Love Your Butter, Baby!

by Leslie Lepeska, CNT

Butter boosts fertility!

Butter is one of the sacred foods of traditional people who knew its value in building healthy babies generation after generation. Our bodies use the cholesterol in butter as raw material for the building of sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Bright yellow butter is also a wonderful source of fertility-supporting vitamins A, D, E, and K and it helps the body absorb and use key minerals like calcium, magnesium, selenium, and iodine.

It's no wonder that Dr. Jorge Chavarro and his colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health found that high-fat dairy included in a woman’s diet helps boost her fertility. As butter consumption has declined, problems with fertility and sexual health have been on the rise.

Butter helps keep us fit!

I know it's hard to believe, but there are many studies and traditions which demonstrate that it is only dairy products which include the fat which are helpful in keeping a body fit! Butterfat supports our body's ability to use the calcium in milk. It gives food the ability to satisfy our hunger. Butter's short and medium-chain fatty acids are easily and quickly absorbed by the body to give us quick energy, so they are less likely to cause weight gain than margarines and commercial vegetable oils. Believe it or not, butter is a key element of a keep-fit regime.

The fat in butter provides a steady form of energy, unlike the see-saw energy from carbohydrate foods like sugars and grains. A high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet sends our insulin levels, and thereby, our other hormone levels, out of balance. Butter supports a steady release of insulin, which further contributes to balancing our hormones and improving our fertility.

Butter helps build a baby’s brain and a mother’s mental health!

Your brain is mainly made of cholesterol and fat, mostly the saturated fat which is plentiful in butter. The fats in butter support our body's use of other fatty acids, including the DHA, the omega-3 oil in fatty fish which is crucial to a baby's brain development.

Low cholesterol levels are associated with an increase in aggressive behavior, suicide, and mood disorders like postpartum depression. The cholesterol in butter, too, supports our body's handling of stress by providing a key precursor of cortisol, the main stress hormone.

Butter builds a body's beauty!

The vitamins and fats in butter nourish our hair, our skin, and our eyes. Butter hydrates our skin better than water does. Butter's Vitamin A and antioxidant Vitamin E help to prevent wrinkles. The saturated fats and biotin in butter make for healthier hair. The Vitamin A in golden butter lends power and sparkle to our eyes.

We have been taught to fear the saturated fats in butter, but our cell membranes need saturated fats to give us a smoothly functioning body and soft healthy skin.

Butter builds a healthy heart!

Did you know that saturated fat is the favored fuel of the heart? It's no wonder then that the body builds a cushion of saturated fat around the heart, providing a reserve of quick energy in times of stress. Butter's saturated fat plays a key role in the health of the heart. Adding butter to the diet reduces lipoprotein (a), a marker for heart disease risk.

Butterfat supports the building of muscles, including the smooth muscle of the heart.

Butter builds our bones and teeth!

We all know that calcium is necessary to build bones and teeth, but what is less known is that without the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K, and the saturated fat in foods like butter, our body cannot absorb and use the minerals, like calcium and phosphorus, and protein in our food. Butterfat enables the building of strong bones and teeth, and protects against tooth decay in both baby and mom.

How can we build bones and teeth, our baby's or our own, with low-fat or skim milk, which lacks the very fats and fat-soluble vitamins that are crucial for the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus! Let's enjoy our butter and heavy cream, use whole-milk yogurt, and drink full-fat milk, knowing that we are loving our bones in the process!

Butter builds and strengthens the immune system!

Butter builds your baby's immune system from the inside out, with plenty of ready Vitamin A to nourish the gut lining, our first-line defense against pathogens, and to support thyroid and adrenal health. The vitamins and minerals in butter help prevent allergies, ear infections, and upper respiratory infections.

Special fatty acids in coconut oil and butter, like lauric acid, protect us from gastrointestinal infections like E. coli and Candida yeast. Lauric acid is even used to treat yeast infections, which are very common in pregnancy and can contribute to infertility. Saturated fats and cholesterol are key components of cell membranes, the gatekeepers to the cell, allowing nutrients in and pathogens out.

You may not think of butter when you think of antioxidants, which protect us from free radicals that damage arteries and other cells in the body, but butter's Vitamin A, Vitamin E, selenium, and cholesterol are powerful antioxidants. Butter is a healing alternative to newfangled vegetable oils like canola oil, which are easily rancid and so cause free radical damage.

Butter tastes delicious, like real food!

Butter makes everything delicious. Isn't it wonderful that butter also supports our body's use of the vitamins and minerals in other foods? Without the help of butter, the vitamins and minerals in broccoli, for example, are unavailable to our body! So enjoy your carrots cooked with plenty of butter, maybe a bit of lemon. Or sourdough bread with a nice slab of butter. How about peaches and cream? Or real cream (yes, heavy whipping cream!) in your coffee, instead of the soy milk which disturbs thyroid function and damages reproductive health?

The most vitamin-rich butter is the deep yellow butter of cows eating their natural food, green grass. Look for Kerrygold Butter from Ireland, Jana Valley butter from New Zealand, and Pastured Organic Valley butter, to enjoy even better butter, made from the milk of grass-fed cows.

The cream of the crop! The fat of the land! Our old-fashioned fats, like butter, egg yolks, and coconut oil have been demonized, but healthy babies are the result when knowing couples learn the value of good butter and enjoy butter (and other fats) abundantly with the foods they eat.

Copyright ©Leslie Lepeska. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.

After growing up in a homecooked-food-loving family of 10, Leslie completed her Master of Arts degree in Psychology and Anthropology at the University of Chicago. She then traveled the world in her 20's to see how other societies had such healthy, happy children. Was she ever surprised to see food laced with "that demon,' saturated fat, supporting the smiling people in Africa, Asia, and even traditional Europe! Coconut oil, golden yellow butter, rich red palm oil, real sour cream, deep yellow egg yolks, and fatty meats and sea foods were the staples in old-fashioned diets all over the world. Leslie now passionately spreads the news that if we want to have vibrantly healthy children, without the modern scourges of allergies, asthma, ADD, obesity, and tooth decay, we need to rediscover the delicious traditional foods which have produced healthy children for thousands of years. She studies nourishing food ways, helps couples have healthy babies, and lives near Chicago with her two lively children -- and no asthma, no allergies, no ADD, no obesity, and no cavities!