December 12th, 2008

Why Almond Butter Is Better

by Tim, 7 Comments »

I am going to tell you why almond butter is better. First, let me say that I like peanut butter. I like the taste of it better than almond butter in fact. Peanut butter has many problems though:

1. It is one of the most pesticide laden crops

2. It often contains a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin

3. It is among the most allergenic foods (if not the most)

4. It is high in omega-6 fatty acids and not omega-3 (most people get far too much omega-6 and not near enough omega-3 and the ratio is important, however both are essential)

5. It is an acid forming food. Acid forming foods promote an environment in the body that is conducive to sickness and disease.

6. Conventional brands of peanut butter have added partially hydrogenated oils (which have trans fats), added sugar, and high fructose corn syrup.

So having stated all those problems you can begin to see already why almond butter is going to be better. I still have peanut butter though and it still can be healthy if you take care. Here are some things you can do to limit the problems with peanut butter:

1. Buy organic. Organic peanut butter ensures that the crops are grown without the use of pesticides, thereby limiting your exposure to them. Organic crops may still contain the mold aflatoxin.

2. Look for peanut butter made from Valencia peanut butter. Valencia peanuts are smaller and sweeter and grown in arid climates where aflatoxin is not prevalent. I know that Trader Joes has an excellent peanut butter made from Valencia peanuts.

3. Make sure the peanut butter you buy has no added ingredients.

Now, onward we go. Remember almonds are actually nuts.. whereas peanuts are legumes. Peanuts are grown under the ground and almonds are grown in trees. Now, why almond butter is so much better:

1. Because almonds do not grow underground like peanuts they are not as conducive to the mold aflatoxin.

2. Almond crops are less pesticide laden than peanut crops (they still can contain pesticides unless you buy organic)

3. Almonds are alkalizing protein and not acid forming.

4. Almonds have a better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids than that of peanuts. A side note: Walnuts are the best source of omega-3’s (when it comes to nuts).

5. Because almonds are from a tree, the minerals are smaller in size and more bio-available.

When looking for almond butter it is best to look for organic and raw (unpasteurized). I frequently get Trader Joes brand which is not organic but it is raw. It usually takes some getting used to when switching to a different nut butter… because for most of us we have grown up having JIF or Skippy and just accept that. It takes time to change our tastes to have a desire for things that are good and better… just like spiritual things.

  • Yes, the Valencia PB from Trader Joes is excellent!

  • Yes, the Valencia PB from Trader Joes is excellent!

  • Pingback: Almonds may boost immune function… | Eat Today To Live Tomorrow()

  • Ryan

    Almonds can in fact be infected by aspergillus, the fungus that produces aflatoxins. See here: 

  • Yes, that is true, but the post says “conducive”. So I am simply saying they are less likely or less certain to be contaminated than peanuts, Traditionally they have been less conducive to have aflatoxins, especially the amount associated with peanuts. It seems with environmental issues and deplete soils that parasites and fungal infection are doing what they are designed to do and now affecting more tree nuts. Thanks for the info, though.

  • Holly

    Why raw almonds and not dry roasted which brings out a lot of flavor?

  • Hi Holly!

    Well, in general raw foods contain enzymes that are beneficial that are destroyed with heat. However, due to current laws in the US, all commercial almonds are supposed to be pasteurized so even almond butters saying raw have been heated briefly. You can get dry roasted which will have nice flavor and still have the minerals, just not the enzymes. Also, I think the bests are soaked/sprouted almonds as they are easier to digest by inactivating certain enzymes which can inhibit absorption of certain minerals and some places have almond butter made from soaked/sprouted almonds. Hope that helps!