BUTTER - AND SUBSTITUTES
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© October 2018, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Butter is a fermented product that is made by churning or beating cream for a few hours. Cream is the fatty part of cow’s milk that rises to the top of the bottle if milk is allowed to sit for a few minutes.
Churning or stirring the cream vigorously causes a chemical reaction that causes the cream to harden slightly, giving it the buttery consistency. Meanwhile, most of the sugar in the cream disappears during the process. For this reason, butter is not as sweet as cream.
A wonderful fat. Butter is a very nutritious and easily-digested fat. Raw (unpasteurized) butter is also an excellent source of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K. There are few such excellent sources of these vitamins today.
Dr. Weston Price identified a factor in butter that is essential for proper growth and development of the bone structure. He called it 'activator X' or ‘factor X’. He wrote about it in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Dr. Price was able to reverse tooth decay in children by feeding them one meal a day of highly nutritious food - including butter.
Butter and development. At this time, it appears that butter is not a required food for development.
Which brand of kind? In America, we recommend the Challenge brand of butter. It is found in most supermarkets and it tests better than most others. Lucerne and others, however, are also good if Challenge is not available to you.
Butter and dairy allergies. Butter is often well-tolerated, even by those with dairy allergies. This is because it is almost a pure fat, and does not contain many of the allergens found in other milk products. For example, it does not contain milk protein (casein) or milk sugar (lactose). These two components of other dairy products often cause milk allergies.
Raw versus pasteurized. Most butter in the markets is made from pasteurized cream. This is not ideal, but it is all that most people can buy. Butter made from raw (unpasteurized) cream is available in some areas. It is the best quality butter.
Butter is quite yin in macrobiotic terms. This is important to know. Do not overdo on butter for this reason. Slow oxidizers, for example, do not need to add fat to their diet provided they are eating foods that contain some fat such as dark meat chicken, red meat with some fat, almond butter, tahini, and blue corn chips fried in oil. Adding up to 1 teaspoon of butter daily is probably okay. However, many people use much more than this. This will interfere with their health and slow development. Too much also leads to cancer because all fats contain estrogens, which are carcinogens. Eating fats also unbalances the body of slow oxidizers very easily. Other reasons for limiting butter may be in play, as well.
USES FOR BUTTER
Butter can be eaten by itself. However, most people prefer to spread it on food or add it to hot cereal or cooked vegetables, for example. This is excellent and it adds a rich flavor to any food.
Cooking fat. Butter can be used as a cooking fat, and it is excellent for this purpose. Try not to burn it, and I don’t recommend deep fried foods at all.
Fast oxidation and butter. While everyone can have one to two tablespoons of butter daily, those with a fast oxidation rate need more. They can have some with every meal.
Most of these people are babies and young children. Butter has a calming and slowing effect on their metabolism that is necessary if they are to balance their oxidation rate. Butter is also very good for their nervous systems and overall health.
If fast oxidizers do not eat enough quality fats such as butter, they will crave carbohydrates, which the other major type of “fuel” food.
Does eating butter make one fat? If the diet is balanced with plenty of cooked vegetables and some animal protein daily, butter will not make anyone fat!
Most often, the food that makes people gain weight is carbohydrates (starches and sugars). This includes fruit and all fruit juices.
II. TOPICS RELATED TO BUTTER
THE STORY OF MARGARINE
In the rush to lower cholesterol, many health authorities recommend eating margarine instead of butter.
However, this is one of the worst junk foods. Margarine is artificially hardened vegetable oil, hardened with nickel and cadmium catalysts – two very toxic metals.
Hardened oils are found in commercial peanut butter, shortening, many commercial bakery products, most French fries, many whipped toppings and icings, instant mashed potatoes and microwave popcorn.
1. The vegetable oil margarine is made from is extracted at high temperature. This damages the oil by destroying its vitamin E and other nutrients.
2. Solvents are often added to the oil, and residues of these chemicals remain in the oil.
3. The oil is then “hardened” to make it semi-solid with a nickel or cadmium catalyst.
Nickel is an extremely toxic chemical that in excess causes lung cancer, kidney disease, depression and more.
Bubbling hydrogen through the oil saturates some of the carbon-carbon bonds of the oil, so that it becomes a saturated fat. The product then becomes hard or solid at room temperature. This means that the ads for margarine that say it is a “polyunsaturated” fat are not true. It always contains some saturated fat or it would be runny and liquid at room temperature.
The final product also usually contains some trans-fatty acids, no matter what the label says. These are man-made fatty acids. Research shows that trans-fatty acids increase inflammation in the body. This can worsen illnesses such as colitis and arthritis. Very recent research indicates that trans-fatty acids in margarine raise LDL levels. LDL is the "bad" cholesterol.
Margarine and some other hardened oil products also contain artificial yellow coloring agents. Otherwise, margarine would look like bicycle grease, to which it is similar. The coloring agents are often toxic chemicals, as well. In summary, margarine is a disaster, even so-called health-food margarine sold at most health food stores!
WHAT IS GHEE?
Ghee, also called clarified butter, is butter with the milk solids removed. As a result, it is almost clear in color and has less of a buttery taste.
To make ghee, one gently heats butter until the white-colored milk solids separate from the oil. One skims off the milk solids, leaving just the oil. It should be refrigerated as it is an oil.
I do not recommend ghee. It is overly processed, which damages some of its nutritional qualities.
Advantages of butter over ghee are:
1. It is not cooked as much. This preserves some important nutrients.
2. The milk solids in butter contain some added nutrients, which are lost when one makes it into ghee.
Some people like ghee because:
1. For cooking, ghee will not burn as easily because it does not have milk solids. As a result, it can be heated to a higher temperature. However, I do not recommend high temperature cooking, so this is not very important.
2. Ghee is also a little more yang than butter.
3. Some people who cannot tolerate dairy products can tolerate ghee, although I find that most people can tolerate butter, even those allergic to most dairy products.
IS AVOIDING BUTTER THE WAY TO CONTROL CHOLESTEROL?
No! The observations of many natural health practitioners indicate that a balanced body chemistry is the key to normalizing cholesterol. Dr. William Koch, MD, an eminent physician, wrote:
"Cholesterol ... is no problem when the oxidations are efficient and the diet is sensible. In all our observations, high levels (of cholesterol) drop ... it steadies to a good normal when the oxidations are re-established to normal." (Normal oxidations refers to the efficient burning of food and the generation of adequate energy from food.)
Most cholesterol is manufactured within the body. A very small proportion of one’s cholesterol comes directly from the diet. Cholesterol is the raw material for the adrenal stress hormones and the sex hormones. The body often reacts to stress by producing more cholesterol. This allows the body to make more stress-fighting hormones.
As one reduces biochemical stress through a nutritional balancing program, cholesterol levels tend to decrease without the need for restrictive diets. In fact, eating some animal products that contain cholesterol often helps balance body chemistry.