There’s growing evidence that our favourite fat can not only be good for us, it also wont make us fat in moderation says one of my favourite nutrition experts, Dr John Briffa.
For years and years we have had the illusion that all foods can be measured in calories and all calories are the same. We have bought the story that all fat is dangerous and rush like lemmings to buy skimmed or semi skimmed milk, fat reduced sludge that we call margarine, and low fat everything.
I’m not going to replicate all the physiological arguments here, but the body doesn’t work like that. We have been sold many pups by people who are interested in making money out of our fears. We buy strange yoghurts with plant stanols in our fear to reduce cholesterol and we buy fat-reduced chocolate biscuits and low-fat crisps that taste like cardboard. Fat-reduced biscuits? Who are these people really kidding!
In addition to being made fearful of fats, we are also fearful of particular kinds of fat. Saturated types of fat like butter is supposed to be bad for our waistline and our hearts. We don’t even know that the second most plentiful fat in butter is unsaturated, which is supposed to be good for us like nuts and seeds and cold pressed olive oil.
But does butter make us fat? Strangely there isn’t much good evidence. Taking fat out of food and milk can make it higher in sugars, which is associated with weight gain. Adding butter to your diet might be good for your brain, make you happier and reduce your cravings for sugar.
So next time your hand hovers over the full cream milk and your eyes wander over the butter in Tesco, let yourself buy it. Full cream milk is a low fat food which will keep your blood sugar stable and light your inner fire. Butter tastes nice, won’t make you fat and is good for your heart.
People with eating disorders and weight problems have become terrified of fat. It’s often the first thing that gets ditched with the dieting. We need to eat fats and we needn’t be scared of butter. Follow the informed arguments, not the advice of people who want to make money out of your fears. I’ve started eating toast with butter and drinking full fat milk again, and it makes me very, very happy that I can, without fear.