Battle of the Nut Butters
190 calories per 2 tbsp
7 g carbohydrates
16 g fat (8 g monounsaturated fat)
7 g protein
1 g fiber
179 mg Potassium
196 calories per 2 tbsp
6 g carbohydrates
17 g fat (10g monounsaturated)
7 g protein
1 g sugar
3 g fiber
238 mg Potassium
Peanut butter is a great source of niacin, folic acid and vitamin E. Niacin and folic acid help to convert food to energy. You may wonder why some peanut butter is more solid versus separated with the oil on top. Partially hydrogenated oils, saturated fats, and/or sugar are sometimes added to nut butters to solidify them to extend shelf life.
Almond butter provides slightly more calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamin E than peanut butter. The potassium content in almond butter is higher, which is beneficial for athletes as it is an essential electrolyte for proper hydration and nerve function. The fat in almond butter contains more slightly more monounsaturated fat and less saturated fat than peanut butter.
Why are Nut Butters Great for Athletes?
Peanut butter, almond butter, and other nut butters provide a feeling of fullness from their fat content that carbohydrates such as toast, bananas, or pretzels do not always provide. Healthy fats help improve joint, skin, fat soluble vitamin absorption, and heart health. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy the texture and flavor that healthy fats like nut butters can bring to meals! Nut butters, such as the peanut butter and almond butter are full of unsaturated fats, protein, and fiber.
What is a “Better” Choice?
Both peanut butter and almond butter are great choices! They have very similar nutritional content, however, there are some things to look for in the grocery store when you shop. Natural nut butters do not typically have added sugars, added saturated fats, or partially hydrogenated oils. Make sure to check the nutrition label and ingredients for these nutrients to limit them. Look for nut butters that are just peanuts (some natural versions are peanuts and salt), only almonds, or just the specific nut that you are looking for. Products with partially hydrogenated oils should be avoided due to their negative health impact. These have been determined by the FDA as not safe for consumption and must be removed from all food products by June 2018. By choosing a natural peanut butter with oil separation, you can avoid added sugars, saturated fats, and partially hydrogenated oils.
How to Make Your Own Nut Butter
Buy 16 ounces (1 pound) dry roasted nuts of your choice and then place into food processor until smooth or the texture of your choosing. To make creamy nut butters, blend for 5-7 minutes or until smooth! For crunchy, blend ¾ of your nuts and once those are smooth, add in the rest until texture of choice.