If you are a nut butter fan and are having a hard time deciding between peanut butter vs almond butter, this article is for you. We go over the nutritional differences between almond and peanut butter, along with flavor differences, price differences and the supporting evidence behind both popular nut butter options.
Is peanut butter or almond butter inflammatory?
There is no such thing as an “inflammatory” food unless you have a specific food allergy or severe intolerance. Therefore, neither peanut butter or almond butter is inflammatory in and of itself.
You should be focusing on your overall diet pattern as opposed to individual foods and as long as a majority of your diet comes from nutrient dense foods and you aren’t overeating or undereating, you shouldn’t worry about inflammation.
Many of the claims that peanut or almond butter is inflammatory comes from the fact that they are both high in omega-6 fatty acids. About 20% of the calories from almond butter and 19% of the calories from peanut butter come from this kind of fat.
But, this isn’t something that should concern you. When looking at the available data on human subjects, it’s clear that omega-6 fatty acids are not inflammatory when consumed in moderation. In fact, some studies show these fatty acids to be anti-inflammatory.
Is peanut butter or almond butter better for cholesterol?
Both peanuts and almonds have been shown to be beneficial for blood cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease risk due to their high polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat content. In fact, nuts in general are very healthful and can be a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet.
So which one is better? Well, instead of choosing between one or the other, it’s probably best to consume both. This is because having a diversity of plant foods in your diet is best for improving your gut microbiota and therefore improving your cardiovascular disease risk.
In fact, it’s best to aim for thirty or more different kinds of plant foods every week to ensure you are getting a variety of fibers in your diet. This would include different kinds of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and herbs.
What’s the difference?: Peanut Butter vs Almond Butter
Peanut butter and almond butter have a variety of differences, ranging from nutritional value, flavor and texture, price and supporting evidence.
One tablespoon of almond butter and peanut butter contain about 100 calories, 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fat. So when it comes to the basic macronutrient categories, they are pretty much the same.
To break down the kind of fats in each kind of nut butter, almond butter has about one extra gram of monounsaturated fat and one less gram of saturated fat. They both contain about two grams of omega-6 fatty acids and no omega-3 fatty acids.
One tablespoon of almond butter is a good source of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin E, copper, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. One tablespoon of peanut butter is a good source of vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin E and manganese.
While the two have small nutritional differences, they are pretty miniscule and probably won’t make a huge difference, even in the long term.
Flavor and texture
While almond butter and peanut butter have similar tastes, there are a few distinct differences that can make someone prefer one over the other. Overall, it’s really up to personal preference.
Peanut butter is smoother than almond butter, while almond butter is more grainy and gritty. Almond butter also has more of a nutty, rich flavor which stands out more in dishes and sandwiches.
Luckily, there have been more store brand almond butter options over the last few years when in the past, it was more of a luxury item. That being said, almonds are more expensive than peanuts in general and I can’t imagine there will ever be a time they are the same price or cheaper than peanuts.
Peanuts and peanut butter are more well researched than almonds and almond butter, mostly because peanuts are a common allergen. When searching “peanuts” in PubMed, 17577 results pop up. When searching “almonds”, 5408 results pop up. “Nuts” has 9473 results.
Is it ok to eat nut butter every day?
Yes! It’s completely okay to consume nut butter on a daily basis, whether you choose peanut butter or almond butter. What really matters is your overall diet pattern. Are you consuming a variety of nutrient dense foods to prevent deficiencies? Are you avoiding undereating or overeating? Are you consuming adequate protein and fiber?
Nut butter can absolutely contribute to a healthy dietary pattern as long as you are consuming it in moderation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends about 4-6 ounces of nuts, seed or soy products per week. One ounce is equivalent to one tablespoon of nut butter.
The Winner: Peanut Butter vs Almond Butter
It really depends on your personal goals, preferences and accessibility. If you are on a budget, peanut butter is probably the best choice. If you prefer the taste of almond butter and money isn’t a concern, almond butter is probably the best choice.
The nutritional difference between peanut butter and almond butter is fairly minimal, so I won’t rank one definitively over the other. Ideally, you should try to consume both in your diet to promote dietary diversity (beneficial for your gut and overall health).
The best peanut and almond butters
|Best Budget Peanut Butter: Skippy Natural Creamy Peanut Butter|
|Best Budget Almond Butter: Kirkland Signature Creamy Almond Butter|
|Best No Sugar Added Peanut Butter: JIF No Added Sugar Creamy Peanut Butter|
|Best No Sugar Added Almond Butter: Barney Butter No Added Sugar or Salt Almond Butter Bare Smooth|
|Best Natural Peanut Butter: Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter Spread|
|Best Natural Almond Butter: Justin’s Classic Almond Butter|