While butter has gotten a bad rap over the years, according to a recent study, it may be a food that is more neutral when it comes to health: meaning, it’s not that good, nor bad for you.
In the past, the dairy food has been connected with heart disease, however, Laura Pimpin, co-author of the new study, states that it may have a limited chance of risk, when it comes to illness and mortality.
The study team gathered data around butter consumption and health risks, from nine past studies, that included a total of over 636,000 participants. The data collected was then combined into a bigger meta-analysis, where researchers reviewed how butter consumptions was linked with diabetes, heart disease, and mortality.
The statistics revealed that tablespoon-serving of butter daily was connected to a one percent increased risk of death, and a four percent decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. It’s important to note, research in the past as revealed an odd link within dairy fat, and a lowered risk of diabetes.
Pimpin noted that the team was a little surprised at the diabetes results, and that butter consumption seemed to have an average protective effect. She goes on to state that this is based on very few studies, and it possibly could not be a reliable result. Pimpin adds that more research is needed on the topic.
In addition, according to the report, no major links were revealed between heart health and butter intake.
Pimpin adds that individuals should consider the strengthen of these relationships as minor; and that decreasing or increasing their butter consumption does not seem to have a big impact on one’s health. Pimpin notes that other food choices are more vital.
Dr. Frank Hu, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and an individual not involved in the study, chimed in, to state that this new report does not indicate that butter is healthy. Rather, he goes on to note, the study is a meta-analysis of reports, and therefore the quality of this study, is closely dependent on the quality of the original reports.
Hu adds that a small amount of butter won’t necessarily be a big problem. However, regular intake, when used daily, on a variety of foods and cooking methods, could significantly increase the chances of heart disease, as butter is made up of saturated fats, for the most part. Hu goes to say that there are other cooking alternatives to butter, which includes: nut butter, olive oil, or canola oil.
Hu also notes, that what most scientists cannot argue, is a healthy diet that centers around plant-based foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and seafood.
CNN reports that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you are eating, as long as you are eating a wide variety of health-focused foods. At the end of the day, butter may not be all that bad, but it doesn’t seem to be all that great, in larger quantities, either.