Apr 02 2014

Butter is Back?

Published by at 2:37 pm under Health,Mediterranean Diet,Uncategorized

Eating butter in moderation has never been the problem,   adding butter to the typical American menu of  highly processed, refined and salty food is the problem.

The issue of whether butter hurts our heart took on new energy this Spring. Researchers writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine looked at the role of diet in heart disease and concluded: “Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats”. The media headlines that followed simply implied: Go Back to Eating Butter.

I received several e-mails from friends and colleagues, forwarding articles on this subject. The New York Times article  Butter is Back written by Mark Bittman became the most e-mailed article of the day. If this is a subject that both interests  and confuses you please read the highlighted links below.

Start with Mark  Bittman’s  column  then read   Dr. David Katz of Yale University Linked in blog post on the subject. Dr Katz does a great service of explaining  the limitation of the study and the complexity of the issue .

 

Dr Katz’s Linked-in post led to an on-air interview with Mark Bittman,  Dr Dariush Mozaffarian,  co-author of the original Annals of Internal Medicine article, and cardiologist Dr. Stephanie Coulter on WBUR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook.  You can read the interview here: On Point

Dr Katz’s follow-up Linked-in post Another Dollop of (about, Actually) Butter does a superb job of putting the whole subject in perspective. Please read it if you are confused or feel you have cut back on animal products all these years in vain.

The following quote from his earlier post  sums up his opinion of how the media interpreted the original Annals of Internal Medicine article: ” If you don’t mind living in a world where everyone you know over age 50 is on multiple medications to fix what  lifestyle as medicine could fix far better, by all means add back the butter. If you think it’s normal that most adults of a certain age have had their chests opened up or their coronaries ballooned open, butter away.”

For those of you have switched out butter for flavorful plant oils, do not feel you have been duped. Eating more of a Mediterranean type diet based on plant proteins, healthy fats and oils, and delicious whole foods remains the recommended style of eating for optimal health.

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