Peanut butter is a good source of protein and monounsaturated fatty acids, and it has some magnesium (a magnesium deficiency can cause fatigue and other problems), potassium, selenium and a few B vitamins. One tablespoon of peanut butter has 94 calories, 4 grams protein, and 8 grams of total fat.
Almond butter has a bit more fat than peanut butter, but that includes more monounsaturated fat and about half the amount of saturated fat. Almond butter also has more fiber, and fewer carbohydrates so it has about the same number of calories as peanut butter.
Almond butter has more minerals than peanut butter, with the exception of selenium, plus peanut butter contains more B vitamins. Both almond butter and peanut butter contain phytosterols, which are the plant versions of animal cholesterol; however, unlike dietary cholesterol, phytosterols may help to reduce elevated cholesterol levels in humans.
Both peanut butter and almond butter can be used as sources of protein and healthy fats, just be sure to look at the ingredients labels to look for any added sugars or other ingredients you may not desire. It's also important to note that people who have peanut allergies are at a higher risk for tree nut allergies, so almond butter may not be a good substitute.
Did you know that peanuts aren't actually nuts? They're legumes and they're related to peas, dry beans and lentils. According to the National Peanut Board, peanut butter is consumed in 90 percent of homes in the United States and a typical kid will eat 1500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before they go off to college. Also, it looks like men prefer chunky peanut butter, while women and children prefer creamy peanut butter.
Almond butter is made from almonds, which are true nuts that grow on trees. Almond butter may be a newer way to eat almonds, but almonds have been around for at least 3400 years, according to the Almond Board of California. Ancient Romans threw them at newlyweds as little fertility charms. They were historically grown and harvested in Spain, Morocco, Greece, and Israel, until they were brought to California in the 1700s.
United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. "Peanut butter, smooth style, with salt." and "Nuts, almond butter, smooth style, with salt." Accessed March 17, 2011. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/.