Is Butter Good for Your Health?

Is Butter Good for Your Health?

For decades, cholesterol and saturated fat have been continuously demonized. During the latter part of the 20th century, we were constantly told how these nutrients can clog the arteries, increase our weight, and may end up giving heart attacks.

So, we did everything we could to avoid them.

This thought, referred to as the Diet-heart Hypothesis, forced the industry to produce low-fat products that we know of- low-fat cheese, milk, cookies, yogurt, and margarine.

But what does the recent research suggest?

As per one study, there is no apparent link between the high levels of cholesterol and the risk of stroke. Other research has even shown that low cholesterol may even increase the possibility of death.

In fact, a growing number of studies have indicated similar results that lowering the intake of cholesterol and saturated fat in the diet does not decrease the risk of heart attacks.

The truth is that brain is the fattiest organ of your body, containing almost 60 percent of the fat and over 25 percent of your total body cholesterol. Cholesterol is required for making healthy hormones and improving the immune system and the nerves.

It should not be any surprise to know that a lot of cholesterol-lowering statin medications have side effects such as memory loss, hormonal problem, nerve pain, erectile dysfunction, and low sex drive.

In actual, consuming healthy fat and cholesterol is critical to the health as well as the functioning of hormones and brains. However, we have been starving our bodies of this food for decades now.

Is Butter Good for Your Health?

That being said, it is important to find out the status of butter. Butter, having different types of fatty acids, is generally considered to be harmful to your health. But after what we have just discussed, is it really the truth?

What is Butter?

Butter is a dairy product that consists of edible fat. It is manufactured by obtaining the cream from milk and churning it. It is also possible to obtain butter by whipping cream but in this case, it is present in a semi-solid form.

The standard proportion of butter to milk is around 1:20. The total quantity of butter acquired from this process alters on the basis of the milk quality and its total fat content.

These days, skimmed milk is used in various products and the importance of it has increased a lot.

The composition of butter is simple. It consists of 1 to 2 percent of milk, 16 to 17 percent of water, 1 to 2 percent of salt, and almost 80 to 82 percent of milk fat.

Additionally, butter is also loaded with phosphorus, calcium, proteins, and vitamins A, D, and E. Other than this, diacetyl, lactones, dimethyl sulfide, and ketones are added into butter to provide it a flavor.

The type of butter with no salt in it is said to be sweet butter.

Butter as a Strong Antioxidant

Butter has high quantities of carotene, a strong antioxidant. Carotene can affect different parts of your body and may promote the repair and regrowth of cells.

Consuming it in sufficient amounts may also protect you from certain infections.

In addition to this, butter also has a large amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which gets easily absorbed and benefits skin, mouth, eyes, throat, digestive, and urinary tracts.

Vitamin A can improve the growth and renovation of cells and may even enhance the immune system by speeding up the production of lymphocytes.

RELATED: Coconut butter- The healthier option

What are the Benefits of Butter?

The consumption of butter on a daily basis but in moderation can be beneficial to health. Butter is composed of a lot of healthy minerals and vitamins that are required for a healthy living.

Butter consists of vitamin A and D, both of which are necessary for normal development of the brain and rest of the nervous system. These minerals also make up a huge part of the skeletal system and are important for carrying out several important physiological processes.

Not to forget the important functions of butter in improving other aspects of health some of which are explained below.

Vision

Beta-carotene is an antioxidant found in butter. It is especially useful for maintaining a healthy vision and protecting eyes from different hazards. It can also decrease the risk of several diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Bone Health

Butter consists of a lot of minerals such as calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. These elements are crucial for building as well as maintaining the strength of your bones. Additionally, all these nutrients also take part in the growth of new bones and repair of the damaged ones.

Eating butter makes sure that you do not suffer from bone diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and premature aging of bones.

Thyroid Health

The thyroid gland is one of the primary endocrine glands of your body and has an important connection with vitamin A. Individuals having problems of the thyroid are usually deficient in vitamin A.

For such people, butter can be of great help since it can replenish the low levels of vitamin A and reduce thyroid problems effectively.

Heart

Naturally processed butter is a great food for the health of your heart if you use it in moderation. Butter consists of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Also known as the “good cholesterol”, this HDL-cholesterol mainly comprises omega-3 fatty acids which are great for your health.

Is Butter Good for Your Health?

Additionally, butter also tends to reduce the levels of omega-6 fatty acids or the “bad cholesterol” from the blood. In this way, it reduces the risk of heart diseases.

Role of Butter in Obesity

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a type of fatty acid which is commonly found in butter manufactured by using grass-fed cows. CLA is important as it can lower the total amount of fat present in a body.

Isn’t it amazing to know that butter that itself contains a lot of fatty acids can actually help dissolve fat in your body and lower the risk of obesity?

A few contradictory statements have been made about how butter is a risk factor for obesity in humans. Scientists have indicated that the deposition of fat in the body is only due to the excessive intake of fat and other milk products with fats in it.

Side Effects of Butter

Even though butter has a lot of benefits, it is primarily comprised of fats which may cause various undesirable problems if you use it in excess. These side effects of butter may include hypertension, obesity, cancer, and heart diseases.

Most of the times, using butter in a moderate amount will be sufficient in alleviating most of the health-related risks associated with it such as a high amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.

The side effects of butter are especially to be kept in mind by individuals who suffer from a heart problem or high blood pressure. They may need to keep an eye on their daily intake of butter and may have to avoid it for some time.

Eating butter in high quantities for a long duration of time may even cause type 2 diabetes. This is because the high level of fat in the butter can affect insulin production by the beta cells of the pancreas.

Overall, it is quite clear that the benefits of butter do exist, only if you consume it in a moderate quantity.

 

Nancy holds a Pharmacy degree from University of Michigan and Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

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