Are Butterboards Okay to Eat?

The Viral Butterboard with Fresh Herbs, Micro Greens, Organic Honey and Toasted Baguette Slices on a Bamboo Cutting Board

October 13, 2022

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Madison Schenke, RDN
Whether you’ve seen the trend on Instagram or TikTok, butterboards are sweeping the internet as the latest appetizer craze. 

What is a butterboard? 

A butterboard is a dish that consists of softened butter spread across a cutting board and topped with a variety of fruits or vegetables, condiments, spices and seasonings.

Somewhat of an alternative to a charcuterie board or cheese plate, these boards are served with bread, pretzels or crackers to go along with the buttery dip. 

What do dietitians think of butterboards?

“It’s important to know that it’s okay to eat every kind of food – diet culture is very restrictive and can ultimately have the opposite effect of what you were trying to accomplish. By suppressing cravings and limiting yourself, you may end up overdoing it,” shares registered oncology dietitian, Madison Schenke. 

Keep Portions in Mind

“If it’s just you and two friends sharing two sticks of butter, that’s an hors d'oeuvre that’s heavy in saturated fat,” she adds. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting your saturated fat intake, as it can raise the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood, increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke.

“The AHA says you should aim for about 5 to 6% of your calories to be from saturated fat – from a 2000 calorie a day sample, that means you don’t want more than 120 calories to be from saturated fat. So looking at butter intake, that’s maybe one to two tablespoons a day,” says Madison. “But just remember, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this dish on occasion. One meal doesn’t lead to a heart attack, it’s your overall lifestyle and diet that matters.”

Everything in Moderation

“Indulging in a butterboard every now and again is okay. I liken it to Thanksgiving Day – if you’re gathering for a party or celebration, it’s okay to include. Just remember to listen to your body. Pay attention to hunger cues and your body will tell you when you’ve had enough, so listen carefully!” Madison says. 

What are healthy ways to create a butterboard? 

“While some of these butterboard toppings, like herbs, spices and nuts, can be healthy to include, the base is what we want to look at, along with frequency of how often we’re eating it, and how many people we’re sharing it with,” Madison recommends. 

“There are definitely some healthy alternatives we can substitute the butter for, just remember that food is so important to enjoy! We want to enjoy what we’re eating, and make healthy swaps when we can,” says Madison.

Alternatives to a Butter Base

  • Whipped butter – “By whipping the butter, we introduce some air, and it reduces the calorie content by about half per tablespoon. It’s a simple swap and keeps butter as the base, but reduces some fat content,” says Madison.
    • Try it with: Salt, pepper, arugula, citrus zest, and bread 

  • Hummus – a great source of fiber and protein
    • Try it with: Chopped red onion, peppers, and pita bread

  • Nut butter – can make a great dessert platter with almond butter 
    • Try it with: Sliced strawberries, nutella drizzle and banana chips

  • Low fat cream cheese – easily spreadable; lower in fat and calories than butter, but still be aware of the saturated fat content
    • Try it with: Everything bagel seasoning, lox and bagel chips

  • Greek yogurt – a good source of calcium and protein
    • Try it with: Banana, berries, flax, and honey or nut butter drizzle 

Use a Clean Surface & No Double Dipping 

“Also just keep in mind the food safety aspect – make sure the board you’re using is clean and dry,” adds Madison.

Use a knife or spoon to spread and scoop the board contents. Flu season is upon us, so keep those double-dippers off your board.

Next Steps & Resources:

  • Meet our source: Madison Schenke, RDN 
  • To make an appointment with a physician near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

 
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