Q:

Is butter bad for you?

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Quick Answer

As of 2014, scientific research shows that butter is not as bad for the diet as once believed; in fact, some doctors are encouraging the addition of butter back into the diet. Recent studies suggest that butter and other foods that are classified as "full fat" may actually aid in weight loss, and one study even suggests that the saturated fat in butter has no link at all to the development of heart disease, as previously thought.

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Full Answer

The vilification of butter in the diet has long been a source of controversy, with new evidence cropping up periodically to change the consensus on whether the diet should restrict butter. As far back as 1855, Americans were told to use oil in lieu of butter because butter formed fat in the body. By 1901, the recommendation was to eat salted butter because of the bacteria contained in regular butter. In 1928, Americans were told to eat margarine instead of butter, along with five times as many potatoes as usual, to reduce the mortality rate.

By 1979, butter was thought to be better for health than margarine, but in 1984, it was reported that butter was the cause for high cholesterol. In 2006, the recommendation was to use olive oil instead of butter. The 2014 studies suggest that butter is an acceptable part of the diet, but experts caution to still use it in moderation in a balanced diet plan.

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