It looks like butter may, in fact, be back. The creamy condiment is a “middle-of-the-road” food, nutritionally speaking—better than sugar, worse than olive oil—according to a new report, which adds to a growing body of research showing that the low-fat-diet trend was misguided. The new study analyzed nine papers that included more than 600,000 people and concluded that consuming butter is not linked to a higher risk for heart disease and might be slightly protective against type 2 diabetes. This goes against the longstanding advice to avoid butter because it contains saturated fat.
To be clear, the new study doesn’t say butter is a health food, rather that “it doesn’t seem to be hugely harmful or beneficial,” says study author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts in Boston. This is in line with the new thinking from a growing number of nutrition scientists who say that cutting back on fat, even the saturated kind, is doing more harm than good.
“In my mind, saturated fat is kind of neutral overall,” Mozaffarian says. “Vegetable oils and fruits and nuts are healthier than butter, but on the other hand, low-fat turkey meat or a bagel or cornflakes or soda is worse for you than butter.”
SHARE this interesting fact with friends.