Health benefits of butter; a modern world superfood
In the past few decades butter has been blamed for causing obesity and heart diseases. People have been replacing butter with the "healthier" margarine. But is margarine which is preferred for having low content of saturated fats and cholesterol, actually healthier than butter? Believe it or not, recently butter has been classified as a new "health food". It turns out that we were misled about butter earlier. Here are some health facts that you didn't know about butter and I'm sure you wouldn't say no to butter ever again.
Do you use margarine instead of butter?
Should I Replace Butter With Margarine??
The first question that should be made clear is whether you should replace butter with the so-called "healthier" margarine or not. The answer is NO! First of all, it's not natural, instead it's synthetic; something created chemically using polyunsaturated oils. In fact, margarine and similar hydrogenated or processed polyunsaturated oils are potentially more detrimental to your health than any saturated fat. Margarine contains synthetic trans fat which effects heart health. Butter does not contain any kind of synthetic trans fat. It has been scientifically proved that the one who eats margarine has twice the higher chance of having heart diseases.
#1 Butter Prevents Cancer
Butter contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Butter is in fact the richest sources of CLA. But what is so great about this fatty acid? According to a report in the Journal of Nutrition, CLA inhibits cancer. In addition to that, this fatty acid is proved to inhibit the growth of breast cancer!
Other than CLA, butter also contain another anti-carcinogenic short-chain fatty acid, Butyric acid. It is also known to inhibit the growth of breast cancer. Apart from that, butyric acid aslo improves body's response to infection. As per some studies, it improves healing and soothing properties on the gastro-intestinal tract.
#2 Butter is a great source of healthy saturated fatty acids which prevents heart diseases
The diet-heart hypothesis, which states that a diet high in saturated fat increases the risk of heart diseases, was formulated in the 1950's. Although this theory has been proved wrong many times and can be considered as misleading. In fact, studies have shown that a low fat diet increases triglycerides and lowers the level of HDL cholesterol, also known as the good cholesterol. Butter is a great source of HDL cholesterol, which plays a major role in preventing atherosclerosis, hence preventing heart problems.
Besides that, cholesterol is also very important from health point of view. Low cholesterol levels are associated with a higher risk of depression, dementia, Alzheimer's diseases and suicidal tendency. Cholesterol is required and is very important for the proper functioning of the body; from preventing depression to proper development of nervous system.
A study revealed that high fat dairy consumption reduces the risk of heart disease by 69%! It is most likely due to vitamin K present in it.
Other sources of Vitamin K
Here are some other rich source of vitamin K.
- Dried basil
- Green vegetables like kale
- Spring onions
- Brussels sprouts
- Chilli powder
- Olive oil
#3 Butter Is A Great Source Of Fat Soluble Vitamins
The fat soluble vitamins are vitamin A, D, E and K. Out of these four vitamins, it's vitamin K that is not usually found in our modern diet. This particular vitamin is directly involved in calcium metabolism, protein modification, and blood clotting. Its deficiency can cause cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and clotting disorders. It even has a role in preventing Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin K plays a role in preventing tooth decay and as per some studies, it reduces the risk of prostate cancer by 35%. The rest of the vitamins has their own important roles like vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes, Vitamin D is useful in calcium absorption and vitamin E is a natural antioxidant. Butter is a great source of vitamin A, D, E and K.
Besides being a good source of these vitamins, it also contains the carrier of these vitamins, i.e. fat. These vitamins are called fat soluble vitamins because fat is required for their absorption, and butter is a great source of healthy fat.
#4 Butter Improves Immune System
The known anti-cancer agents, CLA and butyric acid also plays a role in boasting the immune system. Butyric acid and a mineral called selenium present in the butter acts as anti-oxidant, which is known for preventing cancer and inflammation in the body. Butyric acid also improves body's response to infections.
#5 Butter Prevents Osteoporosis and Arthritis
As mentioned before, butter is a great source of vitamin D. This vitamin is directly involved in the calcium absorption. A better calcium intake means prevention of osteoporosis in old age and osteomalacia (soft bones) in children. Vitamin E assists in preventing rheumatoid arthritis.
Other than this, butter also contains an anti-stiffness factor, which prevents calcification of the joints, and also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataract and calcification of pineal gland.
#6 Butter does NOT make you fat, instead helps reducing weight and manage the blood sugar
The short and medium chain fatty acids of butter are not deposited in the adipose tissue. Studies conducted on rats showed that butyric acid supplementation prevents weight gain by increasing energy expenditure and satiety. It also improves the function of mitochondria and lowers fasting triglycerides and insulin levels. The fatty acids present in butter also stimulates the release of bile which not only allow the absorption of fat soluble vitamins but also excretes cholesterol and other toxins and hormones from the body.
Other than that, butter fats also slow down the sugar absorption into the blood stream, maintaining the level of blood sugar.
#7 Butter Is..... Yummy
Need I say more? Anything healthy and tasty at the same time is awesome!
But remember, the type of butter matters too!
The best type of butter is the natural, unprocessed, organic butter that comes from pasture-fed cows. The darker yellow-orange the butter, the better it is.
It is now very much clear that natural products are always healthier, no matter what various companies say to sell their synthetic products. Our past preferences might have given us obesity but we can change our lifestyle methods any day to be healthier.
So what are you waiting for? Grab the good ol' butter and say yes to health!
Let's see how many of you have chosen to be healthy?
Do you eat butter?
If you have any questions, corrections or suggestions you can leave your message in the comment section.
© Sneha Sunny