Poor butter, it gets such a bad rap. In fact, many margarine companies and “butter alternatives” bank on this fear of butter to grow their sales and appeal to the consumer. Butter has been labeled as a threat to your heart and overall health. However, is butter really all that bad?
First things first, butter does not “clog” the arteries and actually there have been numerous studies to the contrary. Butter is high in fat soluble vitamins (lots of them) and is a very low heart attack risk compared to margarine. Butter is a great source of good cholesterol not bad cholesterol.
Weight loss in butter comes from the fact it is high in the fatty acid butyrate. Butyrate supplementation prevents weight gain in an unhealthy diet by increasing energy expenditure and reducing food intake. Bonus – it has Conjugated Linoleic Acid which can help boost metabolism. So eat all the butter you want, it won’t be the source of your weight gain.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin A is just one of the many beneficial vitamins we get from butter. Vitamin A helps keep our endocrine system functioning to its fullest and helps promote good vision. Butter is also rich in other fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin D, E and K. Butter is also high in highly soluble Iodine and the mineral selenium. All these vitamins are essential to good health and can be found in good old fashion butter.
The saturated fat in butter has high anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties, as well as a number of compounds that help prevent cancers. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is found in grass-fed butter and can help in weight loss, but it also provides protection against different types of cancer. Glycospingolipids are fatty acids that have a specific function to protect the stomach from gastrointestinal infections and certain types of gastrointestinal cancers.
Butter has fatty acids that are great for increasing the immune system and antioxidants for preventing free radical damage to cells. Butter is a great source of energy and the fatty acids in butter are essential for brain development and nervous system development in children.
Here are some great studies on butter vs. margarine.
- Butter vs. Margarine – The Showdown
- Weston A Price Foundation
- Butter and Brain Health
- Butter vs. Margarine – The Sydney Study
Next time you head to the grocery store, you can stop without cringing at the butter section. Embracing a diet rich in saturated fat and fatty acide, doesn’t mean your waistline or health has to diminish. Look beyond the calorie and fat labels on your products and find health benefits you may have never imagined.