This week I’d like to expand on an earlier topic, the butter is bad myth (see blog, Stop Eating Dry Toast, from Monday, July 2, 2012).


The butter is bad myth is directly related to the myth that all saturated fats are bad for us.  For disease prevention we’ve been told to get no more than 10% of our daily calories from saturated fats.  We’re cutting back on meat, consuming large quantities of zero fat yogurt, and eating dry toast because we fear butter.


It simply isn’t true that all saturated fats are fattening, raise blood cholesterol and predispose us to heart disease.


Did you know that saturated fats can be classified as short, medium or long-chain fatty acids?  Probably not, because the myth treats all saturated fats as one and the same.  But chain length has more affect on a fat’s healthfulness than its saturation point does.


Short and medium chain fatty acids like those found in butter, dairy, and coconut oil metabolize quickly, their first and only digestive destination is the liver.  Interestingly this means that they act more like a carbohydrate, but without spiking insulin.  Their caloric value is also closer to carbohydrates at 5 Calories per gram (rather than the 9 Calories per gram given to fats).


Short and medium-chain fatty acids do not become fat deposits around your waist, they are used as energy.


Short and medium chain fatty acids cannot aggregate in the blood or cause any harm.  Therefore short and medium-chain fatty acids do not have any ‘cholesterol-raising’ activity.


Let’s stop the myths and focus on the facts!


Here are more facts – some of the health benefits of saturated fats.
  • Enhance the immune system
  • Are used for calcium assimilation (bone health)
  • Short and medium-chain fatty acids provide energy
  • Enhance structural integrity of cells
  • Transport fat-soluble vitamins
  • Contain anti-microbial properties to help maintain a healthy gut


For more facts and to get the full story please read The Last Tango with Butter.