Last updated on August 3rd, 2023
Butter is undoubtedly one of the dairy products which is loved by everyone from children to the elderly. It is a creamy dairy product that comes as an end product after churning cream or milk. Also, this white, creamy, cotton-like, and tasty food is one of the major breakfast add-ons in everyone’s life. Butter is saturated fat, so people with diabetes have many apprehensions about it. Is Butter Good for Diabetics Health? Let’s find out the answer in this blog.
What is Butter?
Butter is a dairy product prepared from churned cream’s fat and protein components. It has approximately 80% butterfat and stays in a semi-solid emulsion form at room temperature. It can also be used as a flavor in melted form. Many of us use butter to add fat in various cooking processes like baking, saucing, frying, roasting, etc. Generally, the most commonly used butter is derived from cow’s milk, but there are other butter that are also available that are prepared from the milk of buffalo, sheep, yaks, and goats. We use cow’s butter extensively in our food and cuisines. But is butter good for diabetics, and can they consume it? Keep reading to find the answer.
Nutritional Value of Butter
Since butter is a high saturated fat food, it has adverse effects on health if consumed in large quantities. It is also high in calories, so it aids in weight gain, which can be one of the reasons for developing type 2 diabetes. Butter can also increase cholesterol, so keep a check on the larger amounts and have it in a moderate amount.
It is a high-calorie, high-fat food with trace amounts of minerals. According to USDA, one tablespoon of unsalted butter has the following nutrient components:
|Nutritional Value of Butter|
|Nutrients (100g)||Its amount|
|Vitamin A||97.1 mcg|
Read More: Can Diabetes Patients Eat Oranges?
Butter Glycemic Index
Although butter is high-calorie, high-fat, and high-cholesterol food, it has zero carbohydrates. Yes! Butter is all fat with no carbs, that’s why it does not disturb the sugar levels much. Moreover, butter glycemic index is just 50. The glycemic index of a food calculates the impact of carbohydrates in the blood and the spike in sugar the food brings. A high-GI food is a high-carb food that breaks easily into the body and releases glucose rapidly in the bloodstream, causing a sugar spike. In contrast, low-GI food does not affect blood sugar levels as intensely as high-GI food. However, the butter glycemic index is 50, classifying it as low GI food. This means butter for diabetics is safe to consume but in reasonable quantities. Its fat content can increase weight, which is associated with various health conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, liver conditions, joint health, etc. So it is important to limit the quantity of butter consumption to enjoy its benefits.
Read More: Is Coconut Milk Good for Diabetics?
Is Butter Good for Diabetics Health?
In a healthy person, the cells use sugar or glucose with the help of insulin hormone secreted by the pancreas. This glucose is used for energy by the cells, and the remaining glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen. But in diabetes, body cells become insulin resistant and stop using this glucose. This leads to excess blood glucose or sugar in the bloodstream. This metabolic disorder is known as diabetes.
It is very important for a diabetic person to have a diabetic-friendly diet to reduce sudden sugar spikes. A healthy diet not only controls blood sugar levels but also provides various health benefits. So if we talk about butter for diabetics, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Butter for diabetics is a food choice with high fat and high calories but zero carbohydrates. Carbohydrates break into the glucose that raises blood sugar levels. But since it has zero carbs, is butter good for diabetics? It has a twisted answer. However, butter is zero in carbs but has high unsaturated fat content, which harms health. It causes obesity if taken in excess amounts. Obesity leads to various health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart conditions. It also affects liver and blood pressure. These all are diabetes-related complications, so consuming butter is not entirely safe.
A small or moderate amount of butter not only gives you some health benefits but also adds mouth-watering flavour to your food. But diabetes patients looking to control diabetes should avoid it.
Read More: Is Coconut Milk Good for Diabetics?
Things to Keep in Mind when Using Butter For Diabetics
Since it is a dairy product, butter for diabetics who are lactose-intolerant is not at all advisable. Butter is indeed a dairy product, but the amount of lactose is very small due to the processing of milk. So it is safe for lactose-intolerant people and does not increase blood sugar levels.
How Much Butter Per day for diabetics
To answer how much butter per day is advisable for diabetics, the American Heart Association says saturated fat should be 5-6% of your total calorie intake. For example, if you are on a 2000-calorie diet, your saturated fat-like butter intake should be just 12-14 grams or one tablespoon But if you have type 2 diabetes then one should avoid butter consumption and restrict it to very limited amounts if possible.
Benefits of Eating Butter
Butter for diabetics is not generally recommended. However, the benefits of eating butter are many if only consumed in moderate or reasonable amounts. Butter is rich in various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and good chemicals like butyrate and linoleic acid. However you are looking to control or reverse diabetes, we would suggest resisting butter in the initial stages. Later on, when you clear the glucose tolerance test, you may start consuming butter moderately.
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Benefits of Eating Butter For Diabetics
Rich in Vitamins
One of the major benefits of eating butter is that it is a good source of vitamins A, E, and K which helps to build holistic health.
Vitamin A helps to enhance eye health and boosts immunity. Also, it helps in regulating the thyroid and the production of adrenaline. Additionally, vitamin E helps to get healthy skin and boost immunity. Butter is also a good source of vitamin K which helps strengthen bone health. And also induces the production of various proteins required for blood clotting. These vitamins are fat soluble, easier to absorb by the body, and have the full benefits of eating butter in no time.
Reduces Inflammation and Fungal Infection
Butter for diabetics also helps them in reducing inflammation. It has one important compound named lauric acid. The acid helps reduce inflammation. It is also essential to fight against various fungal and other infections.
The benefits of eating butter also include some antioxidants that are found in butter. These antioxidants help to destroy free radicals in the body. Free radicals attack body cells and cause various health conditions like inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
Fight Against Cancerous Cells
Butter provides them with a good source of saturated fat that helps them prevent the development of cancer cells and inflammation pain. It eventually helps to reduce the risk of cancer. Its antioxidant properties also help prevent cancer, which is another of the amazing benefits of eating butter.
Rich In Fat
Fat is not always bad for health if consumed in the right amount. It is equally essential for overall growth, like carbohydrates and protein. That’s why your balanced diet should contain 5% of the required fat amount. Butter for diabetics can meet this daily fat requirement with other benefits. Saturated fats have some healthy properties that are essential for good health, like antimicrobial, antitumor, and immunity booster. So fats should not be completely cut down from your diet but kept in healthy quantities.
So these are some health benefits of eating butter that you can gain. Its low carb content, health-beneficial properties, and good nutritional profile make butter for diabetics a good food preference.
Disclaimer: These benefits mentioned above are only recommended for diabetes patients who have cleared the glucose tolerance test(GTT). Diabetics with normal sugar levels can also try butter in diets in moderate amounts.
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Which Is Good? Salted Butter or Unsalted Butter
Unsalted butter for diabetics is best to add to your diet. Salted butter has a sodium content that can increase your blood pressure. One tablespoon of salted butter contains 91.3 mg of sodium, which has adverse effects on your blood pressure. Blood pressure is a common health condition associated with diabetes, so always use unsalted butter for diabetics if required.
How Much Butter Per Day For Diabetics?
You can use butter for diabetics and derive the maximum benefits of eating butter healthily by adding it to fibrous food, vegetables, and fruits. Spread butter on whole grain bread with lots of vegetable stuffing as a sandwich.
- Add it to some Indian vegetables, dals, or soups.
- Use it with healthy foods. Do not add it to other unhealthy or fatty foods, especially junk foods.
Read More: Are Sugar-Free Biscuits Safe for Diabetics?
Side-Effects Of Butter
Butter for diabetics is healthy until it’s taken in small amounts, but it is still a saturated fat that can have various side effects:
Excess butter consumption can lead to weight gain or obesity due to its high fat and high-calorie properties. Weight gain can take away many of the benefits of eating butter.
Increases Risk of Heart Diseases
Butter is good for diabetes patients only in limited amounts. Consuming in excess can increase the risks of heart and artery diseases because of its high fat and cholesterol content.
IGF (Insulin Like Growth Factor)
Milk and dairy products contain a deadly compound called IGF. These IGF molecules appear and behave like insulin but don’t work like it. The molecules deter insulin functionality and let the glucose enter the bloodstream, spiking the sugar levels. So diabetics are looking to control sugar levels and HbA1c, should avoid butter.
Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.
Increases Lipid Profile Levels
Butter for diabetics can also increase the lipid profile in the blood.
Not for Lactose Intolerants
In the end, butter is a dairy product, so people with allergies to lactic acid can have the same allergic reaction to butter as well.
Read More: Are Peanuts Good for Diabetics?
So in this article, we explored all the facets of the question, Is butter good for diabetics health? And we found that the benefits of eating butter for diabetes patients are conditional. Diabetics with normal sugar levels and the ones who have cleared GTT can have butter. It has some healthy fats, along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can be helpful to make a healthy or balanced diet. But diabetics looking to reverse or control diabetes should avoid it. Along with this, the high-fat and high-calorie content in butter can heighten the chances of weight gain and heart disease. It also can increase cholesterol and lipid levels. So the benefits of eating butter are until it is consumed in moderation. It improves eye and bone health. We would suggest fulfilling your fat requirement with healthy fats instead of saturated fats like butter. You can substitute butter with olive oil, avocado, or Greek yoghurt.
What are the Healthy Substitutes for Butter?
Instead of butter, try to use healthy fats options like olive oil, greek yoghurt, avocado oil, pumpkin puree, nut butter, etc. Butter is abundant in unhealthy fats, which have a negative impact on people with diabetes. People with diabetes should focus on mono or polyunsaturated fats, which are known as healthy fats. These healthy substitutes of butter not just meet the daily value of fat requirements but also provide some health benefits.
Is Butter a High-Carb Food?
Butter has no carbohydrates in it. It is a high-fat and high-calorie food. It is zero-carb food doesn’t mean it does not affect sugar levels. Since it is rich in saturated and unsaturated fat, it can increase the risks of heart disease, weight gain, and liver conditions. These are some of the diabetes-related complications. So even though it is low or no-carb food, excess butter for diabetics is harmful.
How Much Butter Can a Person Eat Per Day?
Fat is an essential part of your daily diet. It should not be neglected. But we suggest avoidance of butter for diabetes patients or minimal consumption and that too occasionally.
Does Butter Raise Your Blood Sugar?
Yes! Butter for diabetics can be harmful. Butter is high in fat content and, being a dairy product, contains IGF molecules which interfere with the function of insulin. Insulin dysfunction can lead to a spike in sugar levels, so diabetics should limit butter consumption
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.