Butter: Is It Healthy?

butter

One of the most controversial debates in the nutrition world – can butter be part of a healthy diet?

Yes

There’s something deliciously simple about good old butter. It’s made from nothing but cream and salt, not the laundry list of ingredients you’ll find in tubs of butter alternatives. One tablespoon has 7 percent of your daily needs for vitamin A and even a hint (45 milligrams) of omega-3 fats.

The flavor and velvety smooth texture is second to none. Lobster rolls, croissants, fettuccine Alfredo and chocolate cake just wouldn’t be the same without at least a little.

No?

Butter is pure fat – one has tablespoon has 11 grams of fat and 100 calories. The majority of the fat (7 grams) is the artery clogging saturated kind. That same pat of butter also has 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 10% of the daily recommendation.

The Verdict

Butter can absolutely be part of your healthy eating plan. For everyday spreads, a pat of nut butters or non-trans fat butter alternatives can do the trick -- spread those on your toast as an alternative to butter. But for some recipes, like baked goods and sauces, only butter will do the trick -- savor these in moderation.

Tell Us: Do you make room in your diet for butter?

Next Up

Butter Basics

Learn how to navigate all the butters in your supermarket dairy aisle, then find out which applications require the different varieties.

What Is Cookie Butter?

Learn how to use it, store it and make your own.

Which Is Better for You: Almond Butter or Peanut Butter?

We break down the differences between the two popular nut butters.

What’s the Difference Between East Coast Butter and West Coast Butter?

Shocker: butter comes in different shapes based on where you live.

What Exactly Is Apple Butter?

Celebrate and preserve autumn with this lush, spiced fruit spread.

Should You Refrigerate Peanut Butter?

How quickly can you make it through your jar?

Does Peanut Butter Go Bad?

Peanut butter is a staple for sandwiches, sweet treats, and snacking, but does it expire? Here are the facts.

Is Peanut Butter Good for You?

Find out whether or not you should... go nuts.

Margarine vs Butter: What’s the Difference?

And can you substitute one for the other?

How to Prevent Butter from Burning

And what to do if you’ve already burned it.