Ask Dr. Salerno Health

Better Health Through Butter

Health Benefits of Real ButterWhen it comes to heart health, it doesn’t get any better than full-fat foods. Cream cheese, grass-fed meats, eggs, unheated organic nut oils, butter, and coconuts are media slander, but new research is challenging these so-called forbidden foods. Turns out that there are health benefits of real butter and other “good” fats.

For almost four decades, scientists and dietitians alike have blamed fat for the world’s long line of growing health issues. Lean meats, sugar, and processed toxins in, flavor, vitamins, and satiation out, and calories aren’t doing any of the explaining. According to a recent article published in the British Medical Journal, saturated fat, along with other naturally occurring sources of cholesterol, are actually protective, not damaging to one’s health.

In fact, everyone’s obsession with low-fat is outdated and lacks credible scientific data to back up many of its claims. Making matters worse, many trained cardiologists over-rely on statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, to modulate levels that might otherwise be normal. Statins can cause insulin resistance, interfere with hormone production, and result in impaired vitamin absorption, such as CoQ10, a vital co-factor essential for the creation of all cellular energy.

Fatty foods from natural, organic sources help replenish cell membranes, support the immune system, and regulate genetic expression. Studies have actually shown that the Mediterranean diet, known for being high in healthy fats, is three times more powerful at reducing mortality than taking a statin.

Fats play an important role in preventing disease, but remember – not all fats are created equal. Fats, such as trans-fat, should be avoided, and be mindful of the processed foods they tend to lurk in. Hydrogenation, which increases fats shelf-life, causes cellular damage and chronic inflammation. Yikes. For more food advice, make sure the butter you purchase at the store comes from grass-fed milk, a common pitfall for many first-time butter buyers.

As long as naysayers continue to complacently gorge on processed oils and fill-up on carb-rich foods, obesity levels will rise. But this time there’s a “natural” solution, this time there’s saturated fat.