I love butter, I do. My dear father doesn’t like the stuff – or at least, he tried to pretend his whole life that he hated it – in fact, he was really just very health conscious and had been told (as we all were) that butter is a “bad fat” and should be avoided.
Subsequently, I (along with many of my peers) grew up with a vast knowledge of things to replace butter.
Things that replace butter
- Cream cheese (always low fat)
- Olive oil
- Olive oil spray
- Margarines and nut butters (the fancy ones)
Sigh – I now know the folly of all this. For the record, spreading cream cheese on your toast instead of butter is not a great way to “save calories” I think. Usually, you just end up spreading 3 times the amount of cream cheese that you would butter. Same goes for avocado.
Butter is the new diet food
Yup, there are now many reports online that we should be eating more, not less, butter. One awesome blog I found tells the story of Greg. “A New York Lawyer named Greg decided to run an experiment. He started eating a half stick (56 grams) of butter a day to lower his cholesterol,” says the Bulletproof Blog.
“He was careful and precise with his methods, and even conducted a small statistical analysis of the results.” In fact, he lowered his “bad” cholesterol and his “good” cholesterol went up. Nifty!
Not everyone thinks that butter is a health food
Not everyone is sold on butter. A popular health and nutrition expert here in Australia, Rosemary Stanton, says that she is not sold on the idea of butter as a health food. For an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, she says, “”Saturated fat has not turned into a saint. It’s just that the studies that have concluded that reducing saturated fat doesn’t stop heart disease haven’t looked at what people are eating instead of saturated fat,” she explains.
However, Rosemary is not totally against including a bit of butter into an otherwise stable diet. “I eat a little butter not because I think it has any health benefits but because I like it and I think that in the context of an otherwise healthy diet that’s fine,” she says.
But what exactly is butter?
According to Wikipedia, “Butter is a dairy product that consists of butterfat, milk proteins, and water. It is made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk.”
The site goes on to say, “Butter may play a useful role in dieting by providing satiety. A small amount added to low fat foods such as vegetables may ward off feelings of hunger.
How butter works in the body
Some websites say that butter is a very good thing for the system. According to Keeper of the Home, “More than half of the brain consists of saturated fat and cholesterol, and these fats also comprise a large part of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibres and ensures proper message relaying between the brain and nervous system.”
They also say, “Saturated fats are actually GOOD for hearth health, and lower a substance called Lp(a), while increasing good cholesterol (HDL).”
Another great site I found also supports the theory that butter helps with satiety, that it helps to keep us fuller for longer and makes food more satisfying. “Counter-intuitive though it might seem, there’s no evidence that fat is fattening. Indeed by sating the appetite effectively, it may prevent overeating,” says an article from The Guardian.
“What’s certain,” they say, “ is that saturated fat is a key component of our cell membranes, and essential for the production of certain hormones. It also acts as a carrier for important vitamins, and is vital for mineral absorption.”
How to incorporate butter into an otherwise healthy diet
This blogger, Diabetes Warrior, ate:
“For 5 days in a row. Each day I ate a stick of butter which is 4 oz or 1/4 lb of butter. I like saying 1/4 lb… sounds more ‘substantial’. I did not gain nor lose weight for the week. I ate approximately the same amount of food … I could easily wait until 1 or 2pm each day for lunch.”
Personally, I just love butter on white bread, topped with some ham. My favourite brand is Lurpak butter. They say it’s Danish.
Why not try some delicious herbed garlic bread? Use these ingredients and simply slice the baguette and bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes, wrapped in aluminium foil.
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), at room temperature
- 2 garlic cloves, made to a paste. Use a pinch of salt and some cold-pressed olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped marjoram leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 loaf crusty baguette
- Cold-pressed olive oil
Try this great recipe from the Lurpak site: Salmon En Croute with Salsa Verde. It’s basically a wrapped salmon parcel, baked and smothered in a green salsa. Yum!
You can’t beat a good butter cake, or in fact, you should! Beating your cake by hand will make it extra light and fluffy!
According to Wikipedia: “Butter cakes are traditionally made using a creaming method, in which the butter and sugar are first beaten until fluffy to incorporate air into the butter. Eggs are then added gradually, creating an emulsion, followed by alternating portions of wet and dry ingredients.”
If you’re looking for a good recipe, head to this Butter Cake site here.
“I shouldn’t think even millionaires could eat anything nicer than new bread and real butter and honey for tea.” ― Dodie Smith, Capture the Castle
What are your favourite ways to eat butter? Please tell me!