Nut butter comparison

Head down the grocery aisle today and you’ll find a variety of nut butters and spreads, Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter and sunflower seed butter just to name a few. And we cannot forget the most nutritious of them all…cookie butter! Ok, just kidding.

Nut butter- featured image

So is there a difference in the nutrition each of these provides? Is one better than the other? Here is a quick rundown of the nutritional stats and comparison to help you make a more educated decision the next time you are in the grocery store!

Peanut Butter

Perhaps the most common and longstanding nut butter, peanut butter is commonly available and in many different varieties including crunchy and smooth. Some common verbiage you may see on jars of peanut butter include natural, fresh ground and organic.

nut butter- peanut butter

Nutrition Stats: A two tablespoon serving of peanut butter generally provides ~8 grams of protein,  ~180 calories and is rich in potassium and magnesium. Peanut butter contains a mix of saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats with monounsaturated fat being the most prevalent.

Almond Butter

Almond butter is becoming increasingly popular and thus more available in grocery stores, markets and even Target or Walmart. You are sure to find smooth and chunky varieties, but will also generally see salted or unsalted as well as raw or roasted.

nut butter- almond butter

Nutrition Stats: A two tablespoon serving of almond butter contains ~190 calories, 7 grams of protein and a mixture of saturated fat, PUFA and MUFA, though with less saturated fat and more MUFA than peanut butter.

Cashew Butter

Slightly less common than almond butter and peanut butter, cashew butter is also gaining popularity. Again, look for this in creamy or crunchy and raw or roasted.

nut butter- cashew butter

Nutrition Stats: A two tablespoon serving provides ~190 calories, 5 grams of protein and the mixture of fats, though with higher proportion of saturated fat.

Sunflower seed butter- aka Sunbutter

I first became aware of sunbutter since it is the only one approved in most schools due to the nut free policies most schools have in place. Made from sunflower seeds, you can also find this one in chunky or creamy and salted or unsalted.

nut butter- sunbutter

Nutrition Stats: A two tablespoon service provides 180 calories, 9 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of saturated fat- lower than peanut butter and cashew butter.

“Conventional” nut butters such as Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan and many store brands have added sugars and hydrogenated oils. To avoid this, go for the fresh ground nut butter in the store or a natural/organic product that lists only nuts in the ingredient list.

Nut butter- chart

These are all very similar in the nutrition they provide, with the exception of some slight differences in saturated fat content and protein content. There really isn’t a “better” choice when it comes to what type of nut butter to choose; however, make sure that you are choosing the natural/unprocessed versions without added sugar, salt and hydrogenated oils. Reading the ingredient list is key, as many times the label will say “natural” and there will still be added sugar. If your local store has the ability to grind your own in store, this is a great option. Also, homemade nut butters are pretty easy if you have a food processor.

Another option is to try PB2 or peanut flour. This is a great substitution in some recipes and drastically reduced in calories and fat- i have found it works especially well in smoothies to give a peanut buttery taste without the added calories!

Nut butter- PB2


Talk to us…What is your favorite nut butter? Have you ever tried to make your own?

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  1. Thanks! I’ve wondered this especially since I make a lot more pb&j these days.


  1. […] compared nut butters and found that many nut butters are relatively similar from a nutrition standpoint, so taste […]

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