Peanut Butter Vs. Almond Butter: The Ultimate Nutritional Showdown

Peanut_Almond_Butter_slide_1Illustrated By Ly Ngo.
The Hatfields vs. the McCoys, Coke vs. Pepsi, Kevin McCallister vs. Buzz McCalister — history is full of famous rivalries and one of the most recent to join the ranks is peanut butter vs. almond butter. We’re pitting these two spreads nut to nut to find out which one is the better butter. So, when you find yourself in the midnight hour eating straight from the jar, you can get back to sleep knowing you made the right choice.

Round 1: Nutritional Info
In terms of protein, fat, and calories, the two are almost identical twins, says Justine Campbell, NTP, RD and owner of Alo Wellness in Redlands, CA. Both weigh in at around 200 calories, 17 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and about 8 grams of protein for two tablespoons — give or take a gram here and there.
Winner: tie.


Round 2: Vitamins And Minerals
The big difference between the two is their micronutrient content, says Campbell. Peanut butter contains 14% of your daily value of B6 and 22% of niacin, where almond butter only contains 2% and 5% respectively. However, almond butter contains almost double amounts of magnesium (28%) and iron (15%), triple amounts of the antioxidant vitamin E (28%), four times as much calcium (9%), and six times as much riboflavin (12%).

Winner: almond butter.

Peanut_Almond_Butter_slide_2Illustrated By Ly Ngo.

Round 3: Fat
Believe it or not, certain kinds of fats are good (you might even call them “phats”), and almond butter is loaded with one of these good fats, containing 50% more monounsaturated fat, which helps lower blood cholesterol. Peanut butter on the other hand contains almost two times the Omega-6 fatty acids, which are associated with inflammation and increased risk of heart disease, says Campbell.
Winner: almond butter.

Round 4: Additives
Peanut butter often gets a bad rap for being filled with ugly extras like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fats. Manufacturers use these to add sweetness and create that delightfully smooth, non-bread-ravaging texture. Because peanut butter is a much more common commercial product, many brands have these ingredients. But, that’s not to say some almond butters don’t. When choosing a butter, Campbell recommends going organic, with little to no added ingredients and no words you can’t pronounce.
Winner: Tie.

Peanut_Almond_Butter_slide_3Illustrated By Ly Ngo.
The Verdict:
Both are nutrient-dense foods, says Campbell, but in the spirit of “healthy” competition, we must declare a winner and that winner is almond butter. However, if it’s taste we’re talking, that’s a matter of personal preference. I for one would be slightly perturbed if I bit into one of grandma’s famous peanut butter buckeyes this holiday season to find it filled with almond butter.

More from Diet & Nutrition

R29 Original Series