Butter is Good For You

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I was reading an article about the many benefits of certain fatty acids and the last sentence of the article, without any explanation, dropped a butter bomb. We all know we should be including foods like fatty fish, avocados, nuts and seeds. Perhaps an argument can even be made for taking an omega-3 supplement. This article, which I have sense lost track of detailed all the many positive dietary reasons for eating omega-3 foods. The last sentence said something like: Researchers have noticed many of the same health benefits in subjects that consumed a lot of butter.

That surprised me as I had not heard of this before. For years I have told anyone who would listen that they should always use butter instead of margarine.  This opinion was formed long ago not because I thought butter was a health food, but because of the properties of margarine led me to the conclusion that it had to be bad for human health.   Margarine is a highly processed, chemically created product. Margarines and other hydrogenated or processed oils should be avoided at all costs. Organic butter on the other hand is a natural product with many great health benefits. Here is a website with a lot of good information on the subject. When you click through to the link be sure to take note of the left sidebar, it made me smile when I saw it.

This is just another example of how many diet related choices can be made very simply.  Some say if it comes in a box or plastic shrink wrap, avoid it. I think if the “food” in question is highly processed, refined, or chemically altered, make another choice.  The closer your food is to its natural state, the healthier it will be for you.  The sidebar in the above link claims that those folks are happy because they eat butter.  I would argue it goes further than that.  Maybe they are happy because they eat “happy” butter.  Or at least butter made from the milk of healthy, “happy” animals.

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Will Sig
1 Dennis the Vizsla

Margarine == crap. Butter == mmm.

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2 Anna

Will, happy butter – good one – the picture made me smile too! You know I grew up on the butter, every sandwich always had butter (fresh home made or store bought). In those days margarine tasted terrible. And there was no such a thing as salted butter. I kind of stopped eating butter and margarine for many years since late twenties (consumed more vegetable oils – all you have to do is marry an Italian, lol), but now I am back to both, mostly butter. For some reason I was craving it, may be the hormones when you have children, lol. And now after that research, I probably will be using more butter again. My parents always used butter, especially my dad, and he always been in the good health (except the latest hip replacement surgery, and recovering very well), and I cannot believe that he just turned 73.

Will thanks for the heads up on the margarine, I never really realized that since we have those crazy heart and stroke foundation promoting Becel margarine all the time.

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3 Will

I guess if you have heart disease and all you are going to do about it is change from butter to margarine, that might be better for your heart. But I have read before that margarines don’t really provide any heart healthy benefits. You need to make bigger changes to your diet. Unsalted organic butter from happy cows. That’s my common sense recommendation. I must be part Italian also as probably my biggest consumption of fat in any form comes from olive oil. I literally could drink it and enjoy it if I had to.

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4 Teresa

Dropped a butter bomb? lmao! If it has butter it is good. A little added sugar helps too although maybe not in health. By the way I was Googling butter bomb recipes and found this post.

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5 Tina

I heard that butter was okay a couple years ago, no one promotes it though, probably because so much time and energy has been spent telling “us” how bad it is. I have an organic grocery store near by, I will stop in and pick up some “happy butter” this week 🙂

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6 JD Thomas

Hey Will, the truly ironic side of this is that butter used to be even better for you around the time it was being vilified and people were being told to switch from butter to margarine. Back then, most butter still came from pastured cos that fed on green leafy plants – the green leafy plants helped ensure the butter contained a better ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. Now that the vast majority of dairy products come from cows that are at least partially grain fed that ratio is off. Butter is still better for you than margarine, but its not as good for you as it used to be back in the day.
.-= JD Thomas´s last blog ..Silky Smooth FlowersMedford, NJ =-.

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7 Will

Hey JD – Thanks for that. You are correct. The best butter, (and beef), is from organically grass fed beef and cows. No grain, even at the end to “fatten them up”. These are the happy cows and the resulting butter is what you should try to eat. The cost is higher, but that is because the price of the industrially produced beef and butter is both artificially low because of subsidies and tax breaks, and higher than it appears to be to the consumer because of many hidden costs associated with modern agri-business methods of production.

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8 Linda Prout

Great post Will. I am a pro-butter nutritionist, an oxymoron for some. Many studies have shown people who use butter over veg oils live much longer, are happier and have less disease. Many of my clients even see their cholesterol levels go down after increasing their butter intake. Butter nourishes the thyroid gland, the skin and supports immunity. After my experience living in a Turkish village with dairy cows everywhere and village butter a part of most meals, I wrote this article on butter, which supports yours plus adds some interesting health facts. http://www.lindaprout.com/articles/Butter.php

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9 Robin

My husband and I just made our own butter from raw milk that we bought from a local farmer who allows his cows to eat grass and roam freely. I am still amazed how many people see butter as evil and choose (the real villain) margarine over it!
.-= Robin´s last blog ..Five Simple Ways to Live a Healthier Life =-.

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10 Tony McGurk

We switched to margarine way back when I was still a kid. The biggest problem I have with butter is that it gets too hard in the fridge in summer & too melty if you leave it out of the fridge. Even out of the fridge in cold weather leaves it quite hard early in the morning when I make my lunch sandwiches for work which breaks my bread trying to spread it. We have lately been using some kind of soft spread butter although I don’t know what they add to it to make it softer. I do prefer the taste of butter to margarine
.-= Tony´s last blog ..Fallen Leaves =-.

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11 Tony

We switched to margarine way back when I was still a kid. The biggest problem I have with butter is that it gets too hard in the fridge in summer & too melty if you leave it out of the fridge. Even out of the fridge in cold weather leaves it quite hard early in the morning when I make my lunch sandwiches for work which breaks my bread trying to spread it. We have lately been using some kind of soft spread butter although I don’t know what they add to it to make it softer. I do prefer the taste of butter to margarine
.-= Tony´s last blog ..Fallen Leaves =-.

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12 JD Thomas

Tony,
This is one of those weird issues that only come with the modern age. Our ancestors knew how to handle butter in all weather but the tools/techniques were never really passed down into modern culture because the flawed “nutrionism” way of thinking was very slash and burn oriented with each new dietary recommendation insistent that it was the final word on a topic.

Look at getting a French butter dish if possible. It allows you to keep butter at room temperature for most of the year. Iin very very hot weather I put it in the cooler during the warmest part of the day. The use of a water seal keeps air off the butter and prevents it from going rancid or picking up undesirable flavors.

If you cannot find one of local manufacture, check Amazon.com – they have them for every budget. Just search for “butter crock”.

Mine is the same kind shown on Wikipedia.

.-= JD Thomas´s last blog ..In praise of unsung IT heroes! =-.

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13 Rob

Hey Will – you’ve got it right again! We should be celebrating organic local butter.. but I can’t buy it anywhere! Keep spreading the word….
Rob

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14 Will

Hi Rob – Yeah sometimes you need to go on down the list until you find what is available. If local organic butter is not available, then go to organic butter. Local products are best for a whole lot of reasons. Sometimes a local product will not be “certified” organic, but if you talk to the producer and like what you find out, a local, “non-organic” product might be a better choice than an organic one from hundreds of miles away.

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15 Pam

Will,

My grandfather used to say this and he ate, real butter and fat and he was healthy and thin. I always wondered, how that generation was much healthier with fatty food and while we have to work hard to maintain fitness and many of us, tend to be on healthy diet all the time.

I like fresh butter, with herbs and spread on my sandwiches but do not do it often as I like it too much and worried I will have to burn those calories.
.-= Pam @ Cookware guide´s last blog ..Lodge Color Enamel Cast Iron 10 inch Square Grill Pan, Island Spice Red =-.

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16 Will

Hey JD! Thanks for that. The French Butter Dish you link to looks great but I wonder how you put the butter in it unless you make your own. Maybe melt it and then pour it in. All of Amazon’s are round also. The only organic butter we have around these parts still comes in the sticks.

I see you have a new site at http://slashslashslash.com I was wanting to make a comment on one of the posts there but could not find a comment link or form?

Maybe my brain is butter today since I am confused by the round butter crocks and how to comment on your site?

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17 Will

Ah: #1 makes sense. Guess I did have butter brain! On #2, I’m in the clear. Thanks!

And hey that is a super photo in your last post!

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18 JD Thomas

Hey Will!
#1 – let the sticks soften on the counter and then mash them into the chamber that goes under the water. Mine holds about 1.5 sticks. when completely empty.

2. I had not enabled commenting there. I just did. 🙂
.-= JD Thomas´s last blog ..Bridge Street Sidewalk Art – New Hope, Pennsylvania =-.

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19 Keith

As the story often goes, what is known as conventional wisdom nowadays is not very correct. We still have nutritionists cautioning us to reduce our fat intake and eat more grains.

Well, fat makes us feel full, helps our organs function properly and gives us greater energy and feeling of well-being. What is important is what type of fat we eat, as you pointed out. Eggs were also as vilified as butter at one time, though, finally, some common sense is creeping in there as well.

People ate these foods for millennia and did not die from heart disease. That malady is a fairly recent development, most likely coinciding with the modern processed diet.

What really gets me is the government’s food pyramid. The base is carbs and grains: Isn’t that what they feed to cows and pigs to fatten them up? Is it crazy to expect a different result from people?

Thanks, Will, for the excellent brain tickler.

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