Continuing yesterday’s post…
It was a couple of weeks ago when I decided to read a book by Neal Barnard, M.D., called “Breaking the Food Seduction”, just out of curiosity. Seeing him put so much emphasis on how bad meat, dairy and chocolate were I couldn’t suppress my annoyance. I didn’t exactly view them as holy foods, but I couldn’t see what’s so awful about them, aside from containing a lot of unhealthy fat. The fact that I didn’t know then was what that kind of fat can do to your body, or more precisely, what can you do for your body by eliminating those products from your daily diet. I’m not writing this to convert you all to vegetarians (although I start to see it working on some people already – like my parents), but I just simply want to give you an idea what can butter do to your health and what you can substitute it with.
- When consumed in excessive amounts, butter can increase risks of cardiovascular diseases.
- Some researches claim to show that only 3 Tbsp of butter per day for 4 weeks can increase the amounts of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.
High levels of blood cholesterol can lead to diabetes, heart attacks and heart diseases, strokes and obesity.
So if you’re a meat eater, the best you can do to your health is cut the cholesterol intake from the other sources, like dairy. And if you’re interesting in learning more, I suggest you read the mentioned above book by Dr. Neal Barnard, but don’t blame me if it will make you double-check the facts and studies results and choose the plant-based diet 🙂
At the time I was reading the book, I guiltlessly sat at the table and chewed away my toast with butter and jam. And then something clicked in my head and I ran to the fridge to check the label of the butter. Seeing how much saturates it contained, I decided to do one thing – make a funeral for the butter I ate. I didn’t throw it out or worse put it in a grave. I made myself another toast. With butter. And I ate it enjoying every single bit. And then I never ate butter since. And I don’t want to. I buried it.
- In cooking, you can use a variety of unrefined oils, such as Olive oil or Rapeseed oil; there is also Coconut oil which is solid at room temperature, just like butter.
- Instead of butter on your toast, you can spread a ripe avocado. I loved eating a wholemeal soda bread toast ‘buttered’ with avocado and with smoked salmon on top. Yum!
- There are also butters made from different kinds of nuts, like almonds, and there’s a peanut butter as well. Although I can’t speak for them, as I am allergic to nuts.
- If you like having a toast with butter and jam, you can try it with jam only. I choose only homemade jams that in the ingredients list enlist only fruit, sugar and lemon juice. Even citric acid, not mentioning any other acids and regulators, doesn’t appeal to me. And of course I don’t eat it too often.
- My new passion is a toast with hummus. I like Supervalu’s own brand Reduced Fat Hummus. It is so delicious when paired with homemade sweet Lithuanian bread with thyme. At the moment I am baking a healthier version of it by using wholemeal flour. I would gladly share a recipe, but I am not yet sure how to make a sourdough for it from scratch (I got mine from neighbours).
So, my point is, there are healthier alternatives to butter and all such things. You just have to do your own little search. But please, don’t be fooled by low-fat butter spreads – check the labels and you’ll see that it is possibly healthier to eat real butter than the spread made in a lab. At least real butter is a ‘cleaner’ food.