Don’t Be Scared of Butter!

Posted: March 11, 2024 | By: Shanon Peckham

butter in a hot frying pan

When it comes to maintaining overall health and weight, you’ve probably heard that less fat is better for you. That being said, you may have seen our Good Food vs. Bad Food list and wondered how in the world butter, which we’re always being told to eat less of, made the cut.

Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the complexities of this dinner table classic to show why we love butter and how a little of this saturated fat goes a long way when it comes to longevity – you may learn some surprising things about fats along the way!

Fat-Free ≠ Healthy

First off, we’d like to dispel the rumors about fat always being the bad guy. Despite the longstanding, widespread assumption that eating fats will automatically cause you to become overweight and unhealthy, fats aren’t inherently bad for you. Many fats offer unique health benefits2 and, in our quest to avoid them, we may have accidentally made our food more unhealthy. According to Harvard, in order to jump on the “fat-free” bandwagon – a trend first popularized in the 1980s – companies began packing their foods with sugars and refined carbohydrates instead to keep daily staples palatable to Americans. In essence, brands swapped fats for tasty, less-nutritious fillers, which in turn may have encouraged overeating and contributed to the rise of obesity in America.1 Yikes!

You’ll Feel Fuller with Whole Foods

The answer to this problem lies in better nutrition, as Youngevity Founder Dr. Joel Wallach has said all along. “Your body keeps telling you to eat when you’re missing these nutrients,” he explained during an interview.3 “[If] you take the nutrients [and the supplements], your body stops telling you to eat.” It makes sense, right? If everything we eat is packed with sugar and carbohydrates instead of healthy fats and essential nutrients, of course we’re going to be hungry! We can begin to fix our diets, says cardiologist and educator Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, by choosing “whole, minimally processed, nutritious food – food that is in many cases as close to its natural form as possible.”1 That’s right: natural, full-fat dairy and butter are on the Good Food list, as Dr. Wallach himself has always said.

Butter is Nutrient-Dense and Heart-Healthy

Not only does it taste great on and in pretty much everything, butter is also super nutritious! It’s a good source of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and beneficial fatty acids – including omegas.4,5 Omega fatty acids, especially omegas 3/6/9, may reduce inflammation, support the brain, and protect the heart.6,7 But wait, there’s more! In particular, butter provides substantial amounts of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.8,9 Other research has shown that butter may help prevent heart disease by reducing postprandial lipemia and chylomicron levels in the bloodstream, which are two known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.10 So, if you want all those body-and-heart-loving nutrients, grab some butter on your next grocery run. (Get the organic, grass-fed butter if you can; it’s higher in fatty acids.8) Plus, most baking recipes call for butter over other oils anyway, so you’ll always be prepared for your next batch of cookies or scones!

If You Can’t Do Butter, Go for Ghee

Despite its many potential health benefits, there’s still one problem with butter: lactose, the curse of everyone who loves cheese and ice cream, but has to endure several hours of digestion hell to process it. If your allergies or lifestyle choices prevent you from choosing butter, you have another Dr. Wallach-approved option! Ghee, a clarified butter that originated in Asia, is lactose-free and contains many of the same nutrients as butter – along with the classic taste!11,12

Everything in Moderation

As we’ve learned, full-fat whole foods like butter provide a rich source of vital nutrients and can even be good for the heart – when enjoyed in moderation. Frying your eggs or loading up your muffins with a half stick of butter every morning may taste AMAZING, but too much saturated fat can actually increase your risk of heart disease, canceling out the natural benefits of those omegas we discussed.13 According to the USDA, you should limit your saturated fat intake to no more than 10% of your daily calorie allowance.14 As always, if you are pregnant, taking medications, or have a heart condition, we urge you to work with your healthcare provider to cultivate healthy eating habits that work for both your medical needs and your palate. For extra omega support, we recommend adding Ultimate EFA Plus™ soft gels to your daily routine!

Looking for a new meal plan? Check out Youngevity’s intermittent fasting program, YFast


1 Is Butter Really Back?, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

2 Fats and Cholesterol, The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

3 Dr. Joel Wallach Radio Show 01/24/22 Covid 19 Infections and Intermittent Fasting, Dead Doctors Don’t Lie Radio, InfoHealth News

4 Butter Nutrition Facts, University of Rochester Medical Center

5 Butter, salted, U.S. Department of Agriculture

6 Alpha-Linolenic Acid: An Omega-3 Fatty Acid with Neuroprotective Properties—Ready for Use in the Stroke Clinic?, 2015

7 Dietary fat: Know which to choose, Mayo Clinic

8 Characterization of Retail Conventional, Organic, and Grass Full-Fat Butters by Their Fat Contents, Free Fatty Acid Contents, and Triglyceride and Fatty Acid Profiling, 2017

9 FDA Completes Review of Qualified Health Claim Petition for Oleic Acid and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease, 2018

10 Butter Differs from Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil in Its Effects on Postprandial Lipemia and Triacylglycerol-Rich Lipoproteins after Single Mixed Meals in Healthy Young Men, 2002

11 Ghee Nutrition Facts, U.S. Department of Agriculture

12 What Is Ghee and How Is It Different from Butter?, Eating Well, 2022

13 Saturated Fat, American Heart Association

14 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, 9th Edition, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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