Fat in Food: Nut, Seed, and Soy

Is peanut butter passé? Not quite, but it’s sure got company.

Almond butter. It has less saturated fat and more vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and copper than peanut butter. And most brands have about 10 percent of a day’s calcium in a two-tablespoon serving. Just be prepared to pay at least twice as much as you would for peanut butter.

Almond Butter


Cashew butter. Cashews are rich in magnesium and copper, and they have more iron and zinc (but less vitamin E) than peanuts. On the downside, they have about half the cholesterol-lowering polyunsaturated fat of almonds, peanuts, or sunflower seeds. That means there’s less good fat to balance out the saturated fat (3 grams in a two-tablespoon serving). And cashew butter is slightly lower in protein (4 to 5 grams per serving) than other nut butters.

Soy butter. “Jelly has a Great New Partner,” says the I.M. Healthy Creamy SoyNut Butter label. It may not taste exactly like peanut butter, but it might satisfy people who can’t eat nuts. Soy butter is made of roasted or toasted soybeans that have been blended with soy and palm oil, sugar, and salt. Calorie-wise, it’s in the same ballpark as peanut butter.

Sunflower seed butter. “Peanut Free!” says Sunbutter Natural Sunflower Seed Spread. That’s a plus for people who can’t eat nuts. Like Sunbutter, Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter is made in a nut-free plant. Sunflower seed butters by Once Again and MaraNatha are made in facilities that also process nuts.

Sunflower seed butter is lower in saturated fat (and higher in fiber) than peanut butter. And it has more vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and copper.

Sunbutter Sunflower Seed Butter


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6 Replies to “Fat in Food: Nut, Seed, and Soy”

  1. The best soy butter I have ever tasted is WOW butter from Canada–to me it looks and tastes just like Skippy peanut butter. Unfortunately, I cannot find it anywhere in my Philly metro area so I have to buy it on Amazon.

  2. Was very disappointed to see that the majority still has sugar in their product? Why? I get fresh ground peanuts at my healthfood store and wouldn’t use anything else. Get with it manufacturers.

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