Healthy Eating: Choose Butter to Enhance Satisfaction and Control Weight
Yes, you read that right: healthy eating can include butter! In recent decades, butter has been lambasted as unhealthy, heart-stopping food. Don't believe the hype. Besides being tasty and wonderfully filling (remember, the more filling your foods, the less daily calories required to satiate you), butter is a top nutrient source and can be a lifesaver. Here are just some of butter's benefits:
- Contains antioxidants that protect against free radical damage and weakening arteries.
- Provides the most easily-absorbed form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.
- Is a solid source of Vitamins E and K.
- Supplies anti-stiffness resources, which protect against calcification of the joints and prevent hardening of the arteries.
- Contains valuable Omega-3 fatty acids and the vital mineral selenium.
- Contains certain saturated fats that have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
- Contains a rich source of lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
Butter has been a long-time ingredient in the diets of humankind across the world. Written directives on how to make butter appeared in ancient civilizations over 4,000 years ago. Ghee (clarified butter) has been used as a staple food in India for more than 3,000 years. Around 1900, heart disease in America occurred rarely. By the 1960s, heart disease was America's number one killer. During the same time period, butter consumption had markedly decreased - from about eighteen pounds per person per year, to four or less. In the 1950s researcher Ancel Keys was the first to propose that saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet were to blame for coronary heart disease. This was not based on proof; more like a hunch. Many subsequent studies over the years have been unable to prove the history-changing guess that Keys made. Yet anti-saturated fat and anti-butter mania was spawned and has flourished ever since.
As an alternative to butter, America and other countries started to embrace margarine. Margarine is basically an artificial substance used in place of an actual food (butter) after being chemically manufactured from refined, hydrogenated polyunsaturated oils. The process makes these naturally liquid oils into a sort of pseudo-butter. So when you substitute butter with margarine, you are taking a nourishing, natural, classic mainstay of nutrition used throughout the ages and substituting it with a spread pretty much devoid of nutrition and mostly consisting of trans fat.
Not the best substitution. Lose the margarine, forever. Eat real butter instead. Like humankind has done in good health for thousands of years.
Patrick Hafner has been involved in fitness and conditioning for over 30 years. He holds a B.S. in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and has extensive experience as a runner, wrestler, strength-training adviser, judo instructor, and hiker.
Hafner is the author of The Ounces Countdown Weight Loss Approach and Injury
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