Chef Julia Child had it right when she said that ‘With enough butter, anything is good.’ For years, people have been made to believe that butter was the source of evil– that it was an unhealthy fat that meant nothing but problems for those eating it. But just as Julia Child said, butter can really make everything taste better. And for some people, this is something they would rather skip out on instead of worrying about their health.
Just recently, however, the love for butter has been promoted across many channels. It seems like people are currently reshaping the way people used to look at butter. Compared to how it was viewed before, butter is being marketed as a natural and clean option over margarine. But is it really a good alternative for cooking dishes? Sure, it can make dishes taste a lot better but is it healthy? Does it have any health benefits?
What is Butter?
For years, butter has been an enjoyed ingredient by different cultures, such as the ones in Olde England. Considered as a natural healthy fat, it actually comes from the cream of whole milk that has gone through a churning process. As fat is separated from the cream, the result is butter that contains about 80% fat. Compared to margarine, butter is a healthier option and even has a number of health benefits; particularly when consuming raw butter.
More so, it even contains a wide range of vitamins and vital fatty acids. What else does it contain? Here are some of components of butter:
What Does Butter Contain?
Saturated Fats – In the past, the saturated fats that butter contained was played out as a villain. But based on recent studies, this is actually the one responsible for the many health benefits that it provides. Through studies, experts have discovered that there was no association between heart disease and saturated fat. In fact, the fatty acids found in butter have been known to increase beneficial HDL cholesterol, reduce risks for stroke, and even help in weight loss.
Butyrate – Butter typically contains between 3 and 4% of butyrate; which is a four-carbon fatty acid. While its name is derived from butter, it is able to help in reducing inflammation and stomach bacteria attacks. This is why it is known for helping individuals from chronic inflammatory conditions such as leaky gut syndrome, colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
Vitamin A – Even though it cannot be considered as a great source of vitamins and minerals, butter still contains a high amount of preformed vitamin A, or retinol. Just an ounce of butter is already able to supplement the body with 14% of the daily recommended allowance of the vitamin.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid – Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a rich fatty acid that is usually found in grass-fed ruminants. With its high content found in butter, CLA is capable of reducing body fat mass among obese and overweight individuals.
Butter and Its Health Benefits
As mentioned, there are plenty of health benefits that can be derived by consuming butter. With these health benefits, it is important to know that butter isn’t as bad as it was once believe to be. Here are some of the benefits that this delicious ingredient can provide to the body:
Growth & Development in Children
Butter is a favorable ingredient to ensure the optimal growth of children. Since it contains vitamin A, it is able to help avoid deprivation of this vital vitamin on children. For those who have been deprived of the vitamin, the usual manifestations include a narrow face, skeletal structure, crowded teeth and a small palate. Extreme deprivation of this vitamin has been known to lead to skeletal problems, blindness, and other birth defects. By including butter into your young child’s diet, you can provide him with the amount of vitamin A he needs to fight against these deprivation symptoms.
Boosts the Immune System
Another advantage of the content of vitamin A found in butter is that it is able to promote a healthy immune system. Since both short and medium chain fatty acids are capable of strengthening the immune system, having enough of the ingredient is able to promote this to the body.
Boosts Proper Functioning of the Thyroid Gland
The vitamin A found in butter also provides a proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Butter has also been found to be a good source of iodine. With this, butter is able to prevent goiter in the body. In areas where seafood is rarely available, butter is a good source of the iodine needed by the body.
Protects against Arthritis
Butter has been found to protect the body against calcification of joints in the case of degenerative arthritis. At the same time, butter has been found to help avoid the onset of cataracts, hardening of the arteries and calcification of the pineal gland.
Boosts Gastrointestinal Health
Butterfat is known for its high glycospingolipids content and with this, individuals are able to protect their bodies against gastrointestinal infections. At the same time, the cholesterol found in butterfat has been known to promote healthy intestinal wall and protect it against colon cancer.
Since butter is a form of dairy, it is no surprise why it has been found be a good source of calcium. Thanks to the vitamins A and D found in butter, individuals are able to get their supply of calcium needed for strong bones and teeth.
Prevents Weight Gain
Contrary to common belief, butter does not cause weight gain. As a matter of fact, butter contains nutrients that produce a feeling of satisfaction after it has been consumed. This is why individuals who eat more butter do not feel hunger pangs quite so easily.
Protects against Heart Disease
Butter has been known to contain nutrients that are helpful in protecting the body from heart diseases. Among these nutrients is vitamin A, which butter is rich in. By consuming butter, the individual gets healthy adrenal and thyroid glands that also acts in the maintenance of the cardiovascular system.
Butter also contains a substance called lecithin that helps in the proper metabolism and assimilation of cholesterol and other fatty constituents. Not to mention, butter contains selenium and other antioxidants that help get rid of free radicals. As a result, butter can help protect the body against heart diseases.
Protects against Cancer
The saturated fats found in butter have been found to contain strong anti-cancer properties. Since it also contains conjugated linoleic acid, butter is no doubt to provide protection against cancer in the body.
How Much Butter to Eat?
While there are plenty of health benefits that you can get from eating butter, it is important to know that you have to keep things under control. The general rule is that you should not consume over 20-30 percent of calories from fat per day. This means that the ideal intake of butter should be less than three teaspoons per day.
And just as Julia Child said: “Everything in moderation… including moderation.” With the recommended amount of butter per day, you can make your meals taste delicious and be healthier too!