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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Doughnuts are a British invention according to historians who have unearthed they were invented by the English upper classes

  • Until recently the earliest known doughnut recipe dated from 1847 
  • American Hanson Gregory claimed to have invented them aboard a ship 
  • Cookbook written in 1800 by English Baroness has a recipe for 'dow nuts' 
  • It describes rolled dough cut into 'nuts' and deep fried in 'hogs-lard'
  • They are then covered with sugar and left by the fire to rise

Americans say they invented them, but the Dutch disagree and have long claimed the squidgy, sugary treats as their own.
But it would now appear they are both mistaken, because the humble doughnut was actually invented by the Britsh.
Until now the earliest known doughnut recipe dated from 1847 when American Hanson Gregory claimed to have invented them aboard a lime-trading ship when he was only 16.

But documents have been found showing the wife of a society doctor in Hertford, England, recorded her own recipe for them back in 1800.

Baroness Elizabeth Dimsdale’s recipe for 'dow nuts' were taken from a local cook, known only as Mrs Fordham.
Her ingredients included sugar, eggs, nutmeg, butter and yeast, which are made into a dough which is rolled out and cut into 'nuts'.
The nuts are then deep-fried in 'hogs-lard' before being covered in sugar and left by the fire to rise.

Historian Dr Heather Falvey uncovered the 213-year-old recipe book when she was alerted to its potential by a US food historian.


A quarter of a Peck of Flower / A pound of moist Sugar /  10 Eggs (Yolks & Whites) /  One Nutmeg (grated) / 3/4 of a pound of fresh butter /  A quarter of a pint of Yeast.
  • First melt the Butter over the fire in Milk; skim the Butter off. 
  • Mix the Sugar and Nutmeg with the Flour, making a hole in it at the Top.
  • Strain the Eggs and Yeast mixed together through a Sieve into the Flour; then put the Butter skimmed off the Milk into it also, with as much of the Milk as necessary to make it into a paste.
  • Let it stand by the fire half an hour to rise, throwing a Cloth over it. Then roll it out thick or thin as you like, cutting it into nuts with a jagging Iron.
  • Throw them into some Hogs-lard almost boiling hot; if quite boiling they are likely to be black and if it does not near boil, they will be greasy. Stir them with a skimmer with holes.
  • Take them out with it, put them in a Cullender but do not put the hot ones to the cold, or they will be heavy.
  • The thinner the Paste is rolled, the lighter and more crisp it will be.
  • A little Sugar should be first put to the yeast and a little Milk, and set it by the fire an hour to rise.
The Baroness, wife of smallpox pioneer Baron Thomas Dimsdale, compiled a collection of 80-plus household hints and 700 recipes.
Dr Falvey, historian for the Hertfordshire Record Society, believes even with an eight year margin for error the Baroness can claim to be the original queen of the doughnut.
She said: 'The American food historian had come to the conclusion that doughnuts originated in Hertfordshire and the first record he found was in 1810.
'He wondered if anyone in the association knew about it and that struck a bell with me as I remembered doughnuts from the book.
'It’s not clear who the recipe is from, which is frustrating, but she started writing it just after 1800 and the last entry was in 1808.'
Dr Falvey added: 'She doesn’t give a lot of instructions on how to do it.
'It’s more what to use. I’ve tried a few of the sweet recipes and they’ve turned out okay.'
Researchers previous believed doughnuts originated among 19th Century Dutch settlers in the US.
Rival theories suggested they were imported into the US in the 19th Century by Dutch settlers on the East Coast.
Dr Falvey has published the first ever doughnut recipe in 'The Receipt Book of Baroness Elizabeth Dimsdale c1800', which was released last week.
Other recipes include different soups, fish, pies, meats and desserts.
Baron Dimsdale was bestowed with the title of Baron Dimsdale of the Russian Empire by Catherine the Great after he helped a member of her family who smallpox.
The family’s records were given to the Hertfordshire Record Society by one of their descendants, Robert Dimsdale, who now lives in Switzerland.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Why Eating Too Many Carbs Makes You Fat

Barry Groves, PhD

Carbs and carbs alone, not fat, increase body weight. It doesn't matter whether the carbs are from sugar, bread, fruit, or vegetables: They’re all rapidly digested and quickly converted to blood glucose.  A short time after a carb-rich meal, the glucose in your bloodstream rises rapidly, and your pancreas produces a large amount of insulin to take the excess glucose out.
Just as eating fat doesn’t raise blood glucose, it doesn't raise insulin levels either. This is important because insulin is the hormone responsible for body fat storage. Because fats do not elicit an insulin response, they cannot be stored as body fat.
Insulin takes glucose out of the bloodstream. It is converted first into a starch called glycogen, which is stored in the liver and in muscles. But the body can store only a limited amount of glycogen, so the excess glucose is stored as body fat. This is the process of putting on weight.
When your blood glucose level returns to normal, after about 90 minutes, the insulin level in your bloodstream is still near maximum.  As a result, the insulin continues to stack glucose away in the form of fat.  Ultimately, the level of glucose in your blood falls below normal, and you feel hungry again. So you have a snack of more carbohydrates, and the whole process starts over again. You're getting fatter, but feeling hungry at the same time. Ultimately, insulin resistance caused by continually high insulin levels in your bloodstream impairs your ability to switch on a satiety center in the brain. You enter a vicious cycle of continuous weight gain combined with hunger. Under such circumstances, it is almost impossible not to overeat.
Taking Off Weight:  Only Cutting Carbs Can Do It
So you've put the weight on–now you need to take it off again. Here again,  “healthy eating” hampers your attempts because a carbohydrate-based diet prevents you from losing excess fat. 
To lose fat, your body must use that fat as fuel.  It will only use its stored fat as fuel if you deprive it of its present supply of fuel:  blood glucose.
There are two ways to cut your body's glucose supply.  You can starve, which is what low-calorie, low-fat dieting is.  Alternatively, you can reduce the starches and sugars from which glucose is made, and make up the difference with another fuel:  fat.
The latter approach has two advantages over the traditional calorie-controlled diet.  First, you don’t have to go hungry.  Second, by feeding your body on fats, your body will stop trying to find glucose and will naturally begin using its own stored fat.
When you eat carbs, your capacity to use fat is limited. Increasing blood glucose during dieting stimulates insulin release. Even at very low concentrations of insulin, fat synthesis is activated and break-up of fat is inhibited.  This means that if you eat a carbohydrate-based low-fat diet, you force your body into a fat-making mode, not a fat-using mode.
Insulin inhibits the production of fat-burning enzymes, thereby preventing your body's fat cells from releasing their fat. This stops your body from burning your stored fat and makes it impossible for you to lose the weight you have put on.
1. Robertson MD, Henderson RA, Vist GE, Rumsey RDE. Extended effects of evening meal carbohydrate-to-fat ratio on fasting and postprandial substrate metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr 2002; 75: 505-510.
2. Bruning JC, Gautam D, Burks DJ, et al. Role of brain insulin receptor in control of body weight and reproduction. Science 2000; 289: 2122-5.
3. Odeleye OE, de Courten M, Pettitt DJ, Ravussin E. Fasting hyperinsulinemia is a predictor of increased body weight gain and obesity in Pima Indian children. Diabetes 1997; 46: 1341-5.
4. Sigal RJ, El-Hashimy M, Martin BC, et al. Acute postchallenge hyperinsulinemia predicts weight gain: a prospective study. Diabetes 1997; 46:1025-9.
5. Kreitzman SN. Factors influencing body composition during very-low-calorie diets. Am J Clin Nutr 1992; 56: 217S-223S
6. Meijssen S, Cabezas MC, Ballieux CG, et al. Insulin mediated inhibition of hormone sensitive lipase activity in vivo in relation to endogenous catecholamines in healthy subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001; 86: 4193-7

The emphasis on excess means more carbs than you can use. If you consume less than you burn there can not be any net storage of fat. Carbs when consumed in whole foods can a source of many nutrients and some people have a high tolerance of carbs for others a more fat based diet is more suitable.

So it is very important to know which you cope with better. When people say carbs are fattening they always mean an excess. IF YOU ARE NOT CONSUMING MORE THAN YOU CAN USE THEN THERE IS NO NET ACCUMULATION OF FAT - always bear that in mind. The same is true of fats. More fat calories than you can use means they can be stored as body fat.

Keep an open mind. Both the low fat high carb and high carb low fat diets work but they may not be suitable for you. You have to find the balance that works well for you.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Spread the news: butter may not be a yellow peril after all

New research shows that men who had had a heart attack were more likely to die from coronary heart disease when they replaced saturated fats with polyunsaturated fat in margarine

Many of us prefer the taste of butter to margarine, but are conscious of the risks to our arteries. So a new study apparently coming down on the side of animal fats in the butter-versus-margarine debate would seem cheering.
The research, published last week in the British Medical Journal, showed that men who had had a heart attack were more likely to die from coronary heart disease when they replaced saturated fats – found in dairy and fatty red meat – with polyunsaturated fat from safflower oil and safflower oil margarine.
These are surprising results, as polyunsaturated fats are usually seen to be the key to a healthy diet. However, experts have been quick to say that we shouldn’t use these findings to abandon vegetable oils found in margarine in favour of butter and lard.
“The safflower oil in the study is rarely used in this country,” says Tom Sanders, professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at King’s College, London. “It’s unusually high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, and people in the safflower oil intervention arm of the trial were getting 15 per cent of their energy from omega-6.
“Since 1991, UK nutrition guidelines have stated that no more than 10 per cent of our energy should come from polyunsaturates, and our current intake is around 6 per cent.”
Current thinking, then, is that you can have too much of a good thing in the shape of omega-6 rich polyunsaturated margarines. This is why margarine manufacturers have been moving away from the most omega-6 rich oils towards rapeseed and “high oleic” sunflower oil.
The latest large analysis on dietary fat and cardiovascular risk, published by the highly respected Cochrane library in 2011, said replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fats had a “small but potentially important reduction in cardiovascular risk”.
But unsaturated fats include different types of fats – such as monounsaturates, omega-3 polyunsaturates and omega-6 polyunsaturates – and increasingly it would seem that getting a balance of all three is key.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fats, so-called as the body can’t make them and our diet must provide them. As integral components of cell membranes, they help coordinate cell-to-cell messaging, in particular influencing inflammatory signals between cells.
“We’ve long been aware of the anti-inflammatory nature of fish oil due to its omega-3 polyunsaturated content,” says Catherine Collins, principal dietitian at St George’s Hospital, London. “In contrast, we know that an excessively high intake of omega-6 polyunsaturates – found in sunflower and corn oils – has the opposite effect, increasing inflammation and pain. The balance between these two fats influences inflammation and contributes to cardiovascular risk.
“Monounsaturates (eg olive and rapeseed oils) are relatively inert fats, working with omega-3 fats to reduce inflammation.”
In practical terms, you’ll get the balance about right by eating one to two portions of omega-3 oily fish a week and using cooking oils and spreads that provide a balance of omega-6 polyunsaturated and monounsaturates.
But is butter ever OK? “I’d never have anything but butter on my veg,” says Prof Sanders. “And if you prefer it on your bread, too, that’s also OK, as long as you don’t trowel it on.”

Butter contains a great deal of saturated fat and also monounsaturated fat - these are highly stable. The smallest groups of fat in the butter are polyunsaturated - with more omega 6 than omega 3. The larger proportions of saturated and monounsaturated fats make it more difficult to damage the small minority of polyunsaturated fat. However that minority can still be damaged so it is still important to have fresh butter.

There are so many variables to this because plants oils in margarine are partially damaged by the hydrogenation process. It can be trans fats that are causing problems (not just polyunsaturated omega 6).

Polyunsaturated oils also easily damaged by heat, UV light and oxygen from the air. It could be the consumption of damaged oils that contributes to inflammations. Polyunsaturated omega 6 oils are valuable but should be consumed in their undamaged forms within nuts, seeds, whole grains not be heavily processed.

Omega 3 fatty acids are also polyunsaturated and susceptible to damage so should also be consumed fresh or ideally not hydrogenated.

A balance between omega 3 and omega 6 is also important for health - in controlling inflammation.

Replacing butter (mainly saturated fat) for omega 6 rich plant oils can potentially reduce the amount of damaged oils you are consuming, will increase the amount of saturated fat you are consuming and decrease the amount of omega 6 fatty acids you are consuming.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

How Butter and Real Food Saved My Health

by Darya Rose

While Emilia found that more fat was necessary for her optimal health (as did I), keep in mind that some people thrive best on a diet with less fat. Humans vary substantially in their genetic background, so you can’t assume that what works for someone else will work for you. Experimenting with your healthstyle is the only way to figure it out.
Emilia has a certification in holistic nutrition from Bauman College and has worked in community health education.

How Butter and Real Food Saved My Health

by Emilia
Hello Summer Tomato Readers,
My name is Emilia and I’m hugely honoured to be guest posting on Summer Tomato. I have been a big fan of Summer Tomato since the beginning and I love Darya’s clear explanations and refusal to accept cliche. Most of all though I love her ‘healthstyle’ message and I wish I’d found a resource like Summer Tomato, back when I began dieting.
My unhealthy experience with dieting came after University when I decided I wanted to lose a few vanity pounds. I looked to various women’s magazines for guidance, and soon came up with a diet that was low in calories and very low in fat. It centered around salad without dressing, fruit, fat-free yogurt and muffins, scrambled egg whites and a small amount of seeds and fish. I lost weight quickly and was thrilled.
The problem was that not only did I lose weight, but I also developed other problems. These included extreme anxiety, irrational behavior if food was late and incredibly low immunity. People who knew me joked that I got sick an awful lot for the healthiest eater they knew. The worst symptom however was that my hormones became completely off balance. To put it bluntly, I barely menstruated for four years.
During this time I sought lots of medical advice about the problem. It was assumed to be a temporary result of my weight loss. After that many doctors made the diagnosis of polycystic ovaries, despite the fact that none were evident in scans. Since I wasn’t (quite) technically underweight, lifestyle factors were barely considered. The only advice some doctors gave me was to gain weight, exercise less or eat more protein. I did all of these dutifully, without result.
The transformational moment came after Christmas one year. I spend Christmas with my husband’s family who eat a very traditional British diet: fresh meat from local farms and homegrown vegetables. Everything is cooked in copious amounts of butter, but served in small portions. The only consistent time my cycles would re-start was after Christmas, despite the fact that my weight and exercise habits didn’t change. Since I was eating meat at home regularly by then (albeit grilled chicken breasts), I began to wonder if there was something unique about eating a diet high in both saturated fat and protein that helped me.
I began to study Nourishing Traditions and the Paleo diet, and started to (very loosely) incorporate some of the principles. I chose to first focus on including more saturated fat in my diet: butter, full fat milk and yogurt, whole eggs and fattier cuts of meat. I also refused to see fat as a negotiable, and stopped skimping on butter in my cooking so I could have a cookie later.
Second, I started to ensure I was getting some good protein at every meal. Meat or fish once per day, plenty of nuts, and legumes instead of bread. I also began including more exceptionally nutritious sources of protein like oily fish of all varieties, as well as organ meats like liver and kidney (yes, really!).
Third, I switched my attitude toward food. Instead of trying to eat more food for fewer calories, I started trying to eat moderate amounts of highly nutritious and enjoyable food. Buying smaller portions of vegetables, but getting them from the farmers market. Having the occasional delicious ice cream, instead of a daily frozen yogurt. Pretty much entirely cutting out refined flours, artificial additives and other non-foods. It was, I believe, this third change that was the most important. It was also the hardest since it defies our current societal instruction to seek out the most food or pleasure, for the least calories or money.
After I started eating this way, the improvements to my health were virtually immediate. My anxiety subsided, my moods normalised. Within two months my hormones began to re-stabilize. I am certain the dietary changes were pivotal because any time I reverted to eating less fat and protein, or relying on refined carbohydrates, my problems returned.
It took time to change my eating habits permanently—starting to eat butter can be as hard as stopping—but I am now a devoted and healthy convert. My current healthstyle is enjoyable, sustaining, affordable and supportive of my fertility. It it is also rather like Darya’s weight maintenance recommendations: high in healthy fats served with vegetables, and rich in legumes and good sources of protein; focusing on quality over quantity and resisting redundant ideas about ‘healthy’ packaged foods. Which brings me full circle to my first point.
For me, the impression many doctors gave that my fertility had everything to do with my weight, calorie intake and genetics turned out be far from the truth. I believe that for many people fertility has everything to do with nutrient intake. I am therefore so pleased there are rational websites like Summer Tomato that can help spread the message.
Thanks so much for allowing me to tell my story Darya!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The best beef cuts for pan-frying, grilling and griddling

The best beef cuts for pan-frying, grilling and griddling
Large, slightly rounded 2.5cm thick steaks, cut from the eye of the fore rib. They carry a little more fat than other types of steak but are the most flavoursome.

Lean, tender, boneless steaks, cut about 2.5cm thick, with a thin layer of fat running along one edge. These are suitable for all methods of quick cooking and have a great flavour.
The same rules apply to T-Bone steaks, although they are somewhat larger than sirloin steaks.
Porterhouse steaks are cut on the bone from the rib end of the sirloin. They are large steaks, cut about 5cm thick, and are usually cooked to serve two people.
Entrecote is the French term for a steak cut from the middle of the sirloin.

Large, longer cuts of steak, usually about 2.5cm thick, which have a firmer texture than cuts from the sirloin but much more flavour.

Very lean, round steaks that are usually cut to about 4cm thick. They are the most expensive because the tenderness is guaranteed.
chateaubriand steak is a large piece of fillet (500g or so) cut from the thicker end of the fillet, and most often roasted to serve two or more people.
Tournedos is the French term for small, compact, round steaks cut from the centre of the fillet.
A filet mignon is a smaller steak, cut from the narrower end of the fillet.

Thin slices of inexpensive steak taken from the top rump, and best suited to very quick cooking. Don’t overcook, though, as this cut can have a tendency to be a little tough.

These lesser-known, thinly-sliced steaks cut from the blade are best suited to very quick cooking.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Science Behind the Fishy Smell in Smelly Fish

By Anais Alexandre

You want to eat fresh fish. You want it glazed, or baked in parchment with fresh dill and lemon. You want the skin crisp from the broiler and the meat moist and juicy. Instead, you're looking down at a plate of stinky fish in all of its odoriferous glory. How could this smelly hell have been avoided?

Fresh fish, crustaceans, shellfish, etc., smell lightly of the sea when they're first caught, but they should never smell distinctly fishy. Unless you have an amazing fishmonger, or caught the fish yourself, the week-old cod you're buying from the supermarket will most likely reek. What causes it to smell so bad, you ask? 

According to Don Glass from A Moment of Science, "fish tissue contains an odorless chemical known as triethylamine oxide. Once the fish is killed and exposed to air, the chemical breaks down into derivatives of ammonia, and therefore smells bad."

Yelp offers a few places with the best fishmongers, and here are some tips from the FDA to help make sure the fish you buy is a fresh catch.

  • The fish should smell fresh and mild, not fishy, sour, or ammonia-like.
  • The eyes should be clear and bulge a little.
  • It should have firm, shiny flesh and spring back when pressed.
  • It should not display darkening or drying at the edges.

A quick tip for cooking fish that is more than a day old: Clean it with fresh lemon juice. You can also soak it in milk, refrigerate it for an hour, and rinse with water prior to cooking. This removes all traces of fish stench because the acids in citrus and milk neutralize the bases from the triethylamine. 

Getting your hands on fresh fish is more than a luxury. The FDA warns that anything but fresh might have high levels of scombrotoxin, which can lead to illness. It's important to make the effort to care about what you eat, or it could come back to bite you. 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Vegan Diet is Not Healthy

I’m mentally preparing myself for this one. Because it’s inevitable I’ll receive at least a few heated comments on this post. But that’s the cool thing – you can say whatever you’d like in your comment, the same way I can post whatever I’d like on my blog. So just keep that in mind if you don’t agree with what I have to say. And do try to be at least semi-courteous. You may or may not want to speak your thoughts to my face, but do remember that we are all people here, not just some nameless, faceless computer bots with gravatars.
So veganism. Generally defined as a diet and lifestyle which includes no animal products or animal by-products whatsoever. No meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc.
I want to make two main points here about why I believe a vegan diet is not a healthy one long term. I’m not here to debate the ethics or morality of eating animals. Full disclosure: I am an omnivore. I eat meat. And I don’t believe it is cruel to do so. But that’s because I also believe all animals should be raised in an environment conducive to their health and well-being, i.e. not CAFO operations or battery cages.
I don’t believe a vegan diet or lifestyle is ecologically sustainable, either. If you want to delve more into that, I highly recommend reading Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Polyface farmer Joel Salatin. Life changing book.
So point number one about a vegan diet:
Did you notice that cheese puffs or white bread aren’t animal products? Do you know some vegans or vegetarians who are more like carb-etarians or junk-ans? Just because you don’t eat red meat or cow’s milk doesn’t mean you are automatically healthier. (By the way, the vast majority of all those ‘scientific’ studies that say red meat causes cancer were done using CAFO beef. Of course animals kept in confinement standing knee deep in their own poop, and being pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and being fed a completely abnormal diet of corn and candy wrappers will produce some nasty meat that can absolutely cause disease in your body. Same thing goes for pasteurized cow’s milk. But I digress . . . )
Here’s the deal – when done right, a vegan diet makes a fantastic detox diet in the short term. Scads of people have switched from a junk food diet of processed and fast food, replaced it with a vegan diet full of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes and have seen their health improve drastically. All those foods are incredibly healthy superfoods! And the vast majority of people in the Western world would do well to abide by that sort of a diet for a few weeks or months.
But (and this brings me to my next point) a long-term vegan diet is not a wise way to go. Many people (like John Nicholson) find their health deteriorating at a rapid rate when following a vegan diet.


This is so fascinating to me. Did you know that without plenty of healthy fats in your diet, you are not able to assimilate and absorb the nutrients in fruits and vegetables? This means you can eat kale and bell peppers until you are green in the face, but if you’re not consuming enough healthy saturated fat, it’s like you didn’t even need to bother.
And where do you find these healthy fats? Sure, you get them from coconut, avocado, almonds, and olive oil, but these sources are not always in season, not always convenient to purchase in your area, and are not always present in your diet in a high enough quantity on a given day to meet your body’s requirements to function properly. After all, 60% of your brain and nervous system are made of fat. We need fat for proper brain function, nerve signal transmission, and hormone balance!
But butter from grass-fed, pastured cows is rich in saturated fats, vitamin A, buytric acid, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA – a powerful cancer fighter), and lauric acid. Grass-fed, pastured beef itself is also rich in these same nutrients, as well as being a fantastic source of protein, amino acids, and vitamin B12 – which vegans must take as a supplement (a required nutrient our bodies don’t create – we must get it from animal sources).


I read an awesome anecdote about my main man Weston A. Price over on The Healthy Home Economist’s blog (she wrote a great article about how 75% of vegetarians return to eating meat). The study Price documented is very telling about how a vegetarian or vegan diet is unsuited for humans. Here she is in her words:
Dr. Price traveled the world in the 1920′s and 1930′s visiting 14 isolated cultures in the process.  During this adventure which he documented in great detail with amazing pictures in his masterpiece Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Price concluded that while the diets of these natives varied widely, nutrient dense animal foods high in the fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K (also known as Activator X) were the common denominator.  Consumption of these animal foods were revered in these communities as they bestowed vibrant health, ease of fertility, healthy children, and high resistance to chronic and infectious disease.
This discovery was a disappointment to Dr. Price who had expected to find the vegetarian cultures to be the healthiest cultures of all. But, the vegetarian cultures he examined displayed more degeneration than the omnivore cultures which surprised him given that these vegetarian cultures did indeed have superior health than the Americans of his day.
A sad commentary on the state of health in the Western world with our plastic, packaged, chemical-filled foods, but a true insight into the path to optimal health – it includes animal foods! 
If you are looking for quality sources of sustainably raised beef & dairy, check your local farmer’s market (find one near you on the Local Harvest website) or have it shipped to your door from Beyond Organic
I also want to highlight an absolutely beautiful, almost poetic look at this topic from Kristen of Food Renegade. Her post, Why I’m Not a Vegan, spoke volumes to me about this issue. I think you’ll find it well worth reading.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Butter

by Dr. Jockers

The Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Butter

We have all been trained by modern society to believe that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for the body. Studies have shown that both saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet actually help reduce inflammation and prevent heart disease. Grass-fed butter has incredible health benefits and should be used as a staple part of our diet.

Heart Disease was considered a very rare disease in the early 20th century. However, as food processing began to take off so did the occurrence of heart disease. By the 1950′s, it was considered a major health threat. Today, despite trillions of dollars of research and the best medical equipment available, the American Heart Association said in 2012 that Americans have a greater than 50% chance of developing heart disease during the course of their lives.

The Lipid Hypothesis:

Developed by Ancel Keys in the 1950′s, this theory states that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease. With questionable evidence, Keys’ went about writing articles and promoting this hypothesis throughout the medical world.
Meanwhile, hundreds of subsequent studies testing this hypothesis have found differing conclusions. Despite the lack of evidence, this notion took off throughout the healthcare world and was fueled by the vegetable oil and food processing industries that sought to benefit from this finding.

Saturated Fat Has Extraordinary Health Benefits:

Butter has been vilified due its high content of saturated fat and cholesterol. It contains roughly 63% saturated fat and 31 mg of cholesterol in a tbsp. While most in society are still trained to believe this is bad for the body the studies show the opposite.
Dietary saturated fat and cholesterol have been shown to improve hormone regulation and cell membrane function. They also have been shown too:
Raise HDL Levels – the good protective lipoprotein (1)
Change LDL Particles – From the dangerous small dense particles to the benign, large buoyant particles (2)
Microsoft PowerPoint - ADA Otvos LDL size talk_modified.ppt [Com

Grass-Fed Butter Has Profound Anti-Inflammatory Benefits:

Controlling inflammation is the key to good health and disease prevention. Because fatty acids make up the outer layer of every cell in our body and they are the precursers to the formation of major sex hormones, they have a very critical role in cell signaling and controlling inflammation. A diet rich in omega 6 fats and low in omega 3 fats has been shown to promote inflammation and hormonal alterations. A diet with ideal omega 6:3 ratio (around 2:1 or 1:1) seems to be the best way to reduce cellular inflammation.
Grass-fed Butter contains the ideal ratio of omega 6: omega 3 fatty acids, which is especially important for optimizing cell membrane function and reducing inflammation. Grain-fed butter has a high omega 6:3 ratio which will promote inflammatory conditions in the body. Grass-fed butter also has significantly more anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants than grain-fed butter.

Grass-Fed Butter is Rich in Butyrate:

Butyrate is a 4 carbon chain saturated fatty acid. It is called a small chain fatty acid (SCFA) and it has a profound benefit on energy production and digestive health. Butyrate is actually produced by intestinal bacteria when they metabolize cellulose and other prebiotic fibers. Butyrate is the major reason why fiber is so beneficial to our health.
Butyrate is the preferred fuel source for our large intestinal cells. This is especially important because it helps prevent and heal leaky gut syndrome. Intestinal permeability is considered by many the leading source of inflammation in the body. This is most likely the rationale by how butyrate helps reduce auto-immunity and prevent cancer cell development.(3)
Many scientists are suggesting that inflammatory bowel disorders may be caused or aggravated by a deficiency of butyrate. Butyrate also is a great energy source for our skeletal muscle and our heart and has anti-inflammatory effects on the entire body. (4)
While fiber is an indirect source of butyrate, grass-fed butter contains tons of immediate butyrate that is readily available for our body. The SCFA’s and medium chain fats that butter is so rich in are easy on our digestive tract as well and do not depend upon strong enzymes or bile production. This conserves energy and vital resources while getting all the nutritional benefits that butter has to offer.

CLA to Rev Up Your Metabolism & Fight Cancer:

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a long-chain fatty acid that has significant health benefits. Meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals can produce 300-500% more CLA than those of cattle fed the usual diet of hay and grains.
Back in 1979, University of Wisconsin researchers found that beef extract had a significant anti-carcinogenic function. It wasn’t until 1987 that scientists discovered it was the CLA that provided these benefits. It was shown that CLA helps to upregulate the tumor suppressing gene PTPRG.
Michael Pariza is the famed scientist who discovered CLA. He says, “few anti-carcinogens, and certainly no other known fatty acids, are as effective as CLA in inhibiting carcinogenesis.” A diet with as little as 0.5% CLA has been shown to reduce tumor growth by over 50%.(5)
One of the powerful attributes of CLA is its ability to suppress inflammatory prostaglandins such as PGE2. Blocking this substance reduces inflammation in the joints, muscles, bones, organs and brain. This allows for stronger and healthier brain and body. Chicks and rats fed CLA rich butterfat had significantly greater bone growth than animals fed other fats.
CLA has a powerful effect on enhancing cellular insulin sensitivity & stabilizing blood sugar. In fact, researchers say it mimics the effect of synthetic diabetic drugs without any negative side effects.
Testing has shown that consuming CLA for longer than 8 weeks has significant effect on circulating insulin and blood glucose. Additionally, CLA speeds up metabolism and increases the process of fat breakdown. Many researchers have hypothesized that a lack of CLA in the modern diet is a significant factor in the obesity epidemic.

Grass-Fed Butter is a Great Source of Retinol:

When cows eat grass they concentrate anti-oxidants into their dairy. The major anti-oxidant that is concentrated is fat-soluble form of vitamin A called retinol. Retinol is especially important for healthy neurological function, immune coordination and vision.
It is also considered a beauty nutrient as it improves the texture of your skin, prevents the formation of acne and eczema and improves the shine of your hair. Many individuals are deficient in retinol because they have chosen to restrict animal fats. Retinol is only found in high amounts in grass-fed dairy fat, organ meats and pasture-fed egg yolk.
Grass-fed butter is also a rich source of various beneficial vitamin E tocopherols and other carotenoid anti-oxidants. These all have a positive effect at reducing oxidative stress in the arterioles and reducing risk of heart disease.

Grass-Fed Butter is Rich in Vitamin K2:

Vitamin K2 is a very critical nutrient for regulating calcium metabolism in the body. When an individual has poor calcium metabolism it will lead to calcium deposits being distributed throughout the body. This means the individual will have a greater risk of developing gall stones, kidney stones, osteoarthritis, and calcium plaques in the endothelial lining of their heart. (6)
Poor calcium metabolism is also a risk factor in the development of various forms of cancer. Vitamin K2 induces a mechanism called “oncosis,” which is a form of stress-activated ischemic cell death in tumor cells that are particularly susceptible. Many studies and articles have been written demonstrating the anti-cancer effects of K2.
When animals graze on vitamin K1 rich grasses the bacteria in their digestive system convert the K1 into bioactive K2. So there is significantly more of this beneficial K2 in grass-fed butter than in grain-fed butter.
Vitamin K2 works with vitamin D3 to act like a vacuum cleaner to suck the excess calcium out of our blood stream and into the bones where it belongs. This promotes healthy circulation, strong bones and a healthier immune system. Grass-fed butter contains a rich amount of valuable vitamin K2 and D3.

What if I Can’t Do Dairy?

Many individuals with certain genetics, leaky gut and auto-immunity are unable to tolerate dairy. This is typically due to lactose intolerance and casein sensitivities. Lactose is the major form of sugar in the dairy while casein is the major protein.
Butter is concentrated fats and does not contain lactose and only minimal amounts of casein. If someone has very serious reactions or does not feel good when they use grass-fed butter it is typically related to the very small amount of casein. Ghee, which is clarified butter, is completely free of the casein and will be my first recommendation for someone with casein sensitivities.

Where Can I Get Grass-Fed Butter or Ghee:

With the downfall of the saturated fat and cholesterol myth, grass-fed butter has become a popular food for the reasons discussed in this article. You should be able to find it in your local health food store or at Whole Foods. You can also order it online from several retailers including US Wellness Meats.
Be sure to read the label and make sure it says “grass-fed cows or pasture-raised cows.” Organic Valley is 99% grass-fed and Kerry Gold cows consume fresh grass for 10 months out of the year and hay (dried grass) for the 2 coldest winter months. This is also somewhat seasonal as they don’t produce the butter during the winter time and so some retailers are only able to carry it during the prime seasons. Purity Farms has a great grass-fed ghee that I use regularly too.

Sources For This Article Include: