I snapped this photo of a sign posted outside a cafe in Greenwich Village back in December.
Butter is a Lifestyle!
I found that sign very amusing. I am happy butter is back and can be part of a healthy lifestyle. I’ve always used butter, except for the years when I was a strict Vegan. But even then, I never could use margarine or any of those plant-based butter options. So, I came up with other alternatives. Over the past several months, I’ve been adding some animal products back into my diet again. I’ll get into why I decided to do that another time, but right now, I am thoroughly enjoying life with a little pat of butter now and then.
Which do you use? Butter or margarine?
The majority of people I ask use margarine. That’s because butter has gotten such a bad rap. For years, we’ve been told been it’s bad for our health. Bad for our heart. Margarine is what most doctors recommend. If someone is diagnosed with heart disease, they’re told by their doctor to eliminate butter from their diet and to use margarine. So, most people go for the one that claims to be heart healthy. Margarine is served in hospitals. It’s been promoted and advertised as the better product. For years. Good for our health. Smart for our heart.
Here are the ingredients in tub of margarine:
Here are the ingredients from the label of package of salted butter:
Which do you think is better for your health? The product made in a lab with three different, cheap, processed oils, preservatives and artificial flavors and ingredients or the one made from only two natural ingredients: cream and salt? In fact, the ingredients are so natural, if you had your own churn, you could make your own butter.
I have one. See?
Have I ever used it to make my own butter?
Ummm… no. But I could if I wanted. 🙂
Here’s how margarine is made:
Good luck trying to make that at home.
Doesn’t it make total sense that butter is the healthier choice? It’s made with natural ingredients your body recognizes and can actually use. And, if you are eating something your body recognizes and can digest, it must be healthier for your body. No? And, if it’s healthier for your body, it’s obviously better for your heart, too. Yes?
So, unless you’re Vegan, skip the margarine and go for the real butter.
Here’s the thing, though. This isn’t a license to go ahead and smear a ton of butter all over everything. Don’t go crazy with it. It’s a condiment. If you’re trying to decide which is healthier to bake with or spread on your toast, butter is the better choice, as long as you’re not eating excessive amounts of it every day.
What’s considered an excessive amount?
When you go to a bagel shop and the butter is so thick that globs of it are oozing from the sides of your bagel? That’s excessive. I know it’s so good, but that’s way too much butter. Ask for a lightly buttered bagel or use a knife to scrape some of it off.
Butter, or any other kind of fat – good or bad – should be used sparingly.
And…. if you’re gonna use butter, get it from grass-fed cows. At least the butter you use at home.
Grass-fed butter is loaded with Vitamin-K2, the missing nutrient that de-calcifies your arteries. Calcification of your arteries causes heart disease. The Vitamin-K2 comes from the grass the cows eat. You can read more about grass-fed butter vs butter from corn-fed cows and the benefits of Vitamin-K2.
So, what if you want to make the switch to butter, but you’re supposed use it sparingly or you’re Vegan and want to stop using so much of your plant-based butter alternative? Some Vegan options might have better ingredients than most margarine but it’s still processed margarine so you really can’t call it healthy.
Here are the ingredients in a popular Vegan Butter product, by the way:
natural oil blend (palm fruit, and canola, soybean, flax and olive oils), filtered water, contains less than 2% of pure salt, natural flavor (plant derived from corn, no msg, no alcohol, no gluten),pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid (non-dairy), and naturally extracted annatto for color.
What do you do? Try some other healthy options.
On toast, try almond butter or another natural nut butter. Or mashed avocado. Cheese made from rennet-less organic cow’s milk or goat milk (raw milk if possible) or cheeses made from nuts, if you’re vegan. Not those plastic shreds or slices of Vegan cheese. I know they don’t contain animal products and they might melt half-way decent, but here are the ingredients from the package of a popular brand of Vegan cheese slices:
Filtered water, tapioca starch, coconut oil, non-GMO expeller pressed: canola and/or safflower oil, vegan natural flavours, pea protein isolate, sea salt, xanthan gum, inactive yeast, lactic acid (vegan), carrageenan, titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral), vegan enzyme
I am sorry, but, Ewww….
And…..definitely NOT healthy if healthy is what you’re after.
Hummus on toast is delicious and filling. With a slice of tomato and sprouts? Yummy! Some folks use coconut oil on their toast instead of butter. I haven’t tried it, but if that sounds appealing to you, go for it.
For baking, you can use olive oil (3/4 cup of olive oil for every cup of butter in a recipe). Or divide it up equally. Some butter. Some olive oil. This way you still get some of that delicious butter taste.
You can also use Greek yogurt ( 1/2 cup for every 1 cup of butter required) for baking, too.
Unsweetened applesauce is a great swap for butter when you’re baking sweets. Use equal amounts for the butter called for in your recipes.
Pumpkin puree works great, too. 3/4 of a cup for every 1 cup of butter. You can also swap in equal amounts pumpkin puree for any oil in your baked goods, too. Plus you’re getting all that extra fiber and beta-carotene from the pumpkin. Win-Win!
These are just a few suggestions you can try. If you have any others that work for you, feel free to share them with us by leaving a comment.
Here’s to a happier, healthier lifestyle for all of us,