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Is Butter Low FODMAP? Benefits, Nutrients & How To Eat In 2024

Donald Romeo

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Chelsea Rae Bourgeois, MS, RDN, LD

is butter low fodmap
The stick of butter - a surprisingly low FODMAP food!

Understanding your diet, especially for those following a diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, or a low FODMAP diet, can be challenging. Determining suitable food items like butter, which often sparks questions, is crucial to a healthy diet

The low FODMAP diet can help control irritable bowel syndrome[1] and other gastrointestinal disorders by restricting hard-to-digest carbohydrates, or FODMAPs, found in certain fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy, which can cause bloating, gas, and stomach pain.

Is butter FODMAP friendly? Yes, butter, primarily milk fat, is generally considered FODMAP-friendly. Its unique flavor is a staple in various cooking and baking recipes, essential to a balanced meal plan. Paying attention to butter’s nutritional profile is critical for anyone aiming for weight loss through careful portion control. Join us as we delve further into the butter world and its role in a low FODMAP diet.

Is Butter Low FODMAP Food?

Yes, butter is low-FODMAP.

Butter is considered low-FODMAP because it primarily comprises fats, and FODMAPs are carbohydrates. FODMAPs are certain types of carbohydrates that some people have trouble digesting, leading to gastrointestinal issues. Butter, being fat-based, doesn’t contain these complex carbohydrates. Thus, it’s classified as low FODMAP. However, eating butter in moderation is essential due to its high saturated fat content.

Butter Nutrition Facts

Butter comprises about 80% milk fat, 15% water, and some solids. Its nutritional profile[2] is essential for healthy diets. Although fat raises concerns for health-conscious people, it’s crucial to recognize that not all fats are the same. Butter contains a combination of saturated and trans fats. In moderation, butter can help fulfill your dietary fat needs, supporting cell function and providing energy.

Butter also contains many essential nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Butter also contains a host of trace minerals that contribute to our overall health. While these minerals might be present in smaller amounts, their impacts on our health can be significant. 

Is Butter Low In Lactose?

Butter is a dairy product derived from milk or cream by churning the liquid until it becomes solid. Churning separates the butterfat from the buttermilk. During this process, most of the lactose is removed, leaving a product that’s primarily fat with only trace amounts of lactose.

Since butter contains minimal lactose, most people with lactose intolerance can consume it without experiencing these adverse symptoms.

Beyond being low in lactose, butter’s high-fat, low-carb profile also makes it a suitable option for those following a low FODMAP diet. These specific types of carbohydrates can trigger digestive discomfort in some individuals. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases[3] explains that a low FODMAP diet can help manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Recommended Portion Of Butter On Low FODMAP Diet

While butter is generally considered compatible with a low FODMAP diet, it is vital to manage portion sizes. Butter, like any other high-fat food, can lead to weight gain and other associated health concerns when consumed in large amounts.

It is crucial to note that butter is high in saturated fats, and the American Heart Association[4] recommends limiting the intake of saturated fats. Overconsumption of such fats has been linked with higher LDL cholesterol levels,[5] contributing to heart disease.

Portion control lies in understanding and applying moderation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans[6] suggest limiting your saturated fat intake to less than 10% of your total daily calories. This translates roughly to 1-2 tablespoons of butter per day for the average 2,000-calorie diet. 

Striking a balance between enjoying the rich, unique flavor of butter and maintaining a health-conscious diet is the key to successfully navigating a low FODMAP diet or any diet to benefit weight loss.

FODMAP-Friendly Recipes Using Butter

BUTTER-SAUTÉED SHRIMP & VEGGIES

12 to 17 minutes

is butter low fodmap
Shrimp and Low-FODMAP Veggie Sauté

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh herbs for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt butter.
  2. Add shrimp, bell pepper, and zucchini to the skillet.
  3. Sauté until shrimp are cooked through and vegetables are tender.
  4. Season with your preferred seasonings.
  5. Serve hot.

BUTTERY QUINOA SALAD

1 hour and 20 minutes

is butter low fodmap
Butter-Infused Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa under cold water; drain.
  2. In a saucepain, combine quinoa and chicken broth; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is cooked and liquid is absorbed.
  4. Let cooked quinoa cool to room temperature.
  5. In a large bowl, mix cooled quinoa, diced carrot, and cucumber.
  6. Gently mix in the butter to evenly coat the ingredients.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  9. Stir before serving to fluff up quinoa and redistribute flavors.
  10. Serve chilled as a refreshing dish. 

BUTTER-ROASTED CHICKEN

1 hour and 30 minutes

is butter low fodmap
Butter-Herb Roasted Chicken with Low-FODMAP Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 whole chicken
  • Assorted fresh herbs (e.g., thyme, rosemary, sage)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Low-FODMAP vegetables (e.g., carrots, zucchini, bell peppers)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Rub softened butter on the chicken.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  4. In a baking dish, place chicken on a roasting rack.
  5. Roast chicken for about 1 hour at 165°F (74°C) internal temperature.
  6. Cut low-FODMAP vegetables into desired shapes.
  7. Toss vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  8. Arrange vegetables on separate baking sheets.
  9. Roast vegetables for 25-30 minutes until tender and browned.
  10. Serve roasted chicken with roasted low-FODMAP vegetables.
  11. Adjust cooking times based on chicken size and oven performance. Follow food safety guidelines when handling chicken.

BUTTER-SEARED SALMON

15 to 20 minutes

is butter low fodmap
Butter-Seared Salmon with Sautéed Spinach

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 salmon fillet
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the butter and let it melt and sizzle.
  3. Season the salmon fillet with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the salmon fillet, skin side down, in the hot butter.
  5. Sear the salmon for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking.
  6. Remove the salmon from the skillet and set it aside.
  7. In the same skillet, add the fresh spinach leaves.
  8. Sauté the spinach until wilted, for about 2-3 minutes.
  9. Season the spinach with salt and pepper, if desired.
  10. Plate the seared salmon fillet and serve it with the sautéed spinach.

BUTTER-BAKED POTATOES

30 to 35 minutes

is butter low fodmap
Butter-Rosemary Potato Wedges (FODMAP-Friendly)

Ingredients

  • Potatoes, sliced into wedges
  • Butter, melted
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. In a bowl, toss the potato wedges with melted butter until coated.
  3. Sprinkle fresh rosemary and salt over the potatoes, and toss again to distribute evenly.
  4. On a baking sheet, arrange the coated potato wedges in a single layer.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the wedges turn golden and crispy.
  6. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

BUTTERY SCRAMBLED EGGS

5 to 7 minutes

is butter low fodmap
Butter-Scrambled Eggs with Gluten-Free Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 slice of gluten-free toast

Directions

  1. In a bowl, beat 2 large eggs.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
  3. Pour the beaten eggs into the skillet with melted butter.
  4. Scramble the eggs until they are just set.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Toast a slice of gluten-free bread.
  7. Serve the butter-scrambled eggs with a slice of gluten-free toast.

The Takeaway

In the complex journey of dietary planning, especially for those with specific digestive sensitivities, one question often surfaces: “Is butter low in FODMAP?” The answer, affirmatively, is yes.

Butter is generally accepted as a low FODMAP food item due to its minimal lactose content. This is because creating butter involves churning milk, which significantly reduces lactose levels, making it a potentially safe ingredient for those adhering to a low FODMAP diet.

You can find reliable and detailed information on the FODMAP diet and other health topics on government websites such as the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.[7] And if you have questions about your individualized nutrition needs, consider meeting with a registered dietitian.


+ 7 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. A.S. van Lanen, Angelika de Bree and Arno Greyling (2021). Efficacy of a low-FODMAP diet in adult irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-020-02473-0.
  2. Usda.gov. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173410/nutrients.
  3. and, D. (2023). Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. [online] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/treatment.
  4. www.heart.org. (2021). Saturated Fat. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/saturated-fats.
  5. Engel, S. and Tine Tholstrup (2015). Butter increased total and LDL cholesterol compared with olive oil but resulted in higher HDL cholesterol compared with a habitual diet. [online] 102(2), pp.309–315. doi:https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.112227.
  6. USDA (2020). Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 -2025 Make Every Bite Count With the Dietary Guidelines. [online] Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Available at: https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans-2020-2025.pdf.
  7. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (2023). [online]  Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/.
Donald Romeo

Medically reviewed by:

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois

Donald Romeo is a highly skilled health and wellness writer and a dedicated nutritional researcher. His expertise unravels the intricate connections between nutrition, holistic health, and well-being. With an astute understanding of nutritional science and a talent for translating complex concepts into accessible content, Donald brings valuable insights to his readers. He is committed to empowering individuals by providing practical and evidence-based advice to support their wellness journey. Through his engaging articles, Donald inspires readers to make informed choices, adopt healthier habits, and embrace a holistic approach to their overall vitality.

Medically reviewed by:

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois

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