What to do about butter??

This topic contains 22 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  cc79 8 years, 6 months ago.

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  • Hi all!
    Just looking for a bit of advice about butter. My hubby stopped buying spreads and switched to butter a while back because his mother filled him with horror stories. I love butter, but it’s very hard to be anything but generous with it! Obviously I avoid it on fast days but I worry that it might send me over limit on non-fast days as it’s impossible to guesstimate how much I’ve used, expecially when it’s melting into hot toast (there’s my tummy rumbling!). Anyone find any lower cal alternatives that aren’t filled with nasty things? What about coconut butter, would it be any lower calorie? I saw a recipe online for it- just desiccated coconut buzzed up in food processer til mush – is it a healthier alternative? Thanks, Claire

    In my opinion there is no substitute for butter!!

    Maybe you could just have it one or two days and really savour it, only have it on one or half a piece of toast to have last, measure/weigh a certain allowance for each week (I did that once with cheese), or try light Philadelphia as an alternative?

    Good luck!

    Hi Claire, i dont know what country your in, but i use Bertolli light its only 35 cals for 2 tea spoons,
    it says on the tub
    (quote)Using Bertolli light olive oil spread instead of butter is an easy and enjoyable way to introduce the health benefits of olive oil into your everyday diet.

    Bertolli olive oil light spread has 80% less saturated fat than butter and is high in monounsaturated fat.

    *Bertolli light is made with Mediterranean olive oil. Enjoy as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

    Replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat in the diet contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels (MUFA is unsaturated fat(un-quote)

    Hi Claire….. Butter….mmmmmmmmmm. USA posted on the 5th Nov I think about a BBC prog with Dr Mosley where he talks about Butter amongst other things. Between the saturated fats found in butter and the trans fats in margarine he comes down on the side of butter. Check out http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health/24657045.
    As regards over buttering the bread, well, bite the bullet, spread thin, one slice only and finally…. BUY BRITISH BUTTER. Nuff Said.
    Good Luck.

    @couscous
    “As regards over buttering the bread, well, bite the bullet, spread thin, one slice only and finally…. BUY BRITISH BUTTER. ”

    Risking reprisals, and knowing that there is a long standing love affair with butter, any butter is not healthy, British or otherwise.

    I’m with Fast for life on this with switching to olive oil.

    ➰

    hi claire

    usa here

    butter
    olive oil
    coconut oil
    & many more saturated fats πŸ˜€

    r now proven scientifically 4 the brain & ur body is also good 4 a long life

    all the docs especially neurologists / cardiologist r now seeing through research how bad they were taught

    Did u c that dr oz that promoted low fat is now apologizing that HE was wrong! He as a cardiologist has realized he was taught the wrong way. He had the grain brain author
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    when i fasted on w/ 500 a day (now i’m doing adf 0 cal fastdays click my name u will c my reversal topic)

    i always had a pad of butter like the wrapped one’s in a restaurant which is the equivalent 2
    1 teaspoon that went a long way 35 calories

    however no bread but fish vegetables even
    an apple w/ applepie spices cooked in butter w/ pistachios on top very low good fat fastday dessert πŸ™‚

    the video’s below

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    http://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/everything-a-newbie-might-want-2-c-use-read/
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    γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€

    hope this helps
    γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€
    wish u both success
    γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€
    happy nonfastdays & fastdays & 5/2 & 4/3 & 6/1 & adf or 4/2/1 or 3/3/1 or 5/1/1 or adf w/1 & the fdl (fastday lifestyle) πŸ˜€
    γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€γ€€
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    In Spain it is very common to put a bit of nice olive oil on your plate with some salt, and tear and dip bread. It is super super delish, easier to measure and maybe a bit easier not to overindulge. Just another thought πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Hi all, Thanks for all your advice, I appreciate it! I will try to use just a scrape of butter in future as at least it’s all natural, I’m not keen on all these additives you can’t pronounce. I’ll have a read at the olive oil spreads next time I’m in supermarket- they maybe don’t have as many additives and I could have some of that on a day when I’ve been too naughty!
    USA, I agree about the sugar. My mum’s friend tried alternate day fasting but didn’t have much success because of overeating on non-fast days. She decided to cut out sugar completely, apart from what naturally occurs in fruit. The only other thing she cut out was potatoes, she still eats butter, olive oil etc but has lost about 28 pounds and doesn’t feel hungry between meals anymore. It is definitely addictive but I suppose the cravings subside after a while. Zero cals sounds scary!
    Couscous, I always buy butter made in a creamery a couple of miles from my home, you can’t beat knowing where something comes from!

    This is the ingredients list for Bertolli Olive Oil spread… I’d rather eat butter πŸ™‚

    Ingredients
    Bertolli Olive Oil composed of Refined Olive Oils and Virgin Olive Oils, Rapeseed Oil, Water, Whey (from Milk), Vegetable Oils, Buttermilk, Salt (0.8%), Emulsifier: Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Preservative (Potasium Sorbate), Thickener (Sodium Alginate), Citric Acid, Vitamin E, Flavouring, Vitamins A & D, Colour: Carotenes.

    Yuck, I think I’m with you there KimG! I remember watching a programme of a guy making low fat mayo and all the thickeners and stuff he put in it was like wallpaper paste. I don’t imagine it can be good for you – at least butter only has one ingredient and it tastes so much better too.
    I had thought about making my own coconut butter but having read the cal content of the ones you can buy I don’t think it’ll be any better, plus it might be so delicious I’d have to spread it thickly πŸ˜‰ Claire

    @kimg
    “This is the ingredients list for Bertolli Olive Oil spread… ”

    I’m with you on skipping this also, and staying with just olive oil.

    ➰

    Hi all, some good posts on this and I enjoy the different thoughts and views you all have. As a young boy butter was always on the table. Olive oil was only sold in small bottles found on the top shelf in chemists shops. It was used for medical purposes only, such as dry skin in your ear or for a dry and itchy skin rash. I did not taste it until I was in my 20s. cc79, I agree with you, buy local, I will make enquiries for a local creamery. Rocky, I do agree with your point about olive oil but at my age, 65 I am going to continue to enjoy the odd pat of butter and will continue to……..BUY BRITISH BUTTER.
    Good luck to you all.

    Couscous, You made me laugh about olive oil. I’m 30 years younger than you but I remember as a child having sore ears and my dad warming up olive oil (from a little brown glass bottle with a dropper) and pouring it into my ear and then filling it with cotton wool! He used to always get me to lie on my side with my finger in my other ear so the oil wouldn’t run right through! Giggling to myself at work while I’m thinking about it πŸ™‚
    Olive oil for cooking maybe took a few more years to make it over the Irish Sea to NI.
    BTW I’m not a local food fanatic – it’s ok to buy British, it’s just there happens to be a dairy farm on every corner over here. Claire

    Greetings, all. It’s an interesting debate. Long lists of ingredients are a concern. When I see vegetable oils listed, as in KimG’s example above, I want to shout ‘Which vegetable oils?’ When it gets to ‘Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids’ etc, I groan in uncomfortable ignorance. I too grew up in a fairly rural area, in Northern Ireland. I’m 63.

    I marvel at the changes in society within a few generations. My paternal grandfather grew up in a society with NO compulsory education. When my grandmother was born, her mother – by definition – owned nothing: a woman’s property automatically passed to her husband, on marriage. When my dad was born, women could not vote. When my parents married, it was a (commonplace) condition of my mum’s white collar employment that on marriage she must resign. So, immense social change within in a few generations.

    Likewise, food production and nutrition have changed radically – an era that features long ingredient lists (with recently devised compounds nestling among them), synthetic fertilisers, GM, etc. A simple example of change in food – when I took a real pineapple from England to NI in the 1970s, to show my maternal grandfather, it was the first and only one he ever saw. Often, they grew what they ate and ate what they grew, prepared by my grandmother, who could churn butter from the milk of their own cows, etc. Incidentally, it was perhaps from those cows that I contracted TB – those days weren’t all good!

    With an exponential rate of change and complexity, industrialised agriculture and food production, comes risk. Apart from influence of the vested interests USA refers to, mindboggling complexity makes it so difficult to tease out what shifts in health relate to what changes in lifestyle or nutrition, to which small print ingredients, etc.

    I know that is all stating the obvious, but it’s easy to forget the dramatic extent of change of nutrition, which has come about (considered in historical terms) in the blink of an eye. R

    Would you rather have natural food or something manufactured and chemically manipulated? Butter is natural and margarines are not! I know which one I put into my body these days.

    @iwant2bincontrol
    “In my opinion there is no substitute for butter!!”

    @tomorrow
    “I know that is all stating the obvious, but it’s easy to forget the dramatic extent of change of nutrition, ”

    What would happen if there was a butter fast in your life? Forever?

    Would your health improve or decline?

    ➰

    The last butter I had was in the form of a nibble of a Halloween cookie I made with the kids. Before that I can’t remember. I.e: I don’t eat it often enough for me to be worried about its health effects. And I enjoy it too much when I do have it to cut it out anyway πŸ™‚

    this will help

    My piece in The Times which (I think) settles the butter versus margarine debate once and for all

    by Dr John Briffa on 1 November 2013 in Cholesterol and Statins, Healthy Eating, Unhealthy Eating!
    Last Saturday, The Times newspaper here in the UK carried a piece I wrote about the relative merits of butter, margarine and cholesterol-reducing spreads. I think it’s great we have got to the point where a major, β€˜serious’ newspaper is commissioning and publishing pieces that challenge nutritional orthodoxy and do not swallow food industry misinformation whole without thinking.

    Here’s the piece in full:

    Many of us will know the gustatory gratification butter can give us, whether spread on a piece of bread or toast, infused in mashed potato or melted over some veggies. However, we also likely to be only too aware of butter’s rich stash of saturated fat, which we’re warned raises our risk of heart disease via an elevating effect on cholesterol. Butter has inevitably been damned to nutritional hell by official health bodies, which have eagerly advised us to opt for lower-fat and cholesterol-reducing spreads instead.

    This week, though, a British Medical Journal article by cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra which urges us to choose butter every time hit the headlines. So, are our beliefs about the β€˜heart-healthy’ properties of margarine built on solid scientific foundations, or just the result of slick marketing and misinformation? Is it time we got our fats straight?

    Butter

    While the saturated fat that makes up the bulk of butter might boost cholesterol levels in our blood, any effect here is actually irrelevant: it’s the impact it has on health that counts. All the most recent, major scientific reviews of the evidence simply fail to find any link between intakes of saturated fat and risk of heart disease.

    These β€˜epidemiological’ studies fail to impugn saturated fat, but cannot be used to determine β€˜causality’ (whether or not saturated fat causes heart disease). More enlightening are studies in which the health outcomes of individuals who cut back on saturated fat or replace it with supposedly healthier fats are compared with those who do not make these changes.

    A comprehensive review of the literature encompassing almost 50 such studies was published by researchers from the respected Cochrane Collaboration in 2012. Reducing and/or modifying fat in the diet did not reduce the risk of heart disease (or stroke, or any other chronic disease) at all. Life expectancy was not extended by a single day either. The evidence as a whole strongly suggests that our belief that saturated fat causes heart disease and has broadly harmful effects on health is a myth.

    The next most plentiful fat in butter is monounsaturated in nature. This type of fat is found in foods such as olives, olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocado, and is associated with improved heart health.

    Butter also contains small amounts of what are known as β€˜trans fats’. Trans fats can be formed during the processing of fats, and are said to cause heart disease. However, the trans fats found in butter have a different chemical nature to those found in industrially-produced fats (such as those found in some margarines). Crucially, there is evidence that while industrially-produced trans fats do indeed have links with heart disease, those that occur naturally in the diet do not.

    Margarine

    The original health claims for margarine centred on its lower saturated fat content compared to butter. But, seeing as the evidence essentially exonerates saturated fat, this claim has no legs.

    Margarine’s principal ingredient comes in the form of β€˜vegetable’ oils such as sunflower, corn or safflower oil. These oils are rich in so-called omega-6 fats – one of the two main forms of β€˜polyunsaturated’ fats. Omega-6 fats are vigorously promoted as β€˜healthy’, but in general terms promote inflammation and blood clotting – two things that would be expected to raise heart disease risk. In recent years, many researchers have raised concerns about the considerable glut of this type of fat in the diet, including from processed foods.

    Some margarines also contain omega-3 fats (the other major type of polyunsaturated fats) that have generally beneficial anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties. However, this will generally be in small amounts and in a form (alpha linolenic acid) that may not confer the health benefits ascribed to the omega-3 fats found in oily fish (EPA and DHA).

    Vegetable oils are liquid at room temperature, and need to be solidified to make them suitable for spreading. This can be done through chemical processing such as β€˜hydrogenation’ or β€˜interesterification’. The end result will be at least some fats that are unknown in nature – a quality that is likely to bring with it some none-too-healthy properties. For me, adding processed fats to butter to make them β€˜lite’ or spreadable simply risks adulterating it from both a nutritional and taste perspective.

    Certain spreads have supposed added value for health by being based on monounsaturated fat-rich olive oil. However, liquid olive oil requires solidification through processing, and this likely detracts from any healthy properties it may have and, again, stands to impart some unhealthy characteristics too. Plus, like other margarines, olive oil-based spreads will generally have other processes inflicted on it including bleaching, deodorising, colouring and flavouring. An olive oil spread is a very far cry indeed from the extra virgin olive oil we may use for roasting vegetables or as the basis for a salad dressing.

    Whatever the base ingredients in margarine, the end product is always a highly processed and chemicalised foodstuff – in stark contrast to the relatively natural nature of butter (made by the churning or milk or cream).

    Bearing in mind the fact that margarine is so often assumed to be the hands-down winner in the battle with butter, you might expect there to be plenty of evidence for its superior health effects. Actually, the evidence in the area is scant, and what exists should give us cause for concern, I think.

    There are, for instance, two epidemiological studies in which the relationship between butter and margarine consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease was assessed. In neither study was butter consumption found to be associated with increased risk. However, it was a different story for margarine: both studies linked its consumption with worsened health outcomes.

    Again, this sort of evidence cannot prove causality. However, even more concerning are the findings of what is known as the Sydney Diet Heart Study. Here, men were split into two groups. In one, men ate their normal diet, while in the other the men were instructed to eat a diet rich in safflower oil, including safflower oil-based margarine. The men on this β€˜heart-healthy’ diet actually ended up being 74 per cent more likely to die of heart disease.

    Cholesterol-reducing margarines

    Recent years have seen the emergence of cholesterol-reducing spreads into the market. It’s often assumed that cholesterol reduction is beneficial to heart health. However, several cholesterol-modifying drugs have not been found to deliver on their promise, and some have been found to actually harm heart health. Plus, overall, taking dietary steps to reduce cholesterol has not been found to have broad benefits for health.

    Again, the effect that a foodstuff has on cholesterol levels should not be our focus, but the impact it has on health. What evidence do we have that cholesterol-reducing margarines reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack or overall risk of death? Not one single study of this nature exists in the scientific literature.

    Some cholesterol-reducing margarines contain β€˜plant sterols’ that partially block absorption of cholesterol from the gut. However, sterols may make their way into the bloodstream too, and evidence links higher levels of sterols in the blood with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Perhaps worse still, there are several studies that show sterols have the ability to damage tissue and induce worse health outcomes in animals.

    While the British Heart Foundation and many doctors heartily support the use of sterols, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) explicitly advises against their routine use.

    In the final analysis, I find it impossible to reconcile margarine’s heart-healthy image with the facts. The fat-phobia that drove our broad switch from butter to margarine in recent decades never did have any meaningful scientific support, and I believe has been a huge retrograde step in terms of our health.

    I am a practicing doctor and the author of several books on nutrition, and in over 20 years I have not bought a single tub of margarine, nor have consciously-limited butter in my diet. There’s little doubt in my mind that butter is better, and not just in terms of how it tastes. To my mind, butter need not be a guilty pleasure at all, but just a pleasure.

    thanks 2 all 4 ur comments
    take care usa

    USA, the intro to your post says: “My piece in The Times which (I think) settles… ” and then quotes Dr John Briffa’s article. I was confused by that first person reference, till I realised it is in the first person because it is quoting from John Briffa’s own blog.

    As I’ve written before, I greatly appreciate the phenomenal effort you devote to the forum, USA. I used to enjoy John Briffa’s regular nutrition column in the respected UK Sunday paper, The Observer. He’s never been a supporter of margarine, and its marketing.

    Historically, I think of margarine in my family as having been thought inferior, reluctantly accepted as an almost unavoidable aspect of wartime rationing. I’m interested that some of the work that eventually produced commercial margarine was apparently done exactly 200 years ago, and hydrogenation of vegetable oils seems to date back over a century. Wikipedia says “Emperor Napoleon III of France offered a prize to anyone who could make a satisfactory alternative for butter, suitable for use by the armed forces and the lower classes.” !
    Best wishes, R

    tomorrow

    never knew about napoleon
    cool
    what was the breakdown of that

    of what i remember about the rations

    every one was actually healthier

    & one of ur british shows i found on hulu

    did that experiment & more it was super good & funny

    u have really great shows
    but the dr results were something

    In The Supersizers Go…, British restaurant critic, Giles Coren, and comedienne, Sue Perkins, eat their way through history. From Roman times to the French Revolution to the Great War, Giles and Sue eat, live and play for a full week exclusively the way people did back then. Before and after each era of eating, they pay a visit to a doctor to see how there are affected by their new diets. What will your favorite era be?

    Restaurant Critic Giles Coren and Writer and comedian Sue Perkins grab their ration books for one week, and chomp their way through the food of 1940’s WWII Britain.
    Season 1 Episode 1 (59 min)
    Aired on 05/20/2008 Not Rated

    http://www.hulu.com/the-supersizers-go

    u probably saw it

    take care

    usa

    @wiltldnrusa
    ” in over 20 years I have not bought a single tub of margarine, nor have consciously-limited butter in my diet. There’s little doubt in my mind that butter is better, and not just in terms of how it tastes. ”

    Likewise, I haven’t bought margarine nor butter in .. I forget when. It doesn’t exist for me..at home.

    I do know that it exists in foods that are prepared when I’m dining. So I consume what is given to me. It’s sneaks into my system.

    Consciously, I make an effort to eliminate all dairy products, including butter.

    With fasting, it becomes easier to avoid dairy.

    ➰

    @wiltldnrusa
    “From Roman times to the French Revolution to the Great War, Giles and Sue eat, live and play for a full week exclusively the way people did back then. Before and after each era of eating, they pay a visit to a doctor to see how there are affected by their new diets. ”

    This annoys me.

    I dislike the entertainment aspect surrounding the consumption of food. I know that there are food shows that depict competition, and focus on foods as a diversion. I leave the room or change the channel quickly on this.

    Food is fuel.

    Would be people watch shows about pumping gasoline into cars?

    Probably.

    ➰

    I would say to also try to just cut back on the amount you use. Maybe try unsalted, it would be a slightly better choice than salted. Still, try to use less, and over time it will be the norm for you. Cutting back but still getting to have butter! Great compromise.

    Hi all,
    Thanks for all your info and opinions. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who still loves butter! I will keep having it on non-fast days but just spreading thinly… Claire

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