Butter - composition, nutritional properties, types

Butter has been present on our food tables practically since forever. It is an edible fat of natural origin, which is made from the cream of cow's milk. It mostly consists of saturated fatty acids and vitamins. Real butter is usually creamy or light yellow in color and can be made at home. What are the nutritional values ​​of […]

Butter has been present on our food tables practically since forever. It is an edible fat of natural origin, which is made from the cream of cow's milk. It mostly consists of saturated fatty acids and vitamins. Real butter is usually creamy or light yellow in color and can be made at home. What are the nutritional values ​​of butter? Who can eat butter and who should avoid it?

Butter - composition

The composition of butter is approx. 80-90 percent. milk fat. This product contains approx. 56 percent. saturated fatty acids , therefore it should not be consumed indefinitely. Butter available on the market usually consists of 82 percent. fat, approx. 16 percent. water and approx. 2 percent. non-fat solids. As much as 50 grams of fat are saturated fats, i.e. lauric fat, myristic fat, palmitic fat and stearic fat.

There are unsaturated fats in butter which turn into trans fats that are dangerous to your health. Therefore, butter is associated with negative effects on the body. However, it is worth remembering that these fats occur naturally and their action is not as harmful as in the case of trans isomers formed during the hardening of vegetable fats. Real butter consumed in small amounts is recommended.

Butter producers also use additional substances for its production, such as: phosphates, phosphate acid, diphosphates, triphosphates and polyphosphates. The most common substance added to butter are carotenes , thanks to which the product acquires a specific light yellow color.

Butter - types

Depending on the needs and taste preferences, we can find different types of butter on store shelves . The first and most popular of them is extra butter , made of pasteurized and sour cream. Usually it contains about 82 percent. fat and 0.6 percent. lactose (the low content of this substance is caused by the natural acidification of the cream).

The second and most popular butter on the market is cream butter . It is made of non-sour cream and contains up to 60 percent. fat. This type of butter contains about 2-3 percent. lactose. The third available product is salted butter with a fat content of around 80%. and salt - about 0.2-0.3 percent. There is also a solution for people who are lactose intolerant. For their needs, butter with a trace content of lactose was created - per 100 grams of the product is less than 0.01 grams.

There are also other butter-like products which, in the light of the regulations and due to their low milk fat content, cannot be called butter. These include: garlic butter (75% fat, salt, garlic) and herbal butter (75% fat, herbs, salt, pepper ). The last type of butter that we use very often in the kitchen is clarified butter . Unfortunately, "butter" is only in name, because it is actually butter oil.

The clarified butter consists of practically only fat and a small amount of water. This product has a long shelf life (unlike classic butter), contains trace amounts of sugar and has a slightly nutty flavor. Perfect for baking and frying.

Butter - nutritional properties

Butter is characterized by a very high caloric value, because 100 grams of the product contain as much as 740 calories. Nevertheless, it contains a lot of nutrients due to short-chain fatty acids. These acids nourish the cells of the intestinal epithelium and are the main source of energy. In addition, they have antibacterial and antifungal properties. There are about 8 grams of short-chain fatty acids in 100 grams of butter.

When analyzing the nutritional value of butter , it is imperative to mention linoleic acid , also known as CLA for short. Despite the fact that it is present in the form of trans fat, it has health-promoting properties, including anti-cancer. CLA can be consumed not only in the form of butter, but also supplements that in synthetic form support: slimming , increasing muscle mass and reducing adipose tissue by inhibiting the enzyme that allows fat to penetrate the adipocytes.

Can butter contain vitamins? Definitely yes! This product is a source of important fat-soluble vitamins. As one of the few products, it can provide the body with vitamin D - in the amount of 1.768 mg per 100 grams. The main function of vitamin D is to support bone formation. In children, vitamin D affects the development of the skeleton and protects against rickets, while in adults it prevents osteoporosis .

Butter is also a good source of Vitamin A , which helps metabolize proteins and steroid hormones. In addition, it supports the functioning of the mucous membranes and skin and accelerates cell regeneration. Vitamin A together with rhodopsin is responsible for normal eyesight.

Products containing animal fats, including butter, are also a source of vitamin K , which is responsible for blood clotting , inhibits the growth of cancer and has an impact on the calcium metabolism in the body. Vitamin K is included in the group of vitamins that do not dissolve in water but in fats, therefore the consumption of butter facilitates the process of its absorption.

Butter, which consists mostly of milk fat, also contains phospholipids, the most important of which are sphingomyelin and lecithin . These compounds have a beneficial effect on concentration, memory and regeneration of the body during intense physical exertion. The content of phospholipids in milk fat ranges from 0.6 to 1.0 percent. Butter also contains trace amounts of carbohydrates (lactose, 07 g per 100 grams) and proteins (0.7 g per 100 grams).

Is butter healthy?

Considering the fact that butter is almost entirely composed of saturated fatty acids, this may suggest a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. Nothing could be more wrong! Consuming up to 14 grams of butter daily does not increase the incidence of heart disease, including heart attacks and congestion.

Eating butter as an additive to dishes or sandwiches is not associated with overall population mortality, on the contrary, it may slightly reduce the risk of dying from diabetes .

Who should eat butter?

Butter should be one of the elements of the diet in children under 3 years of age, in the elderly and the elderly. Why? Because in this group, the secretion of digestive juices and the presence of digestive enzymes is low. Butter is a product recommended for people struggling with malabsorption and malnutrition.

Butter should be a permanent part of the diet of people with a deficiency of vitamins A, D and E, which have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system and have antioxidant properties.

Who should give up butter?

High cholesterol in butter indicates that people struggling with high cholesterol, atherosclerotic lesions and an abnormal lipid profile should give it up . Such people should theoretically give up butter completely or replace it with high-quality margarine, because it contains only 60 percent. fat, and even better olive oil. The amount of cholesterol in butter is approximately 220-240 g per 100 grams.

However, butter is not the biggest source of cholesterol , we absorb larger amounts of this substance by eating eggs or offal, for example. In practice, the risk of consuming too much cholesterol with butter is unlikely. For example - the weight of one egg is equal to half a cube of butter. It is hardly possible to eat this amount of butter at once. Therefore, it is worth using common sense in the diet when composing the menu.

Should butter be present in a child's diet?

The diet of the youngest should be rich in fats, because they influence, among others, for proper development. However, adults should pay attention to the quality of the fats they give them to children. According to nutritionists, it is advisable to eat meals or products that contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. We find them especially in fatty sea fish and vegetable oils. In children under 3 years of age, the fat used for spreading should be butter. Why?

The aforementioned cholesterol contained in this product is essential at this stage of a child's development as it supports the building of new cells. When choosing butter, it is worth checking its composition, preferably if it contains about 82 percent. animal fat, no added vegetable fats . In addition, butter provides fat-soluble vitamins - short-chain saturated fatty acids should be limited by adults, while in the diet of the youngest they are most appropriate. At this stage of development, children need them to build the structures of the nervous system .

How to store butter?

Butter that is stored improperly or not used for too long usually becomes rancid. Then it is no longer fit for consumption. How to prevent this process? If you have purchased a large block of butter, it is worth dividing it into pieces or freezing it. The best idea is to refrigerate the butter or preserve it with table salt. One of the ways to extend the life of butter is to close access to air, i.e. immersion in water.

How to make your own butter?

If we have some time and willingness, we can prepare the butter ourselves. To prepare homemade butter, we will need approx. 400 ml of heavy cream. Country sweet cream will be the best in this case. If we fail to buy it, we can use the equivalents available in the store. 30% cream is suitable for making butter. and 36 percent The fatter the cream, the more butter we get from it.

The cream should be at room temperature, this will make it easier to churn the butter. It is best to take it out of the refrigerator half an hour before preparing it. To "produce" butter, we will also need 2-3 pinches of salt, a mixer or blender, a tall dish, a strainer and gauze. If we have all the necessary products, we can start working. Pour the cream into a tall vessel and start whipping at medium speed, then add salt.

The next step will be to blend at high speed until the fat separates from the watery buttermilk. Then pour the contents of the vessel onto a strainer previously lined with gauze and squeeze the butter. Then, pour about half a liter of cold water into the second vessel, add a lump of butter and knead it to precipitate the buttermilk. The final step will be to put the butter in a bowl and then into the fridge. Self-made butter should be consumed within 4-5 days.

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Article written by DHQ Chiniot

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