Salted Or Unsalted Butter For Keto

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Written by Edibel Quintero, Medical Doctor and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

Imge of Salted Or Unsalted Butter For Keto



As a general rule, it’s important to decrease your salt intake. However, specifically with the keto diet, some nutritional requirements change.

If you are a follower of the low-carb diet, you will find that you can enjoy high-fat options to achieve your desired goals, but which is better? Salted or unsalted butter for keto?

Eating a lot of fat and salt may seem far from what a diet should contain, but today at PlanKetogenic we bring you some tips to help you choose between these two options, especially if you want to avoid the unpleasant side effects of ketosis. Check them out!

What is salted butter?

It is a creamy dairy product to which salt is added to enhance its characteristic flavor, which is special for different baked preparations or appetizers.

If you are aware of all the delicious high-fat recipes that can be prepared with this product and you ask yourself: is salted butter keto? The answer is, fortunately, yes.

During ketosis, it is important to consume some amount of salt, since sodium is an important electrolyte that is lost during a low-carb diet. That is why this version of butter with added salt becomes a good ally to achieving this goal.

What is unsalted butter?

This is a product derived from cow's milk that only retains the cream and has no salt added during the preparation process.

This gives it an advantage in some recipes as it will not modify the flavor.

Is unsalted butter keto-friendly? Yes, actually during the keto diet you can use any type of butter as long as it does not contain vegetable oils among its ingredients as some of them are not ideal for good health.

This type that does not contain added salt can be used in your bulletproof coffee so you can enjoy the benefits of this ketogenic drink without adding a salty flavor.


Comparative nutritional table

If you want to know which is healthier, salted or unsalted butter, the best thing to do is to look at the nutritional table to compare their nutrients.

Nutrients Salted Butter (1 tbsp) Unsalted Butter (1 tbsp)
Energy 102 kcal 100 kcal
Fat 11.5 g 11 g
Saturated fat 7.3 g 7 g
Protein 0.1 g 0 g
Net carbs 0 g 0 g
Total carbs 0 g 0 g
Fiber 0 g 0 g
Sodium 91.3 mg 0 mg


In the nutritional table according to data from the USDA nutrition database, you can see that both options have the same macronutrients and are a source of fat without protein or carbohydrates.
In addition, being a source of saturated fat, it should be consumed in moderation. It contains 7 g saturated fat per tablespoon and the daily limit to avoid cardiovascular diseases is 16 to 22 g per day (if you eat 2000kCal/day).

Remember that these foods do not have to be included in your meal plan, they are optional.


Difference between salted vs. unsalted butter

The difference between salted and unsalted butter is only perceived in its salty taste since both presentations have the same nutrients.

The salted version contains 91.3 mg of sodium, while the unsalted has no sodium. This is important to know if you are following the keto diet as it is necessary to replenish the electrolytes you lose and the addition of sodium is essential.

Both options are high-fat foods that perfectly complement almost any ketogenic recipe, from scrambled eggs, steaks, baked goods, and sautéed veggies. 

This extra fat contribution facilitates ketosis and keeps you in a good mood for sure, because who doesn't like a nice juicy steak with that extra buttery flavor?

When to use salted and unsalted butter

There is no specific time for each, you can use salted or unsalted butter for baking, sautéing vegetables, and cooking eggs or meat. Just keep in mind that if you have already added salt to the food, then the best option would be to use the salt-free version.

If you want to make a sweet recipe, to control the salty taste use the plain version and add it yourself to taste, this way it is more convenient.

Certainly, the keto diet requires a higher sodium intake due to the losses that occur when you significantly decrease the carbohydrates in the diet, but this does not mean that you should use salt excessively.

If you are looking to control your blood pressure, take care to limit your consumption of sodium during the ketogenic diet or any other eating plan. Your doctor or nutritionist will be able to guide you in this aspect whenever you need it.

Which type is better for the keto diet?

When it comes to avoiding the dreaded "keto flu", salted butter is the way to go. Keto flu is a set of flu-like symptoms that include headache and discomfort that occur during the first few weeks of the keto diet.

Symptoms improve with adequate hydration, replenishment of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and plenty of rest and patience.

In addition, salted butter preserves longer at room temperature because salt is a preservative that protects against bacteria and prolongs the life of the product.

But, if you have non-salted butter at home and you are on a keto diet, go ahead and use it! You can add the salt yourself, which also has advantages because you have more control over the quantity.

Choose high-quality butters, such as grass-fed, with no added oils or options like ghee, which is a clarified version.

Because all butters have saturated fat, they should only be consumed in moderation. 

You may want to consider using a healthier, plant-based fat such as extra virgin olive oil.


Butters can be a great ally in the keto diet, especially if you are struggling to reach the adequate fat requirement when you are starting out.

This difficulty can happen because you only eat a couple of meals a day or because the meats you have bought are lean and need a little more of additional fat to speed up ketosis.

You can use either of the two types to promote ketosis, either with sodium or without. However, both contain saturated fat and are high in calories, so use small amounts.