Always reach for almond butter because you assume it’s the healthier pick? Not so fast, say nutritionists. Here’s what you need to know about these popular nut butters so you can make a more informed choice
When we read this article that broke down the nutritional benefits of almond butter vs. peanut butter, we put down our almond butter and banana sandwiches. Not because almond butter isn’t a healthy staple of a well-rounded diet (rejoice! it is!), but because peanut butter – that nut butter we’ve shunned ever since we heard of the virtues of almond butter – isn’t as bad for us as we were led to believe.
In fact, according to Christian Henderson, MS, RD, the dietitian quoted in this article, almond and peanut butter are kind of like fraternal twins. "You can see a gram difference [in carbs, protein, and fat] here or there, but it doesn't really make a difference," she said.
So, now that we’ll be reaching for this good ‘ol childhood fave again, what’s important to keep in mind?
- Skip the Skippy. Peanut butter can be loaded with added sugar, so if you’re going to buy a jar, make sure the only ingredient on the back of the label is peanuts.
- Always opt for organic. Peanuts – like soybeans and corn – are overgrown and overprocessed in our country, noted Henderson, and they’re hard to grow. (Translation: They’re heavily sprayed with pesticides.) That’s why choosing an organic brand is crucial.
- Don’t go overboard. Interestingly, Henderson said almond butter tends to be better than peanut butter at helping her clients with weight loss. That’s because almonds tend to be more filling, and peanuts tend to be more addictive. So if you’re going to go for the PB&J, just make sure you keep your portion size in check.