Nutrition, Health & Wellness

Butter is useful for those requiring energy-dense diets, such as those with small appetites. It is also important for us all to include small amounts of fat in the diet as fat has a number of important roles and butter is a useful source of fat. Fat forms structural components of the brain tissue, nerves and cell membranes and is also involved in the synthesis of important hormones and supplies energy.

a) Macro- Nutrients in Butter

Energy

Butter is energy-dense and by law it must be 80% fat.
Butter can be enjoyed in small amounts as part of a balanced diet by thinly spreading it onto bread or adding it onto potatoes.
Butter is also useful for people with high energy requirements such as those with small appetites, for example the elderly. It can be added onto vegetables and into a number of recipes to increase the energy value of the food consumed.

Fat

Butter has a high fat content, particularly saturated fat. Over 50% of the fat in butter is saturated fat, 20% is monounsaturated, 3% polyunsaturated and approximately 3% natural trans fatty acids.
Excessive intake of saturated fat can increase blood cholesterol levels, which is a major risk for cardiovascular disease. There is a general perception that butter is not good for health due to its saturated fat content; however it is a natural product and can be enjoyed in small amounts as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Studies are also investigating the role that milk-derived fatty acids, found in all dairy products including butter, may play in health.
Monounsaturated fatty acids do not raise blood cholesterol and there is evidence to show that they help reduce blood cholesterol, whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids can actively reduce blood cholesterol.
Naturally occurring trans fatty acids found in dairy products have not been associated with increased blood cholesterol levels. Trans fatty acids from industrially produced products have been shown to have a less favourable effect on cholesterol levels.

Carbohydrate

Butter contains very small amounts of the sugar lactose which is found in all dairy products.

b) Vitamins and Minerals in Butter

Fat soluble vitamins

The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D and E
Fat-soluble vitamin content of butter

Nutrient Amount present in a 7g serving of butter
Vitamin A (µg) 67
Vitamin D (µg) 0.1
Vitamin E (mg) 0.13

A serving of butter (7g) contains 67µg of vitamin A, providing 10% and 11% of the recommended daily requirement for men and women respectively (aged 19-50 years).

Water soluble vitamins

The water-soluble vitamins are the B vitamins and vitamin C.
Most of the B vitamins and vitamin C are lost during the processing of butter.
Minerals

Mineral content of butter

Nutrient Amount present in a 7g serving of butter
Calcium (mg) 1
Magnesium (mg) 0.1
Phosphorus (mg) 2
Potassium (mg) 2
Iodine (µg) 3