Butter and Healthy Eating

16 Apr

Life without butter would not be quite as tasty. Deserts, pastries, eggs, pancakes and such indulged delicacies, brings much pleasure to our taste buds.

Unlike yesteryears, today’s markets bring much to choose from.  It is not the same butter Mama use to make or buy. Nowadays, there is more than one type. The market is well stocked with a variety of butter. Regular, Grass-Fed, Cultured, European, clarified also known as Ghee, Clotted cream, Goat and Sheep to name a few. This is not including the variety of herb and season infused types.

Typically, butter is made from cream that is separated from milk. Despite the different brands on the market, butter and cream are processed in the same basic way. The milk separates from the fat, time is allowing for fermentation and the end result will be butter. Very basic but true.  So, choosing which type you want to purchase depends on the purpose of its use. But, in general, commercial butters are high in saturated fat.

Studies indicate that blood cholesterol increases with saturated fat consumption, like butter. The American Heart Association recommends that saturated fats, such as those found in butter, should comprise of no more than 6 percent of your daily caloric intake to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. For someone eating 2,000 calories a day that’s about 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat or two to three teaspoons of fat. So, watch your intake, eat it in moderation, avoid smoking and exercising regularly to help you maintain balanced cholesterol levels.

zucchinibreadWhen cooking, you can replace at least some of the butter with canola or olive oil, you’ll still get the butter flavor while replacing some of the saturated fats with heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Here is my family’s favorite recipe of Zucchini bread using canola oil instead of butter:

        Zucchini Bread

Makes 2 loaves and 24 servings


2 cups whole wheat flour

1½ cups all-purpose white flour

1½ teaspoon baking soda

1½ teaspoon salt (optional)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon baking powder

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Non-stick cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray the two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together the whole wheat and white flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder in medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually beat in sugar, then oil. Add flour mixture,    alternately with zucchini, into the egg mixture. Stir in the raisins, walnuts, and          vanilla.
  4. Pour batter into the two prepared loaf pans. Bake on lowest rack of the oven for 55 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Freezes well.

Nutrient Analysis, per serving: 270 calories, 36g. carbohydrate, 4g. protein, 13g. fat, 250mg sodium

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