One of the most healthy whole foods you can include in your diet is butter.
"What?!" I can hear many of you saying, "Isn't butter bad for you? I thought margarine and spreads were better because they're low in saturated fat and cholesterol?"
Be not deceived folks!
Butter is truly better than margarine or other vegetable spreads. Despite unjustified warnings about saturated fat from well-meaning, but misinformed, nutritionists, the list of butter's benefits is impressive indeed:
Butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A, needed for a wide range of functions in the body, from maintaining good vision, to keeping the endocrine system in top shape. Butter also contains all the other fat-soluble vitamins (E, K, and D).
Butter is rich in trace minerals, especially selenium, a powerful antioxidant. Ounce for ounce, butter has more selenium per gram than either whole wheat or garlic. Butter also supplies iodine, needed by the thyroid gland (as well as vitamin A, also needed by the thyroid gland).
Butter has appreciable amounts of butyric acid, used by the colon as an energy source. This fatty acid is also a known anti-carcinogen. Lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid, is a potent antimicrobial and antifungal substance.
Butter also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which gives excellent protection against cancer. Range-fed cows produce especially high levels of CLA as opposed to "stall fed" cattle.
These are a special category of fatty acids that protect against gastrointestinal infections, especially in the very young and the elderly. Children, therefore, should not drink skim or low fat milk. Those that do have higher rates of diarrhea than those that drink whole milk.
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