Is Butter Healthy? : A Buttery Journey Through The A-Z Of Butter

You may have heard many myths about butter, like butter contains a lot of cholesterol and fats, causing many health complications. Many people think butter is a source of obesity and heart strokes, as it contains fats and cholesterol. But, are all these concepts true? 

So, one may ask, is butter healthy?

Yes, butter is good for health. It contains many essential nutrients including fat, calories, and vitamins including vitamin A, B (vitamin B12), E, and K, as needed by the body. Some amounts of trace minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium are also present in butter. The cholesterol present in butter cannot cause any harm if you are taking butter in a moderate amount.

Let’s learn more about it.

Is Butter Healthy? What Are The Health Benefits of Butter?

Butter can cause many health benefits due to its composition. Now, butter is available in many packaging under different brands. These brands are using different additives or preservatives in the butter for its storage, which may affect its health effects. So, you should try to use organic butter, which has much more benefits as compared to manufactured ones. All the benefits of butter are described below:

health benefits of butter Infographic

Prevents Heart Strokes

Many people think that the consumption of butter can cause the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels, creating a blockage due to cholesterol present in it and causing a heart stroke. So, is butter bad for your heart? To understand this, we have to confess that if high amounts of cholesterol are damaging, in the same way, low amounts of cholesterol are also a reason for the metabolic disturbance.

Cholesterol is needed by our body for its proper functioning in a limited amount. If you consume butter with limitations, it will not cause any stroke to the heart. In fact, a moderate amount of butter can prevent heart strokes. Butter contains in it , which works by preventing the accumulation of any kind of plaque in arteries, mainly preventing the accumulation of calcified accumulations.

is-butter-healthy

So, how does butter vitamin K2 work?

Vitamin K2 works mainly by adhering the calcium to its required position. It actually activates a protein named osteocalcin which adheres the calcium with other minerals within the bone. Another protein named matrix Gla protein works by preventing the accumulation of calcium in the arteries. It is also activated by vitamin K2, thus preventing the accumulation of plaques in blood vessels.

So, you can say, if butter is consumed in a monitored amount, it can prevent us from heart stroke rather than causing it.

Boost Immunity

Butter contains in it, omega 3 fatty acids, that can boost your immunity. Studies have shown that omega 3 can improve the functioning of B lymphocytes or B cells, helping them to fight more proficiently against pathogens. Antibodies are formed by B lymphocytes, which are responsible for humoral immunity. Immune cells create antibodies that recognize an infection. When the pathogen is re-exposed, the antibodies are ready to act.

how-to-boost-immunity

Further, omega 3 fatty acids are primarily involved in the reduction of inflammation. It also enhanced the functioning of the macrophages by producing cytokines, chemical compounds that immune cells secrete, including interferon, interleukin, and growth factors during infection, helping all fighting cells to communicate and accumulate in the infected area.

Energy Source

Butter is a good source of energy as it contains a considerable amount of calories and fats in it. The percentage of fat in butter is about 80 percent of its total composition. And 100 grams of butter contains 717 calories in it. A physically active man can get enough energy from butter. Butter should be used in moderation if you are not physically active.

Skeletal Health

Butter contains vitamin D and calcium in it. Both of them play a role in making the skeleton stronger. Calcium is the main component of the bony skeletal system as well as teeth. And vitamin D works by promoting the absorption of calcium in bones. Hence, both butter components strengthen and promote faster healing of the skeletal system

Prevent Cancer

Butter contains some antioxidants in it. These antioxidants can prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are actually the main reason for cancer in the body. These free radicals can be produced by some toxic substance inhaled by a person due to air pollution or by direct contact with UV rays coming from the sun. Whatever is the source of free radicals, they are a cause of cancer. Antioxidants present in butter prevent these free radicals from causing further harm.

A powerful substance found in butter, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), has been proven to prevent cancer. As a powerful inhibitor against the development of cancer cells, CLA boosts immunity and eliminates toxins in the body.

Improves Nutritional Absorption

Recent researches show that butter contains some specific substances in it that help the nutrients, including vitamins and all trace minerals, to absorb efficiently in the blood from the small intestine. In this way, the body is able to work efficiently.

Prevent Night Blindness

Vitamin A present in butter can prevent as well as cure the disorder named night blindness. Vitamin A is needed by the body to make pigments in the eye, to nourish the cornea and other parts of the eye, and to moisturize the surface of the eye preventing friction production. So, its deficiency can cause night blindness in a person. Vitamin A in butter can reduce the risk factor of night blindness.

Thyroid Functioning

There is a lot of vitamin A in butter, which can encourage thyroid function by regulating hormones. Several studies have shown that vitamin A affects thyroid hormone metabolism and inhibits thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) production by regulating TSH gene expression.

thyroid-gland

Healthy Skin

Butter contains vitamin E that plays a healthy role in maintaining the good complexion of the skin. It prevents our skin from the UV rays of the sun and acts as an antioxidant. It can even prevent skin cancer. Vitamin E has skin-soothing abilities as it can act as a skin healer and can also be used to remove the wrinkles of the skin.

Butter Versus Margarine

Margarine is a spread that is obtained from the oils and can be used as an alternative to butter. Many people do not use butter because of the greater amount of high saturated fat in the butter. They use margarine as an alternative. Margarine is usually made from oils, thus it contains unsaturated fat that may be mono or polyunsaturated in nature. So, it does not cause any rise in bad cholesterol in our bodies.

margarine

But the above mention of margarine is not always true. Sometimes, it contains trans fat in it, added to it during its manufacturing. The trans fat, after entering the body, causes a rise in bad cholesterol levels and decreases the good cholesterol level. Regular use of this margarine can cause heart strokes due to the accumulation of cholesterol.

Nutritional Value of Butter

One tablespoon of butter or 14.2 grams of butter contains in it:

  • About 11.5 grams of fat, including 7.2 grams of saturated fat, 3.3 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids, and 0.4 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids. You can notice here, saturated fats are present in large quantities.
  • 102 calories 
  • 30.5 mg of cholesterol
  • No carbohydrates at all
  • 97.1 micrograms of vitamin A.
  • 30.5 to 31 mg of cholesterol
  • 3.4 mg of calcium
  • 3 mg of potassium and 3 mg of sodium.

Fat contains about 80 percent of the total composition of butter.

FAQs

Question: Is peanut butter healthy?

Answer: Yes, peanut butter is good for health as it contains many important nutrients including fats, carbohydrates, proteins, calories, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin B3 and fibers in it. It can reduce the risk of diabetes as the oleic acid is present in it and reduces insulin resistance in the body. It can also prevent cancer in the body. Besides its nutritional value, sometimes it contains trans fat that can increase the cholesterol level in the body. So, regular use of it can cause serious disorders.

Question: What are the healthiest substitutes for butter?

Answer: You can substitute butter with coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, applesauce,  Greek butter, nut butter, and mashed bananas can be used as alternatives to butter. Some people avoid the use of butter because of the high amount of saturated fats in it. Sometimes, milk allergy and lactose intolerance is also a reason for the substitution of butter.

Question: Can margarine act as a butter alternative?

Answer: Many people prefer margarine to butter and think it is a better option. But it is not always true. It is a highly processed spread, and trans fats are added to it during processing. This fat causes an increase in cholesterol in the body. Further, it does not give a taste like that of butter during baking.

Conclusion:

So, in response to the question, is butter healthy? You can simply say yes. Butter contains essential nutrients that prevent the human body from heart strokes, cancer, thyroid disorders, skin and immunity problems, night blindness and improves the absorption of nutrients in the blood. But more use of butter can cause high cholesterol levels in the blood causing heart strokes, arteriosclerosis, and many other complications.

Dr Hafeez Arshad

Dr Hafeez Arshad

This is Dr. Hafeez. I have done my M.Phil in Pharmacology. I am a healthcare professional. My core competencies focus on writing different types of research articles/blogs regarding health sciences.

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