Keto is a low-carb diet involving consuming less than 20 grams of carbohydrates daily. In this dietary pattern, the primary source of energy is fat molecules.
Therefore keto is a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb diet which initiates the metabolic state of ketosis in the body.
But for ketosis to kick in, you must restrict carbohydrates and increase your fat intake.
Butter is a saturated fat that contains only about nine calories per gram. In addition, it provides essential fatty acids that support brain development.
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for the body, and lowering your carb intake may impair cognitive function.
But consuming butter promotes brain development and can counter this effect. But can you eat butter on keto? What is its carb content?
Let us learn more!
Is Butter a Keto Food?
The fundamental goal of a keto diet is reducing carbohydrates and increasing fat intake.
Foods like butter cause confusion amongst people following a diet as some health experts claim that butter has many undesirable health effects such as high cholesterol levels and obesity.
But can you add butter to your low-carb keto diet?
If you’re fond of butter, you’d be glad to know that butter is keto-friendly because it has high saturated fat and low carb content compared to other dairy products.
You can add any type of high-fat content butter to your ketogenic diet, along with coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. But make sure that you do not consume high-carb staples on your keto diet.
You can have low-carb vegetables, healthy fats such as butter, fatty fish, beef, chicken, and nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
If you consume high-fat butter and low-carb staples, your body will stay in the state of ketosis. Therefore, butter is keto-friendly, and you can add it to your low-carb diet.
How Many Carbs Does Butter Contain?
Many fitness enthusiasts have a primary concern about adding butter to their keto diet: “Does butter have carbohydrates?” Technically, high-fat butter contains carbohydrates, but the amount is negligible.
One tablespoon of unsalted butter has about 0.009 grams of net carbs. Therefore you can add butter to your keto diet.
Why Is Butter Allowed on a Low Carb Diet?
A ketogenic diet works when the body starts to burn fat for energy instead of utilizing sugar. In ketosis, the liver burns fat molecules called fatty acids to form ketones, our body’s energy packets.
These ketones provide energy to carry out vital metabolic activities and bodily functions.
The ketosis process stops when your body has sufficient carbohydrate content to use for energy.
But since butter has a high-fat content, it does not disrupt your body’s ketosis. Therefore you can eat butter on low-carb diets.
What’s the Best Butter for Keto?
Pure butter counts as a low-carbohydrate butter. Therefore you can have all types of pure butter. But your approach to keto varies.
To use the best butter for keto, you must look into the following things.
For example, if you’re following a low-carb lazy keto diet that does not initiate keto but promotes weight loss, you can eat all types of butter.
However, on a strict keto diet, it is more suitable to consume grass-fed butter. Also, you must avoid butter substitutes such as margarine and other hydrogenated oils with artificial ingredients.
Butter has extremely low carbohydrate content. It is about 80% fat. Therefore it is not a source of protein or carbohydrates.
Here is a butter nutrition breakdown for one tablespoon (14 grams) of unsalted butter.
- 102 calories
- 0.1 grams protein
- 0.009 grams carbohydrates
- 12 grams fat
Butter is also rich in conjugated linoleic acid that has anti-cancer properties. It also improves fasting insulin levels in the body, reducing the risk of diabetes.
It can also boost your metabolism. However, it raises bad cholesterol levels in the body.
Butter Shouldn’t Be the Only Source of Fat in Your Diet
Grass-fed butter has numerous health benefits. For example, it is an excellent source of antioxidants such as beta carotene.
Moreover, it is versatile, has good taste, and is a key ingredient in many savories.
But butter should not be the only source of fat in your ketogenic diet because it is not as nutritious as other high-fat sources.
For example, extra virgin olive oil is good fat and rich in antioxidants. It also has a higher smoke point, making it suitable for various recipes and cooking applications.
Low carb diets such as the keto or Atkins diet require you to increase your fat intake and restrict your carbohydrates.
People following such diets rely on fat sources like butter to meet the macronutrient requirements.
Butter is an excellent source of fat, and you can include it in a healthy diet. However, there are several other healthy fats you can rely on.
These include homemade cheese, avocados, olive oil, etc. Remember to choose a version of the keto diet that helps keep you on track.