Is butter really bad for our health

Diet: When does butter consumption become unhealthy?

Use butter with caution

Butter is a popular cooking ingredient and a widely used spread. It's also known for being tasty, but not particularly healthy. A cardiologist explains what you should know about butter, when it is unhealthy to consume it, and what the best alternatives are.

Dr. Dennis Brümmer is a cardiologist at the renowned Cleveland Clinic in the USA. In a current article by the clinic, the expert explains why high butter consumption can be harmful to health. Often, however, it is not the obvious but rather the hidden butter that is to blame for the excessive consumption.

The butter problem

"You can hardly get anything more fatty than butter," emphasizes the cardiologist. It is not only rich in cholesterol, but also in calories - 100 grams of butter already has over 700 calories. If you fry, cook and bake a lot with butter, it can quickly add up and drive up your cholesterol levels. Butter also contains many saturated fatty acids, which promote the development of arteriosclerosis.

Hidden butter

“Our eating habits have changed in the last few decades,” reports Brümmer. Many people have around 60 percent of their diets on ultra-processed foods, and butter is a common ingredient in such products. With a donut or a pizza, you can no longer understand how much butter was used to make it.

Smaller amounts are harmless

Anyone who occasionally spreads butter on bread or uses smaller amounts for cooking has nothing to fear, according to Brümmer. However, many people tend to use way too much butter, which raises health concerns.

Do not replace butter with margarine

Dr. Brümmer advises not to replace butter with margarine. These often have a high content of hydrogenated fats, so-called trans fats, which are considered harmful to health even in small quantities.

Good butter alternatives

According to the cardiologist, a better alternative is vegetable oils, especially olive oil. Here one could orient oneself on the example of the Mediterranean diet. "It is the only diet that has shown in studies and control studies that it improves health and lowers the risk of heart attacks," emphasizes the heart expert. The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a lot of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, some fish and lean white meat, but little dairy products and red meat.

A mixture of olive oil and tomatoes is often used as a spread in the Mediterranean region, for example in the Catalan region of Spain. According to Brümmer, it contains far healthier fats than butter. (vb)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.