I am poor. Butter is a great source of nutrients/calories and is very cheap($3.00/lb). For all you starving student types out there who can relate, buying organic "pasture butter" is not feasible for someone in my position.
Would anyone out there care to slam store bought butter in terms of its health risks and/or panegyrize its virtues? It is so convenient for the time/$/effort strapped person.
Also: Does anyone know what the digestion rate for butter(given its MCT content and "insulinergic" properties) is? When I consume it I note body composition changes in the form of adipose increase. Is this attributable to its estrogenic porperties(if they exist at all), its insulinergic properties, or something else or all or some of theses factors? Many have recommended Ghee--but at $21.00/3.5 lbs. that is well over double the cost and coming form India....who can say that the source is better than Canadian butter(which is where I am living, ie. "canada").
Would anyone not recommend butter as a staple in the diet? I am currently taking in at least a 45 gram serving of cold store-bought butter per day at a given time(ie. a fat source for one of my meals).
Another note: can butter be stored for extended peiods of time(say 3 days to a week) out of the fridge? If so: How? I would prefer my food to be warm/room-temperature than cold(I don't want to take the time to cook but simply slice off a slice of butter as a food source. AS I said, I am a time/$/Cash strapped person. Also I am a minimalist). PLease give whatever advice you care to. After all, butter has been around for a dogs age so it must be good for something...maybe even eating??
I would wager that the lowest quality butter is far superior health-wise to the highest quality, organic, non-gmo, cold-pressed industrial seed oil.
Butter, even the butter-fied cream of conventionally fed cows, is a great source of dietary fat. Of course, the butterfat of a cow on grass pastures is going to hold more of the healthy fat soluable nutrients like K2 and have a slightly better O3:O6 ratio, but that does not mean that eating regular old butter is a bad choice.
In fact, I would pose this question, if you don't eat butter, what are you going to eat in place of it. I would strongly encourage against any fake imposters.
For ghee, buy some butter and make your own. If you're poor, then it will be worth 20 minutes of your own time to make your own versus buying the stuff from India. See my post here on how to make ghee:
I leave my butter out on the counter one stick at a time. That usually is good for about 2 days.. haha. Like you, I like it spreadable, but I'm not sure 2-3 weeks is a good idea. It might turn a bit oily/cheesy on the outside.
Hope this helps,
Definitely keep eating your store bought butter. It is illegal to use hormones on dairy cows in Canada (organic or not). If a cow gets sick, antibiotics are used and the cow is removed from the herd and only returned once its milk contains absolutely no antibiotic residues. Also, butterfat has a very tiny amount of polyunsaturated fats, so eating non-pastured butter will have very little effect on your o3:o6 ratio. You won't be getting as much vitamin K, CLA, etc. as pastured butter, but you definitely will still be getting some of these nutrients, and I see no reason that store bought butter would be bad for you.
Make sure you buy butter that is made in Canada, and not imported from the U.S. They like to use hormones there. ;)
I would not by anything other than raw butter from a dairy, which is expensive, and if you are strapped for cash, you could end up with extruded fat, additives, colors and goodness knows what else in your store bought butter (as you already know). Why don't you buy lard? - it is cheaper than butter. You can use it in the same way and it is more stable and has a higher degradation point when heated so is far safer to cook with than butter. I use it for everything.
Based on my personal experience consuming butter as I described in this recent answer http://paleohacks.com/questions/89882/whats-your-limitless-pill/89927#89927, the question I would ask is not how bad is butter for health, but how good is it for health, or what is the minimum amount one needs to consume to reap health benefits? When I reintroduced butter into my diet after several years of avoiding it because of putative negative health effects, the effect on my mental functioning and mood was profound, and the type of butter I consumed then was pasteurized organic butter (not grass fed). That was some time last September, and since then I have found Kerrygold grassfed butter for cheaper than the conventional organic butter at my local grocery store (their prices for certain foods are ridiculous).
You should be grateful that you only have to pay $3.00/lb. for butter, even conventional butter. I can't get it for cheaper than $7.00/lb. in my area. Like you I am a poor college student (poor is an understatement, but I don't know a word for worse than poor). If there are any lower cost health food stores in your area similar to Trader Joe's (never heard of any Trader Joe's in Canada), I recommend looking for grassfed butter there, because it may be comparable to conventional butter in price. At least that has been my experience.
For $3.00/lb. you probably can't get a better source of calories and/or nutrients that also tastes great and makes every food you eat it with also taste great than butter, albeit conventional butter. Of course as with every other food, the only way YOU can determine if conventional butter is healthy for YOU is to consume it daily or frequently enough to notice any effects. If it improves your health in either objective (lab test results) or subjective (you feel better generally) ways, then keep eating it, otherwise there are several other healthy fat sources mentioned in the other answers here that you could replace it with.
FYI - it you can find a grassfed butter source that is comparable in price to the conventional butter you are consuming now, the taste difference alone is worth making the switch, not to mention the superior nutrient profile. IMO the difference between grassfed butter and conventional butter in terms of taste is almost akin to the difference between unrefined and refined coconut oil.