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As a general rule, you are able to eat a stick of butter on keto. However, if you are trying to lose weight while getting a variety of nutrients, it may not be the best option.
1 stick of butter, which is 8 tablespoons, gives you 810 calories of energy and 92 grams of fat.
Just because butter has zero carbs does not mean it should be eaten in large amounts on the keto diet. It doesn't matter what type of diet you are on, getting all the nutrients your body needs should be the priority.
There are other sources of fats with other types of nutrients that you can enjoy while eating a ketogenic diet.
I am not saying to not eat any butter. I too love it and can easily eat it on its own. There are fat bomb recipes at the end of this post that is made with butter.
In addition to what the 'experts' say about eating a whole stick of butter, I also included 9 different types of butter, nutrients in butter, and a few common questions you may have.
Stick of Butter on Keto
I asked a doctor, Ryan, and a dietitian, Lara, what they would say if someone asked them "Can I eat a stick of butter on keto?" Their answers are below.
Ryan Lowery is the CEO of Ketogenic.com and is the President of the Applied Science and Performance Institute. Lara offers integrative and functional nutrition services. You can find her at laraclevenger.com.
"Over the course of a couple of weeks? Sure lol. Most people think that keto is just consuming a ton of fat because of the “butter in the coffee craze.” While keto is higher fat than what most people are used to consuming, you don’t need to force fat in just because someone on the internet told you that it’s a must. Instead, choose the fattier cut of steak or add an avocado in with your salad. Cook your meals in butter (way better than vegetable oils) and use it to get in high-quality fats to keep you full, but no need to consume abundant amounts, especially if your goal involves losing fat."
-Dr. Ryan Lowery
"I’d say I wouldn’t recommend eating it in one seating."
-Lara Clevenger, RD
What kind of butter can I eat on keto?
Any kind of butter is perfect to eat on a keto diet. Enjoy any of the options listed below. Grass-fed butter would be my number 1 choice if I had to choose which is best.
Please stay away from any butter where you see oils in the ingredient list. Most of these use vegetable oils which are not great for your health, especially if you plan to eat a large amount of butter. For example, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, is one brand to stay away from. Also, do NOT buy margarine.
Salted Butter v.s. Unsalted Butter: If I have the choice between these two, I always get the salted butter. When you are eating keto, you need more salt so buying salted butter is a simple way to get more salt. It also tastes better than unsalted butter. However, you may need unsalted for recipes.
Sweet Cream Butter: This type is made from sweet cream which is pasteurized fresh cream.
Cultured Butter: This butter provides a tangy flavor. After the cream is pasteurized live bacterial cultures are mixed in and allowed to ferment before churning the cream.
Clarified Butter/Ghee: The flavor of ghee tastes roasted with nutty notes. Milk solids have been removed in this form.
Grass Fed Butter: Grass fed butter is from cows that only ate grass for it's food from roaming pastures. This is one of best forms of butter to eat, as it provides more omega-3 fats compared to non grass fed butter.
European-Style Butter: The flavor is rich and tangy. This butter has a higher butterfat percent, which is lower in moisture.
Goat Butter: This is made from goat's milk and is similar to goat cheese's flavor. It's tangy and strong.
Amish Butter: This butter is made with fresh cow's milk and hand-chruned.
Can you eat margarine on keto? You should not be eating margarine on a keto diet. Margarine is a highly processed vegetable oil, which is not healthy. Also, some margarine now may have trans fats in them still. If the label says "hydrogenated" on it, do not purchase the product. Even if it says partially hydrogenation, stay away from it.
A study was done in 2015 that showed that saturated fat was not linked to chronic disease but trans fats were (source). When you see the word partially hydrogenated, think of trans fats.
Nutrients in Butter
Below are the top nutrients in butter for 1 tablespoon (source). 1 Tablespoon is 14 grams.
- Vitamin A: 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin D: 2% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 2% of the RDI
- Vitamin B12: 1% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 1% of the RDI
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a type of fat that has been shown to help decrease inflammation (source).
- Butyrate is a type of short-chain fatty acid that provides various health benefits (source).
Buttery Keto Recipes
- Buttered Pecan Fat Bomb
- Buttered Rum Hot Chocolate
- Buttery Tiramisu Fat Bomb
- Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
- Cinnamon Chocolate Butter
Other Common Keto Butter Questions
Can you eat just butter on keto? I would strongly advise against eating just butter on keto. While it does have some fat-soluble vitamins, your body will be missing protein. Your body can make carbs if needed, it can not make its own protein without taking it from your muscles.
Is eating sticks of butter bad for you? As a general rule, eating sticks of butter is not the healthiest thing you can do. You want to make sure you are able to get all the nutrients your body needs to function well with before you start eating sticks of butter.