By Carie Connell

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

While butter provides many of the essential nutrients to support the best health of all adults, expectant mothers should perhaps benefit most from its unique supply. Butter is an incredibly rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A that promotes good vision and endocrine health. The adrenal and thyroid glands, both part of the endocrine system, play key roles in a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. The vitamin A supplied by butter is especially important for women who are pregnant or hoping to conceive. Receiving optimal levels of vitamin A at the time of conception is essential for a baby’s healthy growth. Vitamin A is vital for brain and nervous system development, as well as strong bones and teeth. Fortunately for us, butter presents a more absorbable form of vitamin A than any other food source. Beyond vitamin A, vitamins K, D, and E are all found in highly soluble forms in butter. As stable, fat-soluble vitamins they survive through pasteurization. The natural supply of these vitamins in body-friendly forms makes butter an integral part of what expectant mothers should eat.

Fatty Acids 

Digestive health in young children is tied to a special category of fatty acids known as glycospingolypids. These good fats protect children from gastrointestinal problems. Eating butter substitutes and drinking skim milk results in higher rates of diarrhea for kids. Eliminating these positive fats from children’s diets strips the stomach of the nutrients it needs to function in health. Butter also provides the good cholesterol children need for brain and nervous system development. As infants they receive cholesterol through mother’s breast milk. During childhood they continue to need this good cholesterol for ongoing physical and mental function. But the new is even better: not only does butter supply the good cholesterol, it actually provides the nutrient needed to digest it. As a natural part of butter, lecithin helps the body metabolize and then absorb the good cholesterol. This relationship demonstrates nature’s beautiful symmetry in supplying what our bodies need.

Brain development in young children is likewise supported by the arachidonic acid (AA) found plentifully in butter. As one of the LCP (long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids – a “good” fat), AA strengthens cell membranes and promotes healthy brain function. Healthy large intestines also rely on butter. Large supplies of butyric acid, the colon’s energy source, are found in butter. Butyric acid is similarly an important anti-carcinogen, as is CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which butter also supplies. Beyond preventing cancer, CLA optimizes muscle growth and helps guard against unhealthy weight gain. The essential fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6, found in butter occur in small yet equally balanced amounts, a proportion that is key to your body’s ability to use them effectively.

Dangers of Margarines and Vegetable Oil Spreads

Margarines and vegetable oil spreads masquerade as “healthier” alternatives, but are actually quite dangerous for our bodies. Vegetable oils must be heated to temperatures so high they become rancid. Nickel, a highly toxic metal, is then added to solidify the oils. Deodorants and colorings make the final product visually appealing – these inorganic additives disguise the grayish color and unappetizing smell that would normally result. Most alarming, however, is the trans-fatty acids that created during the process. While butter contains fatty acids that help strengthen the immune system, the fats found in butter substitutes actually weaken good immune systems and have cancer-causing potential.