Nuts and nut butters are an important and delicious component of a healthy diet. Nuts are rich in many vitamins, minerals, and protein, and they contain healthy fat that lowers bad cholesterol. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of nut butters to choose from, but the two most popular are almond butter and peanut butter. In case you’re wondering which one is the best choice, the following comparison can help you decide.
How Nut Butters Are Made
Before getting into the finer points of peanut butter and almond butter nutrition, let’s start with a brief explanation of how nut butters are made. In its most basic form, a nut butter is simply a paste made of ground nuts, either roasted or raw. Manufacturers may add other ingredients, like sugar and palm oil, to change the flavor or texture, but those added ingredients change the nutritional value of the food.
Similarities Between Almond Butter And Peanut Butter
If we compare raw almond and peanut butters, their nutritional content is similar in many respects. For example, they have approximately 200 calories per two-tablespoon serving. They also are very close in protein content, with each having about seven grams per serving. Both almond butter and peanut butter are naturally very low in sugar, but many products contain high amounts of added sugar. Finally, both types of nuts are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, riboflavin, calcium, and vitamin E.
Key Differences Between Almond Butter And Peanut Butter
Despite their similar nutritional profiles, the following are a few differences between the two foods:
While both types of nut butter have similar amounts of fat, they differ in how much saturated fat they have. Both types of nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fat, but peanut butter contains a little over three grams of saturated fat per two tablespoons, compared with just under two grams for almond butter. Why does it matter? Saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol, which is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Vitamins And Minerals
Another difference between almond and peanut butter is in their vitamin and mineral content. While both types of nuts contain a wide variety of important nutrients, almond butter is significantly higher in calcium and vitamin E. Calcium is a mineral that is crucial to human health and wellbeing because it strengthens bones. When people don’t get enough calcium in their diet, they’re more likely to break bones and develop osteoporosis later in life. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that supports a healthy immune system, clears arterial plaque, and slows the aging process of cells.
Finally, the two nut butters differ in fiber content. With a little over three grams of fiber per two-tablespoon serving, almond butter has more than twice as much fiber as peanut butter. Fiber has many health benefits, including a lower risk of both heart disease and diabetes.
The Bottom Line
Though the two nut butters are very similar, almond butter has more of several beneficial nutrients and less saturated fat than peanut butter. However, both nut butters can be part of a healthy diet as long as they don’t contain unhealthy added ingredients. Whichever you choose to eat, it’s important to read the label and make sure you know what you’re getting. The best choice is an all-natural, organic nut butter with no added oils, salt, or sugar.