She looked at me with raised eyebrows. “So, why aren’t we eating more butter?!” she said. Her wide eyes questioned mine. “You’re saying butter is GOOD for me?” she pressed. She was a mom, just like me….
I didn’t grow up on a dairy farm. I used to know nothing about cows. You know what else I didn’t know? How healthy butter is!
Growing up, my mom didn’t villainize butter, but I lived in the “butter is bad” era – I was a margarine girl. At least, on my toast every morning.
Back to our shocked mom. She was a 4-H mom who brought her family to a butter making class I was teaching in my silo farm store. Honestly, I was surprised, too, when I researched butter for this class.
As a kid, I never understood why butter was “bad.” If it’s bad, why? If it’s good, why? Do you know? Let’s look together!
Butter isn’t a new idea. Butter has been around for literally millennia. The first known butter references were carved on limestone tablets dating back 4,500 years. Obviously, eating butter is not a new idea. (3)
Fast Forward to 1960. Between 1900 and 1960, heart disease went from being virtually unheard of to the number one killer. … WHY?
Is butter a killer?
Physiologist Ancel Keys proposed that fat found in butter raised cholesterol and therefore caused heart disease. However, oddly enough, during the same time period, butter consumption had decreased — from 18 pounds per person per year to four. “TIME” magazine went ahead and published Keys’ proposition, framing butter as a killer.
However, studies have since failed to link butter and heart disease!! As it turns out, villainizing butter solved nothing. “…since the early 1970s, Americans’ average saturated fat intake has dropped considerably… [while] rates of obesity, diabetes, and, consequently, heart disease have surged.” (1)
What if the OPPOSITE was true?
Do you remember the 2014 “TIME” magazine butter article? “TIME” completely changed their story from 1960 to 2014. (visit gerdesfreshfarm.com/blog for pictures!)
“TIME” now reported: “Americans were told to cut back on fat to lose weight and prevent heart disease,” says Dr. David Ludwig. “There’s an overwhelmingly strong case to be made for the opposite.
“The argument against fat was totally and completely flawed…We’ve traded one disease for another.
“Nearly every expert agrees we’d be healthier if more of our diet were made up of ‘real food.’”(2)
It’s not a killer, but should we eat it?! Many studies say YES! – Bodyecology.com compiled research findings of “The top health benefits of real butter.”
1. Rich in easily absorbable vitamin A – needed for thyroid and adrenal health.
2. Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida.
3. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
4. Contains antioxidants that protect against free radical damage and weakening arteries.
5. NOT linked to heart disease; may actually help decrease type 2 diabetes.
6. Great source of vitamins E, K and D (which is essential calcium absorption).
7. Very rich source of the vital mineral selenium and may promote fertility in women.
8. May have anti-tumor/anti-cancer properties.
9. Has conjugated linoleic acid: potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder and immunity booster.
10. Protects against tooth decay.
11. The only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints, prevents hardening of arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
12. Has activator X, which helps absorb minerals.
13. Contains iodine in a highly absorbable form.
14. Source of quick energy that is not stored in our body’s adipose tissue.
15. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development.
16. Contains arachidonic acid, which affects brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.
17. Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young and the elderly.
18. Raw butter may also balance your weight, helping to reduce body fat and build lean muscle.
Let’s eat butter!! I want those positive things for my body!
Maybe our obsession with low fat, processed food isn’t working for us. Maybe the key is real food.
After all, the research doesn’t support the narrative that butter is bad. Science supports it as a positive thing, and it tastes amazing!
(1) Is butter bad for you? The top 20 health benefits of real butter (bodyecology.com)
(2) Ending the War on Fat | “TIME” (time.com/magazine)
(3) The History Of Butter – Milky Day Blog (milkyday.com)
Meet your farmer – Liz Gerdes. She and her husband are local dairy farmers and friends to anyone who needs one. They empower moms to confidently feed their families nutrient-dense food using farm fresh milk! Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com or follow her on Facebook @gerdesfreshfarm or Instagram @gerdesliz for more info.