Some facts on fat. Is Butter Back?

Should I eat high fat-low carb? Is butter better than margarine?

Complicated questions about diet and health require evidence from many different types of studies over many years before the weight of evidence shifts toward consensus.

In the case of dietary fat, most scientists do agree on a number of points. First, eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fat will reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent insulin resistance. Second, replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates will not reduce heart disease risk. Third, olive oil, canola oil, and soybean oil are good for you – as are nuts (especially walnuts), which, while they include some saturated fat, are also high in unsaturated fat, tipping the balance in their favor. Finally, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential for many biological processes, from building healthy cells to maintaining brain and nerve function. We should eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fish, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils, to obtain adequate amounts of both fatty acids.

No, butter is not back. People should prioritize those foods that we know improve health, and butter is not one of them:

  • Food rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fats (like olive oil, soybean oil, peanut oil and canola oil) will lower your heart disease risk.
  • Foods high in saturated fats (such as lard and animal fats like well-marbled meat) will not lower heart disease risk, and much research indicates they increase your risk of heart disease.
  • Don’t replace foods rich in saturated fats with processed foods rich in refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and pastry).
  • Choose minimally processed foods with healthy fats – including nuts such as walnuts and peanuts, and fish such as salmon.

Source: Harvard Public Health