A study published on June 29 in the journal PLOS ONE reveals eating butter is not that harmful to health as some people believe. Butter does not increase one’s risk of developing cardiovascular health problems, diabetes and mortality.
The findings are combined data of other research conducted in different countries. Researchers from the Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus combined all of these studies, reaching up to 636,151 study participants.
A total of 28,271 people died during the study period, 9,783 were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and 23,954 individuals developed type 2 diabetes. On the average, these individuals ate one-third of a serving to 3.2 servings of butter each day or 14 grams daily.
Despite this, the research team did not find strong associations of butter consumption with the development of diabetes, cardiovascular health problems and mortality. The researchers note that people who eat more this usually have worse diets but this did not have any significant effect on the disease risk.
“Even though people who eat more butter generally have worse diets and lifestyles, it seemed to be pretty neutral overall,” says lead researcher Laura Pimpin, who works as UK Health Forum’s data analyst of public health.
“This suggests that butter may be a “middle-of-the-road” food: a more healthful choice than sugar or starch, such as the white bread or potato on which butter is commonly spread and which have been linked to higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” she adds.
The lead researcher adds that butter is still less healthy in comparison to some margarines and cooking oils, which include canola, extra virgin olive oil, soybean, flaxseed and other cooking oils that contain a lot of healthy fats.
“Overall, our results suggest that butter should neither be demonized nor considered “back” as a route to good health,” concludes the study’s senior author Dariush Mozaffarian. “More research is needed to better understand the observed potential lower risk of diabetes, which has also been suggested in some other studies of dairy fat. This could be real, or due to other factors linked to eating butter — our study does not prove cause-and-effect.”
The author adds, “More research is needed to better understand the observed potential lower risk of diabetes, which has also been suggested in some other studies of dairy fat. This could be real, or due to other factors linked to eating butter — our study does not prove cause-and-effect.”