are added for flavor. If you’re watching your blood pressure or sodium intake, or just like nuts in their purest form, opt for unsalted natural nut butter. Be warned, though, it’s best to steer clear of the ones with extra honey or sugar, and low-fat nut butters are never worth it since they often contain other additives in place of the fat.

In all, there’s ample research demonstrating that nuts and their “butter” are part of a healthy diet and can help fight against cardiovascular disease and lower cholesterol. Research also suggests that moderate- to low-intensity exercises actually use fat as fuel, making nut butters a smart addition to your pre-workout routine. That’s not surprising since nuts and seeds contain unsaturated fats, fiber, and protein, all of which satisfy hunger and provide long lasting energy for exercise. 

And for those intense bouts of exercise, nut butters can serve as post-workout protein to refuel tired muscles and fat to appease a rumbling stomach. But the numbers do vary from nut to nut, so let’s take a look at some of the healthiest nut butters, ranked from most protein to least.