Butter nutrition? Butter is one of the healthy fats to eat because it is a dairy product made from cow’s milk. Whether it is butter nutrition or peanut butter nutrition you are going to love a lot of things about butter.
Composed of healthy fats that have been separated from other milk components, butter is rich in flavor and mostly used for cooking, baking and as a spread.
Some years ago, butter and in fact, other fats have been blamed for heart disease because of high saturated fat content. Nowadays, butter is considered healthy if consumed in moderation.
While some people say it will increase the cholesterol levels and clog your arteries, others say it is a nutritious and flavorful addition to your diet. Thankfully, lots of research conducted just recently has cleared the air.
What is butter?
Butter is a dairy product made by separating the solid fats from liquid fats. Although butter is made from other animals like buffalo, goats, and sheep, this article will focus on butter made from cow’s milk and peanut butter.
Butter is available in different forms including grass-fed, unsalted, salted and clarified butter – each of which is varied based on ingredients and production method.
Because butter is high in fat, it is rich in creamy texture and flavourful. It works well for high-heat cooking such as pan-frying and sautéing and can also help prevent sticking while adding flavor.
Butter production methods
When it comes to butter production, the first step is to separate milk from the cream. In the past, milk was left standing until the cream rose to the top, at which point it was skimmed. Nowadays, cream production is done through centrifugation.
Butter is then produced from cream via churning. This involves shaking the cream until the milk fat – or butter – clumps together and separates from the liquid portion. And then the butter is churned further until it’s ready for packaging.
Butter nutrition data or calories in butter
Butter is mainly composed of fat, so it is a high-calorie food. 1 tablespoon of butter (14 grams) contains about 100 calories, similar to one medium-sized banana. Butter nutrition data for one tablespoon (14 grams) of salted butter include:
- Calories: 102>
- Carbs: 0.01 grams
- Water: 16%
- Sugar: 0.01 grams
- Protein: 0.12 grams
- Fat: 11.52 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Polyunsaturated: 0.43 grams
- Monounsaturated: 2.99 grams
- Saturated: 7.29 grams
- Trans: 0.47 grams
- Vitamin A: 11% grams
- Vitamin B12: 1% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 2% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 1% of the RDI
Although butter is high in fat and calories, it contains many vital nutrients too.
For instance, it is an excellent source of vitamin A, needed for skin health, healthy vision and immune function.
It also contains vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to protect body cells against damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E also supports heart health.
Butter also contains small amounts of nutrients like calcium, niacin, phosphorus, and riboflavin.
Fats in butter
The main content of butter is fat. Fat in butter is 80%, while the rest is mostly water. It is the fatty part of milk that has been isolated from carbs and protein.
Butter contains over 400 fatty acids, which makes it the most complex dietary fat. High in saturated fatty acid, which is about 70 percent, butter also contains monounsaturated fatty acids of about 25 percent.
Polyunsaturated fats only take 2.5 percent of the total fat content, while phospholipids and cholesterol take a very small part of it.
About 11 percent of the saturated fats in butter are SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids), the most common of which is butyric acid. You will find butyric acid in milk fat of ruminant animals like goats, sheep, and cattle.
A butyrate is a form of acid which has been shown to reduce inflammation in your digestive system. In fact, it has been used to treat Crohn’s diseases.
Dairy trans fats
Dairy trans fats in dairy products are healthy compared to unhealthy trans fats in processed foods. Butter remains the richest dietary source of dairy trans fats, which are mostly CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and vaccenic acid.
CLA is famous for its numerous health benefits.
But not all studies support CLA’s weight loss effects, and it is possible that consuming too much of CLA supplements may harm your metabolic health.
Health benefits of butter
Butter nutrition is now trendy among butter eaters. Ketogenic dieters, for instance, and others who are on a low-carb eating plan may add butter to most of their foods throughout the day to increase their fat intake.
However, you won’t gain much health benefits if you add butter to your meal. Most health experts recommend reducing saturated fats intake, like butter. That is why you should eat butter in moderation, as consuming it in large amount may lead to weight gain.
However, butter is satisfying and many diet experts believe that consuming a small amount of satisfying fat is better than eating large quantities of fat, as less satisfying fats may include processed ingredients.
But even if real butter is satisfying, you should eat it moderately to avoid weight gain.
Margarine vs. Butter nutrition
Margarine vs. Butter nutrition debate can be tricky to resolve, as there are several margarine products with a different nutritional profile on the market. There are margarine brands that claimed to add omega-3 fatty acids to their products, but most of them might just be using that as a marketing ploy.
Be sure to check the ingredients and nutrition facts label of any margarine or butter you want to consume. Several kinds of margarine out there contain trans fat, which is usually listed as “hydrogenated oil” or “partially hydrogenated oil.” It makes sense to reduce margarine or avoid it completely.
Natural butter nutrition alternatives
If you want to avoid butter and eat even better fats than butter, here are the best and natural alternatives to butter:
- Avocado: is often called a poor man’s butter but avocado nutrition showed it is a great source of healthy fat. So you can easily enjoy it with your bread and even with salads.
- Olive oil: is another excellent butter alternative when it comes to sautéing meat and vegetable.
- Peanut butter: this one varies from on bran to the other. However natural peanut butter nutrition offers no trans fat or added sugar and can boost your protein intake.
Butter health concerns
If consumed moderately, it has few known health effects. However, consuming a large amount of butter may result in weight gain and associated health issues, especially in the context of a high-calorie diet.
Here are some of the downsides of butter:
Although butter is not high in protein, its allergic whey protein content can cause reactions. So if you have a milk allergy, you may want to avoid butter or be careful with it.
The lactose content of butter is not too high, so consuming it moderately should be safe for you if you are lactose intolerance. Ghee is a cultured butter and contains less lactose, making it more suitable.
One of the common causes of death in our society today is heart disease. The relationship between heart disease and saturated fats is a topic for debate for many years now.
A high intake of saturated fat can raise levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the blood, which is a risk factor for heart disease. But critics have said saturated fat does not raise the type of LDL that is strongly associated with heart disease.
The same applies to dairy products like butter. Many studies showed that high-fat dairy products don’t increase your risk of heart disease. Other observational studies link consumption of high-fat dairy products to benefits for heart health.
Even with the controversies, most official dietary guides advised against consuming high amounts of saturated fat.
How much butter is safe to eat?
Studies recommend that you consume no more than 10 percent saturated fat in your daily calories. For instance, if you are to consume 2,000 calories per day, then saturated fat should not be more than 22 grams or 1 to 2 tablespoons.
You can combine that 10% with some of this list of healthy fats to heat.
The bottom line
Butter nutrition is very rich in vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds such as conjugated linoleic acid and butyrate. High-fat dairy products such as butter have been linked to a reduced risk of obesity, heart problems, and diabetes.
However, butter is not really nutritious when you consider a large number of calories in it. But if you consume butter moderately, you will enjoy how satisfying it is an will not gain weight. So avoid excessive consumption.