Has holiday cooking and/or baking delivered you right smack into a huge quandary? You have changed your eating habits and now feel a twinge of guilt thinking about the recipes you make year after year for your family. Can you even consider changing your treasured chocolate chip cookie recipe or Aunt Dot’s family famous sugar cookie secret recipe? Are you so used to cooking the same recipes every year that the thought of “healthifying” them sends you reeling? Will they still taste amazing?
The good news is that the butter that Grandma and Aunt Dot used is probably still one of the best bets for your cooking and baking! The main thing is to choose organic when possible as you want to avoid growth hormones and pesticides.
Organic butter actually contains many nutrients that protect us from heart and other diseases. It contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E, lecithin and a number of other antioxidants which can help strengthen our immune system. Butter contains a natural fatty acid called CLA, which stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid. Studies show CLA may help reduce your risk of heart disease. Isn’t that exactly the opposite you have learned about butter and heart health!? The fat content also enhances the flavor of your food and satisfies your appetite, which means you won’t be hungry as quickly as when you use a butter substitute like margarine.
Margarine is highly processed and contain trans-fats and hydrogenated oils which has been linked to diabetes. These types of oils clog the cell membranes and lowers the rate of turning glucose into energy. Our bodies cannot break down hydrogenated fats as they pass through the digestive tract and liver. These types of fats are stored in the fat cells of our body, and interferes with the way in which we hold onto or, more importantly, lose fat.
So when holding onto your family traditions, feel confident that butter is one ingredient that is healthy to keep!