My clients love when I suggest they include butter in their diets. The only requirement is that it must be grass-fed butter or better yet, grass-fed organic butter.
Butter is rich in butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced in the colon. SCFAs are important biomarkers and protectors of colon health.
Contrary to popular belief, fat from butter, grass-fed organic meats and coconut oil isn’t what’s harming our health or causing heart disease and the diabetes and obesity epidemic. The real villains: excessive amounts of sugar and starchy carbohydrates, super-sized sodas, fructose, factory-farmed hormone- and antibiotic-injected frankenmeats, artificial sweeteners, GMOs, trans fats and fast, fake, processed and packaged foods.
A diet deficient in fat, and eating low-fat and nonfat items (that are loaded with chemicals and sugar) increases the risk of depression, mood disorders, dementia, intensify cravings and is linked to hormone imbalances, weight gain, dry skin and hair, infertility and reproductive problems.
My philosophy regarding food is to eat a variety of nutrient-dense, real foods, and that includes a variety of healthy, healing fats such as butter, clarified butter (ghee), avocados, grass-fed meats, free-range organic pastured (not pasteurized) eggs and poultry, fatty fish (wild salmon, sardines), coconut oil, coconut butter, full fat (never low fat or nonfat) organic grass-fed yogurt, olives and extra-virgin olive oil.
Fat is a necessary nutrient for healthy brain function, fat loss, hormone production and balance, energy, satiation, nixing cravings, beautiful skin and hair, healthy cholesterol, heart health, a healthy nervous system, immune system, gut health and cell membrane integrity. Saturated fats found in coconut oil, grass-fed meats, pastured eggs and grass-fed butter are actually healthy for you.
• Maintains the integrity of the mucosal lining of the gut.
• Promotes colon health (increased butyric acid levels are associated with a lower risk of colon cancer).
• Feeds the good microbes; encourages growth of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium.
• Improves insulin sensitivity.
• Lowers triglycerides.
• Helps probiotics adhere to bowel wall and proliferate.
• Boosts immunity.
• Aids digestion.
• An energy source for cells.
• Anti-inflammatory properties.
• Beneficial for gut disorders (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, colon polyps, leaky gut, IBD).
• Anti-microbial properties; enhances anti-Candida activity.
• Modulates serotonin release.
• Helps loose bowel function; regulates abnormal bowel movements.
• Useful for ADHD (decreased butyric acid levels are linked with ADHD).
• Blocks the growth of bad bacteria in the gut.
• Loaded with healthy fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K.
• Butter is a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, metabolic and immunity booster. Grass-fed butter contains 5 times more CLA than butter from grain-fed cows.
• It’s delicious. Everything tastes better with a little butter.
Take home message: Go ahead and indulge in healthy doses of grass-fed butter.
Quality matters! Toss the inflammatory-promoting, disease-promoting frankenfats: margarine, rancid, genetically-modified vegetable oils (canola, corn, cottonseed and soybean oils), fake butters and all oil sprays. Stick with the real thing. Butter from grass-fed cows such as Kerrygold butter is a much healthier and more nutritious choice. Even better is organic grass-fed butter. You’ll find Kerrygold butter at Trader Joe’s, Whole Food, Costco and Sprouts. Make the switch today.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Paula Owens, M.S., is the author of two books, is a nutritionist and fitness and fat loss expert with more than 25 years of experience. Visit Paula at www.PaulaOwens.com.