Almond Butter Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

almond butter nutrition facts and health benefits
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Almond butter is made from almonds, so it contains the nutrition almonds are known for: healthy fats, protein, and minerals such as vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium. While almond butter is higher in calories, it can be part of a healthy diet, adding flavor and nutrition to sandwiches, smoothies, oatmeal, and more.

Almond Butter Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of plain almond butter (no salt added).

  • Calories: 98
  • Fat: 9g
  • Sodium: 1mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Sugars: 0.7g
  • Protein: 3.4g
  • Vitamin E: 3.9mg

Carbs

Almond butter is very calorie-dense, with 98 calories per tablespoon. It contains only 3 grams of carbohydrate per serving, most of that from fiber (1.6 grams per tablespoon). The glycemic load of a 1-tablespoon serving is estimated to be 0.

Fats

There are 9 grams of fat in a 1-tablespoon serving. A small amount of the fat is saturated (just over 1 gram), but most of it is healthy monounsaturated (5.2 grams) and polyunsaturated (2.2 grams) fat.

Protein

Like other nut butters, almond butter is a good source of protein, with 3.4 grams per tablespoon.

Vitamins and Minerals

Almond butter is high in potassium, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. The sodium count will vary a bit based on whether or not the almond butter was made with added salt and how much is added during processing. Check the label on the packaging for sodium levels.

Almond butter is an excellent source of vitamin E. One tablespoon contains just under 4 milligrams, which is 26% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the vitamin. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps the immune system function.

Calories

A one-tablespoon (16-gram) serving of almond butter contains 98 calories. Approximately 76% of almond butter's calories are from fat, 13% from protein, and 11% from carbs. Almond butter is a calorie- and nutrient-dense food.

Health Benefits

Compared to peanut butter, almond butter is a tiny bit more heart-healthy with less saturated fat, more monounsaturated fat, and more fiber. Other nutritional values (such as calories and protein) are almost exactly the same. Here are some of the potential health benefits of almond butter.

Promotes Heart Health

Almond butter is high in monounsaturated fats (about 5 grams per tablespoon). Monounsaturated fats help to reduce LDL cholesterol (the "bad" kind) and raise HDL cholesterol (the "good" kind).

A 2016 review on tree nuts and peanuts concluded that higher nut intake can be beneficial to overall health. The researchers concluded that eating nuts is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as total cancer and all-cause mortality. It also reduced the risk of and mortality from respiratory disease, diabetes, and infections.

An earlier study on almonds also showed that they helped lower coronary heart disease risk.

Supports Bone Health

Almonds are high in calcium, which is good for strong bones, normal blood clotting, and proper muscle and nerve function. They're also high in magnesium, which helps the body absorb calcium.

Magnesium is essential for the formation of healthy bones. Almonds make an excellent plant-based source of these minerals to help ward off issues with bone health that can occur on a plant-based diet.

May Help Control Blood Sugar

Magnesium is also essential for hundreds of different biochemical processes that take place in your body every day, such as regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

One study of magnesium supplements found that they helped with blood sugar control in people with diabetes and improved insulin sensitivity in people at risk of diabetes. Another study found similar effects with almonds themselves (rather than magnesium supplements).

Repairs Cell Damage

The vitamin E in almonds contains antioxidants, which help repair damage caused by oxidative stress. Antioxidants also can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and some cancers. Almonds have significantly more vitamin E than other tree nuts and also have other healthy antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols and flavonoids.

May Aid Weight Management

Some research suggests that almonds may help adults with high cholesterol lose weight. But it is not known if eating almond butter would have the same effect.

Allergies

Almonds are a tree nut, and tree nut allergies are among the eight most common food allergies in the United States. About 0.5% to 1% of the U.S. population is affected, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). 

An allergy to one tree nut does not necessarily mean a person is allergic to other tree nuts. But if you have an allergy to another tree nut, you should avoid almonds and almond butter until you know if they are safe for you. 

If you are allergic to peanuts, which are technically a legume and not a nut, you should still be cautious with almonds and other tree nuts. Around 30% of people allergic to peanuts are also allergic to almonds. If you think you or your child may have an allergy to peanuts or almonds, talk to a healthcare provider about diagnosis and management.

Adverse Effects

Almonds are high in oxalates, which can be a problem for people who have a history of kidney stones or are at risk of developing kidney stones. If you have been advised to reduce oxalates in your diet, you should avoid or limit the consumption of almonds and almond butter.

Varieties

Commercially available almond butter is sometimes made from just almonds. But as with peanut butter and other nut and seed butters, almond butter products may also have extra ingredients including added sugar, salt, and oils. Check labels carefully, especially if you are looking to avoid those ingredients.

Storage and Food Safety

You can store unopened almond butter at room temperature for months (check the label for a best-buy date). Once opened, your jar of almond butter will last longer—3 to 6 months—if you keep it in the refrigerator. "Natural" butters containing naturally occurring almond oil (rather than being replaced with hydrogenated vegetable oils) have a shorter shelf life.

How to Prepare

You can purchase almond butter at your supermarket, but you can also make it at home with a food processor or high-speed blender. All you need are almonds and a little salt.

Add 2 cups roasted almonds and 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt to your food processor and process until you get a nice creamy texture. It may take 20 minutes or so, but it is worth the wait. You can also add up to 1/4 cup of honey and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon while the almonds are processing for added sweetness and flavor.

Use almond butter the same way you use peanut butter and other nutty spreads. Make a sandwich with whole-grain bread, almond butter, and 100% fruit spread, or add 1 tablespoon of almond butter to a smoothie for a protein-rich kick. Spread almond butter on whole-grain crackers, apple slices, or celery sticks for a snack.

12 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker.