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Let’s talk about butter. It’s been a staple food for thousands of years, yet somehow it got a bad rep in the 50s or 60s and we were told that our butter and animal fat consumption in general was the reason heart disease was on the rise. The end result was that we were encouraged to eat a low fat diet and if we had to use something like butter, it should be man-made margarine.
Did it work? Of course not. Instead we’ve seen a steady incline of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a slew of related health conditions. As it turns out that while butter does contain natural cholesterol, consuming it along with other animal fats (bacon anyone), and eggs does not increase your body’s cholesterol. (Part of that is because you liver makes cholesterol and it will continue to do that if you eat high cholesterol foods or not.) Instead, eating healthy whole food fats, including butter helps increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol.
It’s time to give up on that low fat diet, throw out the margarine, and bring back real butter. Not only is the fat in it much better for your body and your overall health, real butter also contains a variety of minerals and vitamins that our bodies need. For example, butter is a rich source of absorbable vitamin A. You also get a fair share of Vitamins E and K from it.
Butter contains antioxidants that can help repair cellular damage and protect against weakening arteries. Butter also contains lecithin which helps metabolize cholesterol. This means that eating butter doesn’t hurt your heart and increase your chances for heart disease. Instead, it may help protect your heart from damage.
When you’re ready to embrace butter and bring it back to your table, pick up the highest quality butter you can find and afford. Raw butter from a reputable local farmer is best. Buy the butter during spring and summer when the cows feast on fresh grass and freeze it to use throughout the year.
If that’s not an option, get butter from grass-fed cows. Kerry Gold butter is a great option and something that’s readily available at most grocery stores these days. Stick with real butter and avoid spreadable kinds. Yes, they are convenient and much easier to spread than cold butter. Instead, get in the habit of taking the butter out a little while before you need it. It will quickly become spreadable and it won’t take you long to get in the habit of remembering to pull it out first. It’s well worth the effort, not just because of the many health benefits of real butter, but also because of the taste. Nothing tastes better than real butter. Taste for yourself.