It’s the eternal question, first posed by Regina George in the cult classic comedy Mean Girls, but IS butter actually a carb? Let’s find out!
The Short Answer:
Butter has an extremely low carbohydrate content, making it safe to eat on a low carb diet.
The Long Answer:
Ok, so if the title of this article made you think of the movie “Mean Girls” then you’re officially my new best friend.
I feel that the next stage of our newfound friendship is to break the news to you gently, Mean Girls is wrong.
When Regina George asks if butter is a carb, she is immediately told, “yes.” But in actuality, butter has an incredibly low carbohydrate count, clocking in at a measly 0.1 grams. That makes it perfectly acceptable on low carb diets such as Keto.
Butter is a dairy product, meaning that it is mostly milk based. You make butter by churning milk or cream, which in colonial times was done using one of those old-style churns that you see in just about every period appropriate film. When you churn milk, you separate the solid butterfat from the liquid buttermilk. The butterfat is what we know as butter.
Oftentimes, butter is pasteurized, which means that it is heated first to kill off any pathogens within the milk and prevent spoilage from occurring. All butter produced in the United States goes through the pasteurization process. It’s actually illegal for raw butter, made from raw milk, to be commercially sold in the U.S.
Whipped butter is a product that is designed to spread far easier, and it is created in much the same way as normal butter. The only major difference between whipped and regular butter is that air is added into whipped butter, making it lighter and more dense. However, because of this, whipped butter has a lower fat content and fewer calories. This is great for someone counting calories in their diet, but if you’re going keto, you’re going to want that higher fat content.
Speaking of fat, all commercially sold butter throughout the U.S. has to be at least 80% fat
From there, different brands go higher, which is the only major difference between various butters. Most butter sold in the U.S. is made from cow’s milk, as that is the most common milk consumed in this country. However, butter can be made from the milk of almost any animal, commonly including sheep, buffalo, goats, and yaks. The animal’s diet actually helps decide the color of its butter. Typically, colors range from dark yellow to pure white.
Is butter a regular part of your diet? What kind of recipes do you typically use it for? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know!