Is Butter Healthy?
What Is Butter?
Butter is a dairy product which is made using cow’s milk mostly. Butter consists of 80 percent fat and 15 percent water. Butter is usually found in pale yellow color however, the color can be different, depending on the type of milk used. The process of making butter involves churning cream until the fat is separated from the liquid, giving you a semi solid state called butter. Butter produced at the farm usually involves churning cream extracted from whole milk. Whereas commercial production of butter involves churning cream extracted from whey.
Evidence That Suggests Butter Is Healthy
Over the years butter consumption has fallen by a great amount - this is mainly due to the fact that cardiac disease has been associated with the consumption of butter. This statement gives rise to the question: is butter healthy?
Butter is a source of certain nutrients that are required by the body to function effectively. Studies reveal that consuming butyric acid rich foods can be beneficial for people suffering from gut disorders such as Crohn’s disease. Another unique function that butyric acid performs is that it can cause the cancer cells to mature into normal cells. This means that food rich in butyric acid can actually help prevent cancer by not allowing the cancer cells to grow.
Another reason why butter is healthy is; butter provides Vitamin A which is an essential nutrient and plays a very important role in the body. Vitamin A acts like a powerful antioxidant, which helps fight free radicals in the body. This means that Vitamin A protects the body from diseases such as cold, fever and cancer. Vitamin A also supports bone health and improves eyesight.
Vitamin K2 is another vital nutrient found in butter which makes butter a healthy choice. Vitamin K2 controls the movement of calcium in our body; it makes sure that calcium does not enter the arteries and muscles. Vitamin K2 deficiency can cause health problems such as hardening of the arteries and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies have indicated that this vitamin has anticancer properties and Vitamin K2 also protects the nerve cells from oxidative stress.
Evidence That Suggests Butter Is Not Healthy
Over the past 70 years, it has been suggested that butter is not healthy. This belief stems from the fact that butter is rich in saturated fats. Saturated fats can hamper efficient blood flow in the arteries which may cause cardiac diseases such as heart attack.
Conclusion - Should I Eat Butter?
The consumption of butter has diminished over the years due to the instance of cardiac diseases that have been linked to butter consumption.
Is Margarine A Healthy Substitute?
People have widely started substituting Butter with Margarine to avoid cardiac disease. However, margarine may not always be healthy. Sometimes margarine contains trans-fats which are even more detrimental to health than saturated fats! The Harvard School of Public Health recommends opting for a margarine which is free of trans fats and contains extracts of ‘Sterols’ – a plant with cholesterol lowering properties. Additionally, the margarine should be easily spreadable and soft.