While most of us are concerned about the calories in butter, very few are aware of its nutritional value. This write-up provides some information about butter nutrition.
Butter is one of those dairy products, that is produced by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. This creamy dairy product consists of butterfat, water, and milk proteins. Apart from its use in cooking, butter is also a popular spread and condiment. It is commonly used in baking, frying, sauce making, and pan frying. Butter is often found as an ingredient in cakes, pastries, and cookies. Even though, butter is mainly made from cow’s milk; the milk of sheep, goat, and buffalo, can be used for this purpose. Butter is available in various forms. While salted and unsalted versions are easily available, you may also come across other types that contain flavorings or preservatives. You may also try cultured butter, sweet cream butter, raw cream butter, spreadable butter, and whipped butter.
Even though butter is mainly consumed for its flavor and taste, this dairy product is rich in vitamins and minerals. One stick of salted butter (weighs around 113 grams) amounts to 810 calories. It contains one gram of protein, 92 grams of fat, 0.07 gram of carbohydrate, 0.07 gram of sugar, and 18 grams of water. The following table provides some information about the vitamin and mineral content in a stick of butter.
|Vitamin A||2824 IU|
|Vitamin D||60 IU|
|Vitamin B1||0.006 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.038 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.047 mg|
|Vitamin E||2.62 mg|
|Vitamin K||7.9 mcg|
* Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
As butter is nutritious, it offers various health benefits too. It is said to be good for the health of the thyroid and adrenal glands. It is beneficial for those, who have fungal infections, especially candidiasis. This dairy product has antitumor and anticancer properties. It is beneficial for fighting tooth decay and to promote muscle growth. This dairy product contains less amounts of lactose, and so, those who are lactose intolerant may also consume it moderately. It is also said that, the lecithin content in butter is essential for cholesterol metabolism. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which promotes immunity. It can prevent calcification of the joints, and can also help the body in absorption of minerals.
Butter contains arachidonic acid, which is vital for functioning of the cells as well as the brain. It is said that, butter consumption is good for preventing gastrointestinal infections in children. It is rich in vitamin A and D, that are essential for the absorption of calcium in the body. The surge of heart diseases during the second half of the twentieth century affected the rate of consumption of butter, which contain cholesterol. However, some recent studies suggest that butter is good for heart, as it contains lots of antioxidants and lecithin, that aid in cholesterol metabolism.