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When To Use Different Butter Types: Salted Vs. Unsalted

Butter is a crucial component in many recipes, whether you’re baking banana-nut muffins or preparing caramelized onions on the pan. However, there are two varieties of butter available at the grocery store: salted vs. unsalted. But does it matter what kind of butter you use in recipes? And which is the healthier option? To help you choose the salted or unsalted butter that best suits your needs, let’s examine the nutrition facts and recommended uses for each.

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Butter: What Is It?

A water-in-fat emulsion called butter is formed from cream. Fatty cream can float to the top of full-fat, unhomogenized milk if left out for 12 to twenty-four hours. Butter, which may be made by agitating cream, has a longer shelf life than fresh milk or cream. Butter can be used as a spread, condiment, baking component, and cooking fat, among other things. Whatever variety of butter you use, will improve the flavor of your food.

Butter: Salted vs. Unsalted

In general, there are two forms of butter: Unsalted butter doesn’t include any additional salt, but salted butter has salt added to it. Additional factors relating to the two varieties of butter are as follows:

Salted Vs. Unsalted
  1. Flavor: Unsalted butter has no additional salt because it is entirely made of butterfat. If you consume unsalted butter, you will experience the butter’s natural flavor, which is smoother, sweeter, and less salty than salted butter.
  2. Shelf life: Butter with salt has a longer shelf life than butter without salt because the salt works as a preservative. Additional salt can balance out the cream’s naturally buttery and sweet flavor.
  3. Sodium: The type and quantity of salt used in butter might vary depending on the brand (kosher salt, sea salt, etc.). Using the milligrams of sodium listed on the label’s nutritional information, you can estimate how salty a new tab of salted butter is overall.

Which Butter Is The Healthiest?

Let’s compare the nutritional profiles of salted and unsalted butter to gain a better understanding of the differences. The nutritional information for a standard one-teaspoon serving of salted and unsalted butter is as follows:

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Salted Butter

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 12g 
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Unsaturated Fats: 
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Added sugars: 0g
  • Sodium: 90mg
  • Calcium: 0% DV
  • Potassium: 0% DV 

Unsalted Butter 

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 12g 
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Unsaturated Fats: 
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Added sugars: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Calcium: 0% DV
  • Potassium: 0% DV 

A tablespoon of salted butter contains 90 milligrams of sodium more than a tablespoon of unsalted butter. Other than that, the nutritional composition of these two kinds of butter is nearly same.

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We advise using unsalted butter if you’re managing your sodium intake since it allows you complete control over how much salt is in your food. In the supermarket store, seek the words “sweet butter” or “unsalted” if you wish to get unsalted butter. Make sure to carefully check the box label as “sweet cream butter” might refer to both salted and unsalted butter.

Can Salted Butter Replace Unsalted Butter?

In many cases, the answer is yes; you may use unsalted butter in recipes for soups, stews, sauces, and roasted vegetables in the same amount without any concern. Just keep in mind that every tablespoon of salted butter you add will raise the sodium level of the entire dish by around 90 mg. Make sure to taste your meal as you cook to avoid oversalting. But it’s best to stick with unsalted butter for baked foods, especially bread, which isn’t as forgiving.