October 20, 2013

Is Butter Bad for You?

Simply looking at the butter from grass-fed cows it's easy to see the difference in color. Grain-fed butter is a dull white color.
It depends what kind of butter it is!  

Butter was given a bad rap in the 1950s when Americans started their fat-phobia phase. This inspired a common, but untrue, belief has been that butter causes heart disease, cancer and obesity.  

But if this were true, how would some of the world's healthiest populations have always had butter as a continuous staple in their diet? It just doesn't make sense, or does it?

There is a huge difference between grass-fed cow's butter and grain-fed cow's butter. It is like calling a golf cart and a Cadillac the same thing just because they both have a motor.

Cows are meant to eat grass. When they eat grass, they are healthy and produce healthy butter. It also means they are getting exercise and living in an environment that they should be living in. Grain-fed cows are fed an unnatural diet, typically don't have much room to move around and are at a higher risk for disease. This, in many cases, causes acidosis in the cow leading to liver problems, nutrient absorption issues, digestive problems, dehydration and many other issues that can be fatal. Grain-fed cows do not produce healthy butter.

One of the main differences between grass-fed butter and grain-fed butter is the Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio. When you have more Omega-3's compared to Omega-6's, it helps to reduce inflammation. Grains increase the amount of the unhealthy Omega-6's leading to excess inflammation. Cows that are fed grass have 50 percent of their fat in the healthy Omega-3 form, while cows fed grains have almost none. This makes grain-fed butter very inflammatory, potentially leading to many health issues from fibromyalgia to cancer.

Eating grass-fed butter on a regular basis can have many health benefits:
  • Full of Omega-3s: reduces inflammation, therefore reducing pain and disease. 
  • High in CLA: has been shown to help with weight loss and to prevent cancer.
  • Contains Vitamin A: provides positive benefits for your eye health. Vitamin A is what gives grass fed butter the bright yellow color.
The two types of grass-fed butter that I typically buy available locally: Kerrygold and Thomas Organic Creamery.

The next time someone tries to tell you butter is bad for you, you are welcome to teach them about the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed cows. And don't even get me started about margarine and other fake butter... it is even worse than butter from grain-fed cows.     

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