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Butter: is there a healthier one?

23 mayo, 2021

Butters have long been considered foods of very poor nutritional quality due to their high content of saturated fat. However, saturated fats are no longer considered to cause diseases and in the market we find a variety of options, that is why we ask ourselves, within all the butters available, Is there a healthier one?

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The Nutrients and Calories of Different Butters

In order to know in depth the different butters that we find in the market and to give a well-founded answer to the question of the owner, we have analyzed the different alternatives in terms of nutrients and calories per 100 grams.

Since butters are mostly fat and therefore all are concentrated in calories, in the following table we show you the proportion of Saturated fats (which allows deducting the amount of unsaturated fats) offered by the different options per 100 grams in addition to its salt content:

Butters Calories Total fat Saturated fats Salt
Paschal 745 82 g 51 g 0.3 g
ATO 742 82 g 55.4 g 0.9g
Made without salt 745 82 g 53.5 g 0.03 g
Made with salt 737 81 g 55 g 0.8 g
Traditional Asturian CL 742 82 g 55.3 g 0 g
Light Asturian CL 370 40 g 26 g 1.5 g
Hacendado Light 372 41 g 27 g 2.56 g
Arias 753 85 g 59 g 0.03 g
Extra light arias 214 20 g 12.7 g 0.03 g
DAY 742 82 g 55.3 g 0.08 g
Kaiku 745 82 g 51 g 0.02 g
Frico without salt 744 82 g 58 g 0 g
Frico with salt 744 81 g 57 g 1 g
Eroski 3/4 555 61 g 42 g 0.6 g
Reny picot traditional 744 82 g 54 g 0.05 g
Reny picot without salt 745 82 g 54 g 0.05 g
President with salt 725 80 g 55 g 2 g
President without salt 743 82 g 57 g 0.03 g

Butters are mostly dairy fat and therefore traditional options they concentrate a minimum of 82% fat, if they have between 60 and 80% fat, they are called 3/4 and semi butter butters if they have even less fat, the latter are called light or light butters.

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Butters fats

The fats in butters are always mostly saturated, especially because the milk fat that should be the basic ingredient of the same has this composition.

In the light or light butters It can be reduced because the percentage of total fat in the product is reduced and as a consequence its energy intake.

Saturated fats were the culprits, for a long time, of cardiovascular disease and high levels of cholesterol in blood. However, neither the cholesterol we eat has a great influence on the levels we have in the blood nor saturated fats can be responsible for cardiovascular diseases. In fact, the latest consensus on fat consumption for the Spanish population does not establish a limit for its consumption.

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Therefore, although we should prioritize the intake of unsaturated fats and not abuse this nutrient so as not to unbalance the diet, butters with 82% total fat are equally acceptable as light or light, even though they are mainly saturated fat.

Of course, if we are looking for fewer calories, we will opt for reduced-fat options such as 3/4 or semi butters.

Vegetable fats: they are not butter

If in the list you miss the butters with olive oil or other vegetable fats, it is always important to remember that the “butters” that do not have milk fat of animal origin are not actually butters but rather margarines that deserve a separate mention, since their composition changes radically.

If we talk about butters, we always talk about dairy derivatives and saturated fats, therefore, although we can find other added ingredients such as stabilizers or emulsifiers in its list of ingredients, especially used in butters with less fat content, the reality is that fats Vegetables or mixtures of milk fat and vegetable oils are not really butters.

This is the case of the “butter” from Central Lechera Asturiana Mediterránea that it also includes olive oil butter and therefore, it is considered a compound fat, with a lower proportion of saturated fats and more unsaturated fats and therefore, a healthy choice just like the butters themselves.

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The salt of the butters

In the nutritional analysis carried out, we included the proportion of Salt per 100 grams, as butters usually have a large amount of this ingredient that in excess can harm us.

TO except for unsalted buttersThese products have a high content of salt and therefore sodium that the WHO recommends limiting to amounts of 5 grams and 2300 mg daily or less, respectively.

An excess of salt or sodium not only can it raise our blood pressure but also promote an excessive consumption of calories, demineralize bones and other negative consequences, hence always the best butters will be those with less salt in their composition.

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The healthiest butters

Although we might think that no butter is healthy because of its high proportion of saturated fat, the reality is that its consumption is not linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

On the contrary, butters can have 0% trans fat while margarines tend to have a higher proportion of this nutrient that damages health.

Also, the butters naturally offer vitamin A and D to the organism that is typical of milk fat, therefore, we cannot say that butters are unhealthy foods but that We will always choose according to our needs those with more or less fat and calories.

Forever in moderation and within the framework of a balanced diet, the butters can be consumed but remember that the healthier options are those without salt added.

Image | Pixabay and Torbakhopper