Go ahead, have a little butter

by Camille on February 15, 2010

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.


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pigster February 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

wonder what the results of the study would have been, had it been conducted in, say, southern Italy.

Camille February 15, 2010 at 10:41 pm

That’s an interesting question, but from what I can tell, there’s no evidence of bias in this study. The researchers are also quick to point out the many health benefits of olive oil.

Sarah Jio February 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Well, this makes me feel a lot better about … my caloric, buttery weekend! Thnx! :)

rumpel2 February 17, 2010 at 10:01 am

If you’ve read the Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose, she touts using butter (and cream!!!) over any other kind of fats…so I have been doing this for a few years now. I still use some olive oil now and then though. Oh, and if you’re wondering if I gained any weight…well, no, in fact I have lost some by incorporating her principles roughly in my diet.

Camille February 17, 2010 at 10:21 am

Rumpel2: I had no idea that butter and cream were touted in any raw food regimes. I’ll have to check this book out!

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