But…is butter good for you?
All the dairy products, including butter, were severely condemned and frowned upon by the health gurus of the yesteryears because of the saturated fat content in it.
It was blamed for everything…obesity, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, etc.
But many of the recent study results on the health benefits of saturated fats and dairy products have turned the table in favor of dairy foods.
Currently, all the prominent health experts agree that saturated fats from healthy sources are good for health.
Almost all of the dietitians now highly recommend butter as ‘health food’ or ‘super food.’
In this article, I want to discuss three main areas regarding this ‘super-food’; its major health benefits, drawbacks and how to choose the healthiest quality of butter for your use.
Major Health Benefits of Dairy Butter
As I was studying and researching a lot on this food, I found that there are a large number of health benefits and advantages of using this diary food.
If I am to explain all those advantages, it is going to be a very lengthy article, so I decided to stick to 10 reasons that make butter good for health.
1. Butter Contains Excellent Quality Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins A, E, and K2 are the major fat-soluble vitamins found in this dairy food.
Among this, the Vitamin K2 is very rarely found in other food sources. This Vitamin is important for healthy calcium metabolism and health of the heart.
2. Butter Is Good For Healthy Heart Unlike The Margarine
Cardiovascular diseases became rampant in the 20th century…the health authorities in the US squarely put the blame on saturated fats for this rising health issue.
The health authorities also recommended that the use of butter should be substituted with margarine to reduce the occurrence of heart ailments.
Unfortunately, the modern margarine which is made up of mainly the refined vegetable oil and water contains a lot of highly processed trans-fats. The consumption of margarine only led to massive increase in heart diseases.
Only in the last quarter of the 20th century, several studies showed that saturated fat in butter is healthy and good for the heart; whereas the consumption of processed trans-fats is highly dangerous to the health of the heart and body.
The antioxidants in the butter help in preventing bad effects of LDL cholesterol.
The Vitamin A is essential for strengthening the walls of the blood vessels, and it improves the functioning of heart and cardiovascular system.
This dairy product contains selenium (a chemical element or mineral) which is an excellent antioxidant that fights the free radicals and lowers LDL cholesterol level.
3. Butter Helps In Weight Control And Reduces Obesity Risks
In the past decade’s most of the health experts would not agree on eating high-fat dairy products for the fears of obesity issues.
But a healthy amount of high-fat dairy products like butter in our daily diet helps in lowering the obesity issues or cardiovascular diseases. At least, this is what certain studies’ results in the recent past have suggested.
The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter will not be stored in the adipose tissue, unlike the trans-fats. Also, the fat in dairy foods is highly absorbable and quickly metabolized into energy.
The medium chain fatty acid in butter is very satiating and quickly suppress the appetite; thereby making us eat a lesser amount of food than otherwise.
You can manage your weight better by eating an ounce of butter daily. The fatty acids in it stimulate the release of bile, which will create healthy metabolism through greater absorption of vitamins and elimination of toxins.[15,16]
4. The Saturated Fats In Butter Is Good For Health
The condemnation of saturated fat was based on mere assumptions than any proven study results.
Many standard studies in the past decades blew off the false assumptions that surrounded the saturated fats. The recent studies did not find any association between good saturated fats and cardiovascular diseases.[17,18]
5. Butter Improves Immune System
The best sources of Vitamin A are the dairy products. Regular supply of an adequate amount of Vitamin A into the body is necessary to maintain a healthy immune system.
The medium chain fatty acid in butter strengthens the immune system unlike the hydrogenated fats and an excess of long chain fatty acids which can gradually break down the immune system.
6. Butter Improves The Functions Of Thyroid Gland
Butter contains natural iodine that is easily absorbable by the body. Butter consumptions can help those facing thyroid disorders due to iodine deficiency.
Vitamin A easily got from butter is good for improving the healthiness and functioning of thyroid gland.
7. Butter Improves Gastrointestinal Health
The glycosphingolipid fatty acid in butter is good for preventing gastrointestinal infection epically in children and elderly people. In fact, skimmed milk without the fat often causes diarrhea in most children.
The intestinal wall becomes healthier to resist colon cancer with the help of good cholesterol got from butter.
The medium chain fatty acids from butter help in protecting the intestine from pathogens and fungal effects.
8. Fatty Acid Butyrate In Butter Is Good
The butyrate is conjugate base of butyric acid that is normally formed with the help of bacteria in the colon when they come in contact with the dietary fiber.
The butter already has a good bit of butyrate in it which can easily be absorbed by the body.
The butyrate is good for accelerating the energy expenditure that helps the individual to avoid unhealthy overeating and weight gain. It reduces insulin and fasting triglycerides by improving the functioning of mitochondria.
9. Conjugated Linoleic Acid Is Found In Butter Is Healthy
Conjugated Linoleic Acid is an essential fatty acid which amply found in butter, especially the butter got from cattle that reared on green pasture lands.
You can notice that most of the weight loss supplements have Linoleic Acid as one of the major ingredients in it; because this fatty acid is very good for improving metabolic activities.
10. Butter Consumption Reduces Symptoms of Diabetes And Fights Cancer
We have already discussed quite a bit in above paragraphs of the several properties in butter that have anti-cancer effects.
The Vitamins A, E and selenium minerals in the butter help in the formation of antioxidants that decrease the bad effects of the LDL cholesterol and improve the sugar balance in the blood.
What Are Bad About The Butter?
Is butter bad for you?
Pure and healthy butter processed from the milk of naturally reared cows are not bad at all.
However, the over consumption of butter can become bad for health like any other food for that matter.
Butter is a high-calorie food; 100 grams of butter contains 717 calories. It is better to restrict your daily butter intake to one ounce (28g) for better health reasons.
It is healthy to include the dairy products in your diet but never use too much of dairy products.
One of the studies says that excess consumption of butter and other dairy products can go beyond the capacity of enzymes’ to break down galactose; it can build up in the blood and may adversely affect woman’s ovaries. Especially those women with low levels of digestive enzymes may develop ovarian cancer if dairy products are consumed in excess.
The cows’ milk contains a little amount of compound called insulin-like-growth factor (IGF-I). Too much of IGF-I deposits in the blood is can give rise to prostate cancer.
Children suffering from Type-I diabetes may face increased diabetes risk by regular consumption dairy products.
The dairy products processed from the milk of bovines and cows which are administered with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) and other antibiotics are not healthy for consumption as traces of these hormones and antibiotics will also be found the milk and its byproducts.
Infants and children who are fed on too much of dairy products often suffer from constipation and other bowel issues.
How To Choose The Healthiest Butter?
Organic – When you are picking up the butter from the dairy stores, look for organic butter. It means that no growth hormones, antibiotics, harmful pesticides and GMOs being fed to the cows.
Grass-fed – Grass-fed or pastured raised cows are going to be more nutritious than cows raised on grains and processed cattle fodder.
Ghee Is Healthier – Ghee is clarified butter in which all the proteins, milk solids and lactose are removed. Ghee form of butter is more digestible, concentrated with nutrients and great for immunity building.
Avoid butter mixes “with olive oil” Like Label: In most cases, these butter mixes will have one or more GMO ingredients like soybean, corn or canola oil. These mixes of butter often also have additives that are not so healthy.
Limit the regular butter consumption to a minimal amount. It is healthy and good to consume about one ounce of butter daily.