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Butter, Margarine And Fats In General
Category: Diet and Nutrition
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor
Recently, enormous propaganda has been generated against eating
butter. Its been smeared in the health magazines as a saturated
animal fat, one containing that evil substance, cholesterol. Many
people are now avoiding it and instead, using margarine.
Composition of Oils
Saturated Monosaturated Unsaturated
Butter 66% 30% 4%
Coconut Oil 87% 6% 2%
Cottonseed Oil 26% 18% 52%
Olive Oil 13% 74% 8%
Palm Oil 49% 37% 9%
Soybean Oil 14% 24% 58%
Sunflower Oil 4% 8% 83%
Safflower Oil 3% 5% 87%
Sesame Oil 5% 9% 80%
Peanut Oil 6% 12% 76%
Corn Oil 3% 7% 84%
This is a major and serious misunderstanding. First of all,
margarine is almost indigestible, chemically very much like
shortening--an artificially saturated or hydrogenated vegetable fat.
Hydrogenated fats can't be properly broken down by the body's
digestive enzymes, adding to the body's toxic load. Margarine, being
a chemically-treated vegetable oil with artificial yellow color and
artificial flavorings to make it seem like butter, also releases
free radicals in the body that accelerate aging. So, to avoid the
dangers of eating cholesterol-containing butter, people eat
something far worse for them!
There are severe inconsistencies with the entire
"cholesterol-is-evil" theory. Ethnic groups like the Danes, who eat
enormous quantities of cholesterol-containing foods, have little
circulatory disease. Actually, the liver itself produces
cholesterol; it's presence in the blood is an important part of the
body chemistry. Cholesterol only becomes a problem because of
deranged body chemistry due to the kind of overall malnutrition
Americans usually experience on their junk food diets. Avoiding
cholesterol in foods does little good, but eating a low-fat,
low-sugar, complex-carbohydrate (whole foods) diet high in minerals
does lower blood cholesterol enormously.
Actually, high quality fresh (not rancid) butter in moderate
quantities is about the finest fat a person could eat. But high
quality butter is almost unobtainable. First of all, it has to be
raw, made from unpasteurized cream. Second, butter can contain very
high levels of fat-soluble vitamins, but doesn't have to.
Vitamin-rich butter's color is naturally bright yellow, almost
orange. This color does not come from a test tube. Pale yellow
butter as is found in the commercial trade was probably almost white
before it was artificially tinted. Butter from grass-pastured cows
naturally changes from yellow-orange to white and back again through
the year as the seasons change. Spring grass, growing in the most
intense sunlight of the year contains very high levels of
chlorophyll and vitamins. Cows eating this grass put high levels of
vitamins A and D into their cream, evidenced by the orange color of
vitamin A. By July, natural butter has degraded to medium-yellow in
color. By August, it is pale yellow. Industrial dairy cows fed
exclusively on hay or artificial, processed feeds (lacking in these
vitamins), produce butterfat that is almost white.
I prefer to obtain my butter from a neighbor who has several dairy
cows grazing on fertile bottom land pasture. We always freeze a
year's supply in late spring when butter is at its best.
Interestingly, that is also the time of year when my neighbor gets
the most production from her cows and is most willing to part with
25 pounds of extra butter.
In general, fats are poor foods that should be avoided. Their ratio
of nutrition to calories is absolutely the worst of all food types,
except perhaps for pure white sugar, which is all calories and
absolutely no nutrition (this is also true for other forms of sugar.
Honey, too, contains almost no nutrition.). Gram for gram, fats
contain many more calories than do sugars or starches. Yet gram for
gram, fats contain virtually no nutrition except for small
quantities of essential fatty acids.
The perverse reason people like to eat fats is that they are very
hard to digest and greatly slow the digestive action of the stomach.
Another way of saying that is that they have a very high satiety
value. Fats make a person feel full for a long time because their
presence in the stomach makes it churn and churn and churn. Fats
coat proteins and starches and delay their digestion, often causing
them to begin fermenting (starches) or putrefying (proteins) in the
The best fats contain high levels of monosaturated vegetable oils
that have never been exposed to heat or chemicals--like virgin olive
oil. Use small quantities of olive oil for salad dressing.
Monosaturated fats also have far less tendency to go rancid than any
other type. Vegetable oils with high proportions of unsaturated
fats, the kind that all the authorities push because they contain no
cholesterol, go rancid rapidly upon very brief exposure to air. The
danger here is that rancidity in vegetable oil is virtually
unnoticeable. Rancid animal fat on the other hand, smells "off."
Eating rancid oil is a sure-fire way to accelerate aging, invite
degenerative conditions in general, and enhance the likelihood of
cancer. I recommend that you use only high-quality virgin olive oil,
the only generally-available fat that is largely monosaturated.
(Pearson and Shaw, 1983)
When you buy vegetable oil, even olive oil, get small bottles so you
use them up before the oil has much time being exposed to air (as
you use the oil air fills the bottle) or, if you buy olive oil in a
large can to save money, immediately upon opening it, transfer the
oil to pint jars filled to the very brim to exclude virtually all
air, and seal the jars securely. In either case, keep now-opened,
in-use small bottles of oil in the refrigerator because rancidity is
simply the combination of oil with oxygen from the air and this
chemical reaction is accelerated at warmer temperatures and slowed
greatly at cold ones.
Chemical reactions typically double in speed with every 10 degrees
C. increase in temperature. So oil goes rancid about six times
faster at normal room temperature than it does in the fridge. If
you'll think about the implications of this data you'll see there
are two powerful reasons not to fry food. One, the food is coated
with oil and gains in satiety value at the expense of becoming
relatively indigestible and productive of toxemia. Secondly, if
frying occurs at 150 degrees Centigrade and normal room temperature
is 20 degrees Centigrade, then oil goes rancid 2 to the 13th power
faster in the frying pan, or about 8,200 times faster. Heating oil
for only ten minutes in a hot skillet induces as much rancidity as
about 6 weeks of sitting open and exposed to air at room
temperature. Think about that the next time you're tempted to eat
something from a fast food restaurant where the hot fat in the deep
fryer has been reacting with oxygen all day, or even for several
Back to butter, where we started. If you must have something
traditionally northern European on your bread, you are far better
off to use butter, not margarine. However, Mediterranean peoples
traditionally dip their bread in high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
that smells and tastes like olives. Its delicious, why not try it.
But best yet, put low-sugar fruit preserves on your toast or develop
a taste for dry toast. Probably the finest use for butter is melted
over steamed vegetables. This way only small quantities are needed
and the fat goes on something that is otherwise very easy to digest
so its presence will not produce as many toxins in the digestive
Next: Milk, Meat, And Other Protein Foods
Previous: The Poor Start