Cooking With Butter

Butter has seen a resurgence in kitchens and restaurants across the world of late, due in no small part to the rise in prominence and popularity of diets such as Atkins and the Paleo which encourage less refined sugars and carbs in favour of grass-fed meats, saturated fats and good cholesterols. We take a look at why the popular opinion about butter has caused too many to avoid using it in their cooking.

Some people are quite afraid of cooking with butter because it is linked to the incidence of various cardiovascular diseases and worse, at least for most people, obesity. For decades now, doctors, dietitians and other health and fitness experts have somehow agreed that butter is one of the biggest adversaries of weight watchers.

However, new scientific findings are coming out and redeeming good old butter after years of having a bad reputation. After reading this, you will realize that it is not the diet nemesis that most people thought it was.

How Did It All Start?

The sudden aversion to butter all started back in the 60s. At the time, medical science stumbled upon ‘cholesterol’ and ‘saturated fat’ and concluded that these are the chief causes of coronary heart disease. Then they set their sights on the most probable cause of increasing cholesterol and saturated fats: butter. Soon after that, they started to tell housewives to use a safer, more nutritious substitute: margarine.

It is true that the level of saturated fat intake per American has dropped at the time. But since then, the occurrence of diabetes, obesity, and heart problems have increased. Some medical experts thought that there was something wrong with that equation so they conducted studies to understand the abhorred food stuff.

The Only Anti-Butter Argument

Butter comes from cream which, in turn, comes from milk. Milk is an animal product which means that butter is loaded with saturated fats and cholesterol. And those two are of course, very dangerous. That is the usual health freak’s chain of thought when they see or smell butter.

Then they would enumerate the ‘better’ butter substitutes like olive and canola oil. Some would even go as far as suggesting mashed or pureed fruits and vegetables like zucchinis, apples, avocadoes and pear. It would also seem that they have tried using sour cream, cream cheese and yogurt – all low-fat, by the way. But then again, all those can never replace the delightful aroma and creamy goodness of food when cooking with butter.

Still some people would insist that butter is too detrimental to your health and advise you to go for margarine instead. Margarine is the most common alternative for butter. These two have nearly the same consistency, color and taste, after all. But doctors and nutritionists before would recommend this healthier option because it comes from vegetable oils. However, the latest studies would disprove the concept of margarine being better than butter.

Why Butter is Way Better than Margarine

Although margarine comes from vegetable fat, it undergoes the hydrogenation process. Remember, vegetable oil does not harden, so to make margarine ‘spreadable’, they add in polyunsaturated oils which are chemically refined. According to scientists, that sort of fat is ten times more harmful than any kind of saturated fat.

Besides that, butter in itself is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It has vitamin A which boosts immunity, vitamin D which helps in calcium absorption to prevent disease like osteoporosis, and Vitamin E which is a well-known antioxidant. It also contains glycospingolipids that are very beneficial for children since it aids in good digestion and iodine which prevents thyroid problems.

And let us tell you now that butter does not necessarily make you fat because it has short fatty acids. This basically means that the fat is immediately utilized by the body for energy so it does not stay too long in the body to contribute to fat accumulation and weight gain.

You Should Eat Like the French

Take note of the French Paradox. These people eat food literally slathered in butter and cheese but the incidence of heart-related diseases in the country is way lower than that in the United States. Some experts speculate that they balance their great consumption of fatty foods with wine, which is high in resveratrol. Others claim that their diet, which is rich in Vitamin K2, may also be beneficial.

Of course, there are other eating tips which we all can get from the French but this is actually another proof of the fact that butter is not such a bad thing. So don’t hesitate to buy a stick in the market, start cooking with butter as soon as possible and come up with the most delectable and healthy dishes you can think of.


photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

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