Mmmmm, there is nothing like cooking up some delicious popcorn and smothering in freshly melted warm butter. If you are a diabetic, I am sorry if I upset you with that statement, but do you really need to avoid butter if you are a diabetic? I know that you may have been told to outright avoid a lot of foods as a diabetic, but how exact is that information? So can diabetics eat butter?
Today you will find out. We are going to take a look at a bunch of different information and give you the best answers that we can dig up. We are going to look at all the nutritional information and compare some different options. Although margarine is a much more family-friendly affordable choice, there still remains doubt that it is healthier than some good old butter. Shall we get into it then.
Butter vs. Margarine
When it comes to this great debate, you almost would think the fate of the world rested on the outcome. People are extremely passionate about their choice when it comes to this discussion. One thing I think we can all agree on though is the taste of butter compared to margarine. I mean who doesn’t love a smattering of butter on a nice piece of fresh from the oven bread? However, what are the differences between the two as far as diabetics are concerned?
Let’s look at butter first. Butter is made from a process that involves churning cream, which also means that it comes from animals, which if you are a vegan, it’s off the list right away. Butter contains cholesterol and saturated fat but contains zero trans fat. Trans fat is an unhealthy fat that occurs when oils are partially hydrogenated. It also contains vitamins ‘A’, ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘K’, plus it is a great choice for baking.
Margarine is made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil. Although margarine contains less saturated fat than butter and no cholesterol, some brands do contain trans fat. Until recently, margarine was touted as the healthier choice due to its lack of cholesterol, although recently those opinions have been shifting because of margarine’s trans fat content which affects cholesterol levels. There is no real clear-cut winner in this great debate. It really comes down to preference. What about things like nut butter though? Maybe another time…
Nutritional Value of Butter
Butter contains virtually no carbohydrates having less than 0.01g of actual carbs. This low quantity makes it extremely hard to classify on the glycemic index. The amount of butter you would have to actually consume in order to give it a rating is next to impossible to do. The means that butter is probably very close to zero on the glycemic index, (GI), if it is listed on the scale at all. Even though it has an incredibly low rating, and may help balance out a high GI meal, it does contain a high variety of saturated fatty acids. Which, we know are not good when consumed in vast quantities.
So, with that being said, what is the nutritional value of a tablespoon of butter? Fourteen grams or one tablespoon contains the following: 102 Calories, 11.5g of fat, 11% of recommended daily intake of Vitamin ‘A’, Vitamin ‘E’ is 2%, 1% B12, and 1% Vitamin ‘K’. Yes, it is high in calories and fat, but it comes loaded with a lot of essential vitamins and nutrients as well. It also has trace amounts of other nutrients like riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, and calcium.
Of the 11.5g of fat that is found in butter, 63% of that is saturated fat. Although there have been studies done that show saturated fat is not as bad as originally thought you should still be wary of how much you consume on any given day. Maintaining good heart health is essential to staying healthy for everyone, not just diabetics.
What Are the Benefits and Side Effects of Butter?
There are some studies that have shown links between high-fat dairy products such as butter and lower chances of obesity, diabetes, and heart problems. That being said it is important to remember that butter contains a high saturated fat quantity as well as a high carb count, which has caused scientists to debate the health effects of butter for years.
Butter may also be used in a low-carbohydrate diet, which is used to help people lose weight quicker than a low-fat diet. Butter is also rich in bone-building calcium, as well as, containing compounds that may be linked to lower chances of childhood obesity. It is also high in beta-carotene, which your body converts into Vitamin ‘A’.
With that being said, it is high in saturated fat which has been linked to heart disease. If this is something that you are concerned with you should use butter very sparingly. There are healthier alternatives to consider for your usage. Spreadable butters, which are a combination of butter and vegetable oils. Generally, these will have about half of the saturated fats found in butter. Buttery spreads are also a healthier alternative to both butter and margarine.
Final Thoughts on Butter
Although there is no clear evidence to point to one answer or another, one thing that is certain is that butter is loaded with fat, and calories. Now, what does that mean for you as a diabetic? Can you eat butter or not? I believe it should be used in moderation like most other foods when it comes to battling diabetes.
Here is the final conclusion for you. Butter comes with a smorgasbord of healthy benefits that include battling some types of cancer, as well as working to keep your eyes healthy, and your bones strong. So, use butter wisely and in moderation because it is a healthy option in my opinion. I would not recommend smothering your popcorn in it if you’re a diabetic or not. But in moderation, there is no reason why you cannot enjoy a bit of butter on your bread. Your body will thank you.