Butter is out of detention & back in the good books, well not really, but it's close.
You see, for so many years butter really has had a bad wrap. Past dietary guidelines, from the 1950-70's, recommend avoiding foods high in saturated fat.
So the question is, is butter good for you?
Recent research by Tufts University in the US has revealed that it's not thaaaat bad after all. But before us butter lovers rejoice, the positive findings are based on consuming approx 1 TB a day, so unfortunately we don't get a free pass on eating it by the truck load.
So what are the positive findings? Well the consumption of butter is only very slightly associated with total mortality, not associated with heart disease, and actually reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes.
The study’s lead researcher, Dr Laura Pimpin, said: ‘This suggests that butter may be a “middle-of-the-road” food: a more healthful choice than sugar or starch, such as white bread or potato.
It backs up recent research from the University of Cambridge that found saturated fat in dairy foods might protect against diabetes.
The truth is, not all fats are bad.
Saturated fats, come mainly from animal products, such as butter, cows' milk, meat, salmon and egg yolks, and some plant products such as chocolate and palm oils.
In contrast Trans unsaturated fats or trans fats - are mainly produced industrially from plant oils for use in margarine, snack foods and packaged baked goods.
Sadly, in our frenzy of trying to eliminate all fats from our diet, we got caught out replacing it with unnecessary sugars and refined carbs. Just think of all those labelled products with 'no fat', 'reduced fat' etc that line the supermarket shelves.
Ironically, it turns out that butter is healthier than most of the bread Australian's are spreading it on.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines however still states to limit our intake of saturated fats, saying:
Replace high fat foods which contain predominantly saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with foods which contain predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/pastes and avocado.
The good news is that from this large study, butter isn't shown to be directly linked to heart disease, however there isn't any research to suggest we should eat more of it. So for me, having a balanced diet and some common sense still rings true.
To finish, I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotes of all time by the one and only, Julia Childs:
You are the butter to my bread, and the breath to my life
If you are a lover of butter, take a read of our interview with the Australian king of butter, Pepe Saya here