Is Butter Bad for Your Health?

Your Health

For years we’ve been told butter is bad for our health, but some substitutes may be worse. Here’s better news:

Funded Butter Study

A research team from Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy recently conducted a study on butter. It was funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and collected data from over 600,000 people from 15 different countries. The findings suggest that butter may not be as unhealthy as we’ve been led to believe.

Study senior author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian explains, “…butter should neither be demonized nor considered back as a route to good health.” In essence, the doctor is adding a disclaimer to the statement “butter is fine.” It doesn’t provide any real nutritional or health benefits. But, if eaten in small quantities, it doesn’t appear to create any significant rise in the risk of heart disease.

Churning the Fat

Butter is fattening. Per tablespoon, the delicious dairy-derived spread contains 100 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 7 grams of saturated fat. It’s the saturated fat that’s dangerous to heart health when eaten in abundance. There are other fats and oils that have just as many calories, but contain the “good” fats. Furthermore, butter contains a minimal amount of nutrition. But no doubt, butter is yummy.

The study found that eating butter was not associated with heart disease when consumed in small portions. However, it warned that on all other counts, butter is still a high-fat, high-calorie food.

What’s Better than Butter?

When talking health-wise as a spread, you still have a large variety of tasty options that are better than butter. Any monosaturated fat product is going to be healthier. Foods offering omega-3 fat sources are also good choices. A short list includes: flaxseed, coconut, and extra virgin olive oil, peanut and/or almond butter, salmon, and avocado.

What’s Not Better?

Unhealthier choices than butter include any product with hydrogenated or even partially hydrogenated oils. These contain trans-fats, which can ultimately be deadly. More than minimal amounts of sugar and starches can be worse for you than eating butter. High saturated fatty foods such as red meat, dark poultry meat and certain cheeses are also in the unhealthier than butter category.

Treating yourself to a teaspoon of butter on a warm roll or melting a small dollop in the pan to scramble with your egg whites is fine. Keeping the bad fats at bay (or to an extreme minimum) will not affect your overall health—especially if you eat mindfully and exercise habitually.

Nutrition Quiz: Are You Really Eating Healthy?

How much do you really know about healthy eating? We believe certain foods are good (or bad) for us, but then, sometimes, we find out otherwise. Advertising and/or outdated studies can often misguide us in our quest to eat nutritiously. Take the quick Healthy-Eating Quiz and see how well you’re doing!

 

  1. Which are “good fats”?
  2. Saturated fats
  3. Trans fats
  4. Monounsaturated fats
  5. Polyunsaturated fats

 

  1. Which are whole grains?
  2. Oatmeal
  3. White rice
  4. Barley
  5. Quinoa

 

  1. What nutrients do eggs contain?
  2. Protein
  3. Vitamin B12
  4. Vitamin D
  5. Lutein

 

  1. Which are great sources of fiber?
  2. Artichokes
  3. Chia seeds
  4. Pancakes
  5. Black beans

 

  1. Which are low in sugar content?
  2. Tonic water
  3. Vanilla yogurt
  4. Bananas
  5. Almond butter

 

Now check and compare your answers with ours.

 

Answers:

1.) c and d. The worst are trans fats, for example, hydrogenated oils. Saturated fats aren’t horrible when eaten in slim moderation. These include: cheese, whole milk, and red meat. Your good fats will be monounsaturated (i.e. olive oil, avocados, sunflower oil) and polyunsaturated fats, which are essential fats (omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, seeds, nuts, etc.)

2.) a and c. Whole grains contain bran, germ, and endosperm—the entire grain kernel. That is precisely what oatmeal and barley are. White rice is processed and not a whole grain; however, brown and wild rice are considered whole grains. Quinoa, although quite nutritionally potent, is really a seed (though some still categorize it as a grain).

3.) a, b, c, and d. Two medium eggs offer about 14 grams of protein. Over 50% of the daily-recommended intake of vitamin B12 is included as well. Eggs are a great source of vitamin D for bone health and lutein for eye health.

4.) a, b, and d. Pancakes, especially those prepared with white, refined flour have virtually no fiber benefit. (If they were made with a whole grain, like Buckwheat, now we’re talkin’.) One medium artichoke has about 10 grams of fiber—and brother broccoli is not far behind. Chia seeds, as well as flax and other seeds, can have up to 6 grams of fiber in one tablespoon. Black beans (and lima and lentils) are fiber royalty with up to 15 grams per cup, cooked.

5.) d. Almond butter made solely from nuts (with no sugar added), may have as few as 2 grams of sugar per serving. (Other nut butters without additives are also low in sugar. Generic tonic water and flavored yogurts can have up to 40 grams of sugar per serving. Yikes! Bananas are one of the most calorie-dense fruits. Of course because the sugar is from a natural source, it is better for your health any day over eating a processed food with added sugar.

Keep seeking out and following your path to healthy eating. You will feel rewarded in body, mind, and spirit!

 

Sources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good

https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/grain-month-calendar/quinoa-%E2%80%93-march-grain-month

https://www.nutritionfoundation.org.nz/nutrition-facts/nutrition-a-z/Eggs/What-do-eggs-contain-

https://greatist.com/health/surprising-high-fiber-foods

 

 

 

 

Hello Good Fats, Bye-Bye Bread

No one wants to give up bread. And no one says you have to. But, the most recent research points to processed carbohydrates as “deadly”. Contrary to decades of inaccurate reporting, it’s actually the good fats that will prolong your healthy life.

People Think Fat is Bad—But Is it?

We have been programmed to believe that all fats are bad for our health. In truth, all fats are not created equal, nor are they all life-shortening. Yes, trans fats (trans unsaturated fatty acids) are unhealthy. Those are the ones where chemically caused, molecular mutation takes place. That would include vegetable oil, partial- and fully-hydrogenated oil, and shortenings used for deep-frying, among others. These are found in most fast foods, store-bought and even bakery-made cakes, cookies, crackers, bread, and other popular American consumables.

Saturated fats, on the other hand, are good fats. Research published in the August 2017 issue of The Lancet, claimed that people with an approximate saturated fat composition of 35% of their daily diet had a 23% percent lower risk of stroke or early death than those who ate less good fats. That is huge—and not in weight, but in health news.

That’s tough to wrap our brains around after all the “fat-is-bad-for-you” propaganda that’s been drummed into us for years and years.

Participants with a super low intake of saturated fats (somewhere between 3 and 10% of their daily diet) were associated with a higher risk of death. That means that low consumption of good fats is actually detrimental to your health. Time to bring on the sushi, guacamole, hummus, and pistachio nuts! (But maybe not in the same sitting.)

What’s Your Bread and Butter?

Butter has little-to-no protein or fiber benefit, but it offers vitamin K2, omega-3 fatty acid, and saturated fat. Grass-fed butter, as opposed to regular butter, is even healthier because it’s antibiotic- and hormone-free. Butter is better than margarine or any other processed, artificial, or imitation form of its delicious, natural counterpart.

If you’re using grass-fed butter to season or sauté, you are not risking your health; you may even be enhancing it.

Bread, on the other hand, is full of carbohydrates, but the not-so-good kind. That’s because it’s refined and/or processed. Bread can contain added sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which messes with your blood sugar and glucose levels. Simple carbs, like bread and corn, digest easily, but they also make you crash quickly. They screw with your insulin levels, which is eventual cause for type-2 diabetes, weight gain, and also your inability to lose weight.

Carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables are different because they provide nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also un-processed.

The Bread Winner? Think Again…

Anyway you slice it, bread is a sugar provider and producer. If this 18-country study showed that an excess of white flour consumption may increase your risk of early death, do you still want to order your burger between buns?

If you said “yup”, you’re not alone. Of the 135,000 involved in the 7-year study, about half of those folks derived 70% of their daily calories from carbohydrates (and not necessarily from the good sources.)

Clearly, education regarding updated, factual, nutrition-based guidelines are lacking—or no one’s listening—or no one cares.

Fat, Sugar; Carbs, Sugar; Sugar, Sugar

Ingestion of pure or added sugar is not an essential for human health. (BTW, added sugar is an actual detriment.) Our bodies produce or derive the sugar we need for energy from the proper and natural foods we eat. And, that is plenty. Anymore, especially chemically derived, and it becomes a serious health danger.

All of the foods we eat, whether plant-or animal-based contain the trio of nutrients we need for existence—protein, carbohydrates, and fat. How much of each we should put on our plates has been up for debate for decades. Unfortunately, our good health may not be always the priority in the information delivered.

Special interest groups such as: the dairy association, the sugar producers, the red meat council, etc. may have an agenda of their own. The public can often be misguided by propaganda as opposed to positively swayed by scientific research.

In this particular case, the research, once again, is overwhelmingly in favor of losing the processed carbohydrates. If you’re jonesing for some bread, try substituting the craving with some delicious quinoa, wild rice, or baked sweet potatoes. Your arteries, brain, waistline, and family will thank you.

And remember, you are always in charge of your own health. Educate yourself and seek the guidance of those you trust and who are well informed. Also, check out other articles on www,GetThrive.com to learn more about best health practices for yourself and your family.

Sources:

Where to Find Grass-fed Butter

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-is-bread-bad-for-you#section7

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2017/08/29/Diet-study-suggests-its-carbs-not-fats-that-are-bad-for-you/1151504055850/?utm_source