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Is Butter Bad for You? The Real Benefits of Real Butter

Elizabeth Renter
December 4th, 2012
Updated 04/09/2013 at 2:51 pm
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butterheart 255x159 Is Butter Bad for You? The Real Benefits of Real ButterIs butter bad for you? Sweet, salty butter has become a decadent treat for many people, something that some have shunned for years for fear of the vilified “saturated fat”. But now that the hype of margarine has been sufficiently shattered, we can take a more honest look at butter. A look that isn’t colored by the companies making margarine, one that might reveal butter to actually be beneficial to our health. At least when it’s in the right form.

For decades, people ate butter with nearly every meal, smeared on bread with fresh (homemade) jam or slathered over (non-GMO) corn. But in the 1920s when margarine made its debut, things changed for the creamy topper. We were quite literally sold on the benefits of this man-made chemical storm competitor, and only later would we figure out that it contained something called trans fats—far more dangerous than the saturated fats it chased us away from.

Related Read: Revealing the Cholesterol Scam

From margarine, we moved to healthier fats like those in olive oil and coconut oil. These are great sources of good fat, and no one would argue otherwise. However, we are still missing that bread-topping creamy goodness of real butter. And why? Though we were fed information that butter caused heart disease, is it any coincidence that the rate of heart disease has skyrocketed since we abandoned butter for margarine? Since we were scared away from saturated fats, the number of Americans battling preventable diet-related diseases has grown. Perhaps the alternatives we’ve sought out (margarine and other highly processed foods) are actually worse for us.

Is Butter Bad for You? Examining the Benefits

Butter is not bad for you. There are several little-known benefits of real butter, including:

  • It is one of the most easily absorbable sources of Vitamin A
  • It’s rich in important trace minerals, including chromium, manganese, copper, zinc, and selenium (a powerful antioxidant).
  • It contains cancer-preventing conjugated linoleic acids (CLA)
  • It is a good source of Vitamin K2, for teeth and bone health
  • Butter contains iodine, good for a healthy thyroid
  • Rich in vitamins A and E
  • The saturated fats within have anti-tumor properties
  • Butter does not lead to weight gain as it is burned quickly for energy rather than stored

And perhaps most surprising, butter is a good source of dietary cholesterol, and unlike you’ve been told, this cholesterol can help protect the body from damage by free radicals found in things like vegetable oils and trans fats. So, not only does it have its own redeeming qualities—it can combat the negative qualities of the poison we tried replacing it with.

The Most Beneficial Butter

When buying butter, look for:

  • First Choice: Butter made from the raw milk from grass fed, healthy cows (no antibiotics or growth hormones).
  • Second Choice: Second to that is butter made from pasteurized milk instead of raw.
  • Third Choice: Lastly (but still better than margarine) is conventionally made butter.
So, is butter bad for you? Now you know.

Disclaimer: This isn’t for vegans. If you are vegan and committed to eating no animal products (more power to you!), this article won’t likely convince you to turn to butter. This is, however, for those people who eat some or all dairy products and may be unclear on the risks/benefits of real butter.

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  • Jacqueline

    I love butter…..period. Everything in moderation.

  • Norm

    I like the butter and olive oil mix, instead of chemical mix, real the labels, if you can't pronounce the chemicals in margarine don't buy it!

  • @LeapingFar

    So glad to know this. I never stopped eating butter, though with the cholesterol scare I did cut way down and put olive oil on cooked vegetables instead. Margarine I never liked and used for frying certain dishes anyway and completely stopped using that.

    Butter makes most everything taste so good. And nothing can replace it in making gourmet sauces, or lobster, or shrimp dipped in it.
    Just remember, it has 100 calories a tablespoon, like the oils do too.

  • Christine

    Thanks for this post! Although we don’t use butter or margarine frequently, it’s nice to know which is the better choice for when we do use it.

  • Eliot W. Collins

    I would not eat butter or magarine. They are both greasy and high in fat. Corn and popcorn taste fine without them.

    • Buffet

      Couldn't have said it better myself!! Just thinking about eating something like that makes me wanna puke.