So many great foods taste even better with butter on them. But all butter is most certainly not created equal. Many foodies believe that grass-fed butter is far superior, taste-wise, to traditional butter. But is it better for you than traditional butter?
Simply put, grass-fed butter is butter made from the milk of cows that are on a grass diet. Traditional butter is typically made from cows that feed on soy and corn. While butter has a bad reputation, humans were consuming it long before we knew about conditions such as heart disease. There’s a growing amount of scientific evidence that butter – especially grass-fed butter – can actually benefit your overall health.
The Saturated Fat Myth
You might have heard that foods high in saturated fat are bad for you because they can increase your risk for heart disease. But recent research is causing a lot of experts to reconsider their stance.1
Saturated fat can, in fact, help lower the chances that someone will develop heart disease. The reason is that it helps boost the supply of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol.2 Saturated fat, according to studies, can even change the structure of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol in a way that keeps your heart healthy for years down the line.3
Why You Should Consider Grass-Fed Butter
Vitamin K is a very important vitamin found in grass-fed butter. Vitamin K1 is usually found in plant-based foods, while vitamin K2 is in animal-based foods, such as butter.
Vitamin K2 plays a vital role in keeping your arteries from becoming clogged by calcium. While calcium is an important mineral that keeps your bones strong, it can also cause problems. If calcium leaches from your bones and moves into your arteries, your bones can become weaker, and your risk for heart disease may increase.4
Studies show that people who have an ample supply of vitamin K2 are at a 60 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who don’t have enough of the vitamin.5
One of the reasons vitamin K is so good for the body is that it is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means that it easily absorbs into the bloodstream, so you can start receiving the benefits very quickly. An added bonus is that this vitamin helps the blood clot, or coagulate. The “K” stands for “koagulation” (the German spelling of “coagulation”).6
Another reason you should consider adding grass-fed butter to your diet is that it has far fewer pesticides.
Grains such a soy and corn are sprayed with chemicals so that they will grow faster. These grains are then fed to cows in order to help them gain weight. It’s just as important to watch what you eat as it is to pay attention to the food that your food ate. The chemicals that go into the bodies of grain-fed cows may go into your body, as well.7
Additional Reasons Why Grass-Fed Butter is Better
Grass-fed butter is rich in something called butyric acid. And butyric acid helps support heart health by helping reduce the amount of plaque that can accumulate in your arteries.8
Grass-fed butter also contains more omega fatty acids.9 Omega fatty acids help support not only heart health, but brain health, as well. If you don’t get an ample supply of them through your diet, you might be at a higher risk for memory loss, depression, fatigue, and circulatory issues.10
Here are a few more reasons you want to try and get more grass-fed butter into your diet:
In 1934, researchers discovered that butter is rich in something called arachidonic acid.11 This acid helps infants grow and develop properly, and it also gives a boost to the immune system.12
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, plays an important role in helping to reduce your risk for obesity by helping your body store muscle instead of fat.13 A study showed that cows that eat grass produce milk with five times the CLA than cows fed grain-based diets.14
These are the beneficial types of fat that you’ll find in grass-fed butter. They might actually help you shed a few pounds because they produce peptide YY and leptin. These hormones give you a feeling of fullness when you have a meal, helping to keep you from overeating.15 Researchers conducting a study found that if you consume a substantial amount of medium-chain triglycerides, you might have an easier time burning fat.16
Grass-fed butter contains a good amount of vitamin A. This is another fat-soluble vitamin, which means your body can absorb it efficiently. Vitamin A is important for good vision, and it also helps keep your teeth and skeletal tissue strong.17
How to Find Grass-Fed Butter
Thankfully, more people are beginning to learn about the benefits of grass-fed butter. As a result, it’s becoming easier to find. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find it in your local grocery store. If for some reason you can’t, then you’ll likely be able to find grass-fed butter in a nearby natural food store. It might even be available at a farmers market. And FYI: “pasture butter” is the same thing as grass-fed butter.
Other Ways You Can Use Grass-Fed Butter
Butter is great for cooking, but there are a lot of other things you can do with it. For example, if you put a little bit on your knife, you’ll find a lot easier to cut dates, marshmallows, figs, and other sticky foods. And just a couple of teaspoons of butter can help keep boiling water from overflowing a pot!
A light coating of butter on hard cheese will help keep the cheese free of mold. Put some on the edge of the cheese before placing it back in the wrapper and into the fridge. A little butter can also keep an onion you’ve just cut from spoiling.
Finally, if you’re the outdoorsy type, and you like to walk in the woods, remember to bring a little bit of butter on your next hike. It’s great for helping to remove tree sap from skin. There will likely still be some sap stuck to your skin. But once you get back home, you’ll find it a lot easier to get rid of the rest of it off by using soap and water.
Wrapping it Up
Don’t believe the old, tired myths about how butter is evil. As with anything, if you consume too much of it, you could have problems. But as long as you use butter in moderation – especially grass-fed butter – you’ll be surprised at the benefits you’ll receive.