Is Butter Keto?

Is Butter Keto?

November 04, 2023 6 min read

Butter is a staple ingredient in many recipes, whether you’re looking to flavor a chicken breast or sear a porterhouse steak. Regardless of how many recipes you look up, you’re bound to spot butter incorporated in some way.

This leads keto dieters to wonder whether or not butter is keto-friendly. We know that it’s significantly high in fat, meeting the fat percentage required in the keto diet regime.

But what about its carbohydrate content and other ingredients? Are they suitable for keto? We explore that in this article.


Is Butter Keto Friendly?

According to keto practitioners, butter is keto-friendly. Compared to other dairy products, butter is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, which proponents say makes it a good addition to a keto or low-carb diet. 

Butter, regardless of type, is known to contain 400 different types of fatty acids, namely monounsaturated fats (25%), saturated fats (70%), and polyunsaturated fats (2.3%). According to studies, its healthy fat content helps increase good cholesterol in the body while keeping bad cholesterol stable.

A meat product that is low-carb, high in good fats, keto-friendly, and is a healthy choice, is a bag of pork rinds. They are an excellent keto snack and can be used in many keto-friendly recipes.


How Many Carbs Does Butter Contain?

While butter has a low carbohydrate content, it still contains a meager amount of carbohydrates. A tablespoon of salted or unsalted butter has about 0.009 grams of carbs. However, because the amount is negligible, plenty of keto dieters say they don’t bother counting this in their daily macros. Cottage cheese, for example, has an average of 4.31 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving.


Butter Nutrition Breakdown

A tablespoon of pure, unsalted butter contains 11.5 grams of fat, 0.009 grams of carbohydrates, and 102 calories. It can also be a source of other important nutrients like calcium (3.41 mg), phosphorus (3.41 mg), potassium (3.41 mg), vitamin A (97.1 µg), and beta carotene (22.4 µg).

Butter is considered by keto practitioners to be one of the most popular sources of fats for keto, along with oils such as olive oil and coconut oil. It contains healthy fats and a good amount of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E.

However, butter also has high levels of saturated fat (7.17 grams per 1 tbsp serving) and cholesterol (30.5 mg per 1 tbsp serving). Studies show that this increases the risk of heart disease when consumed in excess.

The same is the case with coconut oil. As an alternative, keto diet practitioners opt for olive oil, which is high in antioxidants that protect against inflammation and is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.


How Much Butter is OK on Keto?

While proponents say you can definitely add butter to your keto meals, they also advise you to watch exactly how much butter you consume to stick to your daily macros. The amount of butter you can eat will vary depending on your daily caloric intake.

The rule of thumb is to make sure that 70% to 80% of your daily calories come from fat sources, which is where butter comes in. With butter having 11.5 grams of fat per tablespoon, practitioners say you should calculate the appropriate amount based on your daily macronutrient goals.


Which Butter is Best for the Keto Diet?

According to keto diet practitioners, any type of butter fits well into the keto diet because they’re almost 100% fat and low in carbs. However, there are variations of the keto diet that may be more particular about the type of butter you consume.

If you are following a low-carb diet or adhering to lazy keto or dirty keto, proponents say you can opt for any variety of butter, including salted, unsalted, clarified, and others.

On the other hand, if you’re following clean keto, which focuses on consuming food at its most natural state, nutritionists recommend only eating grass-fed butter.

Studies show that grass-fed butter has a better nutrient profile than other varieties and provides 26% more omega-3 fatty acids that lower blood pressure and promote heart health.

Which is Healthier: Butter vs Margarine

An alternative to butter to margarine, which also contains fat from animal or vegetable sources. However, when it comes to which is healthier for a keto diet, practitioners say that butter takes the title.

Butter can be classified as a natural food product made from animal milk fat. While margarine used to be derived from animal fats as well, experts warn that the margarine consumed today is made with processed vegetable oils and is chemically modified and treated with hydrogen gas to get the same consistency as butter.

Because of this process, margarine is stripped of nutrients and contains synthetic vitamins that may be more difficult to digest.

Many margarine brands have an inferior nutrient profile to butter, containing high levels of trans fat and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which are harmful to the body when consumed in large amounts.

While, according to nutrition experts, butter is healthier for your keto diet regime, it’s still important to note that both varieties can be unhealthy when taken in large servings.


How to Use Butter on Keto

There are many ways you can add butter to your keto diet to consume more healthy fats and meet your daily macros. Here are some ideas:

  • Cooking: Instead of using cooking oil, you can cook your keto meals in butter. It has a high smoke point, allowing you to saute, fry, or roast chicken, fish, or meat to achieve more flavor.
  • Baking: You can also use butter to add moisture and richness to your baked keto goods. Butter is an essential ingredient in keto baking mixes, such as keto chocolate cake or donuts.
  • Spread: Butter makes for a flavorful spread to add richness to your keto-friendly bread or crackers.
  • Flavoring: Butter adds flavor to your keto meals and beverages. Plop it in your coffee, mix it with your keto soup, or add it to your keto shakes and smoothies.



Butter, with its high fat and low carb content, is praised by practitioners as a good candidate for the keto diet regime. It provides you not only with a healthy source of fat but also a range of vitamins and minerals to support a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Try adding butter to your keto meals today!


Is Butter Keto: FAQs

Is butter OK on keto diet??

Yes, practitioners say that butter is okay to consume on a keto diet because it’s high in fat and low in carbohydrates. It’s among the most popular sources of healthy fats, helping you meet your daily macros. Compared to other dairy products, butter is said to have a superior nutrient profile rich in vitamins and minerals.

Is butter a carb??

Butter is not a carbohydrate. Instead, it’s classified as a type of fat. However, butter may have a negligible amount of carbs, particularly 0.009 grams of total and net carbs in a serving of 1 tablespoon. But because the amount is so small, most keto dieters say they don’t count it towards their daily macros.

Is clarified butter keto?

Clarified butter is a butter variety where milk solids have been removed to create a higher smoke point and better consistency. It’s created by melting regular butter, allowing the heat to separate the components. According to practitioners, clarified butter is suitable for the keto diet because of its high-fat content, which is comprised of clear and good fat.

Is butter or margarine better for keto?

Experts suggest that butter is better than margarine for keto. Classified as a natural food product made from animal milk fat, it has a superior nutrient profile. While margarine used to come from animal fat as well,  margarine products consumed today are made with processed vegetable oils that contain unhealthy trans fat and harmful synthetic additives.

Is salted or unsalted butter better for keto?

Both salted and unsalted butter are good sources of healthy fats. They also have the same carbohydrate content (0.009 grams per 1 tbsp serving). The only difference is their sodium content. If you are looking to manage your sodium intake, proponents point to unsalted butter as the better option for your keto diet requirements.

Is butter or olive oil better for keto?

Between butter and olive oil, the latter is considered by practitioners as healthier for the keto diet regime.  While butter contains healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E, it also has high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. Olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that fight inflammation and oxidative stress.