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Food Swaps: 5 Butter Alternatives for weight loss

Updated: Jun 22

Butter butters better - or does it? Today there are a range of healthier alternatives to butter that have lower saturated fat and calories while also providing some taste variety. ​We've compared the nutritional analysis of Butter and 5 alternatives for your toast.


Generic Salted Butter is a natural, traditional food but with high saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium versus other options. It's a high energy/cholesterol option especially if other toppings are being added. About 100 calories per tablespoon.

There are more alternatives now that provide taste, variety and less saturated fat to improve your diet.

Five Swaps for Butter:

  1. Avocado: A fraction of the energy, barely any saturated fat and some fibre. BUT can you limit yourself to a tablespoon? Even using twice the amount of avocado as you would butter you've avoided cholesterol, most of the saturated fat and it's delicious on its own.

  2. Peanut butter: Using peanut butter as a spread instead of butter won't reduce your energy consumption but has less than a third of the saturated fat of butter plus gives you a protein boost. As with avocado the challenge is to limit how thickly you spread your peanut butter and to avoid pairing it with other high energy spreads (butter and/or jelly)

  3. Low Fat margarine: a generic margarine has equivalent calories to butter but less than a third of the saturated fat and no cholesterol. Seek out the healthier options though with half the calories/fat.

  4. Low Fat Labneh: This is a strained low-fat yoghurt which has very low calories and is ideal if other toppings are being added eg tomato, pickles, fruit spread. Fat levels are very low with a little protein thrown in.

  5. Low Fat Mayonaise: with low fat this is another healthier option under savoury toppings like salad, tomatoes, pickles and cheese although it's sodium levels can be high. It pays to check the labels for both sodium and sugar content as sometimes these are added to boost the flavor in the absence of fat.

Food Swaps: Comparing spreads:

Source: MyFitnessPal Food database

  • 1 T Generic Salted Butter

  • 1 T Becel Lite Margarine

  • 1 T Hellman's Lite Mayonnaise

  • 1 T Avocado

  • 1 T Generic Low Fat Labneh

  • 1 T Generic Peanut Butter

na: Not Available


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