What is grass-fed butter?
Butter is nothing but milk fat.
Simply put, grass-fed butter is made from cow’s milk who are fed grass. Normal butter comes from cows who are fed grains.
Most people aren’t familiar with grass feeding vs grain feeding of cows. If a cow is grass-fed it means it has been raised on a diet of green grass for most of the year compared to cows raised on a grain diet. The quality of food a cow eats drastically affects a cow’s health and thereby the quality of milk it produces. This then affects affects milk products produced from that milk. Milk from grass-fed cows is richer in vitamin E, omega-3, beta-carotene, and conjugated linoleic acid). For more information on grass feeding, please click here.
Here’s why grass-fed butter is good for you:
According to Mark’s Daily Apple,
“We’re drawn to colorful things, especially foods. Bright berries, verdant greens, multicolored fruits and peppers – these are the naturally occurring foods with the most phytonutrients. In fact, the actual dyes responsible for providing color to vegetation, like the blue in blueberry, are also usually antioxidants. Funny how that works out, eh? The same is true for butter. You ever notice how grass-fed butter actually looks like butter? It’s a deep yellow, sometimes bordering on orange, whereas grain-fed butter is white and waxy. It’s yellow because it has more carotene (think carrot, think orange) and Vitamin A. It’s got more carotene because it comes from cows that eat fresh vegetation rich in the stuff. From pasture to ruminant to digestive tract to butterfat to butter to you. Grain-fed? From the study I just linked, even back in 1933 they understood that “the oil cakes and cereals in common use are incapable of bringing about this result” of yellow, vitamin-rich butter.
Vitamin K2, in case you weren’t aware, appears to reduce, prevent, or even counteract arterial plaque, and it helps the body use calcium correctly and effectively. Vitamin K2 is another vital component of grass-fed butter. As Dr. Weston Price observed, only cows subsisting on fresh green grass produced butter imbued with significant levels of the all-important “Activator X,” which most people agree is vitamin K2. Cow stomach fermentation turns K1 (found in leafy greens, like kale, chard, spinach, and, yes, leaves of grass) into K2, which then shows up in the dairy fat. How much Vitamin K1 do you think there is in corn? Not much at all (PDF).
2. High in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Butter is rich in CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) which helps lose fat and helps build immunity and fight cancer. Cows that are grass-fed have 3-5 times more CLA than grain-fed cows. Link. It is also rich in Vitamin K – a lesser know vitamin which prevents blood clots and bone loss. Therefore, compared to butter, grass-fed butter is a healthier and more nutritious choice.
3. Rich in Omega 3
Grass-fed butter is rich in Omega 3s which helps prevent heart disease, joint pain, depression and manage asthma. The ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in grass-fed cow’s milk is 2:1 and 3:1. Whereas the ratio in grain-fed cow’s milk is in the range of 8:1 or higher. Omega 3 and 6 need to be present in the right ratios for them to be beneficial to the body. The issue is that most cooking oils like traditional milk have too much Omega 6 and too little Omega 3. This leads to heart-related diseases among other health issues like PCOS. Link.
Grass-fed butter is nutritionally-richer and should be used in cooking instead of modern cooking oils. Having said that, it’s important to keep in mind that butter is a fat so if you decide to cook with it, use it moderately and wisely.
To know where you can buy grass-fed butter in Dubai, check out this post.