Butter may be delicious but it doesn’t always have the best reputation in the nutrition department. With its elevated fat content, it is considered to be a contributor to obesity, heart disease, milk allergies, and generally unhealthy habits. Yet butter is rich in flavor, is found in some of the most delicious recipes, and can make everything from proteins to sauces and even vegetables taste better. It is a hard food to do without. Luckily, recent information is showing that using the right kind of butter in the right amounts can actually be good for you.
Not All Butter Is Created Equal
Traditionally made cow’s milk butter is about 80 percent fat and one tablespoon provides a bit more than 100 calories. Believe it or not, the food that a cow is fed affects the nutritional properties of its milk and when cows are primarily fed grass, the fat content in butter is lowered and the quality of that fat increases.
What we know is pretty straightforward. As researchers and dieticians looked at milk from grass-fed cows they noticed that it had a higher amount of unsaturated, healthy fat. It also contained higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids that support heart, brain, eye, and lung function. That’s good news!
Moderation Is Key
As with any other aspect of your diet, moderation is key. Sure, butter tastes great but at 11 grams of fat per tablespoon, it is a good idea to use it sparingly. Consider it this way, a tablespoon of butter isn’t that much in terms of volume, but the spread is so calorie and fat dense that it is equal to calories in six cups of plain microwave popcorn, a baked apple, a blueberry smoothie, and other super nutritious snacks.
Clearly, it is always good to remember to think about your options when considering what you want to eat. At the same time, if you really want to use butter with your snack or meal go for it. It may not be as bad for your diet as you think.