Yes, it’s just like the title says: I eat butter and coconut oil. Often. And with pleasure. However, I don’t eat just any old kind – I do have my standards.
For butter, I aim for a product made from grass-fed milk. Grass-fed butter has a higher concentration of CLA – conjugated linoleic acid. CLA is a good fat – a natural trans fatty acid – that is believed to be an effective cancer fighter, blocking tumor growth. It also has been shown to increase HDL (“good” cholesterol).
Animals that feed on grass have 3-5 times the amount of CLA in their system than their grain-fed pals. So, meat and milk from grass-fed ruminants are a good source of CLA. Pastured eggs are also rich in CLA.
There are two brands of butter that I buy regularly. First, is Kerrygold, an Irish butter.
It is 100% grass-fed, and is so, so good. I love it’s rich yellow color, its creamy texture, and delicious taste. It’s also readily available – I can get it at the local supermarket, at independent markets, and even at Trader Joe’s. I prefer the cultured unsalted, but will use the salted butter in a pinch.
Next, is the Organic Valley Cultured Butter. This is in the gold wrapper with claims that their butter is made from “cows allowed to pasture freely”. Even better, though, is the Limited Edition Pasture Butter, in the green wrapper.
I only got to try it this week. It is fantastic! The texture is… well… like butter. Smooth and creamy – it seems to melt at a lower temperature, too. It’s a gorgeous yellow color – they use the summer milk for this butter.
I also eat raw butter, but I get that privately.
I have plans to make cultured butter in the next couple of weeks, from grass-fed cream. I’ll certainly share my experience here when I do that.
I won’t disagree that these butters can be spendy. But I think in their case, you really do get what you pay for.
I’m really happy to be incorporating so much butter into my diet. For years I used it in cooking, but sparingly because of my fear of saturated fats. Now that I can get butter that is so nutrient-dense – and have lost my fear of saturated fats – I cook with it much more regularly. I especially like to fry eggs in butter. It’s one of my favorite combinations.
Coconut oil is somewhat new to me. For what seems like forever, I believed that coconut oil was a terrible thing to put in the body, that it would only cause harm. Turns out that unrefined, expeller-pressed virgin organic coconut oil is quite the beneficial oil, and its goodness is vast. The two things that stick out in my mind is coconut oil’s role in weight loss and its high levels of lauric acid.
Lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid, has apparent antimicrobial properties; coconut oil is 42% to 57% lauric acid. When you eat coconut oil, it transforms into a substance called monolaurin, which then strengthens the immune system. As far as weight loss and coconut oil goes, it’s those short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off those extra pounds. It also speeds up the body’s metabolism by removing stress on pancreas, and supports a healthy thyroid.
I also love the smell of coconut oil, and find the odor rather soothing. Last night I used it to fry up some chicken, and it was an excellent frying fat for my needs. I also use it in granola and sometimes even put a bit of it in my coffee. I am a huge fan of the taste of coconut, so I enjoy it this way. I expect it would be delicious in hot chocolate, too.
Normally I buy Barlean’s brand but I picked up a jar of Spectrum Naturals and I’ve enjoyed using it.
So, these two traditional fats are wonderful additions to the diet, plus they are available as high quality products. Both delicious and nutritious, it would do you good to give them a try if you’re not already. Enjoy!