Is Dairy Healthy #6 : The Amazing Benefits of Butter
We have spent few weeks giving Dairy a good long stare. Asking should you be eating it and is it part of a healthy diet? Then looking at the dairy alternatives and asking the same questions. Now to end this mini series I will be looking at one full fat dairy product that I love: Butter.
Now I grew up under the assumption that butter was terrible for you, that margarine was the much better option and that butter should only be eaten at Christmas time, my old people or other special occasions. Now, however, I probably eat about a ¼ of a block a day, as I put it on my scrambled eggs, on any cooked vegetables and on anything else that seem ‘butterable’ (I don’t eat any sort of grain/carb/bread so I have to get creative! Here is why)
What changed? As you may know I am on a mission to heal my body and transform my health (and yours) through natural nutrition, so as I researched I realised that are traditional products like butter are actually good for you and help the body heal.
Here is Why I Love Butter and Why You Should too:
(Please note as will most food – quality of butter is again really important. Get the best you can afford and always go with organic and ideally unpasteurised/raw butter where available.)
- Its high in saturated fat. I go into this in more detail in my 5 Myths about Fat post so read that more detail, but basically good quality saturated fats are good for our bodies. They are not the reason for high cholesterol, heart disease or even obesity
- It won’t make you fat. Butter is one of those things that you can’t just sit down and eat tons of so naturally you are not going to eat mountains of the stuff. Also natural fats in moderation wont make you fat eating sugary processed food will. (Remember anything eaten in excess or in a ‘binging’ way can cause weight gain – even ‘healthy food’. Often the problem is not just the food it is the binging/dieting mindset that goes with it that causes weight gain.)
- It is highly nutritious. Butter is filled with some amazing fatty acids and vitamins. Vitamin A, D, E, K2, beta-carotene and other nutritious wonders fill this fatty lump. As butter is a fat and many vitamins are fat soluble, it make a great natural source of them and they are in a more accessible form for you body, making them easier to digest and absorb. This is where quality is important as the higher the quality of butter (i.e. how well looked after the cow who produce the milk was) the higher in nutrients the butter with be. Note vitamin K2 is known to help with blood clotting but studies have also shown it to reduce the risk of Prostate cancer.
- It lactose intolerant friendly. Unless you have a severe allergy to lactose, chance are you will be able to tolerant butter, as much of the lactose will have been eaten up during the production of the butter.
- Its natural. Good quality butter should basically be churned cream from the cow. That is all. Whilst margarine is normally highly processed and often vegetable oil they use has been hydrogenated, which is a weird process that mutants the fats in the oils and causes them to become trans fats – which are awful for you body and should be avoided. They are found only in highly processed food as hydrogenation increases the shelf life of food
- High in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). Which are a specific type of fatty acid, where researchers are increasingly finding that they help to prevent against cancer (especially breast cancer) or as it officially put ‘this group of fatty acids offers the possibility that several types of cancers in humans may be prevented with a diet rich in a diversity of chemopreventive compounds, including CLA.‘ source
- It is high in health cholesterol. Cholesterol is GOOD for the body and needed, the problem occurs when there is an imbalance or when there is not enough off cholesterol. Also remember eating cholesterol wont give you high cholesterol, eating process, refined grains and sugars WILL.
- It contains the perfect balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Most of our western diets are high in omega 6’s (through vegetable oils and processing of food) which cause inflammation, so it is best to focus on eating food with a balanced omega level or are high in omega 3 (fish oil).
So who would have thought that organic, quality butter could help you prevent cancer, give you great skin (through vitamin A and D) and help you stay healthy fit and strong?
So for the sake of your health please ditch the margarine and reach for some organic butter instead, your health will thank you!
Are you a butter fan or margarine lover? Leave your comments or questions below and share the love with your friends if you like it!