by Laurie Warren, M.S. Nutrition, Warren Wellness
“Uh-oh. Apparently Laurie has missed all of the copious information out there that butter is a heart attack waiting to happen!” So, here’s a question for you: if butter promotes heart disease, then how is it that between 1920 and 1960, Americans’ use of butter declined from 18 pounds per person per year to 4 pounds, yet heart disease went from a relatively unknown condition to the number one killer during that same time period? Odd, eh? Let’s see…what increased dramatically during that period?…refined sugar intake, refined flour intake, omega-6 fat intake in the form of commercial vegetable oils, trans-fat intake, and unmanaged stress.
In any case, let’s talk yummy BUTTER! First, Laurie highly recommend using organic, pasture-fed butter, as this is butter in its most natural, healthy form. Butter is the most easily absorbable source of vitamin A, which supports the thyroid and adrenal glands, as well as the cardiovascular system (yep, you read that right). Twenty percent of the fat in butter is in the form of short- and medium-chain fatty acids which are converted directly to energy, thereby having very little effect on blood fat levels. These fats also have anti-tumor properties and help strengthen the immune system. Further, butter contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is protective against cancer. Butter is rich in antioxidants, including vitamins A, E, and selenium, which protect against heart disease (and, you read that right, too) as well as cancer. Butter is a good source of iodine in a very absorbable form, which is absolutely key in proper thyroid function. Butter is a good source of vitamin K2, which is essential for building strong teeth & bones. And the wonderful fats in butter help you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in the food that you eat the butter with, like kale and sweet potatoes. So, when you serve up that helping of sweet potatoes at a holiday gathering, don’t forget to melt a healthy serving of butter on top! Yum.