Many people are surprised when I tell them I have around 40g of butter every morning. Most people respond with 'Urrrgh 'Why would you do that?', or a slap to the face. Bet you are sitting there thinking exactly the same. But why is there this instant reaction, after all butter is just churned cream, where the casein associated with heart disease and diabetes , is removed. Some of the healthiest people on the planet, Tibetans, are reknowned for their butter tea, and have really low incidence of heart disease . The dogma that fat is bad for you is not right. Half the required vitamins for you to work properly are fat soluble, does it not make sense that fat should be a larger part of your diet?
But before you take a big chunk out of that block of butter, please beware fats, and butters for that matter, are NOT created equal I only eat grass fed butter. I normally buy Kerrygold or President, Natoora also sell great quality french butter, aswell as their other produce. These come from cows with their natural diet, so has higher omega 3, conjugated lineoic acids (CLA), vitamins A, D, E and K2.
So why is grass fed better than grain or silage fed :
- Higher Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio
- Grain/silage fed has higher omega 6 content that leads to an inflammatory response
- 3-5 times as much CLA, shown to increase heart health, CLAs are actually sold as a weight loss supplment!
- Greater beta-carotene and vitamin A quantities which is why it looks more yellow
- Higher vitamin K2
- Made from vitamin K1 containing grass in the cow's stomach
- Reduces calcification and incidence of coronary heart disease
- What's most important, TASTES BRILLIANT! Low quality butters are watery and insipid
A study from researchers in France, show the 'nutritional value of butter was also linearly improved by the proportion of fresh grass in the diet by halving the atherogenicity index'
Butter contains 12 different fats, 8 different saturates, and is 30% unsaturated. Butter is actually dominantly oleic acid (28%), the dominant fat in olive oil and the most common fat in plants and animals
Most of my butter comes in the morning in coffee blended together. Coffee is great for the brain and cognition, but having that unadultered hit causes spike in insulin levels and a crash in blood sugar because of this soon after. By blending the coffee with the butter it allows the coffee to be absorbed slower and over and longer length of time, so you don't get the crash and prolong the good effects of coffee. I use Hasbean coffee with an aeropress, great coffee, and cheaper than most other independent roasters.
This is my energy source for the morning and don't need to eat again until later in the afternoon. By taking more calories in I've actually been losing weight, and this is post marathon training.
This is hard for most people to get their head around, but actually the 'calories in calories out' is too oversimplified and doesn't work in reality, hence why most people yoyo on diets. Think about it, is the body going to process 500 calories worth of broccoli the same as 500 calories of doughnut? No. How your body stores food, and your metabolism is more important.
Listen to this BBC4 podcast on butter, featuring the Butter Viking, who you may have heard, he supplies, Noma, Fat Duck, Ben Spalding to name a few.
As a pharmacist I dismay at the amount of misinformation out there, that is actually doing potential harm to people's diets, as there are always those that take it to the extremes. It's a difficult message to try and convey. The attention to detail in the types of fat to take in, but one that I think is throughly worthwhile. Half the vitamins you need to function properly are fat soluble, does this not tell you what part fat has to play in your diet.