Butter: Friend or Foe?

Photo courtesy of tarale under Creative Commons. License.


Just the word can send many of my clients into a cold sweat! For decades, it has been the most vilified nutrient in the American diet.

As the scientist H.D. Eurt once said, “A little bit of nonsense repeated regularly enough for 50 years can wipe out thousands of years of truth”.

The nonsense about butter and other animal based saturated fats being responsible for heart disease and specifically the raising of cholesterol levels started back in 1977. A Senate committee led by George McGovern published its landmark Dietary Goals for the United States, urging Americans to eat less high-fat red meat, eggs and dairy and replace them with more calories from fruits, vegetables and especially carbohydrates.

By 1980 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its first dietary guidelines, and one of the primary directives was to avoid cholesterol and the fat of all animals.

TIME Magazine's Butter IssuesDr. Ancel Keys made it onto the front cover of TIME magazine back in 1984 with his fraudulent 7-country study defining the lipid hypothesis as the new truth. Since then we have come full circle in realizing the errors of our ways.

Butter consumption today is nothing like it was in the roaring twenties, but thankfully it’s no longer being vilified despite its extensive nutrient benefits.

What are those benefits? Take a quick look at this video clip I did for HealthyMeTV on butter as a superfood.

And now here is one of my favorite recipes to put butter to delicious use.

Chicken Liver Pate

It never ceases to amaze me how many people consider chicken liver pate to be unhealthy. It was once considered the number one brain food and was always highly recommended for expectant mothers. Where did all this wisdom go?

Now we consider this wonderful dish to be a sinful indulgence, but on the contrary, it’s jam packed full of essential nutrients and is on my list of super foods because it’s rich in:

  • Iron for healthy blood
  • Folate for healthy cell regeneration and protection from heart disease
  • B12 for a healthy nervous system
  • Vitamin B6 for healthy hormones and protein metabolism
  • Vitamin A for healthy eyes, skin and respiratory tract
  • Zinc for healthy skin and immune system
  • Protein for growth, repair and regeneration
  • Choline (amino acid) for healthy nerves and muscles
  • Cholesterol (yes cholesterol IS an essential ‘nutrient’. Without it there’d be no estrogen, progesterone or testosterone. You’d have leaky cells and you wouldn’t be able to store memories or make myelin which protects your nerves. If your cholesterol is high you need to find out why YOUR liver is producing more than it should. Your liver makes 80% of the cholesterol found in your body, 10% is made in your digestive tract and 5% in your skin. Only 5-10% comes from dietary sources).

FYI: breast milk contains more cholesterol than any other food! Did Mother Nature get it wrong? I think not!!

Try this pate on toast for breakfast (makes better brain food than honey on toast and most kids love it provided you don’t tell them what it’s made from!). It also makes a great mid afternoon snack with some raw organic carrot and celery sticks.

Chicken Liver Pate Recipe [dt_cell width=”1/3″] Jo Rushton's Chicken Liver Pate [/dt_cell][dt_cell width=”1/3″] Ingredients:

  • 500 gm organic chicken livers (most important to use organic liver only, it is the detoxifying organ after all)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 slices of bacon (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 250 gm organic butter
  • 100 ml of white wine (optional)
  • Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon, or parsley (optional)

[/dt_cell][dt_cell width=”1/3″] Directions:

  1. Heat 50 gm of butter in pan; add onion garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add bacon and livers, sauté until opaque. Add herbs if selected. Add white wine and reduce to just a moist consistency. Let cool.
  2. Transfer to blender, add remaining butter and blend till smooth.
  3. Transfer to glass container and refrigerate.
  4. Additional melted butter can be drizzled over the top to preserve color and help to keep the pate from forming a skin on top.


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