When you start following the keto diet, there are a number of dietary changes that you need to make. And one of the first things you’ll need to ditch is the carbs.
But while going virtually carb-free is a no-brainer on the ketogenic diet, certain other foods need to be closely looked at.
The name of the game is to severely cut carbs while ramping up your healthy fat intake and keeping your protein intake moderate.
About 70% to 80% of your total daily calories should be fat.
So, considering the fact that your fat content needs to be relatively high, does butter fit the bill? More specifically, is butter keto?
Nutritional Makeup of Butter
One tablespoon of butter has the following nutritional makeup:
Benefits of Butter
The keto diet requires the consumption of a lot of fat, as already mentioned, but it’s important to focus on the right kinds of fat.
Some fat sources are better for overall health than others, so it’s important that you choose the most nutritious options to help reach your goals.
Butter is rich in healthy saturated fats and is almost completely void of unhealthy trans fats. More specifically, approximately 70% of the fat in butter is saturated and about 2% is unsaturated fat.
Unlike what the mainstream believes, saturated fat is not the enemy. In fact, saturated fats – like butter – can increase levels of HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein), or the “good” cholesterol (1).
On the other hand, it also helps to improve the ratio of HDL and LDL (low density lipoprotein), the latter of which is known as the “bad cholesterol.”
When consumed in moderation, HDLs can help you manage cholesterol levels by removing it from the blood and preventing it from accumulating in the arteries.
Butter also has medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easy for the body to digest and are very popular among keto dieters. There are also plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in butter, especially in grass-fed butter.
While butter has long been considered a detriment to cardiovascular health, current studies are painting a very different picture. In fact, research has found that there’s only a minimal link between butter intake and heart disease risk (2).
Butter is also rich in butyrate, which may play a role in improving brain health (3).
Is Butter Keto-Friendly?
Based on the fact that butter is almost entirely made up of fat, it is generally considered to be keto-friendly.
Indeed, butter can quickly bring up the fat content in your diet that you’re looking for when trying to achieve ketosis. It’s also delicious, brings out the flavor in your dishes, and can keep you feeling fuller for longer.
But there are some considerations that you need to think about before adding butter to your diet.
Perhaps the biggest reason why some people avoid butter – including keto dieters – is because it is a dairy product.
And dairy products tend to have certain health issues, especially for certain individuals with sensitivities and allergies.
Here are some of the downsides to adding dairy to your diet.
Lactose intolerance – If you’re lactose intolerant, butter might not be a good choice.
The sugar in dairy can cause issues for those who are unable to breakdown lactose because their bodies don’t produce the lactase enzyme, which is needed to break down the sugar found in dairy.
As a result, people who are lactose intolerance suffer from digestive issues when they eat dairy products like butter.
Casein intolerance – Not only can the lack of lactase production cause issues with the lactose found in dairy, but it can also cause issues with casein, a protein found in dairy products.
Again, digestive upset usually results.
Keto-Friendly Recipes With Butter
Butter can literally be added to most recipes. You can also cook with it as a non-stick base to add flavor to just about any keto meal you fancy.
That said, here are a couple of go-to-keto recipes that use butter as a staple:
1. Bulletproof Coffee
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or MCT oil
- 1 packet of stevia (optional)
Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until frothy.
2. Keto Butter Chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast
- 2 tbsp masala
- 3 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 3 tsp garlic, minced
- 4 oz plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onion
- 2 tsp ginger, grated
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 14.5 oz tomatoes, crushed
- 1 tbsp coriander, ground up
- ½ tbsp masala
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Salt to taste
Dice chicken up into 2-inch cubes and mix in a large bowl with the masala, grated ginger, minced garlic, and yogurt.
Place in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
For the sauce, mix the onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and spices in a blender until smooth, then set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the chicken with the marinade in the skillet and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Pour sauce over top and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and butter, and cook for another minute.
Add salt if desired.
Butter is definitely a keto-friendly food that many keto dieters depend on to get their fat intake as high as 80% of their daily calories.
It’s also delicious and satiating, helping to satisfy the palate and keep you feeling fuller for longer
That said, if you have an issue with dairy, you may want to search out alternatives to butter, such as ghee.
Regardless of which option you choose, butter or ghee can help you fill your plate with keto-friendly goodness and help keep you in ketosis.