I love that as our kids come to HUGE growth spurts, they consume copious amounts of butter. The old me would have cringed at such a thing, but thankfully I’ve read Nourishing Traditions and discovered Weston Price yet, and I know that butter is a nutrient dense superfood. Here are all of the reasons why butter is a superfood and should be eaten LIBERALLY…especially by growing children and mamas who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding.
One stick of butter has 58 grams of saturated fat. This is a good thing! Saturated fats have been demonized by mainstream media, but they are essential for our bodies and especially for growing children. (Read more about why in my blog: The Truth About Fats.)
- There are certain vitamins that are only soluble in fat, and these include vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K. These fat soluble vitamins occur in LARGE amounts ONLY when the butter comes from cows eating green grass. Vitamins A and D are essential for growth, for healthy bones, for proper development of the brain and nervous system, and for sexual development. The absence of butterfat in growing children results in “nutritional castration” because the male and female sexual characteristics fail to be brought out.
- The Wulzen Factor also called the “antistiffness factor” is only found in raw animal fat, protects humans from calcification of the joints (degenerative arthritis), hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
- The Price Factor or Activator X was discovered by Dr. Price and is a powerful catalyst for things like vitamins A and D that help the body absorb and use minerals and can ONLY come from cows eating rapidly growing grass. Dr. Price found that when he gave patients fermented cod liver oil infused with grass-fed butter oil, it practically brought people back from the dead.
- 12-15% of butter contains short- and medium-chain fatty acids that don’t need to be emulsified by bile salts but can be absorbed directly from the small intestine to the liver where it is converted to quick energy. It also has highly protective lauric acid which is only found in large amounts of coconut oil or small amounts of butterfat.
- Four carbon butyric acid is unique to butter and has antifungal and antitumor properties.
- Omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids occur in small but equal amounts in butter.
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) found in butter has anticancer properties, encourages the buildup of muscle, and prevents weight gain, but only when cows are pasture-fed.
- The lecithin in butter helps metabolize and assimilate cholesterol and other fats.
- The cholesterol in butter is needed to produce a variety of steroids that protect against cancer, heart disease, and mental illness.
- Glycosphingolipids are a type of fat in butter that protects against gastrointestinal infections, especially in the young and elderly. For this reason, children who drink skimmed milk have diarrhea at rates three to five times greater than children who drink whole milk.
- Trace minerals are incorporated into the fat globule membrane of butterfat including manganese, zinc, chromium, and iodine
Getting butter from grass-fed cows is by far the best. If you have access to raw milk from grass fed cows, the best thing would be to make your own butter or find a local source that sells it. You might be able to find Organic Valley Pasture Butter in season (May-April) at your local grocery store. Kerrygold is imported from Ireland where the cows spend 10 months out of the year on pasture and you can find it online and/or sometimes at your local grocery store. You can also buy organic butter from the store, but it’s expensive and there is no guarantee that the cows were out to pasture.
Sometimes buying healthy food happens in layers and if you’re not to the point of buying expensive butter (I’m not…yet), then know that eating store bought butter isn’t so bad (but you are missing out on some of the amazing health properties). Any hormones or antibiotics that are given to the cows do not get stored in the butterfat, so that’s good at least. Fat soluble poisons such as DDT do accumulate in fats, however. For what it’s worth, we purchase our butter in bulk from Country Life Dairy for $2.75/pound. It is free from rBST bovine growth hormone which makes cows produce an unnatural amount of milk which leads to mastitis, over-use of antibiotics, and a host of other problems. It is actually banned in Canada and European countries.
So now that you know how good butter is, the next question should be: How can I find ways to eat as much butter as possible? My sister recently heard Sally Fallon speak at a conference and she said that vegetables were mostly important because they make excellent vehicles for consuming butter! Personally, I like to lightly steam a head of broccoli, douse it with about a half stick of butter, and then sprinkle it generously with Real Salt. I also like to make organic air popped corn, melt an entire stick of butter to pour over the top, and sprinkle generously with Real Salt for family movie night. Sally Fallon also mentioned that if you are going to have a piece of bread and butter, you should be able to see teeth marks in the butter!
I have started to become creative with how I incorporate butter into our daily lives. I really enjoy my latest idea of melting huge dollops of butter on top of freshly cooked pastured eggs. And even though it is made with sugar, which we all know is the damned devil, I still really enjoy eating cookie dough made with freshly ground grain, two whole sticks of butter, and raw pastured eggs. Mmmmmmm…all this talk about butter is making me hungry! Time for a snack!
For additional reading, check out these articles:
- Why Butter is Better from the Weston Price website
- Nutrients in Butter from the Weston Price website
- Why is Butter Better by Dr. Mercola