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What Is The Best Butter for The Carnivore Diet? Salted, Unsalted, Ghee or Grass-fed?

With all kinds of butter available, which is better for the Carnivore Diet? Read on this article to examine different types of butter on the Carnivore diet, including salted, unsalted, ghee, and grass-fed, and compare them to choose the best one for you and learn how to use it best.

What Is The Best Butter for The Carnivore Diet? Salted, Unsalted, Ghee or Grass-fed?
Highlights

What Is The Carnivore Diet?

The word ‘carnivore’ means meat-eater, and the Carnivore diet is a dietary approach based solely on meat, fish, eggs, and limited amounts of dairy.

This diet is high in protein and fat and is effective in losing weight and boosting the performance of the digestive system. Learn more about the Carnivore diet.

As mentioned, the Carnivore diet is based on meat and animal products and a limited dairy. But what does “limited dairy products” mean?

What Dairy Products Are Allowed on The Carnivore Diet?

We already know that Carnivore is a meat-based diet and doesn’t allow consuming vegetables, fruits, or dairy products. However, the following dairy products can be used in this diet as they are low-carb and contain fat.

  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Cheese: Mainly Mozzarella, Cheddar and Parmesan
  • Ghee

In addition to dairy products, Carnivore dieters can also consume different kinds of fat, as the following section introduces.

Learn more: What Is Fat Fasting? Carnivore Method, Meal Plan, and Food List

Dr. Shawn Baker:

"Butter is a staple fat source for many on the Carnivore Diet. Its high fat content provides energy and satiety, making it a valuable addition to meals."

What Fats Can You Eat on The Carnivore Diet?

Although we can consume fat on the Carnivore diet, not every fat/ oil is allowed. Simply put, you can have the following fats.

  • Animal Fats: Fats like beef tallow, pork lard, and duck fat
  • Dairy Fats: High-fat dairy products like butter, heavy cream, and ghee
  • Fish Oils: Fatty fish like salmon and sardines

So, we’ve learned so far that we can use some dairy products like butter and fats on the Carnivore diet, but from the health perspective, is it okay to eat butter? Let’s see!

Learn more: Can You Eat Cheese on The Carnivore Diet? What Is The Best Cheese?

Is It Healthy to Eat Butter on The Carnivore Diet?

Butter is one of the dairy products low in carbohydrates permitted in the Carnivore diet. Let’s see what benefits and possible side effects butter can have on the Carnivore diet.

Benefits

The benefits of eating butter on the Carnivore diet are listed below.

  • Healthy Fats: Healthy saturated and unsaturated fats found in butter are essential to improve brain function and hormone production [1].
  • Energy: Butter is rich in calories and healthy fats, making it a good source of energy [2].
  • Nutrients: Butter contains nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K2, which are good for bones, teeth, and eyesight [3].
  • Weight Loss: Opposite to what you may think, healthy fats in butter can help dieters lose weight by boosting satiety and decreasing calorie intake [4].
  • Brain Function: The omega-3 fatty acids found in butter play crucial roles in brain function, memory performance, and cognitive abilities.
  • Skin: Butter contains fats and vitamins that provide moisture and decrease dryness to improve skin health.
butter nutritions

Learn more: Alcohol on Carnivore diet

Side Effects

Although butter contains various benefits, excess use can have the following side effects.

  • High Calorie: Butter is a calorie-dense food, meaning consuming too much of it can lead to weight gain and other related health problems [5].
  • High Saturated Fat: Although a healthy diet needs saturated fat, eating it in excess can increase LDL (the bad) cholesterol and the risk of heart disease [6].
  • Lactose Intolerance: As a dairy product, butter contains lactose, which can cause digestive problems like diarrhea and boating for people sensitive or intolerant to it.
  • Allergies: Some may experience allergic reactions to dairy products like butter.
  • Toxins: There may be pesticides and toxins in the butter made from conventionally raised cows.
  • Not for Vegans and Vegetarians: Needless to say that butter is an animal product, which is not allowed in vegan or vegetarian diets.

So, it was a relief to know that consuming certain amounts of butter does not have a negative effect on the Carnivore dieters. Now, let’s get into details and see what different types of butter we can use on this diet.

Learn more: How to Get Vitamin C on a Carnivore Diet?

Different Types of Butter

Generally, there are two main types of butter, grass-fed and conventional. But on the Carnivore diet, the dieters can use various versions of these two types.

The following table introduces these butter types and summarizes their positive and negative points.

Type of Butter for Carnivore Diet
Type of Butter Description Positive Points Negative Points
Grass-fed Is made from the milk of cows that have grazed on grass Healthier than other types, Higher nutrient content, More favorable omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio, Higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), Higher levels of vitamins and minerals
More expensive than conventional types
Conventional Is made from milk sourced from cows that may have been raised on a diet of grain or corn More affordable Contains lower levels of nutrients due to cows being fed grain or corn instead of grass
Salted Has added salt and is mainly used in cooking, Can be made from grass-fed or conventional milk
Can add flavor to dishes, Contains trace minerals from the added salt
Higher sodium content, which may be a concern for some dieters
Unsalted Has no added salt and is used for baking, Can be made from grass-fed or conventional milk
Can be used in baking or dishes where salt is not desired May lack flavour without the added salt
Clarified Butter or Ghee Has had the milk solids removed, leaving behind only the pure butterfat, Can be made from grass-fed or conventional milk
High smoke point, making it ideal for cooking, Has a longer shelf life than regular butter
May lack some of the nutrients found in regular butter, like milk proteins and minerals

After looking at this table, you may ask, “What should I pay attention to when choosing the best butter on the Carnivore diet?”. The following section elaborates on the factors to consider.

Learn more: Free Ultimate Carnivore Diet Food List

Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Butter on The Carnivore Diet

By considering the following factors, you can easily choose the best butter for the Carnivore diet.

  • Quality: High-quality butter made from grass-fed cows has more and better nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins.
  • Price: higher quality butter is usually more expensive, but consider your budget as well.
  • Taste: you can use salted or unsalted butter based on your personal preference and goals. Also, you can use clarified butter or ghee for cooking as it has a high smoke point.
  • Nutrient Content: The types of butter containing fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K, and trace minerals like calcium and magnesium are good.
  • Source: Make sure to use known and trusted brands that use high-quality milk and standard production methods.
  • Personal Health Goals: When choosing the best butter for the Carnivore diet, dieters need to consider their personal health goals or concerns, like sodium intake or lactose intolerance.

Learn More: Can You Have Hot Sauce on a Carnivore Diet?

The Best Butter for The Carnivore Diet

The Best Butter for The Carnivore Diet

As you may have guessed by now, Grass-fed butter is considered the best butter for the Carnivore diet for its high levels of nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K2, and CLA.

These nutrients bring numerous health benefits, such as reduced inflammation and improved heart health. Also, the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is better in Grass-fed butter, meaning that they lower the risk of chronic diseases.

Grass-fed butter is usually deeper yellow than conventional butter as it contains higher levels of beta-carotene from the grass-fed cows.

Grass-fed butter tastes rich and creamy, with a light grassy flavour. Also, it smells buttery and fragrant.

You can eat grass-fed butter in many ways; for example,

  • Spread it on the meat,
  • Use it in cooking or baking,
  • Add it to coffee or tea for added flavour and richness.

So far, we’ve learned that grass-fed butter containing various nutrients and the above features can be the best butter for the Carnivore diet. But which brands provide such butter?

Dr. Paul Saladino:

"Butter is a natural source of fat that aligns with the principles of the Carnivore Diet. It's rich in nutrients and adds flavor to carnivorous meals."

The Best Butter Brands for The Carnivore Diet

Various brands produce butter that can be used on the Carnivore diet. The following ones are among the bests you can easily find in the market.

  • Kerrygold: A popular brand, Kerrygold produces grass-fed butter, which has a rich, creamy flavour.
  • Organic Valley: Organic Valley produces different dairy products made from 100% grass-fed cows. They claim to produce certified organic salted and unsalted butter.
  • Vital Farms: Vital Farms prioritises ethics and follows sustainable farming methods. It produces salted and unsalted butter with milk from grass-fed cows.
  • Anchor: This New Zealand-based dairy company uses grass-fed milk to produce salted and unsalted butter.
  • Pure Indian Foods: This brand offers high-quality grass-fed ghee.

The great news is that you can also learn how to make Carnivore Diet Brown Butter Bites. It’s the same as salted, unsalted butter, just heated and turned brown and has a special flavour for this.

Anyway, we have mentioned salted and unsalted a lot all over this article, but one might ask, “Which one is better?” on the Carnivore diet. Let’s scroll to find out.

Learn More: Lard vs. Tallow: How To Use These Fat Sources?

Salted or Unsalted Butter on The Carnivore Diet: Which One Is Better?

Simply put, the most important point in choosing the best butter for the Carnivore diet is to find grass-fed butter. What makes salted and unsalted butter different is your preferences and goals, as each one comes with some advantages and disadvantages. 

  • Salted butter contains added salt, as its name suggests, meaning that it can enhance the flavour of food and add iodine to your diet. However, some dieters need limited amounts of salt for health reasons and so on.
  • Unsalted butter has no added salt and is, therefore, good for dieters who have to control their salt intake. However, health reasons aside, some people find unsalted butter bland and like the added flavour of salted butter.

What about ghee and peanut butter? Can we also use them on the Carnivore diet? The following sections will help you find out!

Is Ghee Ok on The Carnivore Diet?

Yes, you can freely consume ghee on the Carnivore diet. Actually, Ghee can be a better option than butter as it is a type of clarified butter made by simmering butter and removing the milk solids, creating high-fat butter with a nutty flavour.

Ghee is popular in the Carnivore diet for its low levels of carbohydrates, high levels of healthy fats, and high smoke point.

Just remember that grass-fed ghee without additives is the best kind of ghee you can find for the Carnivore diet.

Usage of butter in the U.S. 2020

According to the statistic calculated by Statista based on the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), 297.78 million Americans used butter in 2020.

Is Peanut Butter Ok on The Carnivore Diet?

Actually, no, Carnivore dieters cannot consume peanut butter as peanuts are legumes, which are not animal-based products and, therefore, not allowed on the Carnivore diet. 

Also, the added sugars and additives, like hydrogenated oils, don’t let the peanut butter be compatible with the Carnivore diet.

Another question that many ask starting fresh on the Carnivore diet is how much butter they can consume. It depends on some factors, but the following section gives you a general rule.

Learn more: Why a Meat And Fruit Diet Is Toxic? Can You Eat Fruit on Carnivore Diet?

How Much Butter Can I Eat on The Carnivore Diet?

Your individual goals and needs determine how much butter you can consume on the Carnivore diet. However, it's worth noting that butter is a calorie-dense food, and consuming it in excess can have negative health effects.

As a general rule, eating 1-2 tablespoons of butter in every meal is good. But remember to use high-quality grass-fed butter or ghee, and avoid processed butter.

You can also consult a dietitian or health professional to determine the amount of butter you can eat on the Carnivore diet. After setting this amount, it’s time to see how you can eat butter in this diet. The section below will tell you how!

Leading Countries in Butter Production 2023

In 2023, India churned a total of over 6.7 million metric tons of butter, making it the top butter producing country of the year. The European Union came second, where around 2.1 million metric tons of butter was produced.

How to Eat Butter on The Carnivore Diet?

You can add butter to your Carnivore diet in many different ways, including the following.

  • As Cooking Fat: One way to incorporate butter into your Carnivore diet is to use it as cooking fat to fry, sauté, and roast meat.
  • On meat: You can melt butter and drizzle or spread it over meat to increase flavour and moisture.
  • As a Topping: Adding butter to meat and fish as a topping can bring a great taste and richness to the flavour.
  • In Coffee: You can also add butter to your Carnivore coffee (i.e., black, plain or espresso).

To make this process easier and help you add butter to your Carnivore diet, the following section gives you a free butter-based meal plan, plus some Carnivore diet recipes containing butter.

A Free Butter-Based Meal Plan for The Carnivore Diet

The table below is a free, one-day, butter-based meal plan for the Carnivore diet. Here you can get a free 30-day Carnivore diet meal.

A Free Butter-Based Meal Plan for The Carnivore Diet
Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snack
What to eat Three eggs fried in butter, Two strips of bacon, Coffee with a tablespoon of butter blended in Grilled steak cooked in butter, bacon and hard-boiled eggs, topped with butter Baked salmon topped with butter Cheese slices with a dollop of butter

Here are some of the easiest and fastest butter-based Carnivore recipes you can use to make the most delicious Carnivore meals.

Believe it or not, there is a trilemma in the Carnivore diet! Let’s see what it is and how we can solve it.

Age, Butter and Carnivore Diet Trilemma

The trilemma of age, butter, and the Carnivore diet refers to some Carnivore opponents' ideas regarding the possible health issues that may arise in the elderly after using high amounts of saturated fat, like butter.

Science says that ageing results in less efficiency in body metabolism and fat processing, which can lead to cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and other health problems.

Consuming high amounts of saturated fat can add to this risk. The thing is that the Carnivore diet does not imply consuming too much fat for a long time.

It’s essential to remember that you need to control your fat/ butter intake in this diet and consult a health specialist before going on any diet, especially if you’re over 40 and have records of heart disease or other health conditions.

Also, the Carnivore diet is not a lifestyle or a long-term diet. Carnivore dieters usually use it for short-term weight loss or other health purposes.

To follow it longer, you need a nutritionist by your side to receive personal recommendations to maximise its benefits and minimise potential risks.

Learn More: Carnivore Diet Breakfast Ideas [7 Best Recipes]

Summary

As we read in the article, grass-fed is considered the best butter for the Carnivore diet due to its useful nutrients and lower potentially-harmful substances. Choosing salted, unsalted, brown butter, or even ghee depends on your condition and preferences, but make sure to use high-quality grass-fed butter for maximum effectiveness.

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