Rising numbers of peanut allergies over the years have created a thriving market for peanut butter alternatives. Almond butter is a popular substitute, but is it the healthier choice between the two? Let’s take a closer look at the nutrient profiles of peanut butter vs. almond butter, plus the pros and cons of choosing one over the other.
When comparing the health benefits of almond butter vs. peanut butter, it’s important to consider the ingredients first. The nutrient facts we provide in this article are based on natural nut butters made with only one ingredient — either peanuts or almonds — blended into a paste.
Some nut butters contain additional ingredients that could automatically make them less healthy than other options. Consider avoiding ones that contain sugar, corn syrup, added oils, soy, and other additives. Read the product labels before purchasing to make sure you’re getting the healthiest nut butter ingredients as possible.
7. Raw vs. Roasted
Nut butters are usually made from either roasted or raw nuts. Roasted nuts give their butters a pleasing toasted flavor. The heat of the roasting process helps kill bacteria and phytic acid that can cause digestion issues. However, due to high heat processing, roasted nuts may contain fewer nutrients than raw nuts.
Though raw nuts made into butters aren’t roasted, raw almonds grown in the US have probably been “heat-pasteurized or treated with a fumigant”, according to reporting from NPR. Pre-pasteurized peanuts or almonds could come with bacteria and other food contaminants if not purchased from a reliable source.
6. Comparing Fats and Calories
Almond butter and peanut butter are very similar in fat and calorie content, with one notable exception.
Both nut butters contain a mix of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats, but almond butter has a bit more monounsaturated. That gives extra credit to almond butter, since monounsaturated fats are considered heart healthy. The American Heart Association (AHA) gives monounsaturated fats a thumbs up for decreasing blood levels of bad cholesterol and providing important antioxidants like vitamin E to our diet.
Peanut and almond butter calorie counts are nearly the same at close to 100 calories per tablespoon each.