Nut butter is popular in cooking, baking, and as a quick snack. It can be made from any nut (or seed!), giving you several options to choose from. Which nut butter is the most popular, though?
Peanut butter, almond butter, and mixed nut butter are among some of the most popular types of nut butter.
We’ll review a total of seven popular nut butters in this article, as well as compare them nutritionally!
7 most popular types of nut butter
It’s not surprising that peanut butter is the most popular nut butter. In one year, it’s estimated that Americans consume over one billion pounds of peanut butter per year!
Peanut butter is easy to find, comes in a variety of options (chunky, smooth, flavored, powdered, and more), and is budget-friendly.
Peanuts aren’t technically nuts – they’re legumes (the same family as black beans, chickpeas, and lentils). Because of this, peanut butter isn’t Paleo-friendly since the Paleo diet excludes legumes.
Likely the second most popular option after peanut butter, almond butter is similar nutrition-wise to peanut butter but is Paleo-friendly. Almond butter is also a good source of calcium, with one serving (two tablespoons) providing around 10% of the daily value for calcium.
Mixed nut butter
Mixed nut butter contains a blend of different nuts and seeds, such as almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds. Because of the addition of seeds, mixed nut butter is a good source of dietary fiber.
As long as it doesn’t contain peanut butter, mixed nut butter is also Paleo-friendly! It’s also a good choice for keto dieters as long as it’s unsweetened
Sunflower butter is the most popular allergy-friendly nut butter option. It’s made from sunflower seeds, so it is suitable for people with tree nut and/or peanut allergies.
Many school districts opt to use sunflower butter in place of peanut butter due to the high prevalence of nut butter allergies in children.
Cashew butter isn’t as popular as peanut butter, but it’s up on the list in terms of popularity. Like other nut butters, cashew butter is rich in unsaturated fats, which are considered the healthier types of fat.
Cashew butter isn’t as low in carbs as some nut butters, so it might not be as suitable for a keto diet.
Walnuts are considered some of the healthiest nuts you can eat, so walnut butter is also popular among health enthusiasts. Walnuts are some of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for both heart health and for their anti-inflammatory properties.
While it’s not technically a nut butter (there needs to be at least 90% nuts by weight to be considered a true nut butter), Nutella is the most popular flavored nut spread, with over 250,000 tons sold each year.
While it’s not known for being low in sugar (it’s the highest-sugar nut butter!), it DOES taste delicious. Unlike most nut butters, Nutella isn’t vegan-friendly (or suitable for cow’s milk allergies) because it contains skim milk.
Nutritional comparison of popular nut butters
|Serving size: 2 tbsp.||Calories||Total fat (saturated)||Total carbs||Net carbs (fiber)||Total sugars (incl. added)||Protein|
|Peanut butter||200||16 g (3 g)||7 g||4 g (3 g)||2 g (0 g)||8 g|
|Almond butter||190||17 g (2 g)||7 g||3 g (4 g)||1 g (0 g)||7 g|
|Mixed nut butter||200||16 g (4 g)||8 g||4 g (4 g)||1 g (0 g)||7 g|
|Sunflower butter||200||17 g (2 g)||6 g||4 g (2 g)||3 g (3 g)||7 g|
|Cashew butter||190||16 g (3 g)||10 g||9 g (1 g)||3 g (1 g)||4 g|
|Walnut butter||200||19 g (2 g)||4 g||2 g (2 g)||1 g (0 g)||5 g|
|Nutella||200||12 g (4 g)||23 g||22 g (1 g)||21 g (19 g)||2 g|
What is the best nut butter other than peanut butter?
Some of the most popular choices for peanut butter alternatives include almond butter, mixed nut butter, and sunflower butter.
Because they are both legumes, soy nut butter is similar in texture to peanut butter, though the taste is slightly different. If you’re looking for a low-fat peanut butter alternative, you might consider powdered peanut butter, which is made from defatted peanuts.
Nutella doesn’t contain a high enough percentage of nuts to be considered nut butter, so it’s technically a hazelnut spread. (To be considered a nut butter, there needs to be at least 90% nuts by weight, according to the FDA.)