When it comes to being a vegan, you’ll always be looking out for a decent replacement for dairy products like chocolate, cream, milk, and butter. Well, you’ll be happy to hear that there are plenty of substitutes for butter, most of them being plant based.
The ingredient of vegan butter is usually a plant-based oil mixed in with butter. This oil might be vegetable, avocado, coconut, and palm kernel oil. This is very tasty and has very much the same texture and taste as dairy-based butter.
But what health benefits are there for vegan butter? What sort of butter can you get with what ingredients? How much will it cost you? Well, look at our guide to vegan butter, what goes into it and how it will affect you.
The Nutritional Profile Of Vegan Butter
Before we go into some of the benefits of vegan butter, we’ll be going to have a look at what the nutrient content is. For those diet fanatics, you’ll probably recognize the effect this type of butter will have on you:
Serving: 14 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Total fat: 11 grams
Saturated fat: 3.5 grams
Monounsaturated fat: 5 grams
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.5 grams
Sodium: 120 mg
This contains a lot of plant-protein, which isn’t as robust as animal protein, but it will make up for your quota of protein for the day.
It also comes with a lot of healthy fats, as it is made from plant-based material rather than processed animal fats.
A lot of these butters are also very high in fats and calories, so you’ll have to be as sparing as you would be with dairy butter.
How Is Vegan Butter Good For You?
There are plenty of positives to be had from consuming plant-based butter, both on a personal level but also on a much wider social level.
This is good for the environment, as it doesn’t involve as much pollution.
Here are some of the health benefits of vegan butter:
It Is High In Certain Types Of Fat
Vegan butter is very high in monounsaturated fats, which are the type that are only found in plant-based oils.
This type of fat has been variously linked to healthier heart function, maintaining blood sugar levels and regulating body weight.
If you switch out saturated fats with monounsaturated fats, then you could be looking at dramatic weight loss. This will also reduce the likelihood of heart disease and obesity.
There are a lot of vegetable oils that are high in this type of fat, mainly olive oil and avocado oil. This is one of the highest and most concentrated forms of monounsaturated fats that you can find.
It Is Low In Certain Types Of Fat
Vegan and other plant-based butters are very low in saturated fats. This type of fat has been linked to increased levels of heart disease, which is why it is very bad to consume in larger amounts.
This has also been linked to increased levels of inflammation, which can lead to other conditions.
While it has not been shown that decreased levels of fat will reduce heart disease, reducing the amount of saturated fats that you get in your overall diet will lead to improvement in overall health.
Helps The Environment
It might not need mentioning that factory farming has a very detrimental effect on the environment, with methane pollution causing untold damage to the atmosphere and cultivating land for grazing destroying large swathes of the rainforest.
Studies have proven that switching to a plant-based diet has been seen to decrease the amount of greenhouse emissions by around 20-30%.
However, one notable exception to this rule is palm oil. The demand for which has been shown to have just as detrimental effect on the environment. Some of these negative effects have included deforestation and destruction of animal habitats.
But overall, butters made from things like avocado and coconut oil have been shown to dramatically reduce this type of destruction to the environment.
A Great Alternative To Dairy Butter
The best thing about vegan butter is the fact that in terms of taste and texture it is not that much different from dairy butter.
This is why so many vegans turn to these types of substitutes, especially after they have just adopted a plant-based diet.
This can also be a great alternative butter for anyone who is allergic to certain substances such as shellfish, egg and fish. If you are lactose intolerant, eating vegan butter will be of huge help to you also.
You can also use vegan butter in baking, although you will have to check whether your vegan butter will be suitable for baking.
But because of the texture they will usually have the same effect as using regular dairy-based butter, helping to bind your ingredients together.
The Negatives Of Vegan Butter
However, with every episode, there is always a downside. Here are some of the negative effects of ingesting vegan butter:
It Is Extremely Processed
Because of the complexity of the ingredients, some of these butters are far less organic and a lot more processed than some of the others on this list.
This means that your nutrient content is going to be much lower, and you might be missing out on some of the essentials.
Therefore, it is important to moderate your use of vegan butter. If you rely on this too much for your fat content, then you will be lacking in some other nutrients.
High In Omega 6
Omega 6 is a very important nutrient that you should get, but a lot of vegans are lacking the more important Omega fatty acid, which is Omega 3. This second type of oil can only really be ingested from fish, chia seeds and sea algae.
Vegan butter can be a great alternative to regular butter, although you will have to be careful with how much of it you include in your diet. Butter, whether dairy-based or plant-based, can have a detrimental effect on your health if consumed in large amounts.
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