I thought it would be interesting to find the exact place of butter on a ZC diet. We already know how “fatty cuts of meat” are the way to go but for many reasons, we sometimes need to add fat to our servings especially when eating poultry or fish, but also when browning meat and preparing eggs.
We already know all the vegetable oils are OUT (except coconut oil) as they are too rich in polyunsaturated oils, a PRO-INFLAMMATORY substance for our body that can lead to arteriosclerosis, cancer, Alzheimer, name it. Even olive oil with its high level of monounsaturated fats is loosing the race in studies when compared to a high saturated fat regime. Bad points for the Mediterranean diet…
Butter is made of 63% saturated, 26% monounsaturated and 4% polyunsaturated fats. This represents about the ratio of the cell membranes composition of our body cells, which make butter’s fats ideal for humans. Interestingly, our maximum intake of polyunsaturated fats should not go over 4% and this is what butter provides.
“Beef suet” could also be a good choice but since it is not readily available and let’s say it frankly, no as tasty and handy as butter, I think we can use this last one without guilt. Anyway, animal fat composition is about the same as in butter.
Butter has a ratio of omega 6 - omega 3 around 1.8 – 1.2, ratio which can vary from regular butter to grass-fed. So it is a low source of PRO-inflammatory omega-6 and brings you some of the good ANTI-inflammatory omega 3.
Vitamin content of butter is astonishing.
First, it is a superb source of VITAMIN A, one of the most powerful antioxidant in nature.
When I am ask by folks “where do I get my antioxidants on a ZC diet devoid of fruit and vegetable?”, I always give butter and its vitamin A content as an example. I also explain THERE IS NO SOURCE OF VITAMIN A in plant food items as these last ones only provide PRO-VITAMIN A, which will need then to be transformed into vitamin A into the gut by bacteria, and will ONLY be absorbed if you have eaten fat at the same time. So, lets put this straight once for all: CARROT DO NOT CONTAINS VITAMIN A; it contains pro-vitamin A!!!
Butter is also a good source of VITAMIN E, another important antioxidant, VITAMIN D and VITAMIN K2, which helps absorption of CALCIUM and PHOSPHORUS, both essential for teeth and bone health.
Butter also provides minerals, CALCIUM, MAGNESIUM, PHOSPHORUS, POTASSIUM and IODINE.
Butter contains BUTYRIC ACID, a saturated fatty acid that seriously fights inflammation in our body. Again, if you are on a vegetarian diet, your butyric acid will need to come from fermentation of fibers in your gut, provided that you have a healthy flora, which is a whole other story.
Of course, we should try to get grass-fed as the nutrition value higher especially on omega-3 content. But when you look at the numbers really close, there is not that much difference with regular butter. Of course, we should try to go organic but it you can get ordinary butter without added “flavorings and colors”, you already did a good choice.
Another nice way to have butter is what we call “butter oil” or ghee. It is an oil produce from eliminating water + proteins in butter by gentle cooking and filtration. It can easily be made at home. One of the best quality, aside the nice “nutty taste” is it can be maintained at room temperature for months without spoiling.
Finally, it seems we CANNOT get addicted to butter, as “FAT ALONE” would not be addictive according to studies; yes, it may contain some “addicting casein” but the quantity is so low, it should not affect most people.
But ADD butter to your proteins, the combination can become a bomb and it may trigger you to eat more. Now add butter to sugar and you get a nuclear bomb…
So the only drawback about butter is that it can sometimes be “too good”, and it is easy to go overboard. The only trick I could find to overcome this situation is to serve a portion with your proteins and put it aside immediately.