BUTTER: Healthy or Not?

Is butter really the worst enemy for our health, causing arteries to close and so many diseases in the long term? For years, nutritionists have been strict in regards to butter and they have all been avoid its use. However, a recent research from Harvard came out to shake the waters by showing a new perspective on this topic. According to the survey, 85,000 women and 43,000 men were examined for their eating habits for a period of thirty years. The goal was to recognize the diet that benefits most of us in the long run.

All participants were asked to replace a small percentage of the saturated fats they used in their diet with other foods. The important finding in this study was that the health improvement of the participants was directly related to the selection of foods, replacing the saturated fats (found in meat, butter, milk and cheese). Those who opted polyunsaturated fat, reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25%. The choice of monounsaturated fats has led to a 15% risk reduction. Complex carbohydrates resulted in a 9% risk reduction, while simple carbohydrate choices did not change the risk of cardiovascular disease.

So the point is not whether you avoid butter at all costs. The point is to replace it. If you choose, for example, a chocolate cake instead of a pound of fat-free ice cream, there will not be an important variation in the quality of your intake. However, if you choose avocado instead of full fat butter, then you will notice the change. Nevertheless, you should remember that butter is certainly more beneficial than most margarines on the market. Most margarines contain trans fats and these are the most harmful fat for our body.

Replacing Butter and Fats

Beyond the olive oil, which is an excellent source of vegetable fat in our daily diet, you can replace butter and other fats with simple conversions in the way you combine flavors and cook:

  • Try guacamole (from avocado), almond butter or peanut butter
  • Make sure to reduce your daily saturated fat intake by replacing cheese on vegetables with tahini, hummus or olive paste
  • Combine meat with shredded vegetables, especially when making minced meat for burgers, meatballs and rolls
  • Try complex carbohydrates such as quinoa and brown or wild rice
  • Nuts make great snacks for every hour, always in moderation and preferably unsalted
  • Instead of eating full fat yoghurt, mix low-fat yogurt with oats, grated nuts and honey

There are innumerable dietary combinations that can surprise your taste buds constantly instead of your known, oily choices. It is all a matter of habit and persistence.

In conclusion, you can consume a little bit of butter within the week but you should be very careful with the food combinations you make with it and the frequency of the consumption.

Best of Health,