Which Is Better for You: Almond Butter or Peanut Butter?

Almond Butter

Almond Butter

Almond Butter in jar with spoon, from directly above

Photo by: cheche22

cheche22

When you’re deciding what kind of nut butter to slather onto your sandwich or spoon into your oatmeal, it helps to know whether peanut or almond butter is the better-for-you option. Sure, nuts have protein, and nut butters are filling. But if you have to decide between them, is almond butter or peanut butter healthier?

Let’s first take a look at the nutrition facts for each. Two tablespoons of almond butter contain 196 calories, about 18 grams of fat, about 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Of those 18 grams of fat, almost 15 grams are the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated types.

The same amount of peanut butter has 191 calories, 16 grams of fat, about 7 grams of protein and almost 2 grams of fiber, per the USDA National Nutrient Database. More than 12 grams of fat are the mono- and polyunsaturated varieties. These types of fat are considered to be heart-healthy because they may help control cholesterol levels.

So what does this info tell us? The two nut butters have almost the same number of calories and contain the same amount of satiating protein. Almond butter boasts slightly more fiber and healthy fats — but more total fat. The recommendation is that you should aim to keep your total daily fat intake at no more than 25% to 30% of your total calorie intake. For a 2,000-calorie daily diet, that would be no more than 56 to 67 grams of fat for the day.

Now, let’s take a look at the vitamin and mineral content of each type of nut butter. Almond butter is a good source for iron, zinc, phosphorous, and an excellent source of magnesium, riboflavin, and vitamin E. Peanut butter is a good source of magnesium and vitamin E, as well as an excellent source of niacin.

All in all, almond butter contains more significant amounts of nutrients than peanut butter. But either nut butter is a good choice, because they’re both full of good-for-you nutrients. Just don’t buy a reduced-fat almond or peanut butter. When fat is removed from nut butter, filler ingredients are typically added, including additional sugars. Look for a natural nut butter with minimal ingredients — ideally the components would be just almonds or peanuts, plus salt and/or oil.

Enjoy it stirred into oatmeal, spread on sliced apples or whole-wheat toast or simply as a quick spoonful when you’re on the go.

Here are a few additional ways to enjoy almond butter and peanut butter:

Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. She’s a regular contributor to many publications, including EverydayHealth.com, ReadersDigest.com, NBCNews.com, and more. She also pens a recipe-focused blog, Amy’s Eat List.

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