Butter Up: Why Butter is a Healthy Choice
Monday, February 09, 2009 by: Elizabeth Walling, citizen journalist
Key concepts: Butter, Health and Vitamin A
(NaturalNews) There seems to be a lot of question about which healthy spreads should be used to replace butter. Since the word is finally spreading about the harmful nature of trans fat, margarine has been officially declared as a substance which should be avoided. Of course, in its place have rushed countless other butter alternatives which do not contain hydrogenated fats. But now that refined vegetable oils, additives and preservatives are coming under fire, it leaves the question what in the world can we spread on our toast? The answer is simple and natural: go back to butter.
Of course, most people balk at the suggestion of eating real butter. After all, won't butter cause heart disease and all kinds of other frightening health conditions? Although the claim that butter is harmful has been a popular one in the last 70 years, it's an assumption with no foundation. In fact, statistics show the rate of heart disease has increased as butter consumption has decreased.
Butter is filled with essential vitamins and antioxidants in their most natural and absorbable state. Butter is actually a better source of vitamin A than carrots, especially for people who have trouble converting the beta-carotene in carrots into vitamin A. You can also find vitamin E and selenium in butter. These along with vitamin A actually protect the heart from free-radical damage, which is a factor in weakened arteries. On the other hand, fabricated spreads are filled with rancid and refined vegetables oils that cause free-radical damage.
The vitamin A in butter is a vital nutrient which strongly impacts growth in children. Deficiencies can affect the development of teeth, bones, and vision. Low-fat diets are often recommended for children even though these diets have been linked to a failure to thrive as published in Pediatrics in March of 1994. Low-fat diets which remove butter from children's lives may be cutting out their only source of absorbable vitamin A.
Another common misconception propagated by modern industry is that the fat in butter is bad for us. Butter is comprised of mostly short and medium chain fatty acids. These fatty acids can protect against cancer and boost immunity. They are also antifungal. Short and medium chain fatty acids are also more easily broken down for energy, which means its actually less likely that the fat in butter will be stored in the body.
The essential nutrients found in butter are not commonly found in other foods that are considered palatable in American society, which makes butter all the more necessary to our health. So many of our foods are manufactured fabrications that can't possibly offer the same health benefits as their natural counterparts. It's time to start choosing the real thing. It's time to bring butter back to the table.
Fallon, Sally and Enig, Mary G. Why Butter is Better. Health Freedom News. (1999)
McCullough, Fran. Butter's Good for You. The New York Times. (2007)
About the author
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer, specializing in articles about health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent common illnesses.