Everybody owes butter a big fat apology.
According to new research, butter has been defamed as unhealthy for years and years. It doesn’t deserve the poor rep that’s gained momentum, turning consumers to margarine’s side.
Nutritional scientists at Tufts University in Boston discovered eating butter was only “weakly associated” with total mortality. They didn’t find links to cardiovascular disease, and was even – slightly – inversely associated with diabetes.
The epidemiological study was comprised of nine research studies blanketing 636,151people across 15 countries. That equates to 6.5 million years of available data!
What the researchers did to come to their buttery conclusion was standardize the butter consumption across all the studies to 14 grams per day (one tablespoon). Average butter consumption throughout the studies ranged between one-third of a tablespoon to over three tablespoons.
The meta-data found small-to-insignificant links between daily servings of butter with total mortality, heart disease and diabetes.
“Even though people who eat more butter generally have worse diets and lifestyles, it seemed to be pretty neutral overall,” said Laura Pimpin, one of the report’s authors.
Researchers have eased on butter’s sullied reputation, saying it’s been bumped to a ‘middle-of-the-road food’. It’s not as good as many margarines or cooking oils containing healthy fats, such as soybean, canola, and flaxseed, but better than sugars and starches.
“Overall, our results suggest that butter should neither be demonized nor considered ‘back’ as a route to good health,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutritional Science and Policy at Tufts and co-author of the study.
As a next step in their research, the scientists would like to explore and understand butter’s potential role in lowering diabetes risks.