Not-guilty, the final verdict is out against butter. After 40 plus years of knocking butter and all of its golden, rich qualities the butter boom is finally among us. Butter is good for you. This makes a real food, health nut like myself jump for joy as the research is proving that butter is an essential part of a healthy diet. This verdict came after a massive new study published in the journal of Annals of Internal Medicine, led by doctors from Cambridge University and Harvard School of Public health found –>NO LINK<– between consumption of saturated fats and heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems.
The researchers scoured nearly 80 studies involving more than a half a million people looking for evidence that saturated fat consumption correlated with higher rates of heart disease and they found none. I know this is hard to believe and even shocking to many of you but I encourage you to jump ship. Butter really is better, some even classifying it as a super food. In this post I will share five reasons why butter should be added back into your diet for optimal health.
1. Butter Aids in Weight Management
I know it is hard to believe, but butter doesn’t make you fat. Nope, not one bit. Adipose tissue (body fat) is made up of a series of long-chain fatty acids. Butter is a rich source of short and medium chain fatty acids. These short and medium chain fatty acids are not deposited to any extent in the adipose tissue. In fact, butter does just the opposite. It provides a quick source of energy, leaves you feeling full for a longer period of time and reduces cravings. It does this by stimulating the release of bile, which allows for the absorption of vitamins and eliminates toxins and old hormones from the body (1). It can even help you burn fat by keeping a spike in insulin at bay allowing your body to release and burn stored fat (3)(4).
“After a meal is digested, insulin levels should decline. When this happens, fat is released from the fat tissue in the form of fatty acids and these are then burned in cells for fuel. For this reason, another necessary requirement for remaining lean is to have lengthy periods during which insulin levels are low and we burn our fat for fuel. When insulin levels remain elevated, fat can’t escape from the fat tissue. It goes in, but it doesn’t come out, and we can’t use it for energy. A meal without carbohydrates is a meal that doesn’t stimulate any significant insulin secretion. You store very few, if any, calories as fat, and you get plenty of opportunity to burn the fat you had stored (2).”
2. Butter Provides Energy via Saturated Fat
“The notion that butter causes weight gain is a sad misconception. The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter are not stored in the adipose tissue, but are used for quick energy. Fat tissue in humans is composed mainly of longer chain fatty acids. These come from olive oil and polyunsaturated oils as well as from refined carbohydrates. Because butter is rich in nutrients, it confers a feeling of satisfaction when consumed. Can it be that consumption of margarine and other butter substitutes results in cravings and bingeing because these highly fabricated products don’t give the body what it needs? (5)“
The idea that saturated fats are bad and should be avoided has been classified as one of the biggest and most well-executed health scams in the history of American public health. This scam is referred to as the lipid hypothesis developed by a biochemist Ancel Keys. Check out his clip to learn more.
Saturated fat is an extremely important nutrient in our diet. Our brains are largely made up of this substance. Saturated fats are what half of every cell membrane in your body are composed of and are vital to nearly every function and organ in the body. Some of the functions include; improved cardiovascular health, stronger bones, improved liver health, healthy lungs, healthy brain, proper nerve signaling (6).
3. Butter is Chocked Full of Cholesterol
Hold on tight, it’s about to get real. Cholesterol is actually an antioxidant –>GASP<– that protects your body from free radical damage that can cause caner and heart disease (this deserves a entire post) (7). It is a large component of myelin, the support system of our nervous system and cells. It is also crucial to intercellular communication and is responsible for providing strength to your cell walls. It is a big deal. In fact, it is so important more than half of breast milk is made up of this once thought villain as it is essential for brain development and function (8).
However, not all cholesterol is created equal. Cholesterol, as any fat, can become oxidized. Oxidation leads to oxidative stress and free radicals in your body, not something we want. This is done via heat and exposure to oxygen. Luckily, this damaged cholesterol is found mostly in processed, dead foods like powdered milk and eggs not in real foods like butter.
Maybe a better way to understand how important cholesterol is, is to realize what low-cholesterol levels are associated with.
- A higher risk of depression (9)(10)
- A higher risk or mortality (11)(12)
- A higher risk of committing a violent crime (13)(14)
- A higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (15)(16)
4. Butter is Packed Full of Vitamins
Butter contains a good amount of crucial vitamins A, D and K and more importantly provides the vehicle necessary for the absorption of these nutrients. Real food sources of vitamins are always more usable than fortified sources. But again, this issue of vitamin content goes back to quality. The better the quality of food, the more viable nutrients within the food. Grass-fed butter is much more nutritious than conventional, factory produced butter. A good tip, the darker the color, the better the butter. Buy good butter.
5. Butter Aids in Satiation and Flavor
Butter aids in satiation for a multitude of different reasons. One being because of the rate of digestion. Fats are the slowest to digest of any macronutrient helping to keep your blood sugars stable and decrease hunger. Second, the flavor alone is very satisfying. The rich, creaminess of butter enhances many different foods creating a great flavor. Butter is delicious, enough said.