Butter is a largely debated topic, some people use it everywhere, also to prepare a simple tomato sauce, and some people avoid it because they consider butter a junk food. The truth, actually, is in the middle. Butter is derived from milk and is presented as a stick of a light yellow color. And here is the first problem, the good and high quality butter is that produced from milk cream through churning, it tends to easily go rancid but its fats are only unsaturated fats, also called good fats (Fausto Aufiero, The nutritional and therapeutic role of foods). A whole different thing is the butter from industrial production, it has a lower quality and is produced from a raw re-melted butter, in this case half of the contained fats is constituted by saturated fats, dangerous for the health of the cardiovascular system. A butter of this type is in general more white and a possible yellow color is obtained with the usage of colorants like saffron. In this post we will speak about the good and high quality butter, characterized by important quantities of vitamin A, also in the form of carotenes (Morton et al, Biochem J, 1930), vitamin D (Schmid et al, Adv Nutr, 2013), that is seldom found in foods, vitamin K2 (Schwalfenberg et al, J Nutr Metab, 2017), involved in calcium metabolism, able to prevent the bone loss (Cockayne et al, Arch Intern Med, 2006) but also with a protective role on the cardiovascular system (Gast et al, Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis, 2009), and finally vitamin E (Zhao et al, Br J Nutr, 2014), a powerful antioxidant. Moreover, the butter helps also repair the damages of the cell membranes and protects the walls of blood vessels. However, especially if you suffer from high cholesterol, be careful and don’t exceed with the butter consumption, because, anyway, it increases the levels of total cholesterol and LDL, bad, cholesterol, although it increases also, at the same time, the levels of good HDL cholesterol (Engel et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2015). In general, a good breakfast, especially for children and students, is to eat a little butter spread on a slice of whole grain bread with jam, in fact the butter slows down the absorption of the carbohydrates of bread and therefore decreases the glycemic index and gives energy for a longer period of time. In addition to this, in case of a loss of energy, it may be helpful to eat a slice of toasted bread spread with a little butter and a pinch of sea salt in order to give energy without causing an excessive increase of the blood sugar levels. And again, in case of nausea and dizziness, sea and car sickness, it may be useful to eat a slice of brown bread with a little butter and some anchovy fillets in extra virgin olive oil to balance the electrolyte imbalance, namely an imbalance of calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium ( F. Aufiero, The nutritional and therapeutic role of foods). For what concerns the cooking, it may be a good choice to substitute the butter with the olive oil because the butter has a very low smoke point, about 120-130°, and at this temperature the fatty acids degrade and form acrolein, a substance toxic for the liver. Finally, be careful if you are lactose intolerant because butter contains this sugar and you can have some reactions.
Vitamins A, E, D and K2, protects the cell membranes and the walls of the blood vessels, able to lower the glycemic index of bread and is used to counteract nausea, car and sea sickness.