Keto diet eating butter. Will eat butter on a keto diet? Eating butter is fine if you follow a Keto diet. Butter offers good amount of healthy fats and vitamins. There are many types of butter available in the market. Butter is one of the healthiest food products in the market. Butter is the dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk.
CARBS IN BUTTER: IS BUTTER KETO?
One of the fundamental goals of the ketogenic diet is to reduce carbs and increase fat intake — however, foods like butter can still cause confusion. Is butter a carb? Is butter keto? And if it is, how many carbs in butter? Let’s go over all your keto butter questions here, plus ways to easily incorporate it into a low carb lifestyle.
IS BUTTER KETO FRIENDLY?
Yes, butter is keto-friendly! Since it’s especially high in fat and low in carbohydrates compared to other dairy products, you can enjoy any kind of pure butter on a ketogenic or low carb diet. Along with olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil, butter is one of the most popular healthy fats for this lifestyle.
Just keep in mind that the keto diet is much more than the “bacon and butter” stereotype. The staples on your keto food list should include low carb vegetables, other healthy fats, eggs, fatty fish such as salmon, meats like beef and chicken, berries, and in moderation, nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
IS CLARIFIED BUTTER KETO?
Yes! Clarified butter, also known as ghee, is simply butter with the milk solids removed, so it doesn’t have much lactose, if any. It’s still great for low carb lifestyles.
GET CARB COUNTS & TRACK MACROS WITH THE EASY KETO APP
HOW MANY CARBS IN BUTTER?
Does butter have carbs? Technically it does, but they are so negligible they aren’t worth counting. A tablespoon of salted or unsalted butter contains exactly 0.009 grams of carbohydrate (total carbs and net carbs) . Anecdotally, most people on a keto diet do not count this very small amount of carbs.
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IS BUTTER A CARB?
This question originally comes from a movie line, but in case you’re wondering… no, butter is not a carb. Of all macronutrients, butter is classified as a fat.
WHAT’S THE BEST BUTTER FOR KETO?
All pure butter counts as low carb butter. However, depending on your approach to keto, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking for the best keto butter.
On a low carb diet, lazy keto diet, or dirty keto diet, any variety of butter will work for your goals and help support a state of ketosis. On a strict keto diet, many prefer to use grass-fed butter.
With any of these keto diet approaches, though, avoid butter substitutes (except clean ones like coconut oil), margarines, or any imitation butter that uses hydrogenated oils or artificial ingredients.
Butter is almost 100% fat, so it’s not really a source of carbohydrates or protein. Here’s the nutrition info breakdown per tablespoon:
- 102 calories
- 11.5g fat (about 2/3 saturated fat)
- 0.1g protein
- 0.009g carbohydrates
Butter is also a great source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, improve fasting insulin levels, and reduce diabetes risk . Also, short-chain fatty acids like those in butter can even help increase metabolism . However, butter does raise “bad cholesterol” (LDL) more than coconut oil or olive oil .
KETO BUTTER RECIPES
The best part about butter on keto? It’s easy to include in your favorite dishes! Butter is a staple in keto recipes. Try it in these keto friendly butter recipes, where it brings out more sweet and savory flavors.
A mouthwatering recipe that works on meat, fish, or spread over keto bread. Try it in several flavor variations!
KETO BUTTER COFFEE
A classic keto recipe that amps up the fat! Blend butter with your coffee for a frothy, energizing drink.
LEMON BUTTER SAUCE
An easy way to add instant fanciness to meals — especially seafood dishes!
GARLIC BUTTER STEAK BITES
Butter adds rich flavor to this one pan meat and veggie meal.
Seems fancy, but it’s so easy! Learn the secrets to making this buttery sauce fast.
KETO BUTTER CHICKEN
A buttery curried tomato sauce makes this dish taste straight out of a restaurant — and it’s totally keto! A side of sauteed broccoli also goes well with this.
SLOW COOKER WHOLE CHICKEN
Garlic butter under the skin keeps this chicken moist while it cooks low and slow.
SAUTEED MUSHROOMS IN GARLIC BUTTER
For a fast and flavorful side dish, add garlic butter! This one cooks up in just 20 minutes. You can also use it on other keto vegetables.
With a whipped butternut squash filling and browned butter sauce, this pasta dish transforms simple ingredients into a fancy meal.
Butter is key for making rich shortbread! This one captures all the rich flavor, but keeps every bite sugar-free.
CONCLUSION: CAN YOU HAVE BUTTER ON KETO?
With virtually no carbs in butter, it’s one of the best foods to enjoy on keto! Use it in keto friendly butter recipes to maximize its rich flavor.
EATING STICKS OF BUTTER ON KETO: A NUTRITIONIST AND A DR. WAY IN
As a general rule, you are able to eat a stick of butter on keto. However, if you are trying to lose weight while getting a variety of nutrients, it may not be the best option.
1 stick of butter, which is 8 tablespoons, gives you 810 calories of energy and 92 grams of fat.
Just because butter has zero carbs does not mean it should be eaten in large amounts on the keto diet. It doesn’t matter what type of diet you are on, getting all the nutrients your body needs should be the priority.
There are other sources of fats with other types of nutrients that you can enjoy while eating a ketogenic diet.
I am not saying to not eat any butter. I too love it and can easily eat it on its own. There are fat bomb recipes at the end of this post that is made with butter.
In addition to what the ‘experts’ say about eating a whole stick of butter, I also included 9 different types of butter, nutrients in butter, and a few common questions you may have.Jump to:
Stick of Butter on Keto
I asked a doctor, Ryan, and a dietitian, Lara, what they would say if someone asked them “Can I eat a stick of butter on keto?” Their answers are below.
Ryan Lowery is the CEO of Ketogenic.com and is the President of the Applied Science and Performance Institute. Lara offers integrative and functional nutrition services. You can find her at laraclevenger.com.
“Over the course of a couple of weeks? Sure lol. Most people think that keto is just consuming a ton of fat because of the “butter in the coffee craze.” While keto is higher fat than what most people are used to consuming, you don’t need to force fat in just because someone on the internet told you that it’s a must. Instead, choose the fattier cut of steak or add an avocado in with your salad. Cook your meals in butter (way better than vegetable oils) and use it to get in high-quality fats to keep you full, but no need to consume abundant amounts, especially if your goal involves losing fat.”
-Dr. Ryan Lowery
What kind of butter can I eat on keto?
Any kind of butter is perfect to eat on a keto diet. Enjoy any of the options listed below. Grass-fed butter would be my number 1 choice if I had to choose which is best.
Please stay away from any butter where you see oils in the ingredient list. Most of these use vegetable oils which are not great for your health, especially if you plan to eat a large amount of butter. For example, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, is one brand to stay away from. Also, do NOT buy margarine.
Salted Butter v.s. Unsalted Butter: If I have the choice between these two, I always get the salted butter. When you are eating keto, you need more salt so buying salted butter is a simple way to get more salt. It also tastes better than unsalted butter. However, you may need unsalted for recipes.
Sweet Cream Butter: This type is made from sweet cream which is pasteurized fresh cream.
Cultured Butter: This butter provides a tangy flavor. After the cream is pasteurized live bacterial cultures are mixed in and allowed to ferment before churning the cream.
Clarified Butter/Ghee: The flavor of ghee tastes roasted with nutty notes. Milk solids have been removed in this form.
Grass Fed Butter: Grass fed butter is from cows that only ate grass for it’s food from roaming pastures. This is one of best forms of butter to eat, as it provides more omega-3 fats compared to non grass fed butter.
European-Style Butter: The flavor is rich and tangy. This butter has a higher butterfat percent, which is lower in moisture.
Goat Butter: This is made from goat’s milk and is similar to goat cheese’s flavor. It’s tangy and strong.
Amish Butter: This butter is made with fresh cow’s milk and hand-chruned.
Can you eat margarine on keto? You should not be eating margarine on a keto diet. Margarine is a highly processed vegetable oil, which is not healthy. Also, some margarine now may have trans fats in them still. If the label says “hydrogenated” on it, do not purchase the product. Even if it says partially hydrogenation, stay away from it.
A study was done in 2015 that showed that saturated fat was not linked to chronic disease but trans fats were. When you see the word partially hydrogenated, think of trans fats.
Nutrients in Butter
Below are the top nutrients in butter for 1 tablespoon . 1 Tablespoon is 14 grams.
- Vitamin A: 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin D: 2% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 2% of the RDI
- Vitamin B12: 1% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 1% of the RDI
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a type of fat that has been shown to help decrease inflammation.
- Butyrate is a type of short-chain fatty acid that provides various health benefits .
Buttery Keto Recipes
- Buttered Pecan Fat Bomb
- Buttered Rum Hot Chocolate
- Buttery Tiramisu Fat Bomb
- Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
- Cinnamon Chocolate Butter
Other Common Keto Butter Questions
Can you eat just butter on keto? I would strongly advise against eating just butter on keto. While it does have some fat-soluble vitamins, your body will be missing protein. Your body can make carbs if needed, it can not make its own protein without taking it from your muscles.
Is eating sticks of butter bad for you? As a general rule, eating sticks of butter is not the healthiest thing you can do. You want to make sure you are able to get all the nutrients your body needs to function well with before you start eating sticks of butter.
What Are the Best and Worst Fats to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet?
A final guideline: Even if you’re on keto, portions of fat still matter, says Jill Keene, RDN, of White Plains, New York. “How much you specifically eat depends on your calorie needs and goals, but overconsuming fat can cause weight gain,” she says. Also, considering that fat is your body’s main fuel source on a keto diet, she advises spreading out your fats evenly throughout the day.
Many people on a keto diet count net carbs, which are total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols (since fiber goes through your system undigested). We take both into account here.
Consider this your guide to cutting through the fat.
Best Fats To Eat On The Keto Diet
The 5 Best Fats to Eat Plenty of on the Ketogenic Diet
Though technically a fruit, avocados offer a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). They’re also packed with fiber, which bolsters digestive health, as the Mayo Clinic points out. Half an avocado contains 161 calories, 2 grams (g) of protein, 15 g of fat, 9 g of total carbs, and 7 g of fiber (bringing it to 2 g of net carbs), notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
2. Olive Oil
“We know that when we have fats in our diet like MUFAs, they not only fill us up but keep cholesterol levels lower,” says Keatley. Olive oil is great for light sautéing, using in dressings, or drizzling over cooked meats or vegetables as a finishing oil. One tablespoon (tbsp) offers 119 calories and 13.5 g of fat, only 2 g of which are saturated fat, per the USDA.
3. Avocado Oil
Like olive oil, avocado oil is rich in anti-inflammatory MUFAs, but one of the biggest benefits to using avocado oil is that it stands up to high-heat cooking. For instance, the popular brand Chosen Foods says its avocado oil has a smoke point of 500 degrees F. According to the USDA, 1 tbsp of avocado oil has 124 calories, 14 g of fat, and 0 g of carbohydrates.
4. Nuts and Nut Butter
Nuts offer unsaturated fats, but they also contain carbs, so look at labels to calculate exactly what you’re getting, says Whitmire. Same goes for nut butters. As an example, 1 tbsp of almond butter has 98 calories, 3 g of protein, 9 g of fat, 3 g of total carbs, and about 1.5 g of fiber (equaling about 1.5 g of net carbs), per the USDA. And, the USDA also notes, 1 ounce (oz) of almonds (23 nuts) has 170 calories, 6 g of protein, 15 g of fat, 6 g of carbohydrates, and 3 g of fiber (totaling about 3 g of net carbs).
5. Chia Seeds and Flaxseed
Whitmire recommends these because they offer omega-3 fatty acids. “Getting more of these fats will improve the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s you consume, which some research suggests optimizes health,” she says. For example, an article published online in September 2016 in the journal Open Heart cited research that linked consuming more omega-3s and fewer omega-6s (which are high in Western diets) to a lower risk of insulin resistance — the hallmark of type 2 diabetes — and obesity, among other protective health benefits. The USDA says 1 oz of chia seeds has 138 calories, 5 g of protein, 9 g of fat, 12 g of carbs, and a whopping 10 g of fiber (so only 2 net carbs). And also according to the USDA, 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed has 37 calories, 1 g of protein, 3 g of fat, 2 g of carbs, and 2 g of fiber (basically 0 net carbs). Just be sure to buy ground flaxseed so your body can absorb the omega-3s.
Worst Fats To Eat On Keto Diet
The 4 Fats You Should Limit on the Keto Diet
A slice of cheese contains 85 calories, 5 g of protein, 7 g of fat (4 g of saturated fat), less than 1 g of carbohydrates, and no fiber, per the USDA. The saturated fat qualifies it as a food you ought to limit, but some research suggests that cheese has some health benefits as well. A meta-analysis published in August 2016 in the European Journal of Nutrition found that cheese eating was associated with a 10 percent lower risk of heart disease and stroke, particularly for those consuming about 1.5 oz (or a slice and a half) per day. Of course, more studies are needed to assess this connection, and because cheese contains saturated fat, it’s still important to limit your intake.
Adding heavy cream or half-and-half to your coffee is one way to get an additional source of fat into your day, says Keatley. Just realize that it is a source of saturated fat — and given the small serving size, it’s easy to go overboard. As the USDA notes, 1 tbsp of heavy cream has 51 calories and 5 g of fat (3.5 g of saturated fat), and it is just shy of 0.5 g of carbs.
3. Coconut Oil
Trendy coconut oil has been credited as a panacea for health ills — thus given the general go-ahead to consume as much as you want. But that’s not exactly the case. “There’s a controversy with coconut oil because of its high levels of saturated fats, which are the ones that clog arteries,” says Keene. But the argument some make is that coconut oil is different. Part of its fat is made up of medium-chain triglycerides, fatty acids that the body metabolizes more quickly and are less likely to get stored by the body as fat, she says. That said, according to the USDA, 1 tbsp has 121 calories, 14 g of fat (11 g are saturated fat), and 0 carbs. Eat healthier unsaturated sources of fat first, and moderate amounts of these saturated sources, says Keene.
“Eating a significant amount of butter has some of the worst effects on your health compared with other fats,” says Keatley. It’s okay to use butter in your fat rotation but best not to make it your go-to fat; instead, opt for more unsaturated sources. Per the USDA, 1 tbsp of butter has 102 calories, 12 g of fat (7 g of which are saturated fat), and 0 carbohydrates.