Butter is one of those foods that can turn bland meals into masterpieces. But in the past few decades, it has been blamed for everything from obesity to heart disease. Recently, butter has been making a comeback as a “health food.”
A study from Lund University in Sweden shows that butter leads to considerably less elevation of fats in the blood after a meal compared with olive oil, flaxseed oil or a new type of canola oil. High blood fat normally raises cholesterol levels in the blood, which according to the discredited “lipid hypothesis,” elevates the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack.
All flavored butter based spreads (sweet butter creams, chocolate butter containing cocoa, honey butter) have a higher carbohydrate content than pure butter. Butter owes its beautiful yellow colour to a fat-soluble pigment, natural beta-carotene. Its content also depends mainly on the fodder of the dairy cattle. Besides being beautiful to the eye, beta-carotene is useful for the human body as well, specifically, our body synthesizes vitamin A from it.
These positive qualities of butter are mainly due to the impressive amounts of vitamins and minerals that are found in butter. This includes vitamin A,vitamin D,vitamin E, and vitamin K, as well as essential minerals like manganese, chromium, iodine, zinc, copper and selenium. This is only a partial list of the most notable and important benefits, but with the wide array of nutrients in butter, more potential benefits are being discovered all the time. Butter is mainly composed of fats, not all of which are harmful, and many of which are essential to human health!
Butter is the most easily absorb-able source of vitamin A which supports the thyroid and adrenal glands, and in turn, the cardiovascular system.
Butter doesn’t lead to excess body fat since its short and medium chain fatty acids are burned for quick energy and not stored.
It’s rich in anti-oxidants including vitamins A and E, as well as selenium protecting against heart disease as well as cancer.
Butter is a good source of dietary cholesterol which acts as an anti-oxidant, repairing damage from free radicals caused by rancid fats, vegetable oils and trans fats.
The saturated fat in butter consists of short and medium chain fatty acids which have anti-tumor properties and also strengthen the immune system.
When in its raw state and not pasteurized, butter has an anti-stiffness property called the Wulzen factor, that protects against arthritis, cataracts and hardening of the arteries.
Butter is a good source of iodine in a highly absorb-able form and necessary for proper thyroid function.
Butter is a good source of vitamin K2 which prevents tooth decay and builds strong teeth and bones.
Some people who are mildly lactose-intolerant do fine with butter because it only contains trace amounts of lactose, but if you’re really bothered by lactose, then it’s a good idea to avoid butter.
Butter in small amounts is fine, but it may cause problems if you eat way too much.
Despite the health benefits of butter, it is important not to forget that it is still composed mainly of fats, which can wreak havoc on certain people, particularly those with poor diets, are obese, or are trying to lose weight.