- by Dr Sheetal Chhabria
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- Feb 09 2017
BUTTER: To Eat OR To Avoid?
The history of butter goes back thousands of years to when our ancestors first started domesticating animals. As a matter of fact, the first written reference to butter was found on a 4500 year old limestone tablet illustrating how butter should be made.
It is a main ingredient of several cuisines including Indian cuisine. Prepared with cream and churningit till it reaches a solid state, butterhas several health benefits. Butter helps the body to absorb all major needed minerals (calcium, magnesium, selenium, iodine), produces sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone,testosterone) and provide vitaminssupportingfertility (A, D, E and K). However, the fat content it has also poses health threat for many.
Benefits of butter
Butter has fat which is helpful in absorbing many of the healthy nutrients found in vegetables for our body. It is especially helpful in the absorption of carotenoids, an effective disease-fighting antioxidants present in vegetables.
It contains lauric acid, which is helpful in treating fungal infections and candida.
Presence of a compound called lecithin in butter helps to enhance cholesterol metabolism.
Butter eases absorption of essential vitamins required by our body (A, D, E and K).
Vitamin D present in butter helps in absorption of calcium, which further shields teeth against decay.
Contains arachidonic acid, a vital compound for brain functioning.
It fulfils the basic fat requirement of the body, which shouldbe 30 percent of the total calorie intake.
What to avoid
One single spoon of butter has about 30 milligrams of cholesterol and 7 grams of saturated fat. The daily intake of this saturated fat, however, should not be more than 15 grams.
Neither saturated fat nor cholesterol is good for healthy heart. As a result, butter with high saturated fat should be avoided when preparing foods.
As with everything, saturated fat over the limit isn’t great for our health and we should rather focus on getting most dietary fat from unsaturated sources instead. A bit of butter in the balanced diet isn’t bad for our health though – it’s the overall diet that matters.
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