Butter is extremely healthy. It’s a perfect ketogenic diet food because it’s carbohydrate-free and doesn’t raise blood sugar. It’s nutritionally dense and adds flavor to other foods.
Butter is loaded with vitamins E, D, A, B12, and K2. It also has healthy fats, 25% of the fat in butter is monounsaturated. Additionally, butter contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and Butyrate.
Organic salted butter made from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows is by far the best. Real butter in a stick, not whipped, but cultured with active bacteria and at least 82% butterfat.
What are the best brands of butter for keto?
- Vermont cultured butter, (pasture-raised) USA
- Organic Valley cultured butter, (pasture-raised) USA
- Kerrygold, (pasture-raised) Ireland
- Straus Family Creamery, (pasture-raised) USA
- Vital Farms, (pasture-raised) USA
- Horizon Organic, (pasture-raised) USA
- President butter, (cultured) France
Is butter keto friendly and healthy?
Yes, butter is healthy. It has gotten a bad rap over the years because of the inaccurate attack on dietary cholesterol. Butter (1 tbsp) contains 31 mg of cholesterol and 7.2 gm of saturated fat. The “fat is bad” nutritional advice is one of the biggest myths associated with the ketogenic diet.
However, butter and keto is a match made in heaven. Every keto diet shopping list that I have seen includes butter. It’s a pretty versatile keto food with many uses.
We don’t have to worry about calories on the keto diet and butter doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin.
There is not a proven link between consumption of saturated fats and the risk of heart disease or stroke.
This conclusion of 76 studies by the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes:
“Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.”Annals of Internal Medicine
What in butter is so healthy?
Not only is butter rich in healthy fats and practically carbohydrate-free it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is formed in the rumen of cattle, deer, sheep, and goat by microbial biotransformation.
According to this study on Pubmed titled, “Conjugated Linoleic Acid: Potential Health Benefits as a Functional Food Ingredient.”
CLA was originally discovery in 2008 as an anticancer agent. It has been shown to prevent the development of atherosclerosis, reduce body fat while improving lean body mass, and lower inflammation.
Butyrate can improve the gut microbiota
Butter has a butyrate concentration of about 0.16 g/l. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA). This study demonstrated butyrate stimulated bacterial fermentation of fiber in the colon.
The study referenced above suggests that butyrate produced by microbes may be involved in regulating the impact of the microbiome on behavior including social communication.
Butyrate-producing bacteria are very important for a healthy, diverse intestinal flora and digestive health. Butter has the highest amount of butyrate of any food source.
Choose pasture-raised, cultured butter for your keto diet
This amazing study from the US National Library of Medicine shows that cows grazing in the pasture and receiving no supplemental feed had 500% more conjugated linoleic acid in milk fat than cows fed typical corn/grain-based diets.
Additionally, butter from pasture grazed cows is much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K2, compared to butter from grain-fed cows.
1/2 liter of milk from pasture-raised cows provides approximately 191 mg of omega 3 fatty acids. Butter made from grass-fed cow milk is nutritionally superior to milk from cows eating grains.
Butter contains super healthy vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is pretty amazing. Basically, it takes the extra calcium out of your blood and puts it into your bones. This is a very informative website on vitamin K2.
While there is no current recommended USDA intake of vitamin K2 the above-referenced source recommends 200 micrograms a day.
The foods with the highest amount of vitamin K2 per 100 grams:
- Natto (950 micrograms)
- Aged gouda cheese (350 micrograms)
- Jarlsberg Cheese (200 micrograms)
- Dark chicken meat (60 micrograms)
- Grass-fed Butter (23 micrograms)
- 4 Egg yolks (20 micrograms)
Please access this article to learn everything you wanted to know about Natto on the Keto Diet
How to use butter on a keto diet
To avoid dirty keto you have to increase your healthy fats and reduce your unhealthy fats. Eating more butter, especially when you are first starting keto, will speed up the fat or keto-adaptation process.
Butter adds a lot of flavor to vegetables and is used in baking keto friendly dishes and fat bombs. It’s also used in making the popular keto chaffle. I think my favorite way to use butter on keto though is mixed in bulletproof coffee.
Keto Coffee (bulletproof) is your best way to get more butter into your diet. Make yourself a keto or bulletproof coffee in the morning instead of your regular breakfast to speed up ketosis and boost fat burning.
You can cook with it, but make sure you don’t get it hot enough to start smoking. Butter has a relatively low smoke point of 350 degrees because butter retains 20% milk solids.
Clarified butter, also called Ghee, is more stable and has a higher smoke point (485 degrees) than butter because it is pure butterfat. So for high heat cooking use ghee.
That’s not to say you can’t cook delicious keto-friendly meals with butter. A little butter, heavy whipping cream, and parmesan cheese is the perfect combination to saute any vegetable.
Butter is also the perfect compliment with an egg fast. Butter can also be used before and after intermittent fasting to put you in a state of ketosis. Avocado, butter, cheese and eggs is a great way to break a fast.
Keto friendly butter is also part of good keto diet plan because adding butter can increase your fat intake and keep your macronutrient levels in the correct keto balance.
The keto macronutrient ratio is covered in our “keto diet explained” resource.
So be sure add grass-fed butter to your keto diet food shopping list to improve your health and success on your keto journey.