Butter and other high saturated fat were believed to be the culprits that caused heart disease. We have been eating butter for thousands of years and blaming new health problems on old foods does not make sense. As consumption of fatty foods like butter went down, diseases like heart disease, obesity and type II diabetes went up. The truth is, natural foods like butter have nothing to do with heart disease.
The reason butter was demonized is because it is loaded with saturated fat. It is a very high saturated fat, with the fatty acids in it being about 63%.
Butter is also loaded with Vitamin K. This comes in several forms, Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) which is found in plant foods such as leafy greens and Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) which is found in animal foods. Even though these two forms are similar, they appear to have different effects on the body. Vitamin K1 is important for blood clotting and Vitamin K2 helps to keep calcium out of your arteries. High fat dairy products from grass-fed cows are among the best sources of Vitamin K2 in the diet; other sources include egg yolks. Vitamin K works by modifying proteins, giving them the ability to bind calcium ions. One problem with calcium is that it tends to leach out of the bones and into the arteries, causing heart disease. Therefore optimizing your intake of Vitamin K2 can reduce the risk of both osteoporosis and heart disease.
Butter is loaded with an anti-inflammatory fatty acid called butyrate. It is now believed that inflammation is the leading driver of heart disease. We need some inflammation in the body to help protect our bodies from injury and infections. But when it is excessive it can cause severe harm. It is known that inflammation in the endothelium is a crucial part of the pathway that ultimately leads to plaque formation and heart attacks. The butyrate found in butter is also known to help with digestive health and may help prevent weight gain.
Butter is also a food that contains Omega 3. This is important because most people are already eating way too much Omega 6 fatty acids and not enough Omega 3’s.
You can also find CLA in butter. Studies show that this fatty acid can have anti-cancer properties and help lower body fat percentage in humans.
The bottom line is, studies show that highly processed fats such as margarine increase heart disease risk, so it only makes sense that we should avoid them. Real food is the key to good health; processed junk food is not. Despite margarines being able to lower total and LDL cholesterol in short term, they actually lead to the opposite effect and can lead to increases in heart disease. Butter is the better choice for the benefits it gives to the body.
Submitted by Gwen Cottingham, Simply for Life, Bradford
Gwen’s Clinic is located at 157 Holland Street, EAST – Unit 4, Bradford., ON