The following article was obtained from the Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada – Building Immunity, One Meal at a Time.

Why Butter is Better

This research comes from a body of educators who access university studies in lipids from around the world. Condensed through a non-profit organization called the Weston A. Price Foundation and their 40,000 members comprised of scientists and educators and families do likewise. Dr. Price was born in Ontario in 1870. His research continues to serve the scientific community in the field of nutrition similarly to Isaac Newton in the field of physics. Dr. Price published his work, The Cause of All Degenerative Disease, in 1934 after traveling the world to investigate the diets of at least a dozen tribes of people who possessed perfectly white straight teeth, totally free of cavities. He died in Cleveland, Ohio in 1945. In 1999, Sally Fallon, a research author born in the same hospital the same day that Dr. Price died, founded this organization in Washington, D.C. The WAPF group provides a reliable resource of nutrition information and a strong voice against imitation foods. It does not receive funding from any government agency, nor form the meat and diary industries. It campaigns for the return to healthy traditional fats, and provides shopping lists for public access to organic farms that provide unprocessed whole milk products from pasture-fed animals.

VITAMINS: Butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A needed for a wide range of functions from maintain good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape. Butter also contains all the other fat-soluble vitamins D3, E and K2, which are often lacking the modern industrial diet.

MINERALS: Butter is rich in important trace minerals including manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium (a powerful antioxidant). Butter provides more selenium per gram than wheat germ or herring. Butter can be an excellent source of iodine – if iodine is in the soils of the grass the cow eats.

FATTY ACIDS: Butter provides appreciable amounts of short and medium chain fatty acids, which support immune function, boost metabolism and have anti-microbial properties, that is, they fight against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract. Butter also provides the perfect balance of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids. Arachidonic acid in butter is important for brain function and prostaglandin balance.

CLA: When butter is orange, as happens when it comes from cows eating green grass, it contains high levels of conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) a compound that gives excellent protection against cancer and also helps the body build muscle rather than store fat.

GLYCOSPINGOLIPIDS: These are special categories of fatty acids that protect against gastro-intestinal infections, especially in the very young and the elderly. Children given reduced fat milks have higher rates of diarrhea than those who drink whole milk.

CHOLESTEROL: Despite all the misinformation you may have heard, cholesterol is needed to maintain intestinal health and for brain and nervous system development in the young.

WULZEN FACTOR: A hormone-like substance that prevents arthritis and joint stiffness, ensuring that calcium in the body is put into the bones rather than into the joints and other tissues. The Wulzen factor is present only in raw butter and cream; it is destroyed by pasteurization.

Butter and Your Health

HEART DISEASE: Butter contains many nutrients that protect against heart disease, including natural vitamins A, D and E, and lecithin, selenium and possibly iodine when soils are near the ocean. A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine.

CANCER: The short and medium chained fatty acids in butter have strong anti-tumor effects. CLA in orange butter from grass-fed cows also gives excellent protection against cancer.

ARTHRITIS: The Wulzen or “anti-stiffness” factor in raw butter protects against calcification of the joints as well as hardening of the arteries, cataracts and calcification of the pineal gland. Calves fed pasteurized milk or skimmed milk developed joint stiffness and did not thrive. Their symptoms are reversed when fed raw butterfat.

OSTEOPOROSIS: Vitamins A and D in butter are essential to the proper absorption of protein and calcium and hence necessary for strong bones and teeth.

THYROID HEALTH: Butter can be a good source of iodine in a highly absorbable form. Butter consumption prevents goiter in mountainous areas where seafood is not available. In addition, vitamin A in butter is essential to proper functioning of the thyroid.

DIGESTION: Glycospingolipids in butterfat protect against gastrointestinal infection, especially in the very young and the elderly.

OVERWEIGHT; CLA and short-and medium-chained fatty acids (C-4, C-6) in butter help control weight gain.

GROWTH DEVELOPMENT: Many factors in butter ensure optimal growth in children, especially iodine and Vitamin A and D. Low fat diets have been linked to failure to thrive in children – yet low fat diets are often recommended to children!

FERTILITY: Many nutrients contained in butter are needed for fertility and normal reproduction.

Bad Things in Margarine, Shortenings and Spreads

TRANS FATS: These unnatural fats in margarine, shortenings, and spreads are formed during the process of partial hydrogenation, or refractionation, as in the case of Becel margarine, which turns liquid vegetable oils to into solid fat. Trans fats contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy, and problems with lactation, and low birth weight, growth problems and learning disabilities in children. Recently, a US government panel of scientists determined that man-made trans fats are unsafe at any level. (Small amounts of natural trans fats occur in butter and other animal fats but are not harmful.)

FREE RADICALS: Free radicals and other toxic breakdown products are the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease.

SYNTHETIC VITAMINS: Synthetic vitamin A and D (2) are added to margarines and spreads. Most vegetable shortening is stabilized with preservatives like BHT.

HEXANE and OTHER SOLVENTS: Used in the extraction process, these industrial chemicals are highly carcinogenic.

BLEACH: The natural color of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is gray. So manufacturers bleach it to make it white, and chlorine in bleach is known to cause heart disease and cancer. Yellow coloring is then added to margarine and spreads.

ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS: These help mask the terrible taste and odor of partially hydrogenated oils, and provides a fake butter taste.

Lori Nichols Davies
Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada
260 Napoleon Street
Carleton Place, ON K7C 2W9