A skewed view
In the past few years my views on what is healthy and not has been completely challenged 100-fold. It's been frustrating to say the least. Being healthy was a goal I've always strived for and to learn that many of the things I was consuming were not so, was an eye opener. For a while I denied everything and held onto what I learned in school, read in textbooks, saw on commercials and heard from doctors. But after a while things started coming together and making sense. My hope is that my posts on the subject will encourage you to do your own research with an open mind as you seek the best way to nourish the body that God has given you.
Butter = Health?
Like Paula Deen always says, "Everything's better with butter." I agree. Well, everything's better with bacon AND butter. But I'm not talking about Smart Balance or margarine or Butter Buds or any of that fake stuff out there. I'm referring to the real deal actual BUTTER. The kind from a real live cow NOT a chemistry lab like some of the stuff out there. Here's why:
- Butter is a great source of Vitamin A - vital for thyroid and adrenal gland health and proper immune system functioning
- Butter is rich in selenium, an anti-oxidant important in combating free radicals in our body
- Butter helps protect against cancer because of its saturated fats and linoleic acid. (I know, exact opposite of what you would think, right?)
- Butter contains Vitamin D which aids in proper absorption of calcium
- Butter helps protect against cavities - probably because of the calcium uptake mentioned above
- Butter is a great source of Omega 3s - another important anti-oxidant sorely lacking in our standard American diet (also known as "SAD")
If your thoughts on butter are what mine used to be your eyes are now rolling wondering how someone can be so gullible, right? However, I'd like to challenge your thinking just a bit more.
How margarine got it's fame.
Did you know that butter was replaced with margarine made from hydrogenated oils which were cheaper to produce during the depression? Butter was left for the very well off who had access to cows and hence fresh milk and cream. However, it didn't take long for suppliers to realize what a great opportunity they had been given and marketing began. Afterall, margarine can last longer AND save you money - win win situation! Not really. The rise of heart disease began AFTER the introduction of this pseudo "food" in the 20s. A link often ignored. Same thing with obesity for those of you thinking that consuming butter (and whole milk and cream) will make you fat. Consider the diet of your ancestors. Some of you are lucky enough to have special food recipes passed down from generations and I'm guessing the the ingredient list doesn't call for processed food ingredients or margarine. Am I right? Our ancestors ate WHOLE foods in their original state and were much healthier for it. Ah, those were the days. Back when heart disease was rare and obesity was unheard of. Yup, those same days when consuming real butter was "normal".
So now that we got that straight are you ready to give real butter a try? If you have access to a local farmer selling raw cream and butter - get thee over there and talk prices! I'll leave the discussion about consuming raw over pasteurized for another day but it's worth looking into if you're interested. I hear that my good friend Google has a lot of information on the topic. As far as accessible store bought butters, a grassfed organic will be your best bet because it contains the highest amounts of omegas and other vitamins. For my family, I buy Kerrygold brand and will buy sticks of whatever brand of organic I can for baking. Yes, it costs more but I feel the health benefit outweighs anything else so it's worth it to me. If I have to cut back when things are tight I'll forgo the organic sticks and buy regular. However, you always want to read labels and be sure the butter you are buying is nothing more than cream and salt. It should not contain oil or other additives.
Keep in mind, my journey towards health and everything else is full of grace. I'm not perfect and am still learning. This is simply where I am at in my walk and hoping it will help you in yours. If you have other tidbits to share, please do so in the comments but please remember I am NOT an expert. I am merely a work in progress like the rest of you striving to make the best choices I can with the information that I have.
Want more info? I figured you might. For some reading with your morning buttered toast...or whenever you feel like reading more about butter: