One Major Side Effect of Eating Almond Butter Instead of Peanut
Whether you're spreading it on your toast in the morning or mixing it into your favorite smoothie, peanut butter is a great way to load your diet with filling protein, healthy fats, and fiber. However, with so many brands loading their recipes with tons of sugar and sodium, and with many people experiencing severe allergies to peanuts, it's understandable if you might be seeking an alternative to the popular spread.
For many people, the most obvious alternative is almond butter, which is not only widely available, but may also confer health benefits you're not getting from peanut butter. We asked a registered dietitian to weigh in on what you can expect when you start eating almond butter instead of peanut butter.
You'll get more calcium if you eat almond butter instead of peanut butter.
Among the biggest benefits of switching from peanut butter to almond butter? You can enjoy significantly more calcium in every spoonful.
"Almond butter is an excellent plant-based calcium source. It provides about seven times more calcium than peanut butter," says registered dietitian Amy Richter, MS, RDN, LDN, owner and founder of The Acne Dietitian.
What are the benefits of consuming more calcium?
If you're thinking of making the switch from peanut butter to almond butter, you may reduce your risk of osteoporosis by doing so.
"Making this simple swap can help you meet your daily requirement for this important mineral, which helps strengthen bones and lowers blood pressure," explains Richter.
What's more, a 2012 study published in Nutrition Research and Practice found that middle-aged women with lower levels of dietary calcium were more likely to self-report being depressed than those who consumed more calcium.
How much calcium is in peanut butter?
While almond butter may have significantly more calcium than peanut butter, peanut butter isn't completely devoid of the important mineral.
According to the USDA, an average tablespoon of peanut butter contains 7.84 milligrams of calcium, whereas an equivalent portion of almond butter packs 55.5 milligrams of the stuff.
Are there any downsides to eating more calcium?
While calcium has wide-ranging benefits for everything from your brain to your bones, consuming too much calcium—specifically in supplement form—can have serious side effects.
The National Kidney Foundation reports that, while consuming adequate dietary calcium can reduce your chance of developing kidney stones, a calcium-rich diet to which calcium supplements are added may increase a person's risk of developing kidney stones.
If you want to make healthier choices in the future, check out these Warning Signs You're Eating Too Much Peanut Butter, and for the latest healthy eating news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!
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