Low-fat, spreadable, salted butter … It’s hard to choose at the supermarket. However, some can actually have an impact on your health. Salt, carbohydrates, preservatives… Here are the butters that it is better to avoid when you go shopping. With Alexandra Murcier, dietician.
It is in France that we consume the most Butter : about 8 kg per year, according to the Que Choisir consumer association. This flagship product of our gastronomy is in fact made from milk cream, thanks to a process called churning. The latter consists of stirring the milk in order to separate the particles of fat contained in the cream from the whey.
To obtain the designation “butter”, the material obtained must contain 82% fat, 16% maximum water, 2% mineral salts, as well as casein and lactose. The only additive authorized by French law is beta carotene, which gives it a very yellow color.
As part of a balanced diet, you can consume 10 g of butter per day, specifies us Alexandra Murcier, dietician. “It’s the equivalent of a square of butter as we often find in hotels,” she said.
Butter: when is the best time to consume it?
“I recommend consuming the butter cru at breakfast. It holds better than jam, shares Alexandra Murcier. If you pay attention to your figure, do not exceed 10 g per day “.
Attention, many of you cook the butter in the pan. However, this is not a good habit. “For cooking, it is better to use vegetable oils or margarine. The latter has the same consistency as butter but is made from vegetable fat.”
“20 g of butter can cover 20% of the daily requirement for vitamin A”
Butter contains lipids which are mostly saturated fats and that’s why it freezes cold, explains Dr. Laurence Plumey in his work Le Grand Livre de l’Alimentation (ed. Eyrolles). It contains no or very little cholesterol. It is rich in vitamin A, especially when it is very yellow. “20 g of butter can cover 20% of the daily requirement for vitamin A”, she explains.
In order for it to benefit from the name butter, the product must contain approximately 86% lipids, 14% water and a little less than 800 kcal / 100 g. If the product says “butter” on its label, that’s what you’ll find.
On the other hand, you will also find products mentioning “spreadable butter” or “light butter”. This is where things go wrong.
“This means thatwe changed the recipe, warns Alexandra Murcier. In general, butter is not a food to avoid, even if it remains very gras. However, if you deviate from its classic composition, it can become harmful “.
This is what we will cover following pages. We list you butters to limit And why.
Low-fat butter: they contain hydrogen fats
One can easily be tempted by light butters. They give us the impression of paying more attention to our line. Don’t fall for the trap.
“Not only do low-fat butters encourage us to consume twice as much, but in addition, they are provided with hydrogen fats or trans fats, “warns Alexandra Murcier.
Low-fat butter: easier to spread but harmful to the heart
Hydrogenation is a process by which hydrogen is added to fatty acids. According to numerous studies, they can be dangerous for your health if consumed in excess. They increase the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and reduce the “good” (HDL).
“It’s a process that puts oxygen in the fat, which makes the product more airy. The butter will be easier to spread, but harmful to cardiovascular health“, explains Alexandra Murcier.
Also, people who buy low fat butter will tend to consume twice as much. “In the end, you will have ingested as much fat as if you consume a traditional butter in less quantity”, notes the expert. It is therefore counterproductive.
Spreadable butter: a number of preservatives
“Here again, it is not pure butter, notes Alexandra Murcier. Very often the spreadable butter is likely to contain preservatives“.
Of course, it’s not just the preservatives in the butter that are going to put your health at risk. But it’s the “cocktail” effect that you must fear. You already find a number of preservatives in many everyday foods. If in addition, you consume butter particularly rich in preservative, it will be added to the list.
Among the 338 additives used in the processed foods that we consume daily, some have proven toxicity. They are also found in light butters.
Spreadable butter: they can be provided with thickeners
“In some butters, we will find thickeners starch-based. It’s about carbohydrates, explains Alexandra Murcier. Based on modified starch. If you pay attention to your carbohydrate intake, it is therefore better to limit these butters “.
Be careful if you are used to buying flavored butters. They should not be consumed without moderation according to the nutritionist. Garlic, seaweed, spice… Butters that contain them are also likely to contain a number of additives.
Salted butter: be careful if you have hypertension
Without much surprise, the salted butter is, as its name suggests, very rich in cell. “This is a concern because our food is already too rich in salt”, warns Alexandra Murcier. However, people who ingest excess sodium are at risk of l’hypertension, heart attack or certain cancers. It is therefore essential to regulate the dose of salt in your diet.
Salt: the dose not to be exceeded
ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety) estimates that an intake is correct at 6 g of sodium per day. There is therefore no risk of being in excess and increasing your cardiovascular risks. By getting into the habit of tasting homemade dishes, you can avoid excess sodium by not adding salt.