What’s so good about butter?

Apart from the fact that good butter is delicious, research has shown that eating a little butter also has plenty of health benefits.

I eat a little butter most days: melted on vegetables and I use it in soups + when I make risotto.

What’s so good about butter?

Butter may contain saturated fat, but it has plenty of natural goodness.

Research (see notes) reveals that butter made from cows’ milk contains unique acids that protect the body against viral illness, fight tumours and guard the gut from pathogenic bacteria and the negative effects of microbes and yeasts.

Butter is also rich in vitamins A and D, which help the absorption of calcium, benefiting bones and teeth.

Surely butter is fattening?

Not necessarily. Evidence is emerging that eating a little butter helps with weight loss.

The short- and medium-chain fatty acids (such as butyric and lauric acid) contained in butter are used rapidly for energy; faster than those in other oils, including olive oil.

This means that the same calories from butter are more rapidly burned than those in long-chain fatty acids as found in corn or olive oil. The medium-chain lauric acid in butter actually raises metabolism.

Butter & Weight Gain

The notion that butter causes weight gain is a sad misconception. The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter are not stored in the adipose tissue, but are used for quick energy. Fat tissue in humans is composed mainly of longer chain fatty acids. These come from olive oil and polyunsaturated oils as well as from refined carbohydrates.

Because butter is rich in nutrients, it confers a feeling of satisfaction when consumed. Can it be that consumption of margarine and other butter substitutes results in cravings and bingeing because these highly fabricated products don’t give the body what it needs?


Dr Mary G Enig, a US-based nutritional scientist and biochemist has studied fats for more than 30 years

Levels of linoleic acid in adipose tissues reflect the amount of linoleic acid in the diet. Valero, et al Annals of Nutritional Metabolism, Nov/Dec 1990 34:6:323-327; Felton, CV et al, Lancet 1994 344:1195-96


2 responses to “What’s so good about butter?

  1. good evening Monique, I have sent by post to you interesting article from today’s FARMERS WEEKLY all about local food hub for London and about increasing the supply of produce from the SE of England to supply London’s needs. Great stuff.

    Now I am mobile I will enjoy visiting some of our local producers and farm shops around Surrey and West Sussex.

    love from Sarahx

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for the article! I have been saying for years that seasonal + local is more important than organic. So it’s great to read that the Bidwells + HGCA research bears out that this is echoed by consumers’ buying behaviour. Hopefully, foodhubs + food street markets will bring more buyers + sellers together. Monique

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