Utterly Butterly Healthy
Most diet plans and nutritionists will tell you that butter is a definite no-no for anyone who wants to lose weight. So this will come as a surprise – butter may have slimming benefits. But before we go into the details, here’s something to think about first. Heart disease rose to become the number one killer in the US between the 1920s and 1960s, about the same time that butter consumption fell from an average 18 pounds per person per year to 4.
Though butter would have to be eliminated as the culprit, it was still tainted as the villain contributing to heart disease, obesity and diabetes, three of America’s biggest health concerns today. So was it pure coincidence that margarine manufacturers had stepped in to convince the gullible public that they had found a healthy substitute for butter? Could margarine have been the unlikely culprit?
Butter provides your body with essential fatty acids, it keeps your hormones in balance, it is good for the heart, it sharpens vision, and it keeps skin moist. So when you eliminate butter from your diet, you are also harming your health. Butter, used in ancient cultures as an offering to the gods, is a natural food – organic, raw butter is the best form of butter. Cultured raw butter, made from fermented cream, is even healthier.
Margarine, on the other hand, is a processed or ‘plastic-like’ food, made chemically from refined polyunsaturated oils and hydrogenated to make it viscous.
Here are 10 reasons why organic, raw butter constitutes a healthy addition to your diet:
- It helps the body absorb Vitamin A which is needed for thyroid and adrenal health
- It contains lecithin, which helps metabolize cholesterol
- It contains anti-oxidants which guard against free radicals
- It strengthens the immune system
- It is a great source of Vitamins E and K
- It is a rich source of selenium, a vital mineral
- Its saturated fats guard against tumors and cancer
- Vitamin D in butter is essential to calcium absorption
- It is a rich source of iodine
- It guards against gastrointestinal infections
What is wrong with factory-made butter? Factory-made butter is made from pasteurized milk or cream and is nutritionally deficient. Pasteurization is a process that uses heat to kill harmful bacteria and other organisms. However, it also destroys the ‘good’ bacteria; it destroys active enzymes, reduces vitamin content, and denatures fragile milk proteins.
But where can you get raw butter? The sale of raw butter is prohibited in the US but it is easy to make at home.
It’s All in the Oil
Here’s something else that will surprise you. Just like raw butter, coconut oil is not only healthy, it also has slimming properties. If you’re looking to lose weight, you’re looking for organic, unrefined, extra-virgin coconut oil. Unlike refined oils, virgin coconut oil contains unrefined essential fatty acids (except Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which you can get from other sources) that have several health and powerful slimming benefits.
Most of the oil we use to cook our food with is refined oil. To increase shelf life, manufacturers remove the fatty acids – and with that, its main nutrients – from the oil. In fact, a lot of the ‘healthy’ oils in health food stores lack essential fatty acids (EFAs) and are nutritionally deficient.
The average adult can safely consume about 3.5 tablespoons of coconut oil per day in their diet without the risk of putting on weight. But start slow and gradually increase the quantity you consume.
Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, which are easy to digest and therefore speed up metabolism. On the other hand, long-chain fatty acids (in polyunsaturated oils) take longer to break down and are easily stored as fat in the body. Some studies even indicate that medium-chain fatty acids also burn fat stored in the body.
Here is how coconut oil can help you lose weight. This virgin oil slows digestion and keeps you feeling full for a longer time. This discourages snacking. Carbohydrates cooked in coconut oil take longer to be broken down and digested and hence blood glucose or blood sugar levels tend to remain stable and not fluctuate, precipitating further hunger.
Virgin coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a medium-chain EFA. Lauric acid is a good anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-yeast agent, and kills all major strains of Candida albicans. Lauric acid also reduces carbohydrate cravings.
Coconut oil is also a wonderful detoxification agent. It cleanses the body of toxins, keeps the digestive tract healthy, and nourishes the cells in your body. All of this is essential on the road to restoring your body’s optimal weight.
Detoxifying the body with coconut oil is important to weight loss because it dissolves and removes toxins trapped in fatty deposits, and this reduces the need for fat accumulation. Remember, fat accumulates as a survival mechanism to store toxins surrounded by fatty tissue.
This could also explain why coconut oil helps to build lean muscle, and is preferred by Olympic athletes, body builders and personal trainers.
‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Oils
Understanding fats and oils is a complicated subject, or so the food industry would have you believe. Thanks to propaganda by food and oil manufacturers, we are brainwashed into believing that saturated fats are bad and unsaturated fats are good.
This is not true. There are just as many saturated fats that are healthy for your body as there are unhealthy unsaturated fats. The only factor that determines whether a fat is good or bad for your health is whether it is present in its natural form or is engineered or ‘refined’.
When margarine and other refined and hydrogenated products were introduced into the US food market, commonly used coconut oil, flax oils and fish oils disappeared from the shelves of America’s grocery stores.
The campaign by the emerging food industry against natural oils and beneficial fatssuch as coconut oil was fuelled by massive media disinformation that blamed saturated fats for the wave of heart attacks that suddenly began to scare the American population.
For 30 or more years, coconut oil and other healthy oils vanished off the shelves of grocery stores before they made a recent comeback in health food stores. They were replaced by cheap junk oils, including soy oil, cottonseed oil and rapeseed oil (sold as Canola oil). These refined oils are responsible for severe gastrointestinal disturbances including acid reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome Crohn’s disease, constipation, and colon cancer.
Healthy oil is needed to keep the body’s trillions of cells healthy and functioning properly. Their plasma membrane, an active player in glucose absorption, needs to contain a complement of cis type w=3 unsaturated fatty acids. This makes cell membranes fluid, allowing them to easily absorb glucose molecules for energy generation. This, in turn, balances blood sugar levels.
By regularly eating fats and oils that are heat-treated (in contrast with natural expeller-pressed oils and untreated fats), cell membranes begin to lose their healthy fatty acids and replace them with harmful trans-fatty acids. As a result, the cell membranes become thicker, stiffer and stickier, and inhibit the glucose transport mechanism, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels.
This sets off a chain reaction, affecting several organs and systems. To deal with the high blood sugar, the pancreas releases extra insulin, which can lead to inflammation throughout the body. The liver tries to convert some of the excess sugar into fat, stored by adipose cells. This can make the body fat. To get rid of the rest of the sugar in the blood, the urinary system goes into overdrive. Eventually, the body enters a condition of chronic exhaustion due to the lack of cellular energy. The adrenal glands respond by pumping extra quantities of stress hormones into the blood, creating mood swings, anxiety and depression. The endocrine glands also malfunction. Overtaxed by the constant demand for extra insulin, the pancreas fails to produce enough. Body weight may increase a little more each day. The heart and lungs become congested and fail to deliver oxygen to all the cells in the body, including the brain.
Practically every organ and system in the body is affected by this simple dietary mistake.