Is Almond Butter Actually Healthier than Peanut Butter?

Q: Healthy eaters have been infatuated with almond butter for a long time, but is it really better for you than peanut butter?

A: It’s a good question, since almond butter is often up to double the price of its less-trendy cousin, peanut.

I’ll give you the good news up front: both—and really all—nut butters can be part of a healthy (and OMG delicious!) diet.

Here’s how they compare.

Nuts About Nutrients

When it comes to macronutrients, almond butter and peanut butter are pretty similar. Both are high in protein and healthy fats. Peanut has slightly more protein; almond has slightly more fat. Almond is also just slightly higher in calories.

RELATED: Why Healthy Fats Don’t Make You Fat

Both contain a variety of similar vitamins and minerals, but almond has slightly more calcium and iron, two important nutrients people often need more of in their diets. Still, when you look at the nutrition labels side by side, it’s pretty much a draw.

Other Nutty Issues

There are a few other things to consider. First, peanut allergies are crazy common, to the point that some schools don’t even allow peanut butter at lunch anymore. Fewer people are allergic to almonds.

Then there are aflatoxins, carcinogens that are linked to liver cancer and are produced by a fungus that often grows on peanut crops. The US tests crops for aflatoxins and doesn’t allow them in food at a level considered dangerous, but you’ll likely still be exposed to them at very low levels if you eat PB. Still, most credentialed experts say those levels are so low they are unlikely to affect your health.

Finally, you may be concerned about environmental impact. Peanuts win on this point—producing them requires significantly less water than producing almonds.

The Bottom Line

You’ve probably noticed there’s no clear winner in this nut butter battle, but you also heard the good news at the beginning: they’re both great for your health.

If you’re worried about aflatoxins or allergies, go almond. If you’re an environmental advocate, go peanut. Or simply choose based on your flavor preference. Just remember to choose natural brands that are made with just nuts (and maybe a little salt)—no sugar, hydrogenated oils, or additives. And be careful with portion size, since both are high in calories. Otherwise, go nuts!

 

How Does Deliciously Ella Live a Nutritious Life?

Ella Woodward is the author of popular food blog, DeliciouslyElla.com. She is a graduate of St. Andrews and is training as a naturopathic nutritionist at the College of Naturopathic Medicine while also developing her app, teaching cooking classes, and hosting supper clubs. Let me tell you, every moment I spent chatting with Ella, was simply, well, delicious!  Read below for a glimpse into how Ella lives her Nutritious Life in London.

How do you DRINK UP?

I drink a lot of water. And, a lot of herbal tea. I also have a habit of going to the local juice bar daily. Wherever I am, I always try to get in a smoothie or juice each day. What’s Ella’s fave juice? Spicy pineapple with ginger and cayenne.

 

How do you EAT EMPOWERED?

By taking control.  I like to cook proper meals and incorporate variety into my diet.  It’s easy to snack, snack, snack but I like to sit down to proper meals and I like to cook my meals.

 

How do you LIVE CONSCIOUSLY?

I’m mindful of all aspects of my life. I believe…messy space, messy brain. And, I act like a mess. I need to clean my space before I can work and be productive. I also practice yoga.

 

How do you LOVE MORE?

I find the better relationship I have with myself the more love I’m able to give to other people so I’m always working on being happy in myself. I’m a very open, expressive person though so being loving to everyone around me comes very naturally!

 

How do you NURTURE YOURSELF?

I take some “me time” every day. I used to work, work, work but I have learned that I need some time for me every single day. It may be a spin class, yoga or dinner with a girlfriend.

 

How do you STRESS LESS?

I work out! Intense cardio or interval training helps me reduce stress.  Cardio is time with just yourself. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the minutia of day to day, so I try to take time out to gain perspective.  Honestly exercise is like a magic pill for me, it keeps me so balanced.

 

How do you SLEEP DEEP?

I take epsom salt baths and add essential oils like lavender. It’s a nice break before bed and I don’t have my phone!

 

How do you SWEAT OFTEN?

I love to spin! I go to a place called Psycle in London and I enjoy the darkness and loud music and how this helps you get into the zone.

 

If you want more Ella, check out her new book, Deliciously Ella: 100+ Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes available wherever books are sold and don’t forget to make her favorite recipe from the book, Almond Butter Fudge (see recipe below) stat.

 

ALMOND BUTTER FUDGE

Almond Butter Fudge

The first time I made this fudge my roommates and I ate the whole batch within about three hours and then had to remake it the next day because we were craving it so much; it’s that good—dangerously good, even! Each bite is so gooey and chocolaty, it’s crazy to think it’s made from just four ingredients. The fudge is stored in the freezer, so you can make big batches of it to store for later, which means you always have something deliciously healthy to enjoy any time of the day.

 
Makes about 20 pieces

 
INGREDIENTS

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the dates in a saucepan with a little boiling water. Allow them to cook for 5 minutes, until they’re really soft and all sticking together.
  2. If there is any water left in the pan, then drain it and set the dates to one side to cool for a couple of minutes.
  3. Place the almond butter, coconut oil and cacao powder in a food processor and add the dates in before blending for a minute or 2, until a sticky paste forms.
  4. Line a 10-inch baking dish with parchment paper and pour the mix in before putting it into the freezer to set for at least 3 hours before serving.
  5. Store in the freezer. When you want to enjoy a piece, take it out of the freezer and allow it to warm up for a few minutes before eating.

Top tip: Try adding chunks of nuts and raisins to this to change the texture and add more of a crunch.

 

Excerpted from DELICIOUSLY ELLA by Ella Woodward. Copyright © 2015 by Ella Woodward.  Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Photo Credit: Clare Winfield