When it comes to the childhood classic PB&J sandwich, school’s out for summer. Yes, peanut butter has been a staple of American diets for years now. After all, the U.S. is the leading exporter of peanuts worldwide.
But there’s a new kid on the block now: almond butter.
It’s delicious, nutritious and has a distinctive earthy flavor and texture that many find preferable. Almond butter … the perfect scoopful snack that even mixes well into superfood smoothies.
While both nut butters are similar, there are a few key differences health-conscious consumers are wise to pay attention to.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, 1.5 ounces of nuts every day can reduce the risk of heart disease.
So let’s help ourselves to a spoonful of know-how. Why should you choose almond butter over peanut butter next time you’re in the grocery store? Let’s find out.
1) ✅ It Is Free of Additives
Though they may cost between $1-$4 more per jar, almond butter is a recent addition to the grocery aisle. This means that it’s yet to be pumped full of harmful sugars, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oils are especially nasty since they’re full of trans fats which clog arteries and lead to cardiovascular disease.
2) ✅ Peanut Butter Is Allergenic
Four out of 100 children today have peanut allergies and scientists think these numbers are on the rise. In fact, allergic reactions to peanuts are the leading cause of food-related deaths nationwide. Shocking fact: peanuts aren’t actually nuts; they’re legumes.
Since these legumes grow underground, they’re susceptible to aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are a fungal contamination found in the soil before harvest. At large doses, these toxins build up in the liver and can become carcinogenic. However, peanut processing reduces aflatoxins to a safe level before consumption.
Almond butter enthusiasts are not susceptible to such risks.
3) ✅ It Is Full Of Micronutrients
Almond butter is an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium, zinc and calcium. This makes it the clear choice for active people on the go.
- Iron and magnesium are key minerals for maintaining high levels of energy throughout the day.
- Potassium is a crucial electrolyte, helping with muscle recovery and nervous system functioning.
- Zinc is needed to maintain muscle mass, as zinc deficiencies limit testosterone release and promote muscle-wasting.
- Vitamin E (3x the amount in PB) has strong anti-inflammatory properties which protect eyes, skin and the immune system from environmental forces.
- Calcium is 4x higher in almond butter and is great for keeping bones strong and preventing osteoporosis, especially in women.
Peanut butter isn’t without benefits, however. PB is packed with folate, an important prenatal vitamin. There’s a good amount of selenium, thiamine, niacin and magnesium in a serving of peanut butter.
4) ✅ It May Lower Cholesterol
According to one study, almonds in any form were responsible for lowering harmful levels of cholesterol.
This likely is due to the fact that almond butter has 50% more healthy monounsaturated fat and 25% less saturated fat (the not so healthy fat) than peanut butter. Monounsaturated fats reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The omega-6 fatty acids found in high concentrations of peanut butter have been linked to inflammation, weight gain and acne.
5) ✅ It Is Lower In Carbs
Many choose almond butter because it has fewer carbs, especially when trying to stay slim and balance your macronutrients. While carbs are necessary for quick energy, diets high in carbs are symptomatic of obesity, inflammatory disease and diabetes.
However, peanut butter has almost double the protein of almond butter – 8g of protein per serving versus 4g of protein per serving for almond butter.
A same-size serving of PB will deliver 188 calories while almond butter carries another 10 calories per serving.
6) ✅ It Is Higher In Fiber
Fewer carbs are the result of 30% higher dietary fiber in almond butter than peanut butter. Aside from maintaining a healthy weigh t and curbing cravings, fiber has the benefit of lowering cholesterol levels and reducing glucose and insulin levels.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the average American doesn’t eat enough fiber. The recommended daily intake is 21-38 grams, depending on age and gender. With 1.6 grams versus 0.9 grams per teaspoon, almond butter is the clear choice for those looking to lose weight or getting on in years and in need of some extra roughage.
7) ✅ Peanut Butter Is Mucus Forming
If you suffer from congestion or poor digestion, switch from peanut butter to almond butter. Peanuts are naturally one of the most mucus forming foods available. Excessive amounts of phlegm can lead to lightheadedness and asthma as well as nasal leakage and painful stomach issues.
This has been your guide to getting better health by eating almond instead peanut butter. Though it may cost a bit more, think of buying almond butter as investing in your health. You’ll be treating yourself to a delicious, healthy snack packed with good protein, low carbs and high fiber. You’ll be filling up on numerous great vitamins and minerals that keep your body and mind strong and focused.
You’ll also be avoiding peanut butter’s unhealthy additives, such as hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and salt. With almond butter, you won’t have to worry about allergies or excess mucus either. So next time you’re at the store, head on over to the healthy section and opt for almond butter first!
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