Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am an almond butter fiend. A few years ago, I decided to eat paleo for a little over a month, and I’ve never gone back. (You can’t eat peanut butter on a paleo diet, because technically peanuts are legumes.) I am a firm believer that the answer to the question “is almond butter better than peanut butter?” is a yes. I’m here today to give you a breakdown of almond butter vs peanut butter and tell you why!
A Nutrition Comparison
Is almond butter healthier than peanut butter? Technically, yes. But not by much. Peanut butter actually has a higher level of protein than the protein in almond butter. Even so, at the end of the battle of almond butter vs peanut butter, the almonds take the trophy in some key categories. Almond butter has a better nutritional value than peanut butter in all of the following areas!
- Monounsaturated Fats (which are a good kind!)
- Vitamin E
In addition, almonds have been shown in studies to help prevent heart disease. The high level of unsaturated fats and natural nutrients in it work with your immune system to decrease bad cholesterol in your circulatory system. Another study showed that regularly eating almonds helped to decrease fasting insulin and glucose levels, and regulate insulin level in general. If you or a friend has pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, this is a great go-to snack! Finally, almonds contain Omega-3, which can help lead you on the road to healthier skin.
By the Numbers
For all of you math people out there, here’s a more specific breakdown of the nutritional differences of almond butter vs peanut butter. I compared a can of Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (low sodium!) with Sam’s Choice Slow Roasted Creamy Almond Butter. There are obviously a lot of kinds of both products, but these are the ones I had on my shelf. All of these values are per 2 tablespoons.
- Calories. Almond Butter: 190 | Peanut Butter: 190
- Total Fat. Almond Butter: 16g | Peanut Butter: 16g
- Saturated Fat. (The Bad Kind!) Almond Butter: 2.5g | Peanut Butter: 2.5g
- Polyunsaturated Fat. Almond Butter: 4.4g | Peanut Butter 4.4g
- Monounsaturated Fat. (The Good Kind!) Almond Butter: 10g | Peanut Butter: 8g
- Cholesterol. Almond Butter: 0mg | Peanut Butter: 0mg
- Sodium. Almond Butter: 65mg | Peanut Butter: 80mg
- Total Carbs. Almond Butter: 8g | Peanut Butter: 8g
- Fiber. Almond Butter: 3g | Peanut Butter: 2g
- Total Sugars. Almond Butter: 3g + 1g added sugars | Peanut Butter: 3g + 2g added sugars
- Protein. Almond Butter: 6g | Peanut Butter: 7g
- Calcium. Almond Butter: 80mg | Peanut Butter: 17mg
- Iron. Almond Butter: 1.1mg | Peanut Butter: 1mg
- Potassium. Almond Butter: 210mg | Peanut Butter: 200mg
- Vitamin E. Almond Butter: 8mg | Peanut Butter: 2mg
The major thing to remember is to choose the healthiest of either butter. That’s why I always buy natural peanut butter when I do get it! Ideally, the ingredients list should just be “almonds” or “peanuts”, and maybe a bit of salt added in. Avoid added sugars and oils if you can!
Almond Butter Recipes
All of that said, I honestly prefer almond butter just because I think it tastes better! I sometimes take an apple or banana (or both!) for lunch with some almond butter on the side to get protein. It is genuinely so tasty! Besides just snacking, there are some delicious almond butter recipes out there. I’m going to share a few with you today.
Flourless Oatmeal Almond-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies! This recipe yields about one and a half dozen cookies and takes about 20 minutes to make. It’s great for the gluten- or lactose-intolerant chef out there because they don’t contain any wheat or dairy! If you need them to be dairy-free, just make sure you pick up milk-free chocolate chips. Ingredients:
- 2/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt (or 1/2 tsp of almond butter contains salt)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup almond butter
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
Overnight Steel-Cut Oats with Almond Butter and Honey! This is a great breakfast option – mostly because it’s ready to go when you wake up! Break out the slow cooker and whip up this delicious recipe for your family – it’s designed to feed 2 or 3 with these rations. Ingredients:
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup steel cut oatmeal
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2 tbsp honey (more to taste)
Roasted Eggplant with Coconut Almond Butter Sauce! Now here’s an option for the vegetarian among us! This makes eggplant delicious (the chef who wrote the article said her kids even liked it!). If you’re not a vegetarian, I’m betting the sauce would be delicious over some chicken, too! Ingredients:
- 1 1/4 lbs eggplant
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 almond butter
- 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp chili-garlic sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
There are any number of other delicious almond butter recipes out there: from brownies to smoothies to sauces and on down the line. Of course, there are also delicious peanut butter recipes, so if you haven’t been convinced by my almond butter argument, go check out one of those!
So almond butter is marginally healthier for you, but not by enough to make a huge dent in your diet. In general, almond butter is also a bit more expensive than peanut butter. I think it’s worth it, but there’s no shame in sticking to good old peanut butter (my fiancé just admitted that he prefers it in some contexts).
All that’s left is to ask: where do you fall on the question of almond butter vs peanut butter? Have you been converted to the almond butter side? Will you swear by peanut butter until the day you die? Are you open-minded – thinking that they’re both good for different things? Let me know! And if you have any almond butter recipes you like, hit up the comments.
Related Article: 10 Best Almond Butter Options for 2018