Those who follow a plant-based diet, especially vegans avoid consuming all types of animal-based food products. With the rise in popularity of this type of eating pattern, food product manufacturers began introducing vegan alternatives or substitutes for many regular items, and one such product is a non-dairy substitute for butter. Peanut butter is a popular plant-based food product used in different recipes. There are other types of similar products made by combining water with plant-derived oils like avocado, coconut, olive, palm, or their combination. Read on to know more about plant-based butter, its nutrition, and health benefits.
What Is Plant-Based Butter?
Plant-based butter is also known as vegan butter, and nowadays, they are widely available. They can be nut butter or made using plant-derived oils. In the latter case, they also contain additional ingredients like salt, emulsifiers, artificial or natural flavors, and colorings. This is to ensure that they mimic the taste and texture of the real butter. One of the common doubts about them is whether they are healthy or not, and the answer to this is that there are potential benefits and downsides.
The Nutritional Content Of Plant-Based Butter
Listed below is the nutritional profile of a typical plant-based butter made using plant-derived oils:
- Calories: 100
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Total fat: 11 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 5 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2.5 grams
- Saturated fat: 3.5 grams
- Sodium: 120 mg
You must also keep in mind that the total fat content will vary according to the plant-derived oil used for making the plant-based butter.
The main benefit of most plant-based food is that their fat content, especially saturated fat is lower. Listed below are the main benefits of plant-based butter:
- Higher Amounts Of Monounsaturated Fats: Plant-derived oils used for making plant-based butter are rich in monounsaturated fats, which is a type of unsaturated fat. Studies have shown that a diet high in monounsaturated fats improves heart health, helps to maintain body weight, and manage blood sugar levels.
- Lower Amounts Of Saturated Fats: Generally, plant-based food has a lower saturated fat content. Remember that, several studies have shown that consuming saturated fats increases LDL or bad cholesterol levels and lowers HDL or good cholesterol levels. This results in an increased risk of heart diseases and other cardiovascular issues.
- Better For Environment: Producing plant-based food products is more sustainable, and hence environmentally friendly. Also, bear in mind that dairy farms and dairy-based food production harms the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions.
On a final note, plant-based milk and other non-dairy substitutes are becoming popular because they are convenient substitutes. Also, they are preferred by those who are lactose-intolerant.