(NaturalNews) Butter has gotten a bad reputation in the health world for being high in saturated fat, which supposedly causes heart disease. Butter consumption in the United States has plummeted as a result of health experts' butter condemnation. This is unfortunate, as butter is a bona fide health food due to its high vitamin content, butyrate levels, and abundant conjugated linoleic acid.
The doctor who wants to ban butter
Not everyone believes that butter is a health food though. Dr. Shyam Kolvekar is so adamantly against butter consumption that he believes the food should be banned. Dr. Kolvekar is quoted as saying, "By banning butter and replacing it with a healthy spread the average daily fat intake would be reduced by eight grams. People should also avoid any foods that are solid at room temperature like cheese and red meat."
Dr. Kolvekar is misguided on multiple fronts, starting with the assertion that foods that are solid at room temperature are unhealthy. By this logic locally grown, organic broccoli would be unhealthy. Does he intend for us to drink all of our food?
Kolvekar is also misinformed about fat being harmful. Most health experts have realized that not all fats are unhealthy, but the majority still vilifies saturated fat as a nasty, disease causing nutrient.
Saturated fat is looked down upon mainly because of the work of Ancel Keys, a doctor who published influential fat-loathing work starting in the 1950s. Keys found correlations between fat and animal fat intake and heart disease in several countries and became famous for pointing those correlations out. However, correlations between fat and animal fat intake and heart disease did not exist in several other countries using data that was available when Keys vilified the macronutrient.
Besides his false belief that solid foods and saturated can be healthy, Dr. Kolvekar also fails to understand that butter actually has a lot to offer from a nutritional standpoint.
Butter's many health benefits
Butter contains significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K2 as well as butyrate and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The importance of sufficient vitamin levels are well stated and accepted in mainstream health circles, but the importance of butyrate and CLA are not as well known.
In various studies, butyrate has been shown to protect against mental illness, improve body composition and increase energy expenditure, decrease intestinal leakage, and reduce inflammation. CLA is important too, being associated with increased heart health, reduced tumor growth, decreased stomach fat, and increased fat loss in overweight subjects.
Not all butter is equally beneficial though; grass-fed butter contains superior health benefits. This is because grass-fed butter has higher vitamin and antioxidant levels, higher CLA levels, and a higher omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio.
Dr. Kolvekar advises against eating butter despite its extensive health benefits. Don't be fooled, butter should not be banned.
About the author: Ben Hirshberg is a 21 year old student, author, and entrepreneur who studies the art of living well. Born and bred in Seattle, WA, Ben likes to read, cook, run, travel, and throw convivial parties. Ben has PFT, FNS, and YES certifications through WITS and NASM and is in the process of becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and achieving board certification in Holistic Nutrition by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. He also writes regular columns for Paleo Magazine and is hoping to release several books in 2014.
You can get his book A Simple Guide to Mindful and Intuitive Eating for FREE at www.BenHirshberg.com