We got this question from a client this week. In a nutshell (ha!) peanut and almond butter are nearly identical in terms of nutrition. Almond butter is marketed as healthier, but there’s essentially no difference.
They’re both pulverized nuts1, so they’re both high in fat, medium in protein and medium in fiber. They’re both high-calorie density foods. This means they pack a lot of calories into a small amount of food. High calorie density foods are very useful for backpacking the Appalachian mountains, but not so useful if you are a woman with a desk job who is trying to lose weight.
|Per 1 tbsp serving
|Peanut butter (PB)
|Almond Butter (AB)
In terms of calories and protein they’re nearly identical (see above chart). The only real difference would be that almond butter has more fiber.
Fat is the least satiating macronutrient. That’s a fancy way of saying that per calorie you eat, fat is less filling than protein or carbs… it’s really, really easy to overdo fat.
Taste and preference?
Personally, I really don’t like almond butter. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing because I will never have an almond butter snaccident. However, I will never devour 800-1,000 calories of peanut butter on snaccident. This is why I try not to keep peanut butter in the house.
Is it dangerous? Allergies?
On the internet you will find people ranting about micotoxins in peanut butter. One thing to notice is that the websites peddling these theories are selling coffee and competing high-fat products for 3-5x the price of peanut butter in the grocery store.
It should go without saying that if you are allergic to peanuts than peanut butter is a no go for you, and the same it true with tree nut allergies and almond butter.
An even better choice?
In my opinion a better choice then either almond or nut butter is the powdered versions of either. Peanut butter powder has less than half the calories, twice the fiber and protein, and 2-3x the peanut butter flavor vs. peanut butter. It also mixes much better and more evenly in your protein shakes or smoothies.