There are many reasons why you might crave butter, and this blog post is going to go into detail about what those reasons may be.
Before talking about butter cravings in more depth, let’s first get the ‘butter is bad’ stereotype out of the way.
If your perception is that all butter is unhealthy and bad then you won’t be able to see the valid reasons you are craving butter.
That is, if you judge yourself for eating butter then shame will close your mind to what you really are craving.
Cravings are complex! Sometimes cravings are a legitimate sign we need to eat something, like when you’re craving water and are genuinely thirsty.
Other times cravings are just to avoid certain emotions like stress or sadness.
We don’t always know why we crave certain things. So let’s go through normal, valid reasons you are craving butter and see if these resonate with your experience!
1 – Butter Is Delicious
Butter is delicious! There’s no denying that.
And why shouldn’t you eat something tasty? If butter isn’t a problem food for you then why not enjoy it when the time feels right?
Remember the health wisdom: everything in moderation. Extreme diets just lead to burnout.
This type of reasoning might be hard to hear if you have been told all your life to limit or avoid butter.
But let’s also just try to see the truth: butter tastes really good and if we just look at taste alone (without health implications) I’m sure you can see how delicious butter tastes.
Perhaps part of your craving for butter is that you are trying to eat too healthy.
In turn for your strictly ‘healthy’ diet you are just eating boring foods that don’t really taste that good or satisfy you?
While you might want to disregard butter’s deliciousness, let’s take a deeper look at why you might have butter cravings…
2 – Butter Keeps You Full
Another reason why you might be craving butter is because it keeps you full.
See, butter has fat content. And one way to think about fat is that fat is not ‘bad’ unless it’s fried or in some unnatural form.
But since butter is really simple to make (you just essentially just mix milk until it churns to butter) then you are getting a really pure and unmodified type of fat.
Here is a Harvard Health Article which talks more about the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats.
In fact, fat has the highest satiety index of all foods! A satiety index is just a measurement of how full your body feels – and butter is really high in this category!
Butter isn’t just delicious but it can help with those hunger pangs as well.
Now we’re getting somewhere! Maybe part of why you crave butter is because it’s great for maintaining energy and keeping you feeling satisfied between meals?
If so – awesome! You’ve found one more valid reason why cravings aren’t something to beat yourself up about.
You feel like butter will satisfy your body’s needs.
This is why you crave it, and other fatty foods too!
Another reason why butter keeps you full might be because of its high calorie density.
High-calorie foods often feel more filling
This makes sense why we would naturally select high-calorie foods like butter and bread. Because you’re trying to stay energized or satisfied between meals.
Just like other fats (e.g., in nuts), the calories in butters are denser than carbohydrates. Meaning that they take up less volume inside your stomach while still offering a good amount of energy for your body’s needs.
Fat also releases hormones including cholecystokinin, which has been found to suppress appetite. Butter stimulates these satiety hormones even though it doesn’t have any special nutrients or vitamins.
So take another minute to think about why you enjoy butter so much?
Is it because of how it tastes and its high caloric density? If this is the case then why shouldn’t we rejoice in our body’s natural preferences for these types of foods when they are genuinely needed!?
Now of course too much fat and butter is not good either. But fat has been demonized over the years by mainstream health organizations.
Modern science and health movements like Intuitive Eating are showing how important it is to feel satisfied from the food you eat!
With butter’s taste and ability to keep you full, well, no wonder you are craving butter!
3 – You’re Undereating
Let’s continue to look at why you find yourself craving butter.
Is it because of #’s 1 or 2 above (i.e., its taste and satiating properties)? Or is there something else going on in your life that might mean you aren’t eating enough food overall?
While the average person needs around 2000-2500 calories per day, if you are working out hard or training for an athletic competition then this number can go way up!
This means that sometimes when we start exercising more intensely our caloric needs also increase.
Now of course many of you readers aren’t training hard for an athletic competition, but what about stress?
Did you know that during professional chess tournaments, the average amount of calories burned per day is around 6000?
And these chess players are just sitting around doing “nothing”! They aren’t running or lifting weights … So how are they ‘burning’ 6000 calories per day?
Well, in a chess tournament you ‘think’ a lot and you think very stressfully. Lots of anxiety in chess tournaments!
Now, you probably don’t play chess either, but do you think a lot and very stressfully?
Well, your stressful thoughts are burning through your energy reserves. You need energy to think, after all!
If you are undereating (like if you’re on a low carb diet) and working very hard, then one very common sign is brain fatigue.
If you feel incredibly tired, exhausted and perhaps can’t think straight, then …
This is a sign you are undereating and your brain doesn’t have the blood sugar it needs to think straight.
Is it possible you are craving butter because your brain needs more energy and you just want something quick and easy to recharge?
4 – Butter Pairs Well
Let’s run with this hypothesis for a little while longer …
Let’s say you are undereating, thinking very stressfully, and get tired frequently …
Butter makes a lot of sense in these moments, right? Your brain and belly both need something to tide them over, yes?
But, you aren’t just going to eat plain butter, are you? Plain butter seems a little odd …
But one benefit of butter is that it pairs very easily with other consumer-friendly foods. If you are genuinely hungry and need some extra fuel then you will probably want other high-calorie foods, besides butter.
- Toast and butter
- Pasta and butter
- Baked potatoes with sour cream, cheese and butter … you get the idea!
Butter pairs well with many other foods because of its taste and salt content. It has a very distinct flavor that is more than just salty or sweet – it can be paired up with almost anything to make something tasty.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean you should be eating lots of butter, if your body needs extra calories then don’t neglect that! It’s fine to eat foods that taste delicious and keep you full.
Can You Eat Butter By Itself?
If butter is so good then can you eat butter by itself?
Of course you can, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Remember … Too much fat isn’t good either! Moderation in everything. 🙂
I hope these first four reasons make sense. There are valid reasons behind why you are craving butter!
Now of course, people can abuse butter too. Let’s try to understand why.
5 – Healthy Fats Can Be Calming
Butter can also be calming, it’s true.
If you are experiencing a lot of stress then butter might not only seem tasty but very comforting as well. If you’re under stress and undereating on a low carb diet, then you’re more likely to feel anxious or depressed.
Anxiety and depressive disorders have been linked to consuming too much sugar … why?
There are many reasons. One easy-to-understand reason is because the more depressed we feel, the harder it is for us to move around and exercise. This means our bodies don’t burn through calories efficiently.
Another reason is that millions of years ago our ancestors were constantly battling scarce food supplies.
When our ancestors dug their teeth into the legs of an animal that had a lot of fat, or found a batch of nuts with high fat sources …
Our ancestors would have felt safe and relieved! They would have felt that temporarily they weren’t going to die of hunger.
Now in modern society most of us fortunately don’t have to worry about dying of starvation. But our bodies still make us feel relaxed and calm when we eat high fat foods like butter, peanut butter and chocolate.
One way to combat this problem is by simply eating healthier!
While you can eat some butter, you could eat lots of veggies with lean proteins, which will also help keep your belly full while still giving yourself enough energy so that you aren’t feeling sluggish all day long.
However, this post is less about advice and more about understanding why you crave butter.
Do you see why, if you’re stressed and fatigued, you would want to calm down and how butter could help with that?
6 – Butter’s Calm Is Addictive
Another big reason why you might get cravings for butter is because we get addicted to the calm feeling! Butter makes us feel good.
When our brains release chemicals like dopamine after eating fatty foods we want more of them. It’s why so many people binge eat on high fat junk food – they can’t stop themselves.
Because these “comfort” foods make their brain produce MORE dopamine than other types of food!!
This extra dopamine means we continue to seek out things that give us pleasure again and again (and oftentimes this leads to obesity).
So why does your body naturally want comforting fats such as butter?
It’s because our bodies are designed to want high-calorie foods. It was beneficial millions of years ago, when we needed all the fat and calories we could get while hunting for food … but in modern times it has become a problem!
Basically some butter is fine and appropriate, even good, but tons of butter and other ‘unhealthy’ foods are not.
Now hopefully you understand why your body thinks butter is so pleasurable!
But, just because we now understand why we crave butter this doesn’t exactly mean we should just eat butter all the time, right? Remember there are other ways to address these cravings.
What Does Your Body Need When You Crave Greasy Food?
Remember, why you crave butter is generally a good thing! Your body wants something that can give it more energy to get through the day.
So what should we eat when our bodies are craving fat? While you can have some butter, consider these others ways of satisfying your craving:
- Have lean proteins in every meal throughout the day (lean meats like fish or chicken breast, beans for protein)
- Make vegetables a HUGE portion of each plate – try to fill at least half with veggies before anything else! Vegetables have very few calories compared to fats but they’re filling due to water content and fiber!
- Eat healthy fats throughout the day. For example almonds, avocado and coconut oil all have a good amount of fat but won’t make your calorie intake too high so that you don’t feel sluggish!
- Be sure to drink plenty of water. Just drink a glass every time you eat anything and that will do the trick 🙂
Butter Food Cravings Final Thoughts
Butter is a food that has been enjoyed for centuries. It’s delicious and high in fat and protein, which helps keep you full longer. It also pairs well with many foods and can be calming when it comes to some people’s cravings.
The key here is moderation; try using it sparingly in recipes that call for large amounts. You’ll still get all the benefits without overdoing it on fats!
Now this post has mainly focused on the physical reasons why you crave butter but for more info on the emotional reasons behind food cravings see this post here.