Peanut Butter vs. Almond Butter


Move over peanut butter!  Have you noticed other types of nut butters at the grocery store? There’s almond butter, cashew butter, and even sunflower seed butter!  Each has their own unique taste and as it turns out their own unique benefits.  Let’s take almond butter…

LEGUME VS NUT:  Although almond is the only true nut in this comparison (peanuts are legumes) nutritionally both of these butters are equal in fat, protein, and carbohydrate content. Two tablespoons of peanut or almond butter yield 200 calories and roughly seven grams of fat.  Monounsaturated fat, considered a heart friendly fat, is the main fat in each of these butters.  Almond butter has more vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc.  These are very important vitamins and minerals that work within the body to keep our nervous system and heart working properly.  This is not to say that peanut butter does not contain these vitamins and minerals, almond butter just contains more of them.  Almond butter also contains more fiber than peanut butter, although this usually only amounts to a gram or two. 

With both of these butters you should be on the lookout for added sugar, preservatives, and trans fat.  These can be found in both butters.  Trans fats have been proven to be detrimental to our health.  Avoid products with the word “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredient list.

Who wins? Nutritionally, almond butter has more to offer, but can be twice as expensive as peanut butter. 

Tip: No matter which butter you choose, opt for natural whenever possible.  Natural nut butters contain one to three ingredients and usually lack preservatives and trans fats.  As with any high calorie, high fat food, use these butters sparingly.

Julia E. Salomón, MS, RDN, CD; Community Health Improvement Leader, Affinity Health System 
Taylor Gawlik, Dietetic Intern, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay