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Why You Should Be Cooking With Butter Instead of Olive Oil

Don’t get me wrong, Olive oil is great and has its place, but when you understand what I am about to make my opinion on, you’ll be looking to cook your foods in butter more than olive oil. Here are some great reasons why:

  • Nutrient density

I’m not one for counting calories. I’m one that enjoys my food based on nutrient density AND taste and flavour. In what I have experienced, and seen with clients, counting calories fosters an unhealthy relationship with food. I strive, for myself and my clients, to make sure that eating the most nutrient-dense foods available is known. Thankfully, butter is one of those foods. The chart below compares the nutrient density of butter and oil, generically:

Olive oil (per 100g)

Butter (per 100g)

Folate (mcg)

Olive oil (per 100g) 0

Butter (per 100g) 3

B12 (mcg)

Olive oil (per 100g) 0

Butter (per 100g) .017

Vitamin A (mcg)

Olive oil (per 100g) 0

Butter (per 100g) 684

Vitamin E (mg)

Olive oil (per 100g) 14.35

Butter (per 100g) 2.32

Vitamin D

Olive oil (per 100g) 0

Butter (per 100g) 60

Vitamin K1 (mcg)

Olive oil (per 100g) 60.2

Butter (per 100g) 7

Saturated fat (g)

Olive oil (per 100g) 13.808

Butter (per 100g) 51.368

Monounsaturated fat (g)

Olive oil (per 100g) 72.961

Butter (per 100g) 21.021

Polyunsaturated fat (g)

Olive oil (per 100g) 10.523

Butter (per 100g) 3.043

As you can see, butter is more nutrient-dense, with the exception of Vitamins E and K1 (Phylloquinone). But butter is much higher in Vitamin K2 or menaquinone. Menaquinone is not as easily obtained from foods as Vitamin K1. Some of the foods richest in menaquinone are fermented soybeans, grass-fed cheese, pastured egg yolks, liver and butter. A study in the Netherlands, collected data on subjects between 1990 and 1990, measuring the extent of heart disease, who had died from it and how this related to vitamin K2 intake and arterial calcification. The calcified arteries were found to be the best indicator of the disease. Furthermore, it was found that the subjects whose nutrition had higher intakes of vitamin K2 were 52% less likely to develop heart disease and 57% less likely to die from it. However, vitamin K1 intake had no effect on cardiovascular disease outcomes (Gileijnse et al., 2004, pp3100-3105)

Weston A Price, a dentist from the early 20<sup>th</sup> century, called vitamin K2 by another name “Activator X”, as it improved bone and dental health, neurological function, is anti-carcinogenic and improves the development of the foetus during pregnancy. Modern-day research is rapidly redefining heart disease largely as a deficiency in Vitamin K2 causes calcification of the cardiovascular system.

  • The fat breakdown

Butter is mostly made up of heart-healthy saturated fat, more so than olive oil, and it's low in the poly- and monosaturated fats, too. Saturated fats are extremely healthy, while the mono- and poly- fats should be avoided. This is due to them being higher in Omega-6 essential fatty acid.

  • Safer to cook with

I recommend serving olive oil over salads, with vinegar, Turkish break and dukkha, or as a glaze over foods rather than cooking, as it becomes hydrogenous, unstable and oxidises at higher cooking temperatures. Butter is the much better option to cook with as it has a higher smoke point, more stable cooking temperature, and makes cooked foods taste great.

Both are healthy, and safe for us to consume and do have their place in nourishing us. Yet, butter is safer to consume, especially when choosing it to cook foods compared to olive oil

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