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Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks – Almond butter vs peanut butter – the nut debate

Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough

Special to the Village News

Both taste amazing for those of us who always have enjoyed a good spread. Most of us can eat almond butter or peanut butter right out of the jar. We grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Celery and peanut butter. Peanut butter cookies. Almond Joy candy bars. Chocolate covered almonds. Roasted almonds. Licking your lips yet??

Actually, this gooey goodness loves to get stuck in your teeth. A popular choice for sure, the National Peanut Board said that 90% of homes has peanut butter in their cabinet. So, let's see which one stacks up as the better choice on your fitness journey.

Both of these butters are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These are the types of fat that help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Almond butter has 5 grams of monounsaturated fats versus 3.3 grams in peanut butter of this fat type per tablespoon. Winner: Almond butter.

Fiber is a very important component of our eating, and most people don't get enough. A good digestive tract requires adequate fiber. We need 21 to 38 grams per day depending on age and gender, so every little bit helps. Almond butter has 1.6 grams of fiber per tablespoon versus 0.9 grams in peanut butter. Winner: Almond butter.

Vitamin E has many antioxidants, and these butters contain this fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin E is also important for our immune system. Almond butter has 4x the amount of vitamin E than peanut butter. Winner: Almond butter.

Both butters contain minerals we need including iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium. Almond butter is a better source of all of these minerals. Winner: Almond butter.

Check out this calorie comparison.... If you took one cup of peanuts, it has 854 calories versus one cup of almonds which has 546 calories. So, take these grounded and you see the calorie difference. Winner: Almond butter.

I'm an advocate for almond butter. Every better decision adds up. There isn't much bad to say about it except maybe the pool of liquid that forms at the top of a new container. Other than that, almond anything and I'm in. Of course, in moderation and with portion control.

Everyone can incorporate almond butter on their fitness journey, provided they have no nut allergies. Read the labels, find the best brand available to you, and top a rice cake with some almond butter.

Megan Johnson McCullough, EdD, recently earned her doctorate in physical education and health science, is a professional natural bodybuilder and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine master trainer.


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