I love butter. I cook my eggs in butter every morning and I put butter on my vegetables every day. I even put butter in my coffee. For me butter is the nectar of life. Weston A. Price discovered grass fed butter was a staple in the diets of supremely health people.(1) Butter has been celebrated for millennia for it’s life giving properties. Butter is rich in fat soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Butter is also a good source of cholesterol and humans cannot live without cholesterol.
Wait…What? Here we go again, busting nutritional myths with peer reviewed research and centuries of historical observations. It’s what I like to do in my free time. Last time I talked about our cells being made out of fat and cholesterol. Well, our cells are continually making their own cholesterol because it is such an integral part of their structure and function. Cholesterol is such a valuable commodity that we cannot consume enough of it in our diets to meet the biochemical needs of the body. That is why we have to make our own. Studies have conclusively shown that our dietary intake of cholesterol has little impact on our blood levels. We can’t lower our blood cholesterol by eating less of it, despite what we’ve been told.(2)
The idea that cholesterol is bad for you is in complete disagreement with the way our bodies and brains function. Our brains are rich in cholesterol, taking up 25% of what is used in the body. Our entire nervous system depends on cholesterol. Myelin, which is 20% cholesterol, coats every one of our nerve fibers. Synapse formation is almost entirely dependent on apolipoprotein E, a form of cholesterol. Babies who are deprived of cholesterol may end up with poor eyesight and brain function. People with lower levels of cholesterol have a higher incidence of mental health problems.
Second to the brain for the utilization of cholesterol, is our endocrine system. All steroid hormones are made from cholesterol, including sex hormones. Steroid hormones are responsible for our metabolism, energy production, mineral assimilation, bone and muscle formation as well as our emotions, and reproduction. Intentionally avoiding cholesterol could result in a myriad of health related problems. When our body has a limited supply of cholesterol it must choose between fueling the supply needs for survival or reproduction. Survival is more important than reproduction according to our biological programming. To make sure you have adequate supply of your sex hormones you need to include cholesterol as part of your diet. That is why butter is the necessary lube for your love machine.
I only recommend butter from grass fed cows. Brands like Organic Valley or Kerry Gold are good choices. If you have a sensitivity to dairy you can use ghee, which is butter that has had the milk solids removed and is just the butter fat. And stop worrying because butter isn’t going to give you heart disease as I’ve mentioned before. For those who are concerned about elevated blood cholesterol I recommend the book Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers? by Jimmy Moore and Eric C. Westman.
Do you use butter? Do you have concerns that you’d like me to address regarding saturated fat and cholesterol? Join the conversation by commenting below.