But­ter mak­ing a come­back


Fi­nally com­mon sense is pre­vail­ing. A re­cently pub­lished ar­ti­cle in the Bri­tish Med­i­cal Jour­nal re­vealed that sat­u­rated fats are, in fact, protective of our health and hearts.

A large body of ev­i­dence now shows that peo­ple who eat but­ter and full fat dairy prod­ucts gen­er­ally have bet­ter heart health, less risk of type 2 di­a­betes and are at less risk of de­vel­op­ing obe­sity than those who eat fat-free.

Not only that, but the cat is fi­nally out of the bag about the part that sugar and re­fined car­bo­hy­drates play in the ter­ri­fy­ing in­crease in rates of obe­sity, di­a­betes and in­flam­ma­tory dis­ease.

De­bate has been run­ning hot in the Bri­tish Par­lia­ment about what to do.

Should there be leg­is­la­tion to en­sure tighter con­trols in the way sug­ary foods and bev­er­ages are mar­keted to chil­dren?

Should re­fined foods that are high in sugar or starch be taxed at a dif­fer­ent rate?

Can we re­ally ask peo­ple to eat less sugar?

Over the past year or more, some of those same ques­tions have been raised in New Zealand.

Now that we have ac­cess to rep­utable stud­ies that un­de­ni­ably show the link be­tween the con­sump­tion of pro­cessed foods and rapidly es­ca­lat­ing rates of obe­sity and other dis­eases, let’s stop talk­ing about it and do some­thing!

How have we been so mis­led for the 30 years?

Why have we been so ready to be­lieve that low- fat di­ets and man-made foods could be good for us? We have ig­nored the ob­vi­ous. When we look at the nat­u­ral di­ets of healthy in­dige­nous pop­u­la­tions, we can see that a large per­cent­age of their calo­ries comes from sat­u­rated fats. Rates of obe­sity and re­lated dis­ease in th­ese pop­u­la­tions are low.

It’s also in­ter­est­ing to note that fat and choles­terol are very im­por­tant com­po­nents in hu­man milk – the per­fect food for in­fants.

In fact, the milk from a healthy mother has about 50 to 60 per cent of its en­ergy (kilo­calo­ries) as fat.

There’s no deny­ing it is go­ing to be dif­fi­cult for many of us to change our eat­ing pref­er­ences and habits.

We have grown used to fat-free foods laden with sugar to re­place the flavour for­merly pro­vided by fat.

But think back to the days when trim milk was in­tro­duced (if you’re old enough to re­mem­ber those times).

We all turned our noses up at the thin wa­tery stuff, but most of us made the switch be­cause we be­lieved that it was bet­ter for our health. How wrong that turned out to be.

The wise ones who chose to keep eat­ing but­ter, drink­ing full cream milk, and quaffing cheese and full-fat yo­ghurt have on the whole re­mained slim­mer and health­ier than the rest.

So what should we do? It’s quite sim­ple re­ally – con­sume less sug­ary and starchy foods and bev­er­ages, drink more pure wa­ter and eat more foods in their whole orig­i­nal form. Fresh is best. If it comes in a packet, check the in­gre­di­ents. If it con­tains in­gre­di­ents your great­grand­mother wouldn’t recog­nise (like veg­etable oils in­stead of but­ter) you prob­a­bly shouldn’t eat it.

But­ter pro­vides us with fat sol- uble vi­ta­mins A, E, D and K2, which are es­sen­tial for brain devel­op­ment and cel­lu­lar re­pair, pro­tect us against dis­ease and help us main­tain a healthy weight.

I have helped hun­dreds of clients switch to this way of eat­ing and they re­port vastly im­proved health and eas­ier weight main­te­nance.

So for­get that low-fat non­sense, drop the sugar and go for full-fat prod­ucts and en­joy them.


Change of mind: There has been a re­vi­sion about but­ter. Turns out, it’s not so bad for us af­ter all.

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