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Is butter (really) back (again) to being back?
David Katz, MD, MPH
Linkedin.com
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June 2, 2016

You may by now have stumbled over the marketing campaign for a new book featuring, among other things, the claim that butter is, again, back to being back. No, it isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying butter ever needed to be banished, or needs to be now, if your inclination is to include some in your balanced, wholesome diet. One of the key elements in eating well is that we should all be the boss, and wind up loving foods that love us back.

What I am saying is that any claim that you “should” go out of your way to add butter to your diet for the sake of your health- to say nothing of the health of the planet– is quite simply nonsense.

Were I writing a rebuttal from scratch, I would certainly cite evidence showing that when net saturated fat calories in the typical American diet are replaced with unsaturated fat calories, or whole grain calories for that matter, the leading cause of premature death in our culture- coronary heart disease- goes down markedly. The evidence also shows that when net saturated fat calories are swapped out for sugar calories, rates of heart disease remain constant- indicating that an excess ofeach is exactly as bad as the other, despite all the silly invitations to pick one as a favored scapegoat.

Fortunately, however, there is no need for me to write a rebuttal from scratch, because the “butter is back” claim is not new, so neither need be the debunking of it. I provide my prior rebuttal right here– and add only one crucial update. The references to Mark Bittman, whom in general I hold in very high regard, may be dismissed as rather obsolete- since he himself has gone on to work for a vegan food company! Accordingly, the debate team rests its case.

Dip, or schmear, accordingly, as the spirit moves you- and at your own risk.

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