On my last day over in Croatia Nick found me mumbling “no one will understand” as I was staring at the left over butter I was going to have to toss before coming back to Canada.
You see, this year I had found a great source of grass-fed butter for the first time in Croatia and I thought about handing it out to some of the neighbours before I left but figured they’d think I was crazy.
So was reduced to staring at it and feel very badly about leaving it behind.
Yes, I have a butter problem.
But the good news is butter from grass-fed cows is apparently good for you!
Check this out, Why Grass-Fed Butter is One of the Healthiest Fats on the Planet:
Butter From Grass-Fed Cows is a Major Source of Heart-Healthy Nutrients
Butter is basically just milk fat, also known as butterfat.
Butterfat is highly complex. It contains about 400 different fatty acids, and a decent amount of fat-soluble vitamins (1).
Fatty acids are actually more than just energy sources, some of them have potent biological activity.
As it turns out, many of the fatty acids in butter can affect our physiology and biochemistry in some way, leading to major health benefits.
This includes the fatty acid CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). It is popular as a fat loss supplement, and studies show that it can have powerful effects on health (2, 3).
Grass-fed butter contains five times more CLA than butter from grain-fed cows (4).
Butter from grass-fed cows is also much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K2, compared to butter from grain-fed cows (5).
Not only that but apparently eating good butter can reduce your chances of a heart attack (from the same article):
Studies Show That People Who Eat Grass-Fed Butter Have a Lower Risk of Heart Disease
The relationship between full-fat dairy consumption and heart disease seems to depend on the country in which the study is performed.
In countries where cows are largely grass-fed, the people who eat the most butter seem to have a drastically reduced risk of heart disease.
An impressive study on this was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in the year 2010: Smit LA, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid in adipose tissue and risk of myocardial infarction. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010.
This study looked at the levels of CLA in the fat tissue of 1813 non-fatal heart attack patients, and compared them to 1813 similar subjects who had not gotten heart attacks.
Levels of this fatty acid are a very reliable marker for the intake of fatty dairy products, and this study was done in Costa Rica, where cows are grass-fed.
They split the subjects into 5 groups, from lowest to highest, depending on their levels of CLA. The results were fairly remarkable:
Ah, our dreams are coming true it seems, we can enjoy all the butter we want 😉