New Study Suggests Butter Can Be Better than Vegetable Oils
When it comes to butter versus oil, oil is often going to win when we’re considering health. But some recent research results are pointing out that certain vegetable oils might not be quite as healthy as we previously thought.
Safflower, soybean, sunflower, and corn oil all contain linolenic acid which is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that has shown to be good for speeding up the metabolism, reducing cholesterol levels, and boosting the immune system function. However according to some research analysis from the University of North Carolina Health Care, that linolenic acid might not be so good for the heart.
The researcher’s analysis pulled out some data from a study that took place at the University of Minnesota between the years of 1968 and 1973 on 9,423 different people. The study found that people who switched from butter to corn oil in their diet effectively reduced their cholesterol levels, but they didn’t necessarily experience fewer heart attacks or even overall levels of death.
Further analysis on the topic actually seemed to show that the people who were eating the linolenic acid actually had more heart attacks and deaths than the control group did. Then they found another study called the Sydney Diet Heart Study from 2013 which echoed the same sentiment.
However, the researchers were using only partial data to come up with these results, so this doesn’t necessarily mean that vegetable oil is all bad.
But it does mean that it should be eaten in moderation like other fats and that it shouldn’t be given the “health halo” on the assumption that it is good for you. The health halo has been shown to make people think that they can afford to eat more of something just because it’s considered healthy, without taking into account the other details about its nutritional makeup.
Some recent studies have even been looking into the fact that certain butters can be healthier than others. When cows are truly grass fed the resulting butter made from their milk has less saturated fat and more unsaturated fat than cows who are fed things like corn. Unsaturated fats can be good for the body as fuel as can be stored in the muscle cells as intramuscular triglycerides.
Also keep it mind that animal fats are the area of the body where toxins are stored, so it is truly beneficial to look for organic and grass fed labels. The healthier an animal is to begin with, the healthier it’s meat and dairy products are going to be without question.
So while it is important to keep in mind that fats and oils have their limitations, there are also good things about eating them when they comes from whole natural sources. But it’s not something to fixate on too much. We’re best off watching our overall caloric intake and avoiding processed foods and sugar than debating for too long about which oil is the best choice to cook our breakfast with. It’s a learning process for us all.
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About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.