Visit our Re-post guidelines
photo by Jessica Merz
"First need in the reform of hospital management? That's easy! The death of all dietitians, and the resurrection of a French chef." ~ Martin H Fischer quotes
Modern science is beginning to vindicate the ancient wisdom of our palates … Butter, for instance, and without which -- some argue -- French cuisine would not be possible, contains a heavy concentration of saturated fats (the dietetic equivalent of a four letter word!) with potential medicinal value, such as palmitic acid, myristic acid, stearic acid -- and even contains a trans- fatty acid known as vaccenic acid, that -- get this! -- lowers blood cholesterol levels, triglycerides and exhibits heart-protective properties.
Known as vaccenic acid, this naturally occurring trans-fatty acid is found in the fat of ruminants, e.g. goats, cows, deer, and is also found in human milk. It is converted into rumenic acid, a type of conjugated linoleic acid, which is known to have a broad range of potential health benefits.
Butter, after all, contains fat ... rich, warm, satisfying and yummy fat. Fat, having been exorcised from the American diet for so long in favor of simple and complex carbohydrates, has been an essential nutrient (and a key constituent of all the tissues in our body) that many of us have been told we must go without, lest we die of clogged arteries. Instead, we are dying of clogged arteries from the carbohydrate heavy, oxidized unsaturated fatty acid-rich diet that was supposed to be much healthier for us. An ounce of fat is equal to a pound of carbohydrate, when it comes to staving off primal cravings for authentic nourishment.
Butter, of course, must be consumed organically. All milk accumulates toxins within the environment. The fat happens to be the place where fat-soluble poisons are found in higher concentrations, e.g. pesticides, mineral oil, etc. as well as hormone residues. Also, it must be consumed moderately and in proper balance with other foods. Butter’s apotheosis, if you will, occurs when used with herbs or vegetables that contain a wealth of fat-soluble phytocompounds and nutrients. Turmeric, for instance, when cooked in clarified butter (ghee), is capable of concentrating out fat-soluble compounds, like tumerones, which the herb consumed raw will not liberate. Stir-frying dark greens, for instance, liberates fat-soluble vitamins normally locked rigidly within the plant.
If you're still not convinced that saturated fats can be our friends, check out the jaw-dropping, but not heart-stopping hard-science on the therapeutic value of coconut oil in at least two dozen health conditions.