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5 Top Nut Butters: Which is the Best?

5 Top Nut Butters: Which is the Best?

For every nut out there, you'll find a nut butter option available. They offer tasty and nutritious options for toast toppers or sandwiches. But they aren't all created equal... here are the pros and cons of the top 5 nut butters on the market.
Woman eating peanut butter; Nut Butters FEATURE

Nut Butters: Pros, Cons, Benefits, And Which Is Best

In the early 1980s, I had a metal Holly Hobbie lunch box that I carried to school. Each day when I’d gather in the lunchroom with my classmates, I’d pull out my lunch box, open the lid, and most of the time, I’d find a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was hard to appreciate peanut butter in those days. It was routine, expected, and boring. I’d take small bites out of my sandwich while dreaming of hot lunch like pizza or chicken nuggets. It’s hard to believe that now, decades later, peanut butter has competitors. For years peanut butter had a monopoly on the nut butter market, making its first appearance and being publicly sold in 1904 at the St. Louis Word Fair. Now, at least 12 nut butters are readily available to consumers, each contending for their rightful place on the pallets of nut butter lovers worldwide.   

Old Faithful: Is Peanut Butter Good For You?

Yes, peanut butter is loaded with many good, health-promoting nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium, iron, selenium, and vitamin B6. My mom would always say, “Eat your peanut butter sandwich. It will stick to your ribs.” Meaning it would keep me full and give me energy. There are 8 grams of protein in one serving, roughly 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

The Downside Of Peanut Butter

When considering a nut butter alternative, it’s helpful to understand some of the downsides of peanut butter. First, some people have a peanut allergy making traditional peanut butter off-limits. Peanut butter is also high in calories and fat and has some mineral deficiencies. So, while peanut butter is good for some reasons, it’s also worth considering whether another option might be a better choice for you.

Top 5 Nut Butters

Let’s look at the pros and cons of the most popular nut butters on the market so you can decide if it’s time to make the switch – or simply switch it up on occasion! 

  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Pistachio butter
  • Coconut butter

1. Peanut Butter

jar of peanut butter

Peanut butter can be a useful nutritional option because it contains several nutrients, including protein and magnesium. Plus, you can get it creamy or crunchy, unsalted or salted, or with or without sugar. The options are seemingly endless. 

Peanut Butter Vitamins & Minerals: vitamins E, B3, B6, folate, magnesium, copper, manganese

Nutrition Per 1 Tablespoon Serving:

  • Calories: 94
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 1.5 grams

2. Almond Butter

Almond butter

Almond butter is high in monounsaturated fats, which help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Many other nutrients in almond butter also help improve your heart health and reduce your risk for heart disease. Almonds (almond butter) can help control blood sugar and insulin levels after eating.

Almond Butter Vitamins & Minerals: potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, and L-arginine

Nutrition Per 1 Tablespoon Serving:

  • Calories: 98
  • Protein: 3.4 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.6 grams
  • Sugar: 0.7 grams

3. Cashew Butter

Cashew nut butters

Although it doesn’t contain omega-3 fatty acids, cashew butter is one of the best sources of monounsaturated fatty acids, essential amino acids, and magnesium. These nutrients are beneficial for blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol control, bone health, the immune system, and metabolism.

Cashew Butter Vitamins & Minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper

Nutrition Per 1 Tablespoon Serving:

  • Calories: 94
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 1.5 grams

4. Pistachio Butter

Jar of pistachio butter

Pistachio butter is lower in calories per serving than other nut butters. So, if you’re looking to cut calories, pistachio butter might be the way to go! Compared to peanut butter, pistachio butter contains significantly more vitamin A, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, but it has less zinc, sodium, and niacin.

Pistachio Butter Vitamins & Minerals: vitamins A, B6, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, fiber

Nutrition Per 1 Tablespoon Serving:

  • Calories: 90
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 6.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4.5 grams
  • Fiber: 1.5 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram

5. Coconut Butter

Coconut butters

Coconut butter can help aid in weight loss, boost immunity, ward off viruses, and help prevent heart disease. It may also help give athletes a performance boost.

Coconut Butter Vitamins & Minerals: vitamins A, C, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, fatty acids, amino acids

Nutrition Per 1 Tablespoon Serving:

  • Calories: 93
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5 grams
  • Fiber: 2.5 grams
  • Sugar: .95 gram

The Takeaway: What’s the best nut butter for you?

It’s important to understand that there are a variety of benefits to each type of nut butter. Peanut butter still reigns supreme if your objective is to get the most protein per serving. However, if your goal is to reduce your carbs, almond butter has a low net carb count and more fiber per serving than most common nut butters.

For example, here are some nut butter recommendations based on what your specific needs, goals, and objectives might be:

Highest Protein: peanut butter

Lowest Carb: almond butter

Good for Diabetics: peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter

Good for Energy: pistachio butter

For Muscle Gain: peanut butter, almond butter

Nut butters have been proven to be an amazing source of nutrition and a balanced diet, providing you with many options for a variety of health and wellness goals. 

Top Options in the Nut Butter Categories

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