Butter is a dairy product prepared by separating the solid fats from the liquid, known as buttermilk, through the process of churning. Butter comes in different flavors, including salted, unsalted, grass-fed, and clarified varieties, each with its own set of ingredients and production methods.
Butter has long been a source of debate in the nutrition industry. Fortunately, a lot of research has been conducted on the nutritional contents and the potential health effects of butter.
A study was conducted in 2019 to establish the value of these milk and milk products (cheese, yogurts, and milk drinks) in terms of energy, macronutrients (such as amino acids), minerals, and vitamins. This study titled “Milk and Dairy Products and Their Nutritional Contribution to the Average Polish Diet” was published in the MDPI Nutrients Journal in August 2019.
The findings revealed that milk and dairy products are beneficial foods in the average diet. They belong to foods with a high nutritional density. Milk and milk products contain 44 micronutrients including potassium, in minute amounts.
Is Butter Potassium-Rich?
The potassium content in a tablespoon of butter is around 3.4mg. Potassium content in 100gm of different five types of butter ranges from 24 to 71mg.
|Butter Quantity||Potassium content with RDA|
|1 tablespoon of butter||3.4mg equals 0.14% of the RDA of potassium|
|Half cup (or 100gm) of salted butter||24 mg equals 1% of the RDA of potassium|
|1 cup (or 227gm) of salted butter||54.48 mg equals 2% of the RDA of potassium|
As a result, it will not produce any potassium sensitivity symptoms.
Furthermore, when it comes to frying, it is a healthier alternative to cooking oil as it has more nutrients. The potassium percentage of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is calculated using a 4700 mg RDA level for an adult.
|Type of Butter||Level of Potassium|
|Lightstick butter with salt||71mg (2% RDA)|
|Lightstick butter without salt||71mg (2% RDA)|
|Creamed butter with salt||26mg (1% RDA)|
Despite its low potassium content, it should not be a substantial part of any healthy diet. It is fatty and can raise the level of harmful cholesterol, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.
Nutritional Value of Butter
Butter contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 102 Kcal
- Fat content: 12g
- A vitamin
- D vitamin
- Vitamin E
There are no carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, or protein in butter.
Is Butter Good for Health?
Butter is made of saturated fats, making it a low-nutrient food. It also lacks many vitamins. Butter contains calcium in abundance, but other micronutrients are either absent or in minute amounts. These nutrients are essential for optimal health and the normal functioning of organs. As a result, it can’t be regarded as a nutritious food with several health benefits.
Furthermore, butter may impede digestion because of its high-fat content, contributing to several digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. Following a high-fat diet can lead to weight gain, especially if you’re not getting fat from healthy sources like avocados, salmon, eggs, and other foods.
However, it’s crucial to remember that people don’t eat a lot of butter in a single session. Instead, it’s utilized as a sandwich spread or in cooking, thus consumed in moderation.
As long as you eat other nutritious foods and plenty of veggies, it can be a component of a balanced diet.
The only vitamin in butter that is significantly abundant is vitamin A.
One tablespoon of this micronutrient supplies around 7% of your daily intake.
Butter, with its saturated fats, is a low-nutrient food. However, vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that consuming it in the form of butter will aid its absorption. It benefits the vision, immune system, and reproductive system.
Is it Possible to Consume Too Much Potassium from Butter?
As butter is low in potassium (1 tablespoon contains 3.4 mg), consuming too much potassium from eating butter is not generally seen. Most people consume butter by cooking food in it or spreading it on bread for sandwiches. Since the amount of butter utilized in this is low, potassium does not get over-consumed.
Butter is a fatty spread with very little potassium, so one can add it to a low-potassium diet without causing or worsening any health conditions. Tiny amounts of butter ingested in moderation can provide you with significant health benefits. However, avoid overeating butter because it is fattening and might raise cholesterol levels.
Which has Less Potassium, Margarine or Butter?
A single tablespoon of margarine contains about 3.5 milligrams of potassium. It’s only slightly higher than the same serving of butter, so one can safely consume both if trying to limit potassium intake.
However, when it comes to health benefits, butter is a better option than margarine as it is natural and contains more nutrients. It’s also less processed and has fewer non-natural components.
Is Cooking Oil Better than Butter?
One tablespoon of vegetable (sunflower) oil includes trace amounts of potassium. Thus it won’t affect your potassium levels. Sunflower and other vegetable oils may be a preferable option to butter when it comes to frying.
Because butter burns quickly, it can raise the quantity of trans fat and other dangerous compounds in the foods you’re pan-frying. As a result, cooking oil can help reduce this risk while still providing healthy fat.
Potassium Sorbate as Preservative of Butter
Potassium sorbate is used as a preservative in butter. In a study titled “Potassium Sorbate as Preservative of Butter, ” published in the National Library of Medicine, potassium sorbate was integrated at a rate of 0.1% in a batch of butter. After six weeks of storage at various temperatures (20℃, 27℃, 37℃), butter samples were tested for mold, coliform bacteria, free fatty acids, and thiobarbituric acid.
After five weeks at 20℃, the study found that potassium sorbate suppressed mold growth in all samples. Coliform counts in butter samples containing potassium sorbate were consistently lower. On the other hand, coliform levels increased fast in control samples, at 37 degrees Celsius.
What is the Key Takeaway?
Butter contains saturated fats and vitamin A in abundance. The potassium content of regular non-salted butter is minimal and harmless. However, one can not ignore that butter can increase cholesterol levels and weight gain if consumed in excess. Therefore, to reap maximum benefits, one must have butter in moderate quantity.
Butter: Are there health benefits? (n.d.-a). WebMD. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-butter
Butter, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories. (n.d.). Self.Com. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/133/2
Food Data central. (n.d.). Usda.Gov. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173410/nutrients
Górska-Warsewicz, H., Rejman, K., Laskowski, W., & Czeczotko, M. (2019). Milk and dairy products and their nutritional contribution to the average Polish diet. Nutrients, 11(8), 1771. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081771
Kaul, A., Singh, J., & Kuila, R. K. (1981). Potassium sorbate as preservative of butter. Journal of Food Protection, 44(1), 33–34. https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028x-44.1.33
Mudgil, D., & Barak, S. (2020). Development of low sodium table butter via partial replacement of sodium chloride with potassium chloride. Biointerface Research in Applied Chemistry, 10(5), 6112–6118. https://doi.org/10.33263/briac105.61126118