While walking down the peanut butter aisle used to prove an easy task, it now can become quite overwhelming. The aisle has exploded with different options and brands of, not only peanut butter, but now almond butter, macadamia nut butter, pecan butter, sunflower seed butter, and more. How do you know which one to buy? Which one is the best for you? Below is an in-depth comparison of peanut butter and its most popular rival, almond butter.
As far as the calorie count goes, the two nut butters remain almost equal. One serving size, or two tablespoons, evens out to around 200 calories each.
A serving of nut butter is a great source of non-meat protein. Both peanut butter and almond butter contain around 7g of protein per serving. However, peanut butter takes a small lead and tends to reach 7g no matter which brand of butter you buy. Almond butter brands may only reach 6.7g of protein.
Nut butters have a reputation of containing high amounts of fat. But not all fat is the same. Both butters contain monounsaturated fat, which is a healthy fat known for lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood sugar. However, peanut butter contains saturated fat as well — about twice as much as almond butter. Excess saturated fat can lead to high cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease. Almond butter contains less saturated fat and more monounsaturated fat.
If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, you will be glad to know that almond butter only contains about 3g of carbs. Peanut butter, on the other hand, usually contains about 6-7g of carbs. While neither of these butters contain a high carb profile, every carb counts if you are following a keto diet or counting your macros. Do keep in mind that the fiber in the butter will counteract the carbs, so keep reading.
Since fiber helps fill you up and feel full for longer, it is a necessary addition to a healthy diet. Almond butter contains 3.3g of fiber per serving, helping you digest your snack with ease, while peanut butter contains only about 1.6g.
No matter which type of nut you decide to buy in butter form, do watch out for the sugar content. There should not be any added sugar in the ingredients list. Look only for the nut butters with the short ingredients list of peanuts or almonds and maybe some added salt. That should be it. Do not buy the pre-mixed nut butters out of convenience. While it is a pain to mix your nut butters after purchasing them, you can save yourself from a lot of unnecessary sugars, oil, and saturated fats.
Both peanut butter and almond butter will contain about 2g of natural sugar per serving. Be wary if you notice a higher sugar count as it most likely points to an unnecessary and unhealthy additive. If you want something sweet with your nut butter, spread it on an apple!
And the Winner Is...
After reading the profiles for both peanut and almond butter, you will notice that almond butter takes the win as the healthier option. With a higher protein and fiber count, lower carbs, and better fat content, you can dip, spread, and savor almond butter with a clean conscience and bolstered confidence in your snack of choice!