7 Best Substitutes for Unsalted Butter


Unsalted butter is a butter with no added salt to it.

As compared to salted butter, unsalted ones have a lesser shelf life as salt not only provides taste but also acts as a preservative. It contains 100 calories, 7g of saturated fats, and vitamins like A, D, E, and K2.

But unsalted butter may not suffice your daily sodium needs and is rich in excess saturated fats, which isn’t suitable for everyday, prolonged use. It comes with a mild sweetness that may not be appealing to individuals who relish savory dishes.

If you are looking for some healthy and delicious unsalted butter substitutes, you have come to the right place. Keep reading to know about specific unsalted butter substitutes.

7 Best Substitutes for Unsalted Butter

This section features seven substitutes for unsalted butter to cut down your daily calorie intake and find new alternatives for distinct flavor and aroma. All the replacements mentioned here are filled with health-promoting factors.

Salted Butter

Salted butter has the same nutritional composition as unsalted butter. It comes with salt added, leading to its increased shelf life than unsalted butter.

Salted butter contains carotene that is a valuable antioxidant, and can convert itself into vitamin A to boost the immune response against diseases. Low-fat butter is an excellent alternative for health-conscious individuals. Butter is good for the brain as well.

Beta-carotene and vitamin A depict anti-cancer properties. They reduce the formation of prostate and colorectal cancer cells in the body. Glycosphingolipids are a type of fatty acids to relieve the body from gastrointestinal health problems.

On the downside, lactose-intolerant people should not consume butter at all. Milk proteins may cause allergic reactions. Saturated fats aren’t good for your heart.


Salted butter comes with identical nutritional composition to unsalted one and is excellent for your immunity and gastrointestinal tract. It contains carotene, a vital antioxidant.


Margarine is derived from vegetable oils that contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids that are good for your heart.

Derivatives of unsaturated fatty acids decrease the formation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Each teaspoon of margarine contains around 60 to 100 calories and 1 to 2 grams of saturated fats.

Light margarine comes with fewer calories, making it healthier than the regular one. Margarine consisting of phytosterols is beneficial for your heart health as it reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

One major demerit of margarine is that it contains trans-fat. Thicker the margarine more shall be its trans-fat contents.


Margarine is extracted from vegetable oils, making it contain lesser saturated fatty acids as compared to butter. Phytosterols are good for boosting heart health.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil comes with zero cholesterol and fiber. It has trace amounts of plant sterols, minerals, and vitamins.

Plant sterols have an identical structure as cholesterol, and thus they have the potency to block the retention of cholesterol in your body. Medium-chain triglycerides present in coconut oil are an instant source of energy.

Ketones are excellent for your brain and aids in protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties due to lauric acid contents that secure one from disease-causing pathogens like bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

A note for precaution, coconut oil contains more than 80% of saturated fats, which may reflect on your heart health adversely.


Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that generate an instant dose of energy. It protects you from Alzheimer’s disease and comes with antimicrobial effects.

Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable shortening is a type of fat derived from vegetable oil that remains solid at room temperature. This conversion takes place through a process called “hydrogenation.”

Vegetable shortening contains vitamin E, which performs as an antioxidant, thus safeguarding your cells from damage caused by free radicals’ actions. They assist in increasing red blood cells.

Vitamin K aids in blood coagulation and keeps your bones healthy. They contain unsaturated fatty acids that are amazing for your heart health. They reduce cholesterol levels in your body.

Two major health concerns with vegetable shortening are high levels of saturated fatty acids and trans-fat that put your heart health at risk by raising harmful cholesterol levels.


Vegetable shortening contains vitamins E and K that aid in the formation and coagulation of blood cells. It protects you from free radicals and reduces cholesterol levels.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is derived from edible plants or their seeds either by crushing or using some chemical solvents.

Vegetable oil contains omega-3 and omega-6, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids that control and decrease cholesterol levels in the body. They subside the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Specific vegetable oils like wheat germ, peanut, and almond are excellent for your brain as they contain vitamin E. Vitamin E regulates the nervous system’s functions and secure your cells from the actions of free radicals.

On the flipped side, hydrogenated vegetable oil may contain trans fats. They may get easily oxidized due to their polyunsaturated fatty acid contents.


Vegetable oil contains omega-3 and omega-6, which are essential for your health. Vitamin E, in particular oils, aids in boosting brain functions and protects cells from free radicals.


Lard is an animal-derived material that is authentic pork fat. It is retrieved by rendering animal fats through either dry or moist heat. They come with a mild flavor and are loaded with nutrients.

Lard comprises vitamin D that regulates phosphorus and calcium metabolisms. Vitamin D also aids in boosting bone health. It lowers the risk of cancer development, heart ailments, and autoimmune malfunctions.

Lard comes with 48% of monounsaturated fatty acids that help in lowering your blood pressure levels. Oleic acid in lard assists in combating early signs of depression. It provides choline that protects one from Alzheimer’s disease and heart trouble.

A significant limitation with lard is that it contains trans-fat and is also linked with hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.


Lard is rendered fat taken from pigs. Vitamin D minimizes cancer, immune, and heart health risks. Oleic acid-reducing depression and demolishes signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Unsweetened Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce is extracted from cooked apples as a puree. Applesauce may be available as a fundamental variant with water, apples, and ascorbic acid or with the addition of other fruits as well.

Phytochemicals present in applesauce are antioxidants that reduce health risks related to heart, diabetes, and cancer. Ascorbic acid reinforces your immune system and assists your body in absorbing iron effectively. It heals wounds faster and forms body muscles.

Vitamin C battles off free radicals and safeguards your cells from damage. Fiber contents of applesauce can reduce cholesterol levels and boost heart health. Pectin, a type of fiber, aids in resolving digestion-related issues and nourishes the good bacteria in the gut.

But the bad always accompanies the good; unsweetened applesauce has trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. Their antioxidant levels depend upon whether the apples were crushed along with the peel or without.


Unsweetened applesauce contains phytochemicals that reduce heart and cancer-related risks. Ascorbic acid strengthens your immunity while vitamin C neutralizes the effect of free radicals.


What is the difference between unsalted and salted butter?

Nutrition-wise there is no significant difference between salted and unsalted butter. Butter with salt has a savory taste and an increased shelf life than unsalted one.

Is vegetable fat healthier than animal fat?

Animal fats have high levels of saturated fatty acids than vegetable fats, making vegetable oils healthier for the heart and arteries.

Which vegetable oil can be the best substitute for unsalted butter?

Canola oil is the best vegetable oil to substitute unsalted butter as it has high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E and K, and a high smoke point.

Bottom Line

Unsalted butter is a blend of health-promoting and health deteriorating factors. You can venture into new alternatives by selecting any of the above seven mentioned substitutes for unsalted butter.

We hope the above-given list was fruitful enough and will help you buy a better alternative to unsalted butter next time you wish to do so. Please share your favorite substitute for unsalted butter in the comments sections below, just if we missed it.

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About Pratibha Singh

Pratibha is a popular home chef and loves to prepare some amazing Indian dishes. A foodie to the core she enjoys other cuisines too. She has been cooking since childhood and often prepares meals for her family, friends, and even strangers. Her motto in life: “Always be prepared!”