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The Ultimate Matchup of Nut Butters:
Peanut Butter vs Almond Butter vs Sunflower Seed Butter

Nut butters have taken over the kitchen at Healthy Midlife.

For good reason. A number of studies show that nuts and seeds have wonderful health benefits. Eating nuts appear to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. And, there is some evidence that people who frequently eat nuts reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

From peanuts to almonds, we’ve looked for ways to include more nuts into our healthy diet plan. This nutty diet quest ultimately led us to experiment with nut butters. Nut butters bring nearly the same nutritional value of whole nuts, but can easily be added to healthy recipes, spread on whole-grain bread, fruits and vegetables and added to our protein shakes.

Putting Nut Butters to the Test

For this matchup, we focused just on “natural” nut butters easily found at the local grocery store. And while there are other types of nut butters (cashews, pumpkin seeds) available, we concentrated on peanut butter, almonds and sun flower seeds as these seem to be the more popular versions (and easier to find).

Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter Creamy

MaraNatha All Natural Roasted Almond Butter

MaraNatha All Natural Sunflower Seed Butter

Net Weight 26 oz 16 oz 12 oz
Cost $4.29 $8.99 $4.99
Ingredients Peanuts, 1% or less salt Almonds Sunflower seed kernels, sea salt
Calories per serving size
(2 tbsp)
200 180 180
Total Fat 16g 16g 12g
Saturated Fat 2.5g 1g 1.5g
Trans Fat 0g 0g 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg 0mg
Sodium 105mg 0mg 65mg
Carbs 6g 6g 8g
Fiber 2g 4g 4g
Sugar 1g 2g <1g
Protein 7g 7g 9g

What do Healthy Midlife Writers Say About these Nut Butters?


Peanut Butter: 4 stars – not overly sweet, very peanutty flavor, great as a dip or to add to shakes

Almond Butter: 2 stars – texture was good but flavor was strong. Didn’t taste like almonds, not sure what kind of nut it tasted like. Wouldn’t buy.

Sunflower Seed Butter: 3 stars – good texture, tastes exactly like sunflower seeds, not very salty.


Peanut Butter: 4 stars – good natural peanut flavor, slight texture, not distracting, overall good peanut butter.

Almond Butter: 2 stars – strong flavor alone, ok with fruit and celery, wouldn’t purchase

Sunflower Seed Butter: 3 stars – not normally eating sunflower seeds, surprising flavor but tasted just like I remember sunflower seeds to taste, if you like sunflower seeds you will like it


Peanut Butter: 4 star – smooth, meaning not as viscous as “regular” peanut butter. Flavor not as intense other peanut butters.

Almond Butter: 1.5 stars – Sticky texture then a strong oil taste as it breaks down. I’m surprised I didn’t care for this because I like almonds.

Sunflower Seed Butter: 3 stars – Like it but could use more salt for me, I’d dip pretzels in this. Basically near-liquid sunflowers without the pesky shells.


Peanut Butter: 4 star – Definitely a natural peanut taste without being overly sweet. I think the flavor would be shock for those used to peanut butter with added sugar.

Almond Butter: 2.5 stars – This nut butter begs for something to reduce its intense taste. With any of the other butters, I could eat it by itself but not this one. Spreading on an apple helped. Not really an almond taste, but it does have a nutty flavor.

Sunflower Seed Butter: 3 stars – When I tasted the sunflower seed butter, I flashbacked to my youth and was reminded of my addiction for sunflower seeds. The sunflower seed flavor clearly comes through without anything standing in its way. While I could eat this with apples and celery, I couldn’t see putting this in a shake.

Overall impressions: Which Butter Wins?

Nutritionally, the MaraNatha Almond Butter seems to edge out the other contenders. It’s also the only nut butter that only contained just the nut. MaraNatha Sunflower Seed Butter is the strongest contender for taste that’s true to its nutty origins. If you like sunflower seeds, you’ll love this nut butter. However, when you combine cost value, nutrition and taste preference, the Smucker’s peanut butter wins out in our group.

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