Have you ever wondered the difference between almond butter and peanut butter (besides the obvious truth that they come from different nuts)? Do you ever wonder if you should be buying almond butter vs peanut butter when you drive your grocery cart down the aisle marked for jams, jellies, and jives? The answer you should be looking for is, whichever one gives you the most health benefits per spoonful. Neither one is bad, in fact we should be taking the word “bad” out of our food vocabulary and banish it for good. Not one food ingredient is bad, some foods just might be higher in vitamins, minerals or antioxidants, thus making it a better choice.
So back to the question, should we be choosing almond butter or peanut butter to smear across that slice of bread. Which one deserves to be harmoniously married to jelly and live a happily ever after?
Let’s look at the facts of the matter.. bring on the food science!
Peanut Butter vs Almond Butter
Per serving size (2 tablespoons), the average calorie count of either butter is around 189 calories. Furthermore, the average of either butter contains…
- around 6 grams of carbohydrates
- around 16 grams of fat
- around 7.1 grams of protein
- around 2.6 grams of sugar
- around 3 grams of fiber
Looking at the bigger picture, these nut butters contain fat classified under the category of monounsaturated fat. These monounsaturated fats are known to be heart healthy fats because they contribute towards the synthesis of HDL “good” cholesterol and help to drive down LDL “bad” cholesterol. If you really want to know more about these fats and which ones are better for you, this article goes into more detail.
Comparing the Top 10 most popular
almond butters and peanut butters
I took the top 5 most popular almond butters and compared them to the top 5 most popular peanut butters looking specifically at the calories, sodium, sugar and protein content.
After looking at the results, the bigger picture shows no significant difference between Almond Butter or Peanut Butter regarding these categories.
Maybe we need to look further into their micronutrient and vitamin profiles to claim a different trend.
Why Choose Almond Butter?
Before I begin this section, I want you to know that nutrition facts DO NOT LIE to us. When making an informed decision at the grocery store, we must choose to acknowledge them in order to help us.
Almond Butter Nutrition Facts
- In one tablespoon, there is typically 5-10 grams of monounsaturated fat, but don’t freak out.. that amount is good. We want a higher percentage of fat to come from monounsaturated fat versus saturated or trans fat. This helps reduce our bad cholesterol and increase our good cholesterol.
- In one tablespoon, there is typically 1.6-3.5 grams. This is higher than most peanut butters. Fiber is important for a healthy gut and helps to maintain our blood sugars at a steady level instead of spiking and dipping after we eat/fast.
- Almond Butter contains 4x the amount of vitamin E compared to peanut butter. Vitamin E is known for its contribution to cell membranes in the skin, hair, and nails. Its role as an antioxidant helps fight free radicals and prevent disease states from forming.
Calcium & Magnesium
- Almond butter contains 40-55 milligrams of calcium (4-5.5% of the Daily Value). Calcium is known for building strong bones but it’s also necessary for your body to perform muscle contractions and nerve function.
- and 45-55 milligrams of magnesium (11-14% of the Daily Value). Magnesium is necessary for the body to maintain blood sugars and nerve function. It is also 100% absolutely necessary for energy production through the biochemistry of ATP synthesis.
- Almond butter contains around 84 milligrams per tablespoon (8% of the Daily Value). Phosphorus is great for bone strength as well and pairs nicely with calcium. Among other things, it aids in muscle contractions, energy production, maintains regularity of heart beat and it’s absolutely needed for DNA/RNA synthesis.
- This amazing butter contains about 19% of the Daily Value in one tablespoon. Although we don’t need too much manganese, this mineral helps to maintain strong bones and reduce symptoms of PMS.
I hope this helps you make a better informed decision about which butter to pick up the next time you’re hustling down the grocery store aisle. Like I said in the beginning of this post, neither butter is bad for you, it’s all about which one provides more heart healthy benefits per spoonful. If you’re looking for a great source of protein, one that has more vitamins and nutrients, you’re better off with an Almond Butter.
When choosing an almond butter, try to find one that uses no hydrogenated oils, added sugars or additional salt. The best almond butters out there are made from 100% dry roasted almonds.
When comparing prices, almond butter unfortunately tends to be a tad bit more expensive so remind yourself to go for quality rather than quantity. I hope you enjoy your next spoonful of almond butter, happy chewing friends and…
- National Geographic Magazine: Super Foods; eat your way to health and longevity (2016)
- Spiller G, Miller A, Olivera K, Reynolds J, Miller B, Morse S, Dewell A, Farquhar J. Effects of Plant-based diets high in raw or roasted almonds, or roasted almond buter on serum lipoproteins in humans. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2003: 22:3; 195-200.
Like This Post?
Share it on Facebook!
Follow me on Pinterest! @The Healthy Chew
Follow me on Instagram! @TheHealthyChew
Follow me on YouTube! @The Healthy Chew
Comment your questions!
email me at StephanieRackley@thehealthychew.org