Almond butter vs. peanut butter: Which is healthier?

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While peanut butter is a staple food in many households, there are a variety of other nut butters on the market, including almond butter. Knowing which type of nut butter is the most nutritious can be challenging.

Nut butters often contain unsaturated fats, which are healthful fats that the body needs. This makes them a great addition to most diets.

When comparing products, it is most useful to compare the same serving size. Serving sizes are standardized to make reading and comparing nutrition labels easier.

Nutritional information

Here, we compare one tablespoon (16g) of almond butter with the same amount of peanut butter.

Almond butter Nutrient Peanut butter
98 calories 96
3.4 protein 3.6
8.9 fat 8.2
3.0 carbohydrate 3.6
1.6 fiber 0.8
0.7 sugar 1.7
0.7 saturated fat 1.7
5.2 monounsaturated fat 4.2
2.2 polyunsaturated fat 2.0

Protein

Both almond and peanut butter contain about the same amount of protein. Although nut butters are a source of protein, they are not a complete protein.

This means they do not contain all the essential proteins or amino acids that the body requires.

Eating a variety of legumes, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole-grains will provide all the essential proteins and amino acids a person needs.

Fiber

nut butter on a knife above jar
Nut butters generally contain good kinds of fat that the body needs.

Almond butter has double the amount of fiber that peanut butter does.

Fiber is especially important for:

  • regulating bowel movements
  • improving overall health
  • helping a person feel full
  • providing prebiotics for the large intestine
  • helping control diabetes
  • lowering levels of bad or LDL cholesterol in the blood

Fats

The fat content between different nuts varies significantly. Some people may consider almond butter a better option than peanut butter as it contains less saturated fats and more unsaturated fats.

Sugar content

Almond butter has roughly 50 percent less sugar than peanut butter, even in unsweetened varieties. However, peanut butter also has low sugar content.

When purchasing almond butter and peanut butter, it is essential to check the nutrition label and buy products with no added sugar or salt whenever possible.

Minerals and vitamin E

Almond butter contains a higher amount of magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and calcium.

The body could not produce energy without magnesium. It is also vital for bone health.

Potassium is an essential electrolyte that the body requires for normal function.

Both almond butter and peanut butter are good sources of vitamin E. Vitamin E reduces inflammation and the risk of heart disease.

Unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats are beneficial for general health. There are two different families of unsaturated fats: omega-3s and omega-6s.

The human body cannot make omega-3s and omega-6s on its own, so it is necessary to get them through foods.

Many people do not get enough omega-3s in their diet. Eating enough unsaturated fats is associated with proper growth, development, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Almond butter has a slightly higher amount of unsaturated fats.

Risks

Peanuts belong to the legume family, just like peas and beans. Peanuts grow underground and may become contaminated with aspergillus mold, which is highly toxic.

Fortunately, peanut butter has a significantly lower risk of contamination than peanuts because the manufacturing process removes a lot of the mold.

Nuts are also common allergens. People should use caution when trying new nut butters and avoid any known allergens.

How to use nut butter

There are many ways to use nut butter, including:

As a spread

Almond butter and peanut butter are spreads. People can use them in the following ways:

  • nut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • on toast with sliced banana and cinnamon
  • on vegetables, such as celery or toasted sweet potato

Cooking

little girl eating peanut butter on toast
People can enjoy nut butters as a spread on toast or in sandwiches.

Try adding nut butter to sauces and dressings for a nutty flavor.

For example, satay can be made using almond butter instead of peanut butter.

Alternatively, try this recipe for a Thai dressing:

  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) minced ginger
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoon (tbsp) water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 chili, sliced, seeds removed

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or blender, and use on noodle dishes and salads.

Smoothies

Adding nut butters, such as almond butter, to smoothies is an excellent way to incorporate more nutrients into the diet.

Summary

selection of nut butters
Nut butters are an easy way to incorporate nuts into a diet.

Unless a person has allergies, nuts can be a healthful part of their diet in every life stage.

It may be easier for people to incorporate more nuts into their diet by using nut butters, including peanut and almond butter.

Almond butter does have certain health advantages over peanut butter.

However eating many different foods, including a variety of nuts, can help the body get all of the essential nutrients it needs.

Peanut butter and almond butter are available in many grocery stores or online:

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