Comparing Nut Butter Nutrition

Peanut butter

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Peanut butter has been around for ages, but now it has competition from other nut butters such as cashew butter and almond butter. You have probably heard that nuts are good for your heart health. But are the newer and more expensive nut butters any better for you than peanut butter? Is it time to switch from PBJ sandwiches to ABJ or CBJ?

Peanut Butter vs. Cashew Butter vs. Almond Butter

Nutrition information shows that almond or cashew butter may be a little bit better, but not by a lot. Here are the facts about these three types of nut butter.

Peanut Butter Nutrition

Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and monounsaturated fatty acids, and it has some magnesium, potassium, selenium, and a few B vitamins. One tablespoon of peanut butter has 94 calories, 3.6 grams carbohydrate, 0.8 grams of fiber, 3.6 grams protein, 4 grams of total carbohydrates, and 8.2 grams of total fat.

Almond Butter Nutrition

One tablespoon of almond butter has 98 calories, 3 grams carbohydrate, 1.7 grams of fiber, 3.4 grams protein, and 8.9 grams of total fat. So, almond butter has a bit more total fat than peanut butter, but that includes more monounsaturated fat and about half the amount of saturated fat.

Almond butter also has more fiber, fewer carbohydrates, and slightly more calories than peanut butter. Almond butter has more minerals than peanut butter, with the exception of selenium. Peanut butter contains more B vitamins.

Cashew Butter Nutrition

Cashew butter
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Cashew butter also has slightly more calories and fat as peanut butter, but less protein and more carbs. Cashew butter has more iron and magnesium than peanut butter. Cashew butter also has a bit more monounsaturated fat.

Benefits of All Nut Butters

Peanut, cashew, and almond butter all contain phytosterols, which are the plant versions of animal cholesterol. Unlike cholesterol, phytosterols may help to reduce elevated cholesterol levels in humans. The bottom line is they're all good sources of protein, minerals, and healthy fats.

You can spend the extra money for cashew and nut butter if you prefer the flavor, but you're not really getting added nutritional value for something that costs two or three times as much.

Avoiding Unwanted Additives and Ingredients

You may need to be a little careful when you buy peanut butter because some brands contain added sugars that you don't need. Many supermarkets and health food stores have a bulk section where you can grind your own nut butters from their bulk nuts. This avoids any unwanted ingredients. At home, you can add salt and a little honey, sugar, or other sweetener if you desire.

Allergies to Nut Butters

Note that people who have peanut allergies are at a higher risk for tree nut allergies, so almond butter or cashew butter may not be suitable substitutes. Speak with your healthcare provider if you or any of your family members have peanut or nut allergies.

3 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.
  1. Peanut butter. USDA FoodData Central.

  2. Almond butter. USDA FoodData Central.

  3. Cedó L, Farràs M, Lee-Rueckert M, Escolà-Gil JC. Molecular insights into the mechanisms underlying the cholesterol- lowering effects of phytosterolsCMC. 2019;26(37):6704-6723. doi:10.2174/0929867326666190822154701

Additional Reading
  • United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Cashew butter, plain, with salt.

  • United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Almond butter, plain , with salt.

  • United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Peanut butter, smooth style, with salt.

By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.