What is the best butter for keto in the UK?
What makes the best butter for keto? Is it the purest, cheapest, tastiest or the best organic brand? Lets take a look at what makes a good butter along with some product recommendations to try!
What is butter
Butter is a dairy product made from the fat and protein components of milk/cream. When you separate the cream/milk you will get fat and buttermilk. The fat is then compressed and chilled into blocks of butter. You can even try making butter at home (link)!
Butter tends to be around 80% fat with little to zero carbohydrates making it great for the keto diet.
Here in the UK, there are many brands and varieties of butter and most are fine for keto. You may have noticed that most US-centric sites always recommended Kerrygold butter that is because most other butter sold in the US is of poorer quality. This is normally down to the animal feed used in the US. Kerrygold is made from the milk of cows who are grass-fed, which often yield better quality butter. Though those claims have been disputed (more info).
In contrast, most dairy produced in the UK and Europe is derived from grass-fed cows (or are fed better quality food). Consequently, most UK butter is great for keto and you don’t need to limit yourself to just Kerrygold which can be hard to source and is normally slightly more expensive than other brands.
Salted or Unsalted?
Butter can be bought either salted or unsalted. Salted is used for added flavour as well as preservation and is normally the favourite out of the two.
Most sweet and baking recipes call for unsalted butter so as not to affect the taste of the final product. On the other hand, salted is best suited for almost everything else including as a spread, searing, sauces, frying and even in coffee.
Fake butter / Vegetable spreads
If you browse your local dairy aisle in the supermarket you’ll likely see many brands of butter and spreads. However, not all of them are actually butter, many are butter alternatives.
These spreads are generally derived from vegetable oils (such as Sunflower, Palm and Rapeseed) and a small percentage of Buttermilk. While they are not particularly high in carbs (0.5 per 100g), it’s best to avoid them on keto (and even when off it) as its better to avoid these kinds of oils.
As a rule of thumb, stick to blocks of butter and avoid all spreads as they will likely contain vegetable oil. It’s the oil that makes them spreadable straight out of the fridge.
Some butter alternative products to avoid include:
- Willow Block
- Bertolli Spread
- Clover Spread
- Stork Spread
- Flora Spread
- Benecol Spread
A note on margarine
You’ve probably heard of margarine which was developed in the 1860s as a cheap replacement for butter. It actually contains as much fat as butter but generally tends to be lower in cholesterol and saturated fats. However, most are made with hydrogenated vegetable oils which are believed to convert polyunsaturated fat into trans-fats which can have a negative effect on cholesterol. This is thought to be linked with heart disease.
In the UK, you won’t find any brands of margarine on sell as its popularity has greatly declined and has been replaced with “spreads”. There was even a question on QI back in 2007-08 about the fact that no margarine is sold in the UK (link), this was even confirmed by the UK Spreads Association.
So why is butter so great on keto? Because it goes with everything! Well almost everything, here are some common uses of butter.
- Frying – cooking eggs, meat and practically anything else.
- Searing – browning meat before going into the oven.
- Sauces – thickening cooking sauces
- Coffee – have you tried butter coffee? Recipe here.
- Spread – serve with some warm keto-friendly bread
- Topping – top keto pancakes and waffles with warm butter. Chaffle recipe here.
As we mentioned earlier, pretty much any butter is fine for keto. However, to make your life easier we’ve listed some of our favourites below.
Kerrygold Salted Butter
Probably the most popular keto butter and it can be found in most UK supermarkets. The price tends to range from about £1.80 to £2.00 and is a great all rounder.
Deluxe West Country Butter with Sea Salt Crystals
If you have a Lidl near you then you have to try this butter! It contains little flakes of salt that makes it taste divine. Seriously, I’m pretty sure you could just eat it on its own, though I probably don’t recommend doing that… There is also a similar brand sold in Aldi and some other UK supermarkets, just keep an eye out for one with sea salt crystals.
Country Life British Butter
Available in most UK supermarkets and sold in both salted and unsalted varieties. It’s a great butter and made with 100% British countryside milk.