Is Butter Better for Your Health?

Certain quantities of butter may not increase your risk of heart disease or diabetes.
Certain quantities of butter may not increase your risk of heart disease or diabetes.

PLAINVIEW, NY – A recent Tufts University study looking at butter and its impact on someone’s risk of getting several diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, showed that butter does not seem to raise the likelihood of acquiring these ailments.

“This study shows that the normal co-morbidities that occur in human beings was no more progressed in people that consume one to three tablespoons of butter a day than people who do not,” says Eric Sieden, director of food and nutrition services at Glen Cove, Syosset and Plainview hospitals. “For decades prior, butter was seen and even marketed as a better choice over the margarines that were on the market that had used hydrogenated oils which, when processed, created harmful trans fatty acids which raised LDL or bad cholesterol levels.”

But that isn’t cause for people to start liberally spreading more butter on their food because it can increase the amount of saturated fat a person consumes, Mr. Sieden says. Saturated fats can raise a person’s cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association.

“It should be noted that a saturated fat is a saturated fat and butter has seven grams of it in one 0.5 oz serving, which is only a tablespoon,” Mr. Sieden says. “The American Heart Association recommends 13 total grams of saturated fat a day based on a 2,000 calorie diet.  If you were to throw in other dairy and meat products consumed throughout the day in addition to a serving of butter, you are running the risk of consuming more saturated fats than the daily recommendation… Balance is the key.”

The take home message: “This study basically proves what we’ve known all along -- that any food consumed in moderation can be tolerated without much harm to the body.”

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