Butter is a popular dairy product made from cow's milk.

It is composed of milk fat that has been separated from other milk components. It has a rich flavour and is widely used for cooking, baking, or as a spread on bread.

In the past few decades, butter has been unfairly blamed for cardiovascular disease due to its high saturated fat content.

However, the public and scientific opinion has been slowly shifting in its favor, and many people now consider butter to be healthy.

Being mainly composed of fat, butter is a high-calorie food. One tablespoon of butter contains about 101 calories, which is similar to one medium-sized banana.

The table below contains detailed information on the different nutrients in butter.

Nutrition Facts: Butter, Salted — 100 grams

Water16 %
Protein0.9 g
Carbs0.1 g
Sugar0.1 g
Fiber0 g
Fat81.1 g
Saturated51.37 g
Monounsaturated21.02 g
Polyunsaturated3.04 g
Omega-30.32 g
Omega-62.17 g
Trans fat3.28 g

Butter is about 80% fat, and the rest is mostly water.

Basically, it is the fatty portion of milk that has been isolated from the protein and carbs.

Butter is one of the most complex of all dietary fats, containing more than 400 different fatty acids.

It is very high in saturated (about 70%) fatty acids, and contains a fair amount of monounsaturated fatty acids (about 25%).

Polyunsaturated fats are only present in minimal amounts, constituting around 2.3% of the total fat content (1, 2).

Other types of fatty substances found in butter include cholesterol and phospholipids.

Short-Chain Fats

Around 11% of the saturated fatty acids in butter are short-chain (1), the most common of which is butyric acid.

Butyric acid is a unique component of the milk fat of ruminant animals, such as cattle, sheep and goats.

Butyrate, which is a form of butyric acid, has been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive system and has been used as a treatment for Crohn's disease (3).

Ruminant Trans Fats

Unlike trans fats in processed foods, dairy trans fats are considered to be healthy.

Butter is the richest dietary source of dairy trans fats, also called ruminant trans fats, the most common of which are vaccenic acid and conjugated linoleic acid or CLA (4).

CLA is a family of trans fats that has been associated with various health benefits (5).

Studies in animals, and human cells in laboratory culture, indicate that CLA may protect against certain types of cancer (6, 7, 8).

CLA may also promote weight loss in humans (9), and is actually sold as a weight loss supplement. However, not all studies support this (10).

In addition, there are some concerns with large doses of CLA supplements as they may have harmful effects on metabolic health (11, 12).

Bottom Line: Butter is mainly composed of fat. The types of fat include saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and ruminant trans fats.

Butter is a rich source of several vitamins, especially those that are generally associated with fat.

The following vitamins are found in high amounts in butter: