Health buzz over butter got sizzling after the March 2014 release of a controversial meta-analysis study by Chowhury, Kunutsor, Crowe, et.al. who concluded that current evidence did not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.
Writers were quick to comment on this hot topic; I remember the June 2014 Time Magazine's cover featuring a big fat swirl of real butter. I actually saved that issue and have a copy as a souvenir.
Just last year a meta-analysis study by Harcombe, Baker, Cooper et.al. informed the public that the US National Dietary Guidelines to consume low fat foods to prevent cardiovascular disease did not have enough RCT evidence to support that claim. Say what? ...not enough randomized controlled trials?!? And, the studies didn't include any women! As a dietitian, I find that shocking.
So while healthcare leaders decide what future recommendations will be with regard to saturated fats, here's the deal on butter: One tablespoon (14g) of butter contains 11g total fat (17% DV) with 7g of saturated fat (36% DV - very high) and 100 calories. Saturated fats have been shown to increase bad LDL cholesterol. The saturated fat in butter also increases the good HDL cholesterol. What do you think? Eat it or not? Vegans of course won't because it's from an animal. What if you're not vegan?
Best advice is to Savor the Flavor (this year's NNM theme) and focus on the quality of your overall food choices and be mindful of excess calories and saturated fat consumption. For disease prevention, or if you have heart disease or high cholesterol, it makes sense to limit foods like butter.
Enjoy butter in moderation; especially in recipes that require making a roux for thickening. Butter is a good source of butyrate, hence the origin of the name.
Crab Imperial recipe coming next - just have to type it up!
Is Butter Really Back?
Butter is Back
Meta-analysis study by Chowhury, Kunutsor, Crowe et.al.
Saturated Fat: Not so Bad or just Bad Science? Today's Dietitian