Nutritional Content of Butter and Butter Alternatives

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butterButter is obtained by skimming milk, then churning the cream until the fat separates from the liquid buttermilk. The result is almost pure fat, with only a small amount of water and a trace of the solid part of the milk remaining. Butter contains more than 80 per cent fat, most of which is saturated.

 


Nutritional content

Butter contains more than 80 per cent fat, most of which is saturated. It contains varying amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E and also some carotene. The protein, calcium and other minerals and vitamins from the milk are lost with the removal of the buttermilk. Salt has been traditionally added as a preservative, but low-salt and salt-free butters are also made and keep well in the fridge.

Alternatives to butter

Margarine, processed with vegetable oils and water, has a similar fat content to butter. Hard (solid) margarine contains saturated fat but soft and polyunsaturated varieties are also made. Low-fat spreads are manufactured using the same hydrogenation process as margarine, but using a much higher water content. For anyone keeping to a low-fat diet, spreads with a fat content of 5 per cent are available.

Nutritional content of butter alternatives

Vitamins A and D must be added to margarine, making them a better source of these vitamins than butter. Many low-fat spreads also contain added vitamins.

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