January 23, 2010

Is Butter Good for You? Yes.

Is butter good for you? Butter's got a lot of bad press in the past, but was that all wrong? Maybe so.

First of all, let's consider butter in all its forms. Basically, butter is cream after you've churned it for awhile. Churned meaning stirred steadily, kept it moving. You've seen those old butter churns in the antique shops. Usually, this cream is from a cow.

Types of Butter

After that, there are different types of butter. Organic butter leaves it at that: churn the cream, you're done. Organic butter also uses cream from cows that have been fed carefully, i.e., organic cream is the basis.  Sometimes, buttermakers add yellow food coloring to the butter.

Sometimes, they add salt - salted butter was necessary long ago, to keep the butter from spoiling. European-style butter is regular butter, but a live culture is added to the cream before it's churned.  This not only makes it friendlier to sensitive digestive systems, it makes the butter sweeter, too.  Used a lot in baking.  The most popular type of butter in the United States is unsweetened, unsalted, uncultured butter -- sometimes labelled "sweet cream butter," it's the basic stuff.  Whipped butter has had nitrogen added to it, so that it's texture is altered and it is easier to spread. 

Butter is Fatty - But That's Not All

A couple of years back, butter got a bad reputation for having lots of those evil trans-fats in it.  That's true, pound for pound, if you compare butter to red meat.  But no one eats that much butter in one setting, and one tablespoon of butter has a scant .39 grams of trans-fat in it. 

Meanwhile, butter also carries with it lots of very good thingsButter is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin E and selenium.  It also contains lecithin and several anti-oxidants, and components of real butter have anti-cancer properties. 

So go ahead, have that butter on your toast.  It's good for you.  


Anonymous said...

I feel great when I eat butter. I get cultured that has only saturated fat. So many vital processes within the body depend upon a steady supply of fats, and saturated is one of them.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for writing! You know, Anon, while I do like to eat healthy - as you do, obviously - I must admit that I'm also really happy that not only is butter good for us, but it tastes great.


Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Mercola has a good article that discusses how butter is good for us (especially when compared to margarine) -


Anonymous said...

Livestrong also agrees that butter (organic) is good for you:


If it's good enough for Lance, it's good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Butter does not have trans-fat, what the hell is this article?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anon,

Butter does have trans fat. It occurs naturally in butter, and the links included in the post provide the support for statements made. For example, the .39 grams of trans fat in one tablespoon of butter referenced in the post comes from Fran McCullough who wrote the book entitled Good Fat, published by Simon and Schuster in 2004.

You can read about her book here:

For more info -

New York Times article comparing various sources of trans fat:


National dairy describing butter as having trans-fat in it naturally:


... there's lots more out there, searching Google Everything or Google Scholar, but I'm not going to add more links here.

Thanks for writing,

Anonymous said...

More research studies on butter being good for you (organic butter):


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