In a nutshell…
Real butter, the good stuff, is healthy. Don’t use substitutes. And butter from grass-fed cows is the best.
Is butter good for you?
Yes! Isn’t that too good to be true? Here are 6 reasons butter is good for you:
1. Butter is rich in the fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K2. Vitamin K2 is especially important because it is fairly rare in the modern diet and involved in calcium metabolism. A low intake of K2 has been associated with many serious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. Dairy from grass-fed cows is especially rich in vitamin K2.
2. Butter contains a lot of healthy saturated fats. New studies show that there is no association between saturated fat and heart disease. Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change LDL (the bad) cholesterol from small LDL to large LDL, which is benign. Butter contains short and medium chain fats, which are metabolized differently from other fats. They lead to improved satiety and increased fat burning.
3. Margarine contains highly processed trans fats, which are toxic and cause all kinds of diseases. Margarine raises heart attack risk, while natural butter does not. Grass-fed butter may even reduce heart attack risk due to the high vitamin K2 content.
4. Butter is a good source of the fatty acid butyrate. Butyrate is an anti-inflammatory and has powerful protective effects on the digestive system.
5. Butter is rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid. This fatty acid has powerful effects on metabolism and is actually sold commercially as a weight loss supplement. CLA has been shown to have anti-cancer properties as well as lowering body fat percentage in several studies.
6. A new review paper came out in 2012 that examined the effects of high-fat dairy consumption on obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other metabolic disorders. They discovered that high-fat dairy did not increase risk of metabolic disease and was associated with a significantly reduced risk of obesity. Authority Nutrition
Where can I buy grass-fed butter?
There are a few grass-fed brands to keep your eye out for that you can find at many grocery stores, specialty health food stores, or online. Organic Valley, Kalona SuperNatural, Cadia, and Kerrygold butter are all good options. There are probably others, but these are the ones I know about. These brands don’t offer raw butter in the grocery store, but it’s grass-fed and organic. If you want raw butter, you may be able to find it at local farms or farmer’s markets. Or you can make your own from raw milk.
What is the healthiest butter to eat?
Butter from grass-fed cows is the healthiest butter to eat. Cows are naturally grazing animals, but 85–95% of dairy cows today are raised in confinement on a diet of grain, particularly corn. This grain-based diet can cause problems with the cow’s health, which can increase the need for the use of antibiotics.
Many dairy cows are fed a variety of growth hormones to increase milk production. Buy organic or butter that doesn’t have bGH, rbGH, or bST in it.
Milk from grass-fed cows has a much higher content of omega-3 fatty acids. Read about milk here. The amount of omega-3 fatty acids in most conventional dairy products today are very low, and most people don’t get enough of them. Butter from grain-fed cows is very high in omega-6 fatty acids, of which most people are consuming too much due to the high amounts of omega-6 vegetable oils and foods in our modern diet.
The most abundant source of natural CLA is the meat and dairy products of grass-fed animals. Research conducted since 1999 shows that grazing animals have from 3–5 times more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot. Simply switching from grain-fed to grass-fed products can greatly increase your intake of CLA. Grass Fed Traditions
Cooking with Butter
Butter is a monounsaturated fat that is good for cooking under low to medium heat. To learn more about cooking with fats and oils check out The Best Cooking Fats & Oils. This is a cool infographic by Bulletproof. Click on the infographic to enlarge.
Tip: If you’re not already, use unprocessed fats in all of your baking, cooking, and eating. Phase out margarine and shortening and use pastured butter, pastured lard, or coconut oil instead.
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