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Is Butter Really Bad For Your Health?

“With enough butter, anything is good.”Julia Child.

Butter is not the enemy. It has been put through the wringer over the past few decades, but for centuries, it has provided civilizations with delicious, fatty, and—dare I say—healthy dishes. 

If you’re still on that sad, butterless side of life, throw out that nasty tub of “fake” butter right now, and get ready for the best news: Butter is back on the menu. 

The Health Benefits of Butter

Don’t believe that butter can really be good for you? Let’s look at the facts. 

“Grass-fed” butter is high in CLA

Butter made from the milk of cows that are grass-fed contains CLA (conjugated linoleum acid). CLA is a type of fat found in meat and dairy products. It’s been linked to big health benefits, including potential anti-cancer properties

CLA from grass-fed butter may also: 

  • protect against heart disease,
  • protect against diabetes, 
  • and enhance immune function and decrease inflammation.

Butter helps you absorb more vitamins

Not only is butter a great source of vitamins, like vitamins A, E, and D, it also helps you absorb the other vitamins you’re eating. When added to vegetables, butter actually improves the absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins in those veggies, like vitamins A, D, E, and K. 

Butter can boost your bone health

Butter is full of nutrients, like bone-building calcium and vitamin D. Both are vital for bone growth, development and strength, and may help prevent diseases like osteoporosis. 

Butter can benefit your gut

Butter is rich in butyrate—a short-chain fatty acid that brings many health benefits. Butyrate can boost your digestive health, reduce intestinal inflammation, and help your body digest fluids and electrolytes. 

Butter can increase weight loss!

In addition to gut benefits, the butyrate found in butter may boost your metabolism and decrease fat cell formation. One review of 16 studies found that a higher intake of high-fat dairy foods like butter was tied to a decreased risk of obesity. 

That CLA we were talking about is also linked with a higher and healthier metabolism.  Studies are finding that CLA can decrease body fat and aid in weight loss. One 2-year study found that consuming 3.4 grams of CLA per day decreased body fat in 134 overweight adults. 

Butter adds a ton of flavor 

Butter is the best wingman for veggies. It makes veggies look so much more attractive and tempting. Because of its high concentration of fat, butter adds a rich flavor and creamy texture to otherwise dry, bland vegetables. You know the kids are right—broccoli is much better with butter.

Butter FAQs

If butter has been on your “bad food” list for years, you may be bursting with questions. See if these four FAQs help clarify your perspective. 

So fake butters aren’t good for me?

Fake butters are far more detrimental to your heart than real butter! Don’t believe me? Take a peek at the ingredients list on the back of that tub. Fake butters are loaded with the same oils used for fast food frying and packaged foods. 

One recent study puts it plainly: these oils are “not healthy for humans.” The study found that these oils induced obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver. 

It’s time to toss the tub and return back to natural, delicious, good-ole butter. 

What if I have a dairy sensitivity? 

If you dodge butter because your body doesn’t love dairy, you’re in luck. Clarified butter and ghee have all the delicious flavor and health benefits of butter without the bellyaches. 

While regular butter is made up of butterfat, milk solids, and water, clarified butter is the translucent golden butterfat left over after the milk solids and water are removed. Ghee is similar, but is typically cooked longer to allow for a richer, nuttier taste. 

So, skip the plant-based butter and margarine, and go with ghee instead. 

What if I have cholesterol issues?

If you’re concerned about high cholesterol, spreading on butter might feel like playing with the devil. Butter, which contains saturated fat, has in the past been linked to high LDL cholesterol and heart disease. Recent research, though, is telling a different story. 

Managing your cholesterol is easier than you think, and it doesn’t have to be butter-free. Check out my guide on cholesterol for an in-depth look at how I lowered my cholesterol from over 300 to the healthy range in 6 months (and still ate butter). 

What’s a good butter brand?

Look for butter that’s made from the cream of grass-fed cows, like my favorite—Kerrygold. You’ll be able to taste the rich difference between this brand and others, as it has a higher butterfat content than most mass-market butter brands. 

Kerrygold also glows with a tempting buttercup-yellow hue. This distinctive hue is due to the grass the dairy cows snack on all day. 

Other brands that make butter from grass-fed cows include: 

Make Some Room, Margarine. Butter is Back. 

Make the switch today. Enjoy butter in moderation as part of a well-rounded diet. Stick with 1-2 tablespoons of butter per day, combined with other healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish. 

Getting healthy, fit, and confident doesn’t have to be butter-free, and it doesn’t have to be a painful process. If you’re ready to take a serious step forward in your health journey and finally see results, sign up for the next LEAN session today

For more real-life tips on how to live healthily and reach your weight loss goals, join my weekly newsletter here

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