I love butter (who doesn’t?). So I was totally thrilled to learn that it isn’t the health saboteur it was once believed to be. In fact, it actually has an advantage over the much-touted olive oil: in a new study, researchers from Lund University in Sweden discovered that people who ate butter had lower blood fat levels afterwards than they had after consuming the same amount (35 g) of olive oil.
The Swedish researchers aren’t sure why butter had less of a negative effect, but speculate that the body is able to use about 20% of its fat (short and medium-length fatty acids–a.k.a. “good fats”) immediately instead of storing it, so it doesn’t stick around in the bloodstream the way that olive oil appears to.
This isn’t to say you should start throwing butter on everything you eat; like olive oil and all fats, it’s high in calories–about 100 per tablespoon–and the verdict is still out on whether saturated fat can cause cholesterol to skyrocket. But it is reason to have a little without beating yourself up over it.