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I love butter. Of all the fats out there, butter is my favorite. And, grass-fed butter is full of nutrition, so I don’t feel guilty in the least slathering it on sourdough bread or topping my vegetables with a nice big (ok, BIG) spoonful. I even make my own cultured European style butter from time to time.
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Here are just a few of the health benefits of grass-fed butter, according to Sally Fallon and Mary Enig and Mark’s Daily Apple.
- Butter helps fat-soluble vitamins be absorbed by the body.
- Butter is a rich source of lauric acid (also found in breast milk and coconut oil).
- Butter is a great source of Vitamins A, D, E, K, and K2.
- Butter contains Vitamin A, which is an antioxidant and is the most easily assimilable form of Vitamin A available. Vitamin A is crucial for the health of our thyroid, adrenals, and other organs, as well as absorption of calcium and proper development of children.
- Butter contains Vitamin D, which is vital for immune system strength and proper absorption of calcium.
- Butter contains Vitamin E, which is another antioxidant and helps protect our cardiovascular system.
- Butter contains Vitamin K helps with blood clotting.
- Butter contains the elusive Activator X, aka.Vitamin K2, which helps with bone strength and keeps calcium from depositing in places it shouldn’t (like our cardiovascular system), as well as the proper growth and development of children.
- Butter is a great source of healthy dietary cholesterol (and no, cholesterol is not the devil).
- Butter contains glycospingolipids, which is a special type of fatty acid that helps fight gastro-intestinal infection, especially in children and elderly.
- Butter is rich in short and medium chain fatty acids, which have been shown to ward against cancer and strengthen the immune system.
- Butter (grass-fed) is the best source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to aid in weight loss and weight management, as well as fight against carcinogens.
- Butter helps keep the joints lubricated and mobile.
- Butter is a great source of selenium (if the cows feed on selenium-rich soil).
- Butter contains lecithin, which helps with the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fats.
- Butter contains calcium, potassium, and iodine (in trace amounts).
- Butter provides a balanced source of Omega 3’s and 6’s.
And, I’m pretty sure there are even more health benefits than what are on that list.
For more interesting info on butter, check out the lyrics to a song called “50 Facts About Butter” that I found.
The two brands of grass-fed butter that I use are KerryGold and Tropical Traditions’ pastured butter (affiliate link) You can also check your local farmer’s markets, or check the Eat Wild site to see if there is a raw milk dairy near you. If you can get raw, grass-fed butter, that’s going to be the best of the best, however, that’s not an option for most of us. 🙁
If you do have access to grass-fed cream, make your own butter at home using this recipe for European Style Cultured Butter. It tastes AMAZING!
For further reading, check out The Saturated Fat Myth: Eat More Butter (and Coconut Oil)!
So, tell me. Just how much do you love butter?
I love KerryGold butter! I should try Tropical Traditions, though. Great post!
Thanks! Mmmmm….butter! Do give TT’s a try. It’s great!
This is an awesome post. Can I link to it on my blog???
Lynn – Absolutely! Thank you so much for asking. Do let me know when it’s up, so I can give you some link love. P.S. I just read your egg salad post. Commercial mayo is my downfall. I love Kraft mayo and no other mayo tastes right. It’s been a really tough relationship to break! 🙁
How much do I love butter??? Oh my, we have our own cow, and Ive been eyeballing that rich yeoolw cream at the top of the jars for a few weeks, daydreaming of butter slathered sourdough bread, fresh from the oven. Our milker is dropping off on production, so there’s not enough milk to go around if I make butter~ so the only solution we could come up with is to buy another milker to make butter and cheese from the extra milk!! The new cow will calve in the next 40-50 days…. Not so patiently waiting for my raw grass fed butter! 🙂
Love it!!! One of these days, I will own a cow! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
I’m so grateful butter is so nutritious because I LOVE it. It’s the one superfood my 3yo will regularly eat, too.
Mmm, butter. I’ve been rationing it ever since our cow went dry a few months ago. Can’t wait til May when she freshens again!
Oh boy! Fresh, homemade butter straight from your own cow! YUMMY!!! 🙂
Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.
Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! 🙂
Jessica…regarding mayo. I personally don’t use a lot, but have you triedof veganaise? I once tricked a bf who swore he would never eat anything but Best Foods by making a sandwich in it and could only smile when he proclaimed it to be the best sandwich he’d ever had. Now years later my husband, who was raised on regular mayo, will ONL aY eat Veganaise. (One of many nutritional defeats…lol). Give it a shot! Cheers and thank you for all your awesome work!
Oh Melissa – I have tried it. And I hate it! 🙁 I have been experimenting with making mayo at home and I think I’m close to having a recipe I can live with. I do miss Kraft though …. sigh …. 🙂
I love the butter from Strauss Family Farms in California. They use very healthy farming practices, are very involved in the local food market as well as the truth in labeling movement plus the flavor is exceptional. They have other dairy products like yoghurt & ice cream which also is my favorite – uses simple ingredients. Give them a try, check out their website.
I have tried their products. I love their plain yogurt. Soooooo rich and creamy! 🙂
Just the word “butter” makes me smile. I was raised on fat-free margarine and diet coke, and the introduction of healthy fats into my body over the past 6 years has been life-saving, to say the least!!!!!!
🙂 Butter. Is. Awesome. 🙂
Hi! Love this…I have shared it too! What do you think of Organic Valley Pastured and Cultured butter?
Hi Heather – I love OV’s pastured and cultured butter. I think it has great taste and you can tell it comes from grass-fed cows by the color. During the spring and summer, it’s really bright yellow! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for sharing too! 🙂
Was wondering what the difference would be compared to grass-fed butter and regular butter?
Hi Robert – I don’t have any formal research comparing the two, though I’m sure it’s out there. If you can get grass-fed, that is ideal, because the nutrient levels will be the highest. But, if you don’t have access to grass-fed butter, I’d still eat regular butter before anything else. While it might not have as much CLA, etc., it’s still a healthy saturated fat and is way better than margarine or veggie oils! Thanks for stopping by!!! 🙂
Doing a little internet search found this.
The biggest difference in Irish Butter like Kerrygold is that it is from cow grazed on grasses (or grass fed) not grain fed. You can find grass fed butter made right here from American cows as well and it takes just as wonderful. Again, the key is the cows being grass fed vs grain fed.
Here are some big differences between grain fed and grass fed butters:
1. An Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of 1 in grass fed whereas grain fed is 3:1 (not good)
2. Higher vitamins and minerals including Vitamin E, Vitamin B (thiamin and riboflavin), calcium, magnesium, potassium, carotene and k2 in grass fed whereas grain fed, well, not so much (peer reviewed Journal of Animal Science 2009)
3. Grass fed butter has 3-5x more Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) than grain fed
4. If you’ve ever seen what they have to give cows to offset the pH imbalance brought on by corn or grainfed diets you would be shocked… the amount of antibiotics and hormones is unbelievable… OH! and if that’s important to you check closely to see if the producer of your butter says no hormones.. and no antibiotics (which is very hard to find but grass fed cows will need fewer antibiotics and at good farms are usually milk quarantined while on the antibiotic)
5. … and most important is taste and grass fed wins hands down!! the color is yellow from the fabulous grass/vegetation diet… it’s creamier… you know how you set a stick of butter to come to room temperature and it gets beads of water on it?? that does NOT happen with grassfed… I don’t know why.. but the texture is just different
If you have a grass fed beef producer in your area, odds are you can find a grass fed butter maker too… but if not Kerrygold .. and Organic Valley… and Anchor… and ohh another brand I can’t remember right now..
Thanks for coming back by and sharing! Good info! 🙂 Kalona Super Natural and Natural by Nature are also two grass-fed butter brands that I know of. Or, if you have access to grass-fed cream, make your own! 🙂
I’m very interested it seeing how conventional butter vs. grass fed compare. Can anyone else post a link to the article mentioned about from the peer reviewed Journal of Animal Science 2009? Google isn’t helpful right now :/
Do you know if ghee has all of the same benefits as butter?
Hi Kristin – Yes! Ghee is very nutrient-dense and will have the same benefits of butter if it comes from healthy, grass-fed cows! 🙂
I went to New Zealand and noticed they have different farming practices than we do. They irrigate one field while the other is being used by their herd which is much more cow per square foot than our farms. It the irrigated acres are growing grasses while the other pastures are eaten. Then they switch. Sheep and lambs are grazing everywhere on the side of hills and moutains. It is much more natural. I’m not sure what went wrong here in North America but glad that the tide is turning back
Hi Gerry! Thanks so much for sharing! Yes, that type of rotated grazing is ideal not only for the animals, but for the environment they are grazing on as well. That is how things used to be done hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately, with the advent of big agriculture, the focus turned away from traditional practices. The tides are starting to change at least with smaller ranches and farms which is a great thing! 🙂