The TRUTH About Butter

By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES

If you have heart disease, or are worried about having a heart attack, then there are many things that make you nervous.

For instance, eating higher sodium foods may scare you because you’re worried about high blood pressure.

Or, you may stay away from eating bacon, just because it is higher in saturated fats.

The fact is: There are many foods that you should and should not eat if you’re worried about your heart health – or even your overall health.

Now, another food people commonly exclude from their diet – due to the higher fat content and associated rise in blood fats – would be butter.

Doctors, nutritionists, and cardiologists have for years warned about including too much butter in your diet.

Things like higher cholesterol, too much saturated fat, and the fact that butter may increase the risk for heart disease, are all some of the common statements made about butter.

But is it all true?  Does it really boost blood fat levels?

Butter and Blood Lipid Levels

Many people avoid butter due to the increased risk for heart disease.


Butter has been shown to increase blood fat levels – specifically LDL cholesterol – more than any other oil and spreads.

However, what they don’t tell you – and what you should know - is that the type of LDL cholesterol that is increased is the harmless, puffy, LDL cholesterol that has very little chance of invading your arteries and wreaking havoc on your cells.

This could actually LOWER your heart disease risk – instead of increasing it - like when the other type of LDL cholesterol exists.

Smaller, denser, and more atherogenic LDL cholesterol is what you need to be worried about!

There is the little, dense, LDL cholesterol particle that may become oxidized and may invade your arterial wall, stiffen your artery, or cause an inflammatory response (the first step in the disease process).

THIS is the type of LDL cholesterol particle that raises your risk for heart disease!

Now there is new evidence that shows that although butter may increase your blood fat levels, it may not raise them as high or as fast, as the most commonly used oil – olive oil!

Let me preface first by saying this about olive oil: There is plenty of research out there regarding olive oil and its benefits on heart health.

Many of the studies show that olive oil – due to the type of fats found in the oil – may be beneficial to improving LDL cholesterol levels, and HDL cholesterol levels, therefore improving overall heart health.

This article is designed to show you, that although butter is recommended to be used sparingly or not at all, that it does not alter your blood fat levels like some other products.

And, that you should include olive oil as part of a healthy diet for many different reasons.

With that in mind, consider for a moment how blood fats rise after a meal consisting of butter, olive oil, or a new blend of canola/flaxseed oil.

A new study shows that a meal consisting of olive oil was able to significantly raise blood fat levels more so than the meal consisting of butter.


They explained that about 20 percent of the fat in butter comes as short and medium length chain fatty acids.

These types of fatty acids are seldom stored by your body and are used directly for energy, which may not raise blood lipid levels as fast – therefore they could be considered a good fat.

In fact, the study noted that hospitals and health care providers often use butter as a way to boost weight in malnourished patients.

Butter and Your Heart Health

Although it is recommended that people avoid butter due to adverse heart health, they should know that butter has many wonderful benefits.

And, as part of a healthy diet, may not increase blood fat levels as high, therefore butter may not be as detrimental as once noted.

The fact is: Butter contains many short- and medium-chain triglycerides, which are easily broken down and used as an energy source.

Since those fats are used, you may not see your blood fat levels increase as fast.

But if they do, there is still hope!

One study, in particular, showed that butter increased benign, puffy, and less atherogenic LDL cholesterol particles (instead of smaller, dense, heart disease-causing LDL particles), therefore it may actually LOWER your risk for heart disease.

Of course, the type of butter you use does matter.

Butter from grass-fed cows – not fed the same corn feed as normal cows – may contain healthier fats in the butter compared to normal cows.

Besides the healthy fats the butter contains, it may also contain more vitamins and minerals when compared to corn-fed cow butter.

And this may reduce your risk for heart disease even further by altering the omega3/6 ratio found in the butter.

So what do you think: is butter really all that evil?

WARNING: Looking For The BEST Fat For Heart Health?  Be Sure To Read This Special Report Before Taking ANYTHING Else >>


Svensson J, Rosenquist A, Ohlsson L.  Postprandial lipid responses to an alpha-linoleic acid-rich oil, olive oil, and butter in women: A randomized crossover trial.  Lipids health Dis.  2011;10:106.

German JB, Gibson RA, Krauss RM, et al.  A reappraisal of the impact of dairy foods and milk fat on cardiovascular disease risk.  Eur J Nutr. 2009 Jun;48(4):191-203.