Can Diabetics Eat Butter? 9 Benefits and Daily Limits

Last Updated on May 4, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Butter is known for the wonders it can bring upon the flavors, textures, and smell of foods. Butter is a worldwide favorite and used kitchen item. But is it beneficial to the body?

We are here to answer your diabetes-related doubts and questions. Today, let us find out – Can diabetics eat butter? Is butter safe for diabetics? What are its effects, nutrients, limits, benefits, etc.

Can Diabetics eat butter?

Can Diabetics eat butter?

Well, it has some advantages and some restrictions as well. With its ups and downs, the butter is said to be safe only when taken in moderate amounts. They can have varying effects on one’s sugar levels and these must be considered to ensure safety.

As per many observations and studies conducted, butter can be safe to be included in one’s diabetic diet routine only when it is done in a controlled manner.

Veggie causing Diabetes

Butter is higher in fats, especially saturated fats. These are considered to be unhealthy in the long run.

Excess of saturated fats can lead to risks related to the clogging of arteries that give rise to many cardiovascular complications.

Maintaining heart health is an essential part of staying healthy and keeping away diabetes-related symptoms and side-effects.

Not only people with diabetes, but ones who are non-diabetics can also be at risk of heart ailments if the consumption of butter is not done efficiently. It is thus, the most crucial to regulate smart and safe quantities of this fatty, oily item.


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Butter us not extremely harmful for diabetics as they are lower in carbohydrates and higher in fats. Fats do not have an immediate effect on one’s blood glucose levels in the body.

Therefore, there are not any direct effects of butter in one’s diabetic sugar levels. But when paired incorrectly, or had in excess quantities it can cause serious discomforts. The effects of butter on the body are generally accumulated and gradually affect in the long-term.

We have some important measures that you can keep in mind when you are trying to include butter in your diabetic lifestyle. These restrictions and moderations will help you to have efficient management of your health and will assist in preventing any casualties.

But first, let us know why the nutritional composition of Butter can be unsuitable. 

What are some ill-effects Butter, if you have Diabetes?

As you know by now, butter has more number of fats than it has carbohydrates. Although the Glycemic ranges of butter are low, the fat-content being high does not account for an ideal combination.

Here are some consequences of a fat-rich, low-carb diet:

  • The fats overtime tends to eliminate the better effects on the body brought in by micronutrients.
  • The higher the amounts of fats, there are chances of excess saturated fats. Saturated fat makes one more vulnerable to hyperlipidemia and the effects of it can be long-term. The heart can suffer gravely because of these consequences.
  • Fats do not contribute to direct energy like carbohydrates. Diabetics need to consume healthy carbohydrates to maintain normal blood sugars and keep away the risks of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. A diet insufficient in energy can lead to other complications.
  • Excess fats in the body can lead to gaining weight. Weight gain can be very harmful and disrupting, especially, for diabetics.
  • Over time, the accumulation of fats in the body can also give rise to other health issues such as kidney stones, kidney dysfunction, osteoporosis, etc.

Therefore, there are many such negative effects that fat-rich food can have on the body. Therefore, proper measures and restrictions must be taken.

Let us now move over to some daily butter intake restrictions that one should keep in mind and regularly follow according to their diabetic routines.

Daily Limits of consuming butter for Diabetics

Daily Limits of consuming butter for Diabetics

Diabetics can include butter in their diets. They can even include these every day, given the amounts are based on every day given limits.

Butter can often even add up to the missing nutrients that are required for a daily well-balanced diet.

An everyday one to approximately two tablespoons of butter can be beneficial and safe added to the diet. This amount equals to almost 28 grams of butter in a day.

An everyday 5% to 6% of calories can be derived from saturated fats. These saturated fats include butter, other dairy products, seafood, meat, poultry, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to portion control and distribute your nutrients to fit the everyday calorie requirements. 

Some major considerations to keep in mind

  1. Natural butter is comparatively better for diabetics. They contain fewer chemicals and are also low in added preservatives, which can have rather harmful impacts on one’s health.
  1. It is a lot better to opt for unsalted butter. They are safer, have lesser additives, and are also low in sodium.
  1. Do not choose margarine over butter. Margarine is more chemically altered varieties of butter that are made in labs with additions of extra oils, chemicals, synthetic fats, etc. This processing can increase the trans-fat content in margarine and make it unhealthy.
  1. Be careful not to add butter to any overly fatty food item or other unhealthy dishes. This will only increase the overall effect on one’s body and prove to be harmful.
  1. Olive oil spreads can be used in place of butter. They make a healthier alternative and also retain a good smooth taste. Olive oil is also safer and has numerous health benefits.

Glycemic Index of Butter

Glycemic Index of Butter

Taking note of the glycemic index of various foods is among the major indicators of healthy foods for diabetics. It measures the number of carbohydrates and the effects it can cause on the sugar levels of the body.

The Glycemic Index can vary from a low, medium, to high. It is measured through a scale of 0 to 100.

It is divided into the following categories:

Glycemic category Range
Low Glycemic Index From 0 to 55
Medium Glycemic Index From 56 to 69
High Glycemic Index 70 and above

Butter is said to be low in Glycemic Index because it has very low carbohydrates.

The Glycemic Index of Butter is 50. This falls under the Low GI category, but due to the above-mentioned reasons, butter is still not the best even if it is approved by Glycemic Information.

Nutritional information of Butter

The following table lists the nutrients that are available in 100grams of butter.

Sl. No. Nutrients found in 100 grams Amount available
1. Total fat

–         Saturated fats

–         Trans-fat regulation

–         Monounsaturated fats

–         Polyunsaturated fats

81 g

–         51 g

–         3.3 g

–         21 g

–         3 g

2. Proteins 0.9g
3. Carbohydrates

–         Dietary fiber

–         Sugars

0.1 g

–         0 g

–         0.1 g

4. Calories 717
5. Cholesterol 215 mg
6. Sodium 11 mg
7. Potassium 24 mg
8. Vitamin A 49% of DV
9. Vitamin D 15% of DV
10. Calcium 2% of DV

Thus, we can conclude that butter has a significant quantity of fats and calories. A tablespoon of butter has over 100 calories.

Hence, it is very crucial to have this in moderate quantities to keep the body out of any risks.

9 Health Benefits of eating Butter

9 Health Benefits of eating Butter

If mediated in the correct manners, this fatty dairy product can be useful to the body. Having the right amounts and good quality of butter can be useful for health and does not do much harm.

Let us have a deeper look at what are some capable benefits of having butter.

  1. Butter has many important vitamins that are present in easily absorbable forms. Vitamin A can have many nutritional benefits. It assists in the management of Thyroid, adrenaline secretions, vision improvement, etc.
  1. The presence of Lauric acid also has many effective benefits that can be good for the overall body. It helps treat and keep away many fungal diseases and infections.
  1. Butter also provides the body with other crucial vitamins like Vitamin K and E.
  1. Anti-oxidants are also found in this fatty dairy item. The function of anti-oxidants is to keep away the negative effects that are resulted due to the presence of free- radicals in the body. These free radicals can give rise to inflammation as well as many other chronic diseases.
  1. Anti-oxidants are also beneficial in keeping the heart-healthy. It helps to strengthen the arteries and avoid heart issues. These can be a good prevention measure for diabetic patients.
  1. Butter is a rich source of saturated fats. This reduces the development and build-up of cancer and tumor-causing cells. Protects the body against these chronic conditions.
  1. Butter also aids the functioning of the digestive tracts and helps to keep away many related problems. It is also effective in the prevention of kidney stones, gastrointestinal infections, etc.
  1. Calcium found in butter prevents tooth decay. Vitamin D is helpful in better absorption of calcium.
  1. It also has potential benefits in women. Butter can assist in providing and increasing fertility levels in women.

Make sure you include butter only in less quantity to avail of all the benefits that it has to offer.

4 downsides of Butter in Diabetes

4 downsides of Butter in Diabetes

Along with the boons, there are some banes of butter as well. Here are some downsides that can be caused by the consumption of butter:

  • Butter leads to weight gain due to the high calories and fats that can be stored in the tissues for a long time.
  • The whey proteins in milk can cause allergic reactions. As butter is a dairy product, it may also have the same allergic causes.
  • People who are lactose intolerant can have adverse digestive effects caused by butter. Although the traces of lactose in butter are minimal, unaltered amounts of butter can lead to lactose issues.
  • As we already covered, butter has a high amount of fat that can prove to be disadvantageous for the heart. It can encourage the development and accumulation of bad cholesterol, which depletes heart health.


Including butter in a diabetic diet can be safe when done in moderate amounts. It is crucial to understand the potential risks and benefits attached to it.

Taking better qualities of butter such as unsalted and organic varieties is recommended. Often it is advised to alternate butter with healthier options.

Managing diabetic health and including butter depends on portion-control that must be carried out efficiently.


Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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