Butter and the Folly of Fake Fats
JUNE 15, 2011 by Paul Fassa
Butter has been maligned as unhealthy for the past few decades. Fortunately, the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) has disagreed. The WAPF was started many decades ago by Weston Price, DDS. He and his wife traveled to isolated locations and examined the diets of healthy people not influenced by civilization.
Others have discovered the truth about butter and disagree with butter’s bad rap as well. Butter is healthier for you than all the substitutes designed to replace butter, which actually damage your health. Instead of the margarine promo phrase “better than butter”, you might mentally replace that phrase with “butter is better”.
Why Butter is Better
There are three levels of butter: The most healthful level is butter made with the raw milk from grass fed cows. Second best but much more accessible from health food stores and some supermarkets is organic butter made from the pasteurized milk of grass fed cows that are not injected with antibiotics or rBGH. Then there is the mainstream commercial stuff that comes from dairy factories.
As the WAPF states, even this last contaminated version of butter is better for you than margarine. That’s actually how bad margarine is for your health.
Many shun butter because they have been led to believe that eating fat is a bad thing to do. But the low fat diet is unhealthy for almost everyone. For example, children fed reduced fat milks have higher incidents of diarrhea than those on whole milk. The heart disease hype associated with cholesterol has been exaggerated to the point of now being declared a myth. A 1991 Medical Research Council study determined that men eating butter had half the heart disease risk as men eating margarine! Our bodies need the right kinds of fats to operate well.
Natural saturated fats can be converted to carbohydrates and burned in the body as needed. The trans-fatty acid fats contained in hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated processed oils and margarine gets stored as fat because they are not converted to carbohydrate fuel for energy. Furthermore, the free radicals and toxins associated with processing oils remain in the body’s fatty tissues.
Cholesterol is necessary for healthy nerves, especially in the brain and gastrointestinal tract. Butter from grass fed cows is actually rich in minerals and trace minerals. It also contains a lot of vitamins A, D and K2, which helps prevent osteoporosis and arthritis. The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter as well as the linoleic acid help prevent cancerous tumors.
Butter is an excellent source of two anti-carcinogenic fatty acids: butyric acid used by the colon for energy, and lauric acid, a potent antimicrobial and antifungal agent . Butter is a major source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) another potent cancer fighting fatty acid. Levels of CLA are much higher in butter made from grass fed cows than from those coming from factory farms. Butter is one of only a very few fats providing a balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats. Omega 3 is an important nutrient that is missing from most of our diets. Omega 3 is essential for our health, but our bodies don’t create it. It has to come from outside, from foods or supplements derived from foods.
Omega 3 helps prevent cognitive dysfunction, of which Alzheimer’s is an extreme condition. Omega 3 also inhibits inflammatory conditions that produce stiffness and arthritis. Studies have shown that ADHD, bi-polar conditions, and many other mental or behavioral disorders are the result of low omega-3 in the body.
Central mountainous regions of the world that don’t have access to seafood but use butter have less Incidents of hypothyroidism than areas where people use fake butters and spreads and don’t eat seafood. That’s because there is enough accessible iodine in butter to keep the thyroid gland happy. Healthier heart, better circulation, better bones, even better minds are attributed to the types of nutrients, fatty acids and omega balance that real butter provides.
Try to buy butter produced by grass fed cows free from antibiotics and rBGH (the evil growth hormone). This is the healthiest choice that is available at most stores, thanks to the FDA and USDA’s protection of big dairy and the harassment of ethical small dairies. The very best butter from raw milk is nearly impossible to get unless you have an Amish dairy nearby. But if you can get raw milk or cream, you might try making your own butter.
The Folly of Fake Fats
Much of the overall worsening health conditions in our culture stem from trans-fatty acids in margarine and hydrolyzed heat processed unsaturated cooking and salad oils offered as health substitutes over the past five or so decades.
Ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Beaumont, with the Macular Degeneration Foundation, attributes the widespread use of cheap, processed trans-fatty hydrolyzed oils as the source for greatly increased macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness.
Meanwhile, the former most common cause of blindness, diabetes, is on the rise among younger people. Many health experts from various medical fields attribute this diabetes epidemic to both increased cheap oils and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Diabetes type 2 is often reversed by simply eliminating these artificially produced fake foods from the diet. That means reading labels and curbing those yum-yum impulses, which gets easier to do as you get healthier.
Clogged arteries and obesity have expanded along with the increase of processed and fast foods that use bad oils and contain HFCS. Nevertheless, the food industry, weight loss diet freaks, and nutritionally uneducated MDs continue to promote fake low fat foods and artificial sweeteners as healthy options.
As early as the 1950s, bio-chemist Johanna Budwig, creator of the Budwig Diet for cancer, trashed the trans-fatty toxic oils that were taking over the market place at that time. She claimed the cooking oil industry censured her for that. Dr. Budwig’s diet includes pure cold pressed flax seed oil mixed with quark or cottage cheese.
Not as well known or acclaimed as her cancer curing diet was the ground breaking research Dr. Budwig did categorizing different types of fats. This was uncharted territory until she did that research in Germany in order to determine which fats could easily oxygenate cancer cells and kill them. So she knew what she was talking about when she trashed the trans-fats.
Why the Negative PR Campaign on Butter Succeeded
Diet fads have promoted aspartame and margarine as healthy choices. The overweight and not so slim obsessed with becoming skinny were manipulated into diets with only weight loss in mind. That popular movement had its foundation in medical disinformation, based mostly on saturated fat nonsense. That nonsense was compounded by the cholesterol scare.
Abstaining from saturated fats was promoted as a healthy choice. Butter, coconut oil, and palm oil were all given bad press. Most doctors, uneducated with real nutritional health science, went right along with this disinformation. Yet all three of those saturated fats promote good health.
This trend was accelerated by corporate greed in the processed food industry. Corporations could righteously insert those cheaper to produce with long shelf life trans-fatty oils into packaged goods or sell them as healthy cooking and salad oils. But now it turns out that those oils cause long term health damage, including obesity, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and even cancer.
The bottom line is simple in concept but more difficult to engage successfully and consistently at first. Simply follow the advice given by Dr. Budwig more than 50 years ago: Eat only natural real foods; avoid synthetic or fake plastic foods, especially margarine. Enjoy good quality butter to your heart’s content.
Sources for this article with more information include: