I love cultured butter! It makes me feel good from my head to my toes. It’s so easy to make, here is a great how-to tutorial if you are interested in making your own cultured butter.
I am not going to get into how to make it today, my focus is sharing with you all the benefits of cultured butter.
Butter is incredibly misunderstood and can have a negative reputation, but is actually a very nutrient rich and a necessary fat to include in our diet.
Quoted from Sally Fallon Morell, from The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care:
“Butter is the queen of fats, especially when it comes from grass-fed cows”.
Butter is a food my grandma grew up on, and she lived to be 100. When working with clients at Thrive Nutrition, one of the first things I usually do is increase their daily intake of healthy fats – butter included. Here are some of the great reasons why:
- Butter is a rich source of vitamins A, D, E, and K – all needed for the body and brain. Without these, we are unable to utilize the minerals we ingest.
- Vitamin A is more easily absorbed and utilized from butter than from other sources (Nourishing Traditions). It is needed for thyroid and adrenal gland health and plays a role in maintaining proper function of the heart and cardiovascular system (Weston A Price). Along with vitamin D, it is essential to absorb calcium and protects against tooth decay.
- Butter fat contains Glycosphingolipids, a type of fatty acid that protects against gastrointestinal infections.
- Trace Minerals: Manganese, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, and Iodine; all in a highly absorbable form.
- The Short and Medium-chain fatty acids in butter do not need to be emulsified by bile salts as they absorbed directly from the small intestine to the liver. Once there, they are converted into quick energy rather than stored in the fat tissue. No, butter is not fattening!
- Butter contains Lecithin, which assists in the proper assimilation and metabolization of cholesterol and other fats.
- Cholesterol, yes butter contains wonderful Cholesterol! Butter provides about 30 mg of Cholesterol per 1 tablespoon.
But isn’t Cholesterol bad for you?
Here are several reasons to rethink Cholesterol:
- We cannot live without Cholesterol.
- “Our bodies are made out of billions of cells. Almost every cell produces Cholesterol all the time during our lives. Every cell of every organ has cholesterol as a part of its structure.” (Weston A Price)
- 25% of all body Cholesterol is in the brain. Every cell in the brain and the nervous system needs Cholesterol. This could indicate a link between prescription statin use (Cholesterol lowering medication) and memory problems – we need Cholesterol to think!
- Cholesterol protects us against depression as it plays a role in the utilization of serotonin, the body’s “feel-good” chemical. (Weston A. Price).
- Hormones are made from Cholesterol. Without it, we cannot produce testosterone, progesterone, pregnenolone, androsterone, estrone, estradiol, corticosteroids, and aldosterone. Without Cholesterol, women would not be able to get pregnant.
- The liver needs Cholesterol for bile production to digest and absorb fats.
- Immune cells rely on Cholesterol to fight infections and repair the cells.
- Mother’s milk is high in Cholesterol because it is necessary for growth and development of the child.
When I said butter makes me feel good from my head to my toes, this is why. The fats and cholesterol help me think, the fatty acids fill me up with usable energy and the vitamins A, D and K keep my bones and joints in my toes pain-free.
Unfortunately raw dairy is not available in all states. Ask your local Farmers Market if they have some connections. Or go to www.realmilk.com to find a source in your area.
- “Pasteurization destroys milk and it’s products by changing the chemical structure of its proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It kills the beneficial bacteria and destroys enzymes and vitamins,” says Dr.Natasha Campbell-McBride MD. Therefore, pasteurized milk can be very hard to digest.
- The enzymes that are destroyed during pasteurization are needed to absorb and assimilate nutrients such as calcium. That may be why those who drink pasteurized milk can still suffer from osteoporosis.
- During pasteurization the heat changes the amino acids lysine and tyrosine, making the proteins less available. The heat also destroys vitamins; up to 80% of Vitamin C is lost!
- After pasteurization, chemicals may be added to destroy odor and synthetic vitamin D is added.
- Homogenization may follow pasteurization and has been linked to heart disease (Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions).
By leaving the cream out for 1-2 days I can make cultured butter. It has a bit of a “twang” to it and is delicious!
FYI – You can leave raw milk out on the counter for days and it will only improve, but if you leave pasteurized milk out it will spoil.
- Cultured or fermented dairy products contain lactic acid-producing bacteria that begin to break down both lactose (milk sugars) and casein (milk proteins), which aids in digestion. Both of these are difficult for us to digest and can lead to intestinal damage.
- This helpful bacteria helps strengthen our immune system, keeps pathogenic bacteria from producing and helps digest our food.
- Cultured butter keeps many of the enzymes that are destroyed during pasteurization. These enzymes are not only needed to help digest our food but to absorb calcium and other minerals. Both vitamins B and C are higher in cultured dairy products.
So the next time you grab that bread, be ok with slabbing on a nice big piece of healthy butter…yay, now you know it’s good for you!